Blue is again the colour for Raheem

July, 15/2022 - 11:03
Chelsea I don’t think have paid over the top for the 27-year-old and although not quite as good as City, Raheem will still be playing for one of the best teams in the Premier League. And of course, he’ll be playing Champions League football too.
WING MAN: Chelsea unveiled Raheem Sterling during their preseason tour in the US. — Photo courtesy of Chelsea FC

Paul Kennedy

This week Raheem Sterling signed for Chelsea from Manchester City is a deal thought to be somewhere in the region of US$60 million.

I think it’s a good move for all concerned. After spending seven, very successful years at City, Sterling was starting to get slightly shoved aside so the time seems right to seek pastures new.

Chelsea I don’t think have paid over the top for the 27-year-old and although not quite as good as City, Raheem will still be playing for one of the best teams in the Premier League. And of course, he’ll be playing Champions League football too.

I’ve no doubt he’ll walk straight into Thomas Tuchel’s starting eleven and will very much hit the ground running.

The move did, however, make me wonder what Colin Wing thinks about it. Remember him? You probably don’t, so let me remind you.

Wing was the Chelsea supporter who, back in 2018, was caught screaming racist abuse at the then City player, Raheem Sterling.

As a result of his actions, Wing lost his job, and season ticket for Stamford Bridge, and to be fair to him, he apologised soon after.

Although he did insist his abuse wasn’t racist, and he used the word ‘Manc’ referring to Manchester, and not the word ‘black’.

A criminal case against him was later dropped due to lack of evidence.

I suppose only Wing himself will know exactly what he said, and I do remember at the time thinking how cool Sterling was, simply smiling at his abuser and not let his words phase him in anyway.

Although that happened four years ago, there’s no doubt racism in football is still a huge, huge problem and I don’t think it would be wrong of me to suggest that there is a minority of Chelsea fans guilty of it.

In January 2017, four Chelsea supporters were handed suspended one-year sentences by a French court after being found guilty of aggravated violence against a black man on the Paris underground in February 2015.

A year earlier, Chelsea hooligans had been seen making Nazi salutes and heard shouting "Sieg Heil" during violence ahead of another Champions League game and in 2018 and during a match in Budepest, Hungary, images emerged allegedly showing Chelsea supporters posing with a flag bearing Nazi insignia.

In 2019, six Chelsea fans were filmed singing a song in a Prague bar ahead of their team's Europa League quarter-final in which they described Liverpool's Egyptian striker Mohammed Salah as a "bomber".

These idiotic actions are no doubt caused by just a minority of so-called supporters but they really do give the decent, honest football loving Chelsea fan a very bad rap.

And it will be these fans, I’m sure will give Sterling the warmest of welcomes when he makes his debut for his new club.

Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore brilliantly summed up the move this week.

He said: “The fact he is joining Chelsea, however, presents them with a fantastic opportunity to make a huge anti-racism statement this summer and I’d love to see the club and the player take it.”

Let’s hope for all concerned that’s what happens. — VNS

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