Football

Brian Kerr Sums Up Why People "Dislike" Man City And Chelsea Ahead Of Champions League Final

Brian Kerr Sums Up Why People "Dislike" Man City And Chelsea Ahead Of Champions League Final

Saturday night's Champions League final has not thrown up the most likeable of matchups, with English big spenders Man City and Chelsea vying for European football's most prestigious honour.

The two were part of the 12 clubs who formed the ill-fated Super League but, even before that whole fiasco exploded, both City and Chelsea were much-maligned by rival fans because of their financial firepower.

Man City are, in effect, owned by the Abu Dhabi state, who have pumped millions into transfer funds in Manchester, while Chelsea's fortunes took a sharp turn after their takeover by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003.

Much has been said by rival fans about the two clubs involved, but Brian Kerr had an interesting take on City and Chelsea during Virgin Media's buildup to the Champions League final.

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Kerr suggested that the issues rival fans have with City and Chelsea are rooted in jealousy, pointing out that rival fans never had an issue with the two clubs before the arrival of their immense wealth from overseas.

If people dislike them now, it's because they've become successful. Nobody disliked Man City in the previous era, until they started winning things.

They never caused an awful lot of trouble, they won the odd cup, they won the league - but they weren't consistent over years, and went down as far as the third division at one stage.

Chelsea were a club that a lot of people liked because they all had a few "Flash Harrys" playing, it was always a bit of rock 'n' roll, a bit loose in the way that they played.

Again, they were never a threat. People didn't dislike them like they dislike them now because they've become successful. People who dislike them - it's kind of jealousy. Say Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, they had an era of superiority and their European achievements as well. For Chelsea, they weren't in that category until they won the Champions League in 2012.

Kerr does have a point. The dislike of Man City and Chelsea is rooted in the fact that the two clubs have been immensely successful since the arrival of foreign wealth, not because of the wealth itself. The two clubs have shared six of the eight Premier League titles since Alex Ferguson left Man United in 2013, and have firmly become the most consistent clubs at the top in England.

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Kerr went on to discuss the ethics of City's ownership, as well as suggesting that fans of rival clubs would surely take the riches of their owners if they were offered up to them.

It's very difficult to tease it all out, but most people who follow clubs in England will be quite happy at the idea of someone coming in and investing heavily in the club and its facilities and making it a lot better. There were no major objections at the time when the whole project Niall mentioned started at Manchester City.

It's too late now to change that process, now, of picking and choosing who should own those clubs. I think for the future you can change it, you can look into maybe the type of practices and the type of behaviour - and the issues around human rights in various countries.

But you're not going to be able to turn the clock back on these two clubs.

Kerr closed with some remarks on Roman Abramovich's reign at Chelsea, suggesting that their fans are unlikely to have many issues

I don't think any of their supporters are too unhappy about the way they do it, about the number of managers that are discarded. I think supporters look at it and say, 'well, that's the way we do it - change the manager, win a trophy, if we don't win the next season, we get him out.

One suggestion made by Kerr is one that will hopefully come about as a result of the post-Super League reforms. Greater checks on owners and the processes they go through will not only improve the financial equality across the sport, but will stop the possibility of owners arriving in the future whose backgrounds include questionable human rights records.

City and Chelsea might not be the most popular Champions League final pairing of all time but, if Brian Kerr is right, whoever wins tonight can only expect a downturn in popularity, rather than the opposite.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Thread From 2019 Brilliantly Sums Up Why Away Goals Have To Stay In The Champions League

Away goals Champions League

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