Glazer and Mansour are hardly in attendance, at least our chiefs are true fans who turn up
ROMAN ABRAMOVICH has not been seen at Stamford Bridge since his British visa was taken away as a reprisal for the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury.
Although what that has to do with him, apart from the fact he is Russian, I don’t know.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has stopped attending gamesAP:Associated Press
Before that he had been a fairly regular attendee at his Chelsea club and a fierce judge of their managers.
He seemed to prefer sacking them to backing them, even the successful ones.
But at least he did turn up, often sitting alone, barely doing more than inwardly applauding even when, by some strange circumstance, Chelsea became Champions League winners. He sacked the manager soon afterwards.
Selling off ownership to foreigners is as common in our leading clubs as it is in British business.
Karren Brady celebrated the West Ham owners regularly attending gamesPA:Press Association
The general rule is a quick sale, a sun-kissed future and ‘Sod off’ to the common folk.
And the people who take over often have no inborn love of the shirt.
Their perspective comes from a couple of visits to the ground, followed by the appointment of a fistful of sharp executives to watch over the bottom line and, more often than not, a new foreign football manager.
Days are long gone when top players were home-grown and enjoyed a pint with supporters at the local pub.
Kun Srivaddhanaprabha will forever be a legend at LeicesterGetty Images – Getty
Owners then were self-made businessmen from the surrounding area who loved the club and the accompanying prestige.
They had no hesitation in appointing a manager who worked his way up from ball boy to boss.
The culture of the Thais who took over Leicester City would never permit them to take the colonial view of their possession.
The Srivaddhanaprabhas were rewarded by the 2015-16 championship but I think the honour of owning the Foxes was more than enough.
After Vichai had been killed in the horrific helicopter crash in October, the whole of English football paid its respects.
Karren Brady is proud that David Gold and Sullivan attend gamesPA:Press Association
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At the opposite end of the scale, if I walked past one of the Glazers in the street I wouldn’t recognise him.
The same goes for the double act who own Liverpool, the Chinese who bought Wolves, the Russian of Bournemouth, the Americans of Cardiff and Arsenal.
And who would recognise City’s owner Sheikh Mansour?
These men rightly defend themselves by pointing out that they have invested huge amounts, resulting in more success and better conditions for supporters.
Sheikh Mansour is rarely seen at Manchester City but has invested billionsAFP or licensors
The Glazers bought Manchester United by borrowing an estimated £800million mostly against the club’s name — and as a result have their hands on the money tap turned on by huge television payments.
In the most recent figures, the Glazer family earned £33m from shares and good luck to them.
But their lack of presence or sustained involvement continues.
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Anyone suggesting such concerns about their neighbours, Manchester City, would be laughed at by their supporters, most of whom wouldn’t bother whether the money to finance City comes from oil or selling goats.
The seriously rich Brit owners can be just as distant.
Billionaire Joe Louis takes an academic view of Spurs’ actual playing performances — although the stewardship by junior partner Daniel Levy is positively microscopic — while Mike Ashley, soon probably to depart Newcastle, has given up trying to understand what his supporters want.
Which brings me to my own joint-chairmen at West Ham, David Sullivan and David Gold.
They are old school. David Sullivan had a pacemaker fitted and was at the club two days later. He’s a supporter first and a chairman second.