While their Guardian colleague John Brodkin focuses on the poor value for money provided by slumping Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko (above), the Fiver’s Barry Glendenning and Mike Adamson turn their attention to the Blues’ nefarious fund-raising efforts around the world.
Living as they do under an authoritarian and notoriously censorious regime, Chinese citizens have long been fed a steady diet of propaganda. But as if being subjected to the particular doctrines and principles of an evil Communist Party isn’t bad enough, the lives of 1,306,313,812 people are about to get a whole lot worse now it’s emerged that Chelsea are to produce a Mandarin-language website in a move to build the “club’s brand” in the Far East.
“Clearly we are becoming more popular and this is the right time to take that to the next level,” droned the club’s business affairs director Paul Smith, suggesting the Premiership champions are the object of far less derision in China than they are at home. “The real winners of this co-operation are the fans themselves who will now have far easier access to the world of football,” declared Charles Chao, chief executive of Chinese internet portal Sina, no doubt referring to fans whose only previous access to the world of football involved long hours in the sweatshop sewing footballs and replica shirts.