As the reigning Premier League champions, Chelsea Football Club has a target on their backs. But Blues fans should not worry about this summer’s media circus.
19 other hungry teams will be gunning for their spot at the top of the table. Reporters and journalists will be salivating at the crumbs of stories about one of the most talked about teams in Premier League. Their sensationalised tales aim to garner the most clicks so they can make a living.
Nobody is allowed to be happy in West London, apparently. Things are not allowed to go smoothly. When they do, someone will start some drama to rile up the masses.
Some stories and quotes are facts. Diego Costa did speak to the Spanish press about how he is not in Antonio Conte’s plans for the upcoming season. His words caused the club to go into a tailspin while trying to pick up the broken pieces of the relationship from off the floor. Journalists pounced on that like the hyenas ambushing Simba and Nala at the elephant’s graveyard in The Lion King.
Hot gossip is now being whispered to everyone’s ears like game of broken telephone. According to anonymous sources, Conte wants to leave the club because of a lack of activity in the transfer window. Fans started arming themselves with pitchforks as rumours of yet another Chelsea manager sacking was spreading.
However, fans shouldn’t worry about this impending doom like “Y2K.” The Stamford Bridge faithful is riding a wave of happiness, and the media is trying to rain on their parade with scary stories that should only be told around a campfire with a plethora of s’mores. There are reasons Chelsea are staying quiet for now unlike clubs like Bayern Munich who already announced incoming transfers before the window opens on July 1.
In October 2016, Chelsea announced a new kit-manufacturing deal with Nike that’s set to begin on July 1, 2017. The club is still with Adidas as of this moment, which is why new kits haven’t been released like most other clubs.
This new technical partnership will be worth £60 million per year until 2032. The 15-year deal with the American sportswear giant will prematurely end Chelsea’s history with Adidas dating back to 2006.
For now, Chelsea is still with their soon-to-be ex. Any new signing announced before July will still be under the Adidas umbrella. The club could be choosing to wait until the Nike deal kicks in to unveil new signings along with the new kits. There is no reason to say anything now when an even bigger statement can be made in a few weeks.
The best time isn’t always as soon as possible. “Winning” the transfer window isn’t about signing players the fastest. Chelsea can create the most hype by making the first real day of the transfer period a celebration for fans with new big names wearing the new kits with a swoosh on the chest.
Transfer talks between clubs are private for a reason. Owners and boards value discretion when dealing with millions of pounds on the line.
Looking back at Chelsea’s recent forays into the transfer market, hardly any of them had long drawn-out rumours beforehand. The return of David Luiz was a shock move on the last days of the 2016 summer transfer window. Rumours of Marcos Alonso’s move to the club only started a few days before it was made official at the end of August. Chelsea clearly likes to do their business quietly and efficiently.
Rumours still pop up as journalists claim to have inside sources giving them information. Somehow, their words become gold once they’re published and readers choose to believe the stories like scripture. You can never be sure what is fact with Chelsea Football Club until an official statement is released. Reporters only speculate on what may happen, and fans should not blindly follow the media off a cliff.
Stories with quotes from other parties are also talked about, such as Juventus rejecting a bid from Chelsea for wingback Alex Sandro. Juventus’ Chief Executive Guiseppe Marotta stepped up saying that they rejected a big offer from SW6 for the 26-year old. Chelsea hasn’t said anything about the matter because they choose to keep their transfer negotiations away from the public’s eyes and ears. Only one side has been heard, and it may or may not be true as this could be a tactic by Juventus to drive Sandro’s price even higher.
It’s easy to be pessimistic when other clubs are progressing and Chelsea seems to be in a standstill or even taking steps backwards. Signing central midfielder Corentin Tolisso would have been an amazing addition for the club, and it’s disappointing that Bayern Munich beat the Blues to the punch.
Then again, Chelsea still has up until the end of August to make a splash into the market. Fans shouldn’t worry in the middle of June when there’s quite a bit of time left. The media is a great storyteller, getting readers to feel reach to the bottom of their hearts to feel emotions never felt before. We just have to remind ourselves that these stories are sometimes fiction, and we need to be patient for official statements.
What do I do for the next couple of months?
Stop, calm down. Players are on vacation after a grueling season of football. Fans should take a page from their book and rest from the beautiful game.
I realise it’s quite possible that Conte can leave Chelsea at any given moment, especially if he doesn’t get what he wants. It has happened before with Conte. He left his former clubs, Bari and Juventus, because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with them. History could possibly repeat itself for the third time with Chelsea.
We can speculate all we want on what we think will be the best proceedings for this transfer window. Many people, myself included, will handpick our favourite targets and see how they fit with our respective clubs on paper. That’s all it is, however. On paper. I can only fathom the details of a transfer negotiation, and I would rather let the professionals handle it. I have to trust that the right decisions will be made because I’m not on the Board. When the smoke clears, only then I can criticise the club.
Hakuna Matata—it means no worries for the rest of your days. Take it easy. Sit back and relax, and be ready for July 1 when the wheels should start chugging along.