Well, we didn’t see this one coming, did we?!
In a plot twist up there with ‘The Six Sense’, the Chelsea board actually made a decision universally popular among the fans, and refused to flog another glittering product from the Cash Cow Academy.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, the club’s most exciting youth product in years, appears to actually be staying with the Blues – for now – with Bayern Munich being sent packing with a Football Manager favourite – the good old ‘hands-off warning’.
It’s not overstating the situation to say that this is a landmark moment for the club; following years of Marina Granovskaia’s buy-’em-cheap-flog-’em-fast philosophy seeing a host of promising young players being cast aside for a quick buck, without ever having a chance of building a career at the club, it looks like they could finally be changing their policy.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”, and all that, eh!
Well, something in the pit of my stomach tells me the Blues’ top brass might have something even more dastardly lurking up their sleeve, with the Hudson-Odoi decision serving merely to appease the fans in advance of a much greater act of skullduggery.
Here’s seven alternative way Chelsea may look to enrage their fans this season.
7. Give Willian the Armband & a Lifetime Contract
Judging by the response on social media to the mere mention of Willian’s name, it’s fair to say that a lot of Chelsea fans aren’t to keen on the Brazil international.
For my money, he’s an absolute star with bags of invaluable, trophy-winning experience, but there we are.
Given the clear desire for Blues fans (strictly the keyboard warrior ones, let’s be honest) to see the 30-year-old leave the club, the board could continue their apparent vendetta against the supporters by giving him the armband next season, with a tasty lifetime contract to boot!
6. Sign That Obnoxious Little Swansea Ball Boy
Ohhhhh six years on, and this one still rankles! That little worm.
Cast your mind back to Chelsea’s ill fated League Cup semi-final clash against Swansea City in 2013, where the insolent youngster (well, he was actually far too old to be a ball boy!) hurled himself on top of the ball to waste time, prompting Eden Hazard to innocently chip it from under his torso.
After much rolling and screaming from the ‘Playboy Ball Boy’, Hazard received an undeserved red card and Chelsea went out the cup.
The Chelsea board may look to bring in the loathed steward in as full-time ball boy at the Bridge, even if he is probably in his 20s now, and watch on in delight as he continues his campaign of chicanery against the Blues.
5. Rename the Matthew Harding Stand After Tom Henning Øvrebø
“It’s a disgrace! It’s a ruddy disgrace!” famously did say Didier Drogba (OK, I’m paraphrasing), as one of the worst refereeing displays in footballing history saw Chelsea cruelly eliminated from the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
Tom Henning Øvrebø, or ‘He Who Must Not be Named’ denied the Blues a number of clear penalties, before Andrés Iniesta sealed the win for Barça with a last minute goal.
Sure, Matthew Harding may invested a considerable amount of money into the club when they were financially on their knees, but maybe the Blues board could stir up some more drama by giving ol’ Tommy boy a stand of his own.
4. Rebrand as West London Hotspur & Sign All Spurs’ Hand-Me-Downs
Who do Chelsea hate? Tottenham, it’s pretty safe to say.
The London derby between the two sides is always a rather feisty affair, as the scrap for local bragging rights more often than not boils over into a full on battle royale.
Given the Blues’ openly ‘business over football’ philosophy, why not go the whole hog with a daring new rebrand: ditch the glorious royal blue shirt for a crisp white number; change the team name to West London Hotspur, like some kind of nightmarish Pro Evolution Soccer glitch, and bring in all of Spurs’ most unloveable outcasts.
That’s right – Fernando Llorente, Moussa Sissoko and Juan Foyth all making the switch across London and going straight into Maurizio Sarri’s starting XI. That’d go down a treat for sure…
3. Take Inspiration From Forest Green & Introduce All-Vegan Catering
In truth, having a half-time pie that isn’t filled with the unmentionable parts of various caged livestock would be a welcome change and definitely much better for the environment…but you try telling that to 56-year-old season ticket holder Barry Turner who just wants his bleedin’ Bovril.
The beloved saveloy sausage with chunky chips? Gone! The ‘Shed Load’ Burger? A thing of the past! The chicken strips? Not on your Nelly!
Roasted beetroot and fennel tarts all round, washed down with a hearty pint of luminous wheatgrass smoothie. Delicious and nutritious…
2. Re-Hire Rafael Benítez as Manager
In fairness to Rafa, he did win the Europa League for Chelsea…whatever significance that has.
But come on, the man was at the helm of Liverpool during a time of massive rivalry between the two sides, and there was far too much history between the Spaniard and the Blues to ever make it work.
If the Chelsea board really want to play with fire, they’ll give Sarri his marching orders and reinstate one of the club’s most unpopular managers in their history.
Just imagine the scenes!
1. Burn Stamford Bridge to the Ground & Stadium Share With West Ham United
Stamford Bridge? That old thing? With it’s sensational atmosphere, classic charm and rich history? Nah, mate. Burn it to the ground; we’ll do a stadium share with the Hammers in their soulless enormodome instead.
After all, Internazionale and AC Milan do it, as do Roma and Lazio, plus countless others…
Of course, the board won’t go to the bother of having interchanging branding or anything. Keep it all claret, and dish out a few inflatable hammers, that’ll be just fine.
‘Liquidator’ to welcome the Chelsea team onto the field? Old news. Fire up that bubble machine and let the foam party commence!