Chelsea supporters have no reason to care a hoot what a Sunderland fan thinks of the state of rottenness that pervades Stamford Bridge.
What business, after all, is it of ours if Roman Abramovich invokes his right as owner of a London football club to act as if he were a Victorian coalowner?
And any tears we shed for Roberto di Matteo will be wasted since, unlike the miners who were vicitms of earlier market forces, he undoubtedly leaves Chelsea with a handsome payoff.
But as even Abramovich knows, he also leaves Chelsea with a fuller trophy cabinet. The decision to fire him after just a few months in charge, initially as the head coach (from March after AVB was sacked) who led the club to plausible victory in an FA Cup final and a far less plausible one in the European Champions League, simply stinks.
And it brings to mind the stirring words of Jack London, who died nearly 100 years ago. I have adpated them:
After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, and the vampire, he had some awful substance left with which he made a [insert the missing word].
He is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a water brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue.
Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles.
When he comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the devil shuts the gates of hell to keep him out. Judas was a gentleman compared with him.
* Clue: The missing word is either scab or Abramovich.
I raised the question on Twitter: would my lifelong passion for Sunderland survive the disgust I’d feel at supporting a club that acted in the way Abramovich has?
Say Martin O’Neill got the club to Wembley and a top eight place this season. But by November, a couple of poor results meant we were only 10th. And we were out of the early stages of the League Cup. If Ellis Short were then to dismiss him, would my faith in mod€rn football finally be shattered? Little or none of that will happen in any case, but I wonder all the same …
** I liked this from Del Day, a Facebook friend known to me for his work as a music PR: “Chelsea have sacked Rafa Benitez as he made his way to Stamford Bridge. A club statement said performances since he has been linked with the job havent been good enough.”