If you have read my ramblings for long enough you’ll know me well enough by now to know that I try my hardest to not really focus on other teams in my daily musings. They are of little interest to me and besides, nobody really wants to come to an Arsenal blog and talk about anything other than Arsenal, I figure.

But gosh darnit, I just can’t help myself today, after seeing what unfolded in West London yesterday, with the Government announcement that Chelski are having assets frozen because of their link to Roman Abramovich. No signings, no new contracts, not money made through merchandising, no sponsorship revenue. Chelski will now have to operate with the cash that they have and they can pay staff and take minimal travel to away games. No attendees other than season ticket holders and no opportunity for Abramovich to sell the club given everything has ground to a halt. Of course Abramovich is applying for a special licence to sell the club, but he won’t make a bean and therefore any sale will be of little use to him.

In 2003 I was at University. Arsenal were in the middle of another title charge against Man United and I was heading in to a Lancaster supermarket with my new girlfriend (now my wife and The Management of ten years) when I saw the news that Ken Bates had sold Chelski to a Russian billionaire. It was front page news and it was a worrying development because this smaller London club suddenly had the means to change football forever. I worried a little at that time, but we were top of the tree with a great manager and one year later would go unbeaten a whole season. So I wasn’t as fussed as perhaps I should have been. But fast forward 19 years and all of the money spent and trophies won, and we all know very well just how much Abramovich’s riches changed the face of football forever. And not for the good. The concept of money in football has never been new, but this was taking things to the next level, it was a cheat code that had been applied in real life. Chelski had won the football lottery and their fans were more than happy enough to let everybody know about it.

Fake roubles and pound notes thrown around and laughed about at Stamford Bridge. Players signing in an over-inflated market which then made it almost impossible for anyone else to compete. Football inflation skyrocketing and all because one man had parachuted in to the game. But as many suspected over the years – but media outlets like Sky, BBC and other entities who have swept aside the morale questions over the ownership of football clubs, because it made the product they have a grasp of more sellable – that objective of Abramovich and others who have bought football clubs and pump eye-watering amounts of cash in, was to try to protect themselves through a theory that we all now know as sportswashing. Using a high-profile asset like a sports team to buy PR protection from facing the music when it comes to your ill-gotten gains.

The music is now being faced though. The links  – so say the Government – have been found and now Chelski fans are banding together as if this is some kind of disgraceful travesty that they are being picked on.

“Everyone has always hated Chelsea. They’ve been jealous because of the success”

Indeed. Success gotten through the suffering of others and now this is becoming apparent. Almost 20 years of trophy after trophy and the gravy train has been ridden. But My hope is that now that train will come to an abrupt halt. Now a playing field has been levelled for at least one financially doped club. We still have two more who will go on to dominate football in future no doubt, but the hope is that whoever comes in at chelski next isn’t just another billionaire. Let’s see how ‘well run’ that club can be when they do not have the cash leg up that has gotten them into the position they are today.

Do I feel sorry for Chelski fans? Not really. I know a few at work and they are nice lads. I follow a few of the guys from the Chelsea Fan Cast after they used to do the Chelsea Fans Show on Love Sport radio where I used to do the Arsenal show. Nice guys, can have a decent chat with them and I can even talk sensibly about football to them so on an individual basis if they are sad I feel for them as individuals a bit, but not the fanbase as a whole. They have a reputation for misdemeanours (we’ve all seen the videos) and that also doesn’t help their cause. Do I want to see them liquidated, destroyed as a club like Bury? Of course not. I can put myself in those shoes if it was us and, let’s not forget, it very well could have been if we’d have taken Usmanov’s coin instead of KSE’s. So I am thinking about that as a scenario and acknowledging how heartbreaking it would be for me if that happened to Arsenal and the possibility of it all tumbling down around me. But you reap what you sow and when you turn a blind eye to something because you are seeing success beyond your wildest dreams, then continue to support a man who is in cahoots with Putin by singing his name last weekend and then again at Norwich last night, then that empathy I have quickly dissolves and is replaced by satisfaction.

What would be my ideal outcome from all of this? Personally, it would see Chelski move to another owner, an owner without bundles of cash and one that asks that club to become self-sustaining. We all know that is impossible under their current financial model and so therefore it would mean a massive change in their approach. Selling off the assets of players they have stockpiled and sent out as an army of loanees. No longer paying riculous salaries and huge transfer fees, spend money based on what you have incoming. To me, if a reset button on that club could happen then I’d be all for it, because there’s no way any normally run club could bench and keep benched a £100million footballer, or have a £70million reserve ‘keeper. Let’s see how well run that club are when their financially doped squad has been unravelled a bit to ensure they truly can start from scratch.

Then let’s see how many of those ‘fans’ are still at the club this time next year, or the season afterwards.

That’ll do for me today. Sorry, lite on Arsenal content but Mikel will have a presser today so I will be back tomorrow with some thoughts on what he said, then.