Chelsea Supporters: Premier League Bad Boys?

So, we’ve got a manager who can’t manage, a team that can’t play pretty football and now, as the Premier League releases the results of The Behaviour of the Public Fair Play League, we’ve got the worst behaved supporters as well. Anyone else feeling a bit unloved?

Based on the following criteria: (1) verbal support in acceptable form and (2) recognition of outstanding play by opponents, the top 20 best behaved clubs for the entire 07/08 season are:

Fulham, 319 points, 8.40 average

Newcastle United, 313, 8.24

Arsenal, 312, 8.21

Portsmouth, 310, 8.16

Sunderland, 308, 8.11

Wigan Athletic, 306, 8.05

Manchester United, 305, 8.03

Tottenham Hotspur, 304, 8.00

West Ham United, 304, 8.00

Blackburn Rovers, 304, 8.00

Liverpool, 304, 8.00

Derby County 303, 7.97

Everton, 303, 7.87

Manchester City, 299, 7.87

Reading, 297, 7.82

Middlesbrough, 296, 7.79

Bolton Wanderers, 295, 7.76

Birmingham City, 294, 7.74

Aston Villa, 290, 7.63

Chelsea, 285, 7.50

Not that I’d pay too much attention to what the Premier League thinks or that they’d be the first to force their opinion of Chelsea on me, but just how ‘bad’ are we?

Of course our success under Mourinho attracted a newer breed of supporters but that’s a price you pay – it’s the shiny silver stuff that draws them in apparently. I mean, it’s not that the ‘continental crowd’ suddenly arrived with Jose, I had difficulty keeping up with the various accents/languages and their tendency to forget which colour we play in well before then. But it is fair to say that hangers on are an inevitable sign of success. But does that equate to a bad thing?

Well, we’re certainly attacked for having so many ‘fly by night’ supporters, there simply because they can afford the over-hiked prices, but how many clubs in the top half of the table don’t have daytrippers? So it has to be about more than that.

Could it be that Stamford Bridge is too quiet? I’d hardly think so seeing as the award for ‘best’ supporters goes to those from one of quietest grounds. Or maybe that the ‘proper’ supporters are a little too intimidating for those visitors with a fragile disposition? I guess given the criteria, maybe they do lack a little decorum when it comes to polite applause when Ronaldo’s running rings around us or Peter Crouch shows us how he can take anyone out with his latest Van Damme impression.

Certainly we can be confrontational and with stewards like ours it’s a case of having to be half the time, but isn’t an intimidating atmosphere regarded as a bonus anymore or is it only the darlings of the press who are praised for the ‘twelfth man’? Ok, so the language can be quite colourful at times, but surely that’s the nature of the beast? Didn’t football used to be about pride and passion, or would the watching world rather see us sitting nice and politely, hands on laps, with prawn sandwiches wedged firmly in mouths? You’d have to think so.

Yes, there’s the odd dodgy rendition but we’re by no means the worst club where that’s concerned, unless of course everyone cocks a deaf ear at Anfield where the death of anyone but their own becomes fair game. And whilst some of the abuse spat at Grant this season is indefensible, it really does come from the minority – after all, the rest can’t even sing in English can they?!

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