The Chelsea Chatterbox is a classic collection of pearls of wit and wisdom from the movers and shakers of London’s finest football club. From the 1955 League title and the glamour days of the 1970s to the Premier League and Champions League triumphs of the Roman Abramovich era, this series will be looking at more than 100 quotes from over the years. It will feature the words of many important figures from Chelsea’s history, like Peter Osgood, Dennis Wise, Ken Bates, John Terry, Antonio Conte and, of course, the current Head Coach of the club, Frank Lampard, who, just like dozens of other heroes, is Blue through and through.
“Life is never dull at Stamford Bridge” – Ken Bates
Ken Bates is the former owner and chairman of Chelsea Football Club. I’m sure almost everyone has heard the famous story about a man who purchased the club for just £1. Well, it was him, in 1982.
During his tenure, he managed to take the club all the way from the Football League Second Division up to the top-flight, whilst having to deal with a long-running legal battle against property developers who had purchased a substantial portion of the freehold of Stamford Bridge. Bates spent 21 years at Chelsea and he became (at the time) the club’s most successful chairman by the end of his reign, even though they were in debt of around £80 million.
In my opinion, Ken Bates’ statement still holds water. If we are looking back at the past year, Chelsea has won the Europa League, beating Arsenal 4-1 in the final. After that, the club has been banned from signing players. The ban has been reduced. Now, Frank Lampard’s team is in the top four against all odds, and as things stand, relying mostly on academy graduates.
As you can see, life is never dull at Stamford Bridge, and we love that.
“We always win if Concorde flies over the Bridge while we are playing” – Francis Glibbery (Chelsea programme photographer, October 1999)
“I’ve been coming to Chelsea for 55 years and it’s one of the joys of my life. No matter what concerns I have about work or other matters, for that hour and a half watching out there, it’s just magic. I absolutely love it.” – Lord Attenborough
Lord Richard Attenborough was an English actor, filmmaker and entrepreneur. As the Life President of the club, he was a consistent force for good at the club, even in dark times.
I think we can all agree with him, watching Chelsea play can drag your brain from all the bad things away, and for 90 minutes the sole focus is only on the game.
“You should never go back in life. You don’t see many people out with their ex-wives, do you?” – Ken Bates
This rather funny quote reflects on the time when Mr. Bates ruled out a Bridge return for Dennis Wise (1990-2001), who was in search for a new club at the end of the 2002 transfer window. Ironically, he signed for Milwall, Chelsea’s biggest rival.
“When my team looked into clubs with the best possible fundamentals and prospects, Chelsea really did come first. The ground, the location, the Champions League qualification, the staff and players and fan support were, and remain, a wonderful foundation.” – Roman Abramovich
Last but not least, in June 2003, the Abramovich era began. The Roman Empire became unstoppable. The rest is history.
In the next episode, we will be bringing you the best quotes from the heroes of the shirt, such as Ron “Chopper” Harris, Ray Wilkins and Roberto Di Matteo!
What is your favorite Chelsea related quote? Let us know in the comment section down below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @TheChelseaSpot!