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Why Chelsea F.C. are morally eligible to compete in the I-League

TURIN, ITALY – NOVEMBER 20: Eden Hazard and Juan Mata of Chelsea prepare to restart the match after Juventus score their second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Juventus and Chelsea at the Juventus Arena on November 20, 2012 in Turin, Italy.

What is the new tune which is adding to the veritable bedlam of the Barclays Premier League? Balotelli dons a new hairstyle yet again? Chelsea and Manchester City decide to settle it out not in the fields but by their bank accounts? Or is it another bust up between Sir Alex and any one of his trusted guards?

You are wrong, people, for the new music of the day is that Chelsea have appointed yet another manager in this season thus putting up Roberto di Matteo in the contention for the coveted crown of “Shortest tenure at Stamford Bridge”.

Not new? Well yes, it isn’t new anymore, taking in to consideration Chelsea’s past record with managers in charge. Starting with this decade, from 2000, Italian manager Claudio Ranieri was probably their longest serving manager with a tenure running into three years and eight months with a success rate of about 54%.

After the advent of the Russian cash tank Roman Abrahimovich, Ranieri was sacked and the man with a mission was brought in, aka Jose Mourinho or the ‘Special One’ as he is called. With his Midas touch, Chelsea scaled new heights never seen before, winning the Premier League in the first season and making a double scalp with the FA Cup and League Cup under its belt. However his wayward ways and outspokenness led to a rift between him and the Russian billionaire and he quit in 2007.

His tenure was of three years and two months. However his success rate was enviable with a win rate of 67%.  Since then Chelsea have appointed at least eight coaches till date with varying successes and very less tenures, that of Ray Wilkins being as less as a single match. Under Roberto di Matteo Chelsea won the Champions league yet he was sacked following the probable exit from the group stages of the same competition this season.

TURIN, ITALY – NOVEMBER 20: Players of Chelsea FC prepare for a free kick during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Juventus and Chelsea FC at Juventus Arena on November 20, 2012 in Turin, Italy.

What Chelsea owners fail to understand that to achieve success in the long term, stability is the key. One season they may win the Champions league, next season they end up winning the League Cup; however such erratic wins do not create value but it yields to frustration in the long run. There will be expectations and to answer that a team needs to create its value, the key ingredient of which is consistency. Last season under Roberto di Matteo they won the Champions League, this season they are on the brink of a group stage exit- and as a result the same coach who led them to the European glory lasts season gets sacked immediately.

This is what happens with our Indian clubs, specially the Kolkata clubs. However there is a glimmer of hope as we see East Bengal retaining their coach and the core team for a number of seasons and as a result this season they are doing pretty well. Staying unbeaten for 31 matches is not a mean feat in any manner. Yet this simple fact is what the money machinery of Chelsea fails to understand. They buy players like a 15 year old would like pages on Facebook. Money can buy the player but not his skill or class; to develop that, a constant nurturing is needed which would lead to the player realising his potential.

The simple thought that cash runs clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City is appalling. Their owners have money, no denying that fact, but they fail to understand the game of football. It is not won by splashing out huge cash in every transfer window, but by training the existent task force. It is a true  that there is no short cut to success, but to those Chelsea fans who may cite Champions League glory as deemed success let me modify the saying: there is no short cut to achieving success consistently. Chelsea may win a trophy here and there but such repetitive changes ultimately destroy the core of the team. As a result of which all of its successes are short lived and ultimately leads to despair and frantic results like group stage exit or who knows may be out of the top four someday.

DONETSK, UKRAINE – JUNE 27: Roman Abramovich looks on prior to the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Portugal and Spain at Donbass Arena on June 27, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Thus unfortunately what Chelsea has been reduced to by too much of financial power is nothing more than the likes of Mohun Bagan or other Indian clubs who believe in buying out each and everything that seems to be the current flavour of the season. Football is a game where you need to have the heart to succeed and not the money power to buy success. Excellence is something that cannot be bought but has to be earned and success is a result achieved after you have scaled the heights of excellence. In India we find another example being the likes of Mohun Bagan, who every season makes headlines with a huge iconic transfer going into millions and then when such a player fails to achieve what is desired of him, the team crumbles, they lose matches and ultimately the coach is sacked.

In this fast paced world there are still some virtues that yield success; patience is one such value but unfortunately the hotshots of the football world fail to understand this. So adding the last feather to the cap, Chelsea F.C. you are most cordially welcome to come down to India and compete with the likes of your distant cousin, Mohun Bagan. After buying such players you may take an exit from the Group stage and continue to lose matches, but once you are here, we assure you, Mr. Abramovich, you will be the victor in the race for the riches.

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