Chelsea F.C., founded in 1905 and based in Fulham, London, have consistently been among the top tier of teams in the English Premier League. Ranked by Forbes in 2013 as the 7th most valuable football club in the world, Chelsea has enjoyed plenty of success over the years.
A blog that is very fascinating is Chelsea Daft: A Chelsea Fan’s Blog. Created in March 2009, this blog is all things Chelsea through the lens of a die hard fan, now in his 30’s. The blog has been viewed over 32 million times since inception. The blog has also been active on to Twitter with over 22 thousand followers and over 19 thousand Facebook likes on the page.
This blog has grown tremendously in five years. Many advertisements cover the right side of the web page, but they speak to the popularity and internet traffic of the website. A simple layout, the toolbar at the top of the page lists several popular topics discussed on the page, such as “Academy”, “Premier League”, “FA Cup”, as well as “Opinion” and “Rumours” sections. The blog covers the ins and outs of the club, from Academy to Premier League coverage. The Opinion and Rumours sections keep readers up to date daily and offers the author’s insights into the club and encourages interaction on his posts.
One of the first sections I found fascinating was the Academy section, as I am currently playing pre professionally and can relate to the club scene, just to get an insight to academy soccer and it’s purpose. The most recent article was quite interesting, titled “Chelsea’s youth stockpiling: Is the clubs academy being used for financial purposes?” This article hits on the point that the Academy has gotten away from using the players to prepare for a role on Chelsea, and now using them to stock pile and make a financial gain for the club. I found it first to be very informative, about the intended vs. actual use of the Academy, as well as interesting in the point the author makes. The players have little, if any, chance of actually participating for Chelsea, yet they play and are either loaned, or sold to other clubs. It’s an extremely interesting premise because these Academies, similar to a junior hockey team or a minor league baseball team, ideally are a farm system to grow players through the organization. I really enjoyed the examples provided by the blogger, and the conclusion to give these youth players a chance at participating for Chelsea, while clearly capable. He argues for Chelsea FC to ignore the potential profits on the players and to let the young talent rise through the ranks, which I think is very noble.
I also found the Rumours section to be thorough and informative. You can read many stories every few days with the latest updates around the Chelsea rumor mill. As a sports fan, having a blog that can keep you so in the loop with all the potential free agent and signing moves is critical for avid fans. Even if those moves don’t pan out, it still creates buzz and excitement to read about. The recent article about Juan Cuadrado provided the latest rumor and a great Youtube clip attached to provide media content servicing the author’s point about the talented Cuadrado. Supporting articles and updates with media clips such as this prove to be very effective.
I find this blog to be a great contribution to the greater understanding of not only Chelsea, but soccer as a whole. With constant updates on rumors, club announcements and premier league results, one can obtain a lot of information very quickly. A thorough Twitter account provides constant match updates and links to other news and media outlets, such as video clips and highlights. A highly interactive account, Chelsea Daft’s presence provides a very knowledgeable, respected viewpoint but with a personal feel. Readers aren’t getting opinions from a scripted, media representative within Chelsea’s organization, but an avid fan who has provided consistency and thorough reporting for five years now and has built an admirable follower base.
One thing that I feel does take away from the appearance of the blog is the aforementioned advertisements. One long advertisement covering the top of the page and many up and down the right side of the page give a cluttered feel and an overload of graphics and information at times. While certainly a way to generate revenue off of a page that consumes so much of the author’s time (might be a consistent theme throughout popular blogs such as this), I do wonder if there is a way to improve upon this. Besides this being my only notable drawback in my analysis, I have really enjoyed going through this blog for the constant, thorough updates and variety of available content.