Football

Chelsea deserve more credit for their success

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José Mourinho is facing an FA charge for suggesting that referees have been influenced by a "campaign" against his Chelsea side.

Whilst Mourinho's strongly-worded rant was far from the truth, there are many rival fans who attempt to disown Chelsea's success. They point to the money that has been invested in the club by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich as evidence that the London club's success has been "bought".

There is no doubt that the controversial oligarch has changed the face of the club forever; but to suggest that he is the only factor that has driven one of football's most remarkable revolutions would be pure ignorance.

Rise from the ashes

Under Glenn Hoddle's guidance, Chelsea reached their first FA Cup final in 24 years in 1994. A run to the semi-finals of the following season's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup helped them to lure star names such as Ruud Gullit, Mark Hughes, Marcel Desailly, Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola to the club.

Soon enough, Chelsea were consistently challenging for a Champions League spot. They won the 1997 and 2000 FA Cups; as well as the 1998 League Cup.

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Premier League push

The Premier League title remained elusive. Chelsea's closest title challenge during this period came in the 1998/99 season, when they finished 3rd - four points adrift of champions Manchester United.

When Roman Abramovich bought the club in July 2003, they had just come off the back of a 4th placed finish. They had qualified for the Champions League at Liverpool's expense.

Abramovich went on a spending spree - bringing in the likes of Arjen Robben, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira. Within two seasons, Chelsea were Premier League champions under Mourinho's management.

Money can't buy everything

Not even the staunchest Chelsea fans will deny that the three league titles they have won since 2005 - and their 2012 Champions League success - would not have been possible without Abramovich's investment.

However, there is a remarkable lack of awareness of the fact that the Blues went from promotion to the old 1st division in 1989 to a remararkably strong title challenge 10 years later.

It is no coincidence that it took Manchester City four years of spending to achieve the league success that Chelsea achieved within two post-Abramovich seasons.

Indeed, even Manchester United - England's most successful club - have not been able to capitalise on their recent record-breaking summer spending spree.

Hard-earned success

It is likely that Chelsea will not be able to match United and Liverpool's astronomical historical success within our lifetimes.

However, their recent glory is far from the hollow achievement that many fans make it out to be.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea

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