Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck under fire after claiming European giants should not join “the great unwashed”
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has come under attack for insisting the Premier League and European heavyweights should not be made to join “the great unwashed”.
The Blues’ supremo hit out with UEFA looking at ways to redress the competitive balance and ensure the biggest prizes are not always plundered by the richest clubs.
But Buck fears it could lead to the future of football being badly damaged. He said: “In terms of competitive balance, which is always viewed in a negative way, I personally believe for the development of football, marquee clubs and marquee players are important.
“It is important in developing fan base. It is important encouraging young people to engage in this sport and it also important in terms of the large clubs having the ability to put a lot of money into good causes which they do.
“So I am not, as a general proposition, in favor of dumbing down the large clubs in order to make all clubs the great unwashed. They have done that in the U.S. over the last 20 years and it has been to the detriment particularly of baseball … I just don’t think it works for the long term.”
Mirror columnist Stan Collymore tweeted: “Love comments like this. Reminds us of how out of touch and clueless many football administrators are.
“Ask most long standing football fans where Chelsea sit in the pantheon of great English clubs. They WERE the great unwashed. It’s not what we were, it’s what we are now”
Chelsea were among the clubs struggling to bridge the gap with the wealthiest in the country until the arrival of Roman Abramovich in 2003.
Since then they have ended their 50-year wait for an English title, gone on to win several more and also lifted the Europa League and the Champions League trophies.
Buck has insisted the club want to move away from benefiting from Abramovich’s cash to sustainablity.
He added: “It is developing, I think that we are all looking to break even and even be profitable in the long term but it is difficult because the reason you have a football team is to win trophies.
“There are 10 or 12 big clubs in Europe right, and I think five, 10 years from now in round terms those 10 or 12 clubs will be the 12 big clubs.
“The mix is in terms of who is on top with respect to revenue. Who is on top with respect to performance and trophies, I think that’s up for grabs.”