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Opinion

The PSG, Chelsea and Newcastle United question

9 months ago
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Very interesting to look at Chelsea, Newcastle United and PSG.

It sums up football these days.

If two years ago you asked a random cross-section of people / football fans which of this trio are ‘big’ football clubs, the overwhelming majority would have named the same two.

Even now, you would probably get a very similar answer from most of these same people, if asked the question two years later.

So much of what we see today is media driven, the truth is whatever they happen to decide it is.

Facts? They pick the ones to suit their agenda.

History? They start and stop it when it suits.

PSG

If you asked that cross-section of football fans what kind of success PSG experienced back in the 1960s, when Newcastle United last won a trophy, I would be amazed if a single one of them could tell you.

You see, there was no PSG back in the 1960s, or indeed any decade before that.

The French capital didn’t have a football club, not one of any note anyway, so a group of businessmen saw business opportunity and invented one in 1970. PSG.

Forget all about the current owners, long before that PSG had a history mired in controversy. Only two years after forming PSG found themselves demoted to the French third tier in 1972, whilst a Paris FC continued in the top tier. Paris FC themselves having only formed in 1969 and then joining together with PSG in 1970. Coming to the modern day, it was 1979 when Paris FC last played in the French top tier.

As for PSG, they continued as they started, surrounded by scandal and controversy.

The weak and generally poorly supported French league had seen the PSG owners consistently fail to make their fortunes, quite the opposite in fact.

In 1991 Canal+ saved PSG from bankruptcy but after a number of years of relative prosperity, PSG became once again continually plagued by mounting debts until… 2011, when Qatar came along and bought them.

After having won the weak French top tier only twice in their first 40+ years of history, PSG have now won nine of the last eleven and finished runners-up the other two.

In a domestic league that generates such little cash via TV rights, it is very easy for a PSG to completely dominate.

Chelsea

When it comes to the Stamford Bridge club, the comparisons with PSG are clear for all to see.

They had been around since 1905 but to little consequence before the Premier League era and sugar daddy ownership.

Before the Premier League era, Chelsea had only twice won either of the two main domestic competitions (League Title and FA Cup).

Chelsea winning the top tier in 1954/55 (which coincidentally is the last domestic trophy Newcastle United have won, so far…) and then the FA Cup in 1970.

In the dubious Ken Bates era, Chelsea did add two more FA Cup wins in 1997 and 2000 but beset by debts, they were heading for bankruptcy until Roman Abramovich came along in 2003.

Buying the club and removing the threat of bankruptcy and then proceeding to buy the Chelsea fans undreamed of numbers of trophies, totally at odds with the true size of the club, its history and its support.

It was shameful how the Premier League and other football authorities, as well as the media, stood back and let Abramovich make his own rules up, the Russian owner buying the Chelsea fans five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two Champions Leagues and two Europa Leagues, until belatedly he was forced into selling the club.

Newcastle United

Well you all know our story don’t you.

Before Chelsea had won a single trophy, Newcastle United had won four top tier titles and five FA Cups.

Indeed, only seven days after Chelsea lifted their first ever trophy on 30 April 1955, Newcastle United lifted their tenth major trophy, their sixth FA Cup, at Wembley.

Back in those days and indeed into the 1960s, asking which of Newcastle United (ten major trophies), Chelsea (one trophy in their entire history) and PSG (still didn’t even exist) were ‘big’ clubs would have attracted very puzzled glances. As only one possible answer.

Indeed, I think for any proper football fan, that answer would have stayed the same, right through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, right up to Qatar and Roman Abramovich starting to buy PSG and Chelsea their very modern day silverware haul.

Thankfully, Newcastle United have been released from Mike Ashley’s vice-like grip of misery and simply existing, whilst I would wager we are set to see some very dramatic events at PSG and Chelsea in the very near future.

Chelsea and PSG are two clubs built on pretty much nothing, quicksand rather than solid foundations.

Both with small fanbases that will swiftly diminish once they hear ‘no more trophies’.

You will get people quoting these worldwide stats of support for clubs like Chelsea and PSG via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on but they are beyond laughable.

In the 24 hours after it was announced Lionel Messi was leaving, PSG saw 1.5m people stop following them on Instagram. That is not to say that all overseas fans aren’t genuine supporters for Chelsea or indeed any club, however, following a club on social media is meaningless and proof of nothing.

Even with Mike Ashley still in control, just because Rafa Benitez stayed after relegation and gave Newcastle fans a little bit of hope, St James’ Park in the second tier saw sold out signs week after week with an average of over 51,000 at home in the Championship.

More people paid to go through the turnstiles in league matches at St James’ Park that second tier season than all other English clubs apart from Man U (four extra home games for NUFC compared to likes of Arsenal in Premier League).

Can you imagine Chelsea or PSG with Mike Ashley in charge and getting relegated…???

What kind of crowds would they be getting?

No English (or indeed French) club would get anywhere close to that kind of support that Newcastle United can generate.

It isn’t the fault of Newcastle United fans that for almost seven decades the club has been so badly ran, apart from a half decent number of seasons in the first decade and a half of the Premier League era.

Given the slightest encouragement the NUFC supporters have still been desperate to get behind their team, Keegan arriving as a player (NUFC in second tier), Keegan arriving as a manager (NUFC in second tier), Sir Bobby arriving (NUFC in top tier), Rafa agreeing to stay (NUFC in second tier) and these new owners arriving in 2021 (NUFC seemingly guaranteed on their way to the second tier).

All clubs have got some good fans, it is just that Newcastle United have a lot more of them than most.

Along with Man U and Liverpool, Newcastle United have one of the three biggest fanbases  in England. In my opinion, NUFC have THE biggest fanbase in this country, which will be illustrated if this promising early start is built on by the new owners and a way is found to have a far bigger capacity at our stadium.

In contrast, the current crazy valuations of clubs such as PSG and Chelsea are laughable.

These American dafties at Stamford Bridge who thought they could reinvent football and find the key to an even bigger previously undreamt of pot of gold via owning this Premier League club, must surely be thinking now of cutting their losses ASAP, having sleepless nights about how much exactly they will be going to lose after buying the biggest white elephant of all. A similar story over in Paris, a city / region that isn’t football mad and ‘fans’ who booed them when lifting their ninth league title in eleven years. Their fanbase only interested in winning the Champions League and now realising that is never going to happen, Qatar  surely set to bail out in the near future, just like those at Chelsea.

This is what you get when basically creating a whole new club (which actually happened with PSG in 1970!), Qatar and Abramovich building football clubs and supposed huge businesses with basically zero foundations.

Newcastle United are a monster and have the potential to be as big and as successful as any football club in the world.

This is in reality the first time it has ever been given the chance to happen with maybe that one missed opportunity in 2007 if a different owner had came in.

I am not saying Newcastle United are guaranteed to win anything in the years to come but the smell of fear emanating from our (now) Premier League rivals says it all.

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