Chelsea FC And Liverpool: The Rivalry From A Rational Perspective


Despite the animosity between the two clubs and the sets of supporters, Chelsea FC and Liverpool may have more in common than people want to believe.

October 31st 2015, Liverpool have just beaten Chelsea by three goals to one at Stamford Bridge. As thousands of dejected Chelsea fans leave the stadium, I am one of the fortunate ones who can walk home and avoid the crowded public transport links.

On my walk home, somebody calls out asking for directions to Earl’s Court tube station. I turn around in horror. The accent of the voice is not the typical London one you hear around the Bridge, but rather a distinctive Scouse one.

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Given the intense hatred between Chelsea and Liverpool, I felt compelled not to reply and continue walking. After a few seconds I pointed him in the right direction which just happened to be the way I was headed.

So here we are the Chelsea fan and Liverpool fan walking in the same direction. The gent then began asking me what I thought about the game. We discussed Jurgen Klopp’s impact, Chelsea’s diabolical defending and our Halloween plans.

In what will be a surprise to many, the Liverpool fan was actually a pretty decent guy. The conversation then turned to the rivalry between our clubs. I asked as to why Liverpool fans hate the Blues so much.

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He spoke about Chelsea’s emergence as a football force simply being down to money. Essentially that everything about the modern Chelsea was phoney.

This got me thinking, though. As the Blues became a global institution under Roman Abramovich, the core of our support remains those locals who have made Chelsea one of the most supported clubs in England since the early 1990s.

The fact that we were bought by a Russian billionaire was down to our success between 1997 and 2003 in an era dominated by Arsenal and Manchester United.

We challenged for the league in 1999, finishing four points off champions Manchester United. During this period we also collected the FA Cup twice, the League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the Super Cup.

We were invested in by Abramovich due to our status as a top four club. Liverpool’s claim that we ain’t got no history is invalid. It may not be as glamourous as theirs, but we punched above our weight and certainly achieved some success.

I then proceeded to tell the Liverpool fan as to why I disliked his team so much. For me personally, it is the utter arrogance and self-entitlement of Liverpool fans. They believe that their successful history automatically gives them the right to be the best club in England and in Europe.

However, this got me thinking as well. Liverpool were incredibly successful in the 1970s and 1980s. They won 11 league titles and 4 European Cups in two decades. They also undoubtedly, along with Nottingham Forest, raised the profile of English clubs on the continent. So whilst I do find their fans insufferable at times, there is an understanding as to why they harp on about their history.

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If I were in their position, I would be extremely proud of what their club had achieved as I am with Chelsea’s history. You also cannot fault Liverpool fans for their loyalty during their, 25 years and counting, run without a league title.

So as I said goodbye to the Liverpool fan, I thought that perhaps they were similarities between the clubs and its supporters.

Now the animosity between the two sets of fans cannot be understated. Driven on by meetings in the Champions League Semi-Finals as well as the Finals of the League Cup and FA Cup, there is absolutely no love lost between us and them.

Yet, both clubs are still characterised by their core local supporters who have always supported and stood by their team. Both clubs have a wide range of global fans that are just as passionate.

Both sets of fans are immensely loyal and proud of their club’s traditions and those who have brought them success. Chelsea and Liverpool have also been characterised by charismatic managers, Jose Mourinho and Bill Shankly, who in different eras took their respective teams to new heights.

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So whilst the rivalry between the clubs and supporters will undoubtedly continue, perhaps, just perhaps, we have more in common than we want to believe.