Date: 25th November 2006 at 3:32pm
Written by:

No need to worry: I will not recount the story of Kenyon’s departure from United for Chelsea. No, I’d like to write about some off his comments.

Once again, something rather unsignificant has been hyped up by the media. Or is it only I who don not consider Kenyon’s recent comments about their plans to be so very frightening.

By 2014 we want to be internationally recognised as the No.1 club,’ said Kenyon.

‘Our revenue has grown dramatically and is now on a par with United. It’s a very ballsy vision but one that has captured the interest of the owner.

‘Manchester United was built around heritage, whether that was the Busby Babes, 1958 and Munich, winning the European Cup in 1968 or the Fergie years.

‘Their record of eight Premiership titles, two doubles and the treble in 1999 has set the benchmark for every English club.

‘Chelsea’s success was sporadic and we didn’t have the depth of heritage to pull back on.

‘We’re probably expected to do things that bit different and that’s part of the DNA of Chelsea. We’re based in one of the top three cities in the world, which is another difference from Manchester.

‘That’s not a criticism of United, it’s in the context of where we differ.

‘Chelsea didn’t have a tragedy, didn’t have ten years of unbelievable success in the Sixties, which culminated in winning the European Cup, and then the Fergie years.

‘It was a fairly soulless place, so it was about starting again.’

That was it. Yet some United fans were unbelievably angry and started throwing mud at Kenyon at top speed. OK, I know he was not the most popular person (I, for one, have always hated him though acknowledged his abilities) even when he was at Old Trafford and since he’s moved to Chelsea, he’s been a total disgrace but this time he’s said nothing unforgiveable. Why on earth do you blast someone who says Chelsea are soulless?

I liked Fergie’s answer, though: he apparently did not take Kenyon very seriously.

‘I know Peter,’ he laughed. ‘It was a nice time to say that stuff.

‘His comments don’t bother me. I am hardly going to start quaking and trembling about them.

‘In any case, I don’t know how you work those things out. How can you tell whether you have 50 million supporters or 500 million?

‘How other teams look at these things is their business. My only experience is that anywhere we go there always seems to be a mass of people crowding round the players all wearing shirts.

‘There are all sorts of mythical tales about our club. All I know is that we have a great history and have all these supporters because we entertain. We will not change from that.’

Hopefully, that will always give us the edge over Chelsea. Does the quality of football matter in Asia or just the trophies?