By Emma Hartley
Chelsea FC is one of the most successful teams in current times. However, the atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge falls well under expectations.
It’s fair to say that the atmosphere inside a football ground is very much determined by the result and the way a team performs. This digs deep into fans emotions and how they feel leaving the ground afterwards. If your team has clenched a win you should feel the buzz and excitement running through your veins. The noise should be electric as everyone shares their passion together. However, the atmosphere at the best of times is very quiet. You would expect the ground to be very loud as it is a ‘football ground’ however the noise is very minimal.
At the start of a home game as the players walk out of the tunnel onto the field fireworks go off and the famous Chelsea liquidator plays. This creates a buzz in the ground and excitement just before kick-off. Fans enjoy it and join in.
The Matthew Harding stand is known for the best atmosphere. This stand holds a large amount of season ticket holders and some of which have gone to watch Chelsea for years. Before every game the Matthew Harding stand pulls a large flag over the fans in support of the team.
(Photo Credit- Chelsea Daft-A Chelsea fans blog)
Even though this is the case the atmosphere after the teams walk out falls quite flat. Fans will celebrate a goal and several chants may be sung throughout however, for the majority of the game the stands are pretty quiet.
Attending Chelsea games at Stamford Bridge would be so much better if there was a better atmosphere. During a game all I want to do as a fan is sing and chant for my team. I want to get behind the boys and motivate them but having the confidence to do that alone is difficult.
Many Chelsea fans feel the lack of support within the ground and it is something that is very noticed by match day going fans.
Loyal supporter, Stephen Kelliher said: ‘’At Stamford Bridge the Matthew Harding lower only sing. Why doesn’t the shed make more noise along with the West and East stand? Make Stamford bridge a fortress and be a 12th man! There is a bad atmosphere at 12.30pm and 3pm kick offs. Unless people have had a chance to have a drink for a 5.30pm kick off. There is a better atmosphere at away games.’’
Ben Williams, Chelsea fan said: ‘’So the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge is something that can be the league’s best one week and feel like the league’s worst the next. Generally speaking, the more vocal stands, as you may know, are Matthew Harding and Shed End. The East Stand lacks due to it being a family stand – with the cheapest tickets available being a magnet for families and first-timers at Chelsea. The West Stand is made up of more upper-class Chelsea fans due to the higher ticket prices. As you know, Chelsea was originally a club for the working-class people, just like football was before the money. But this usually results in more first-timers sitting in West Stand which can add to a poor atmosphere. It seems like we only seem to show up at big games sadly.’’
Generally, in The Premier League it could be seen that the atmosphere is very average in comparison to lower league football.
Stephen Davies, Chelsea fan said: ‘’For big games The Premier League atmosphere in general is shocking you’d have to go down to the lower leagues for a good atmosphere.’’
At Stamford Bridge away fans are always heard in the ground. The home fans should be able to completely out sing the away fans easily due to the capacities of both. They never really seem to be able to. This leads to ‘’Is this a library’’ being sung from the away end. Chelsea fans never really appear to react to this, they just accept it.
(Photo Credit- The Anfield Wrap)
Chelsea is now a worldwide brand which is so encouraging to see. However, this could be a contributing factor as to why the atmosphere is so flat at Stamford Bridge. Many people that attend the home games might have only been for the first time so don’t know any chants.
Also, Stamford Bridge lies in the heart of one of the best cities in the world London. Tourists that come to London are attracted to come and see the blues play as they are one of the top teams in England. Again, this attracts some people that don’t really know that much about Chelsea but they come anyways.
I will never forget when I attended a game on the 24th August 2014 at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea beat Leicester 2-0. I was sat in the West Stand Lower and I heard two people talking behind me before the game started. They didn’t know who any of the players were and they sat silently through the entire game. Even when Chelsea scored, they didn’t stand up. They didn’t know what it meant to be a passionate Chelsea supporter. It was frustrating to see and this is quite a regular occurrence. Whenever I am at a game I focus and watch the game. However, it is very hard not to pick up on these sorts of things and what is going on around you as you come together and sit among people in a football stadium.
The atmosphere at away games is completely different by Chelsea fans. Smaller minorities of fans go due to the away ground capacities and are always very loud. Most of the time fans out sing home supporters. If you are watching from home on TV you can always here Chelsea fans singing loud and proud in support of the players. The atmosphere is always great and you feel a buzz. Even when the team are losing or have lost the fans are always singing. They know what it means to be Chelsea.
The atmosphere is truly so quietly noticeable at Stamford Bridge. To the extent when Jose Mourinho was in charge, he even slammed it himself. He remarked that ‘’it was like playing in an empty stadium’’. This shows how bad it really is.
The atmosphere used to be brilliant at Stamford Bridge in the olden days. This could be because proper fans attended the games and were actual ‘fans’. A majority of the fans were locals and lived in London. They knew the chants and most of them were the ones that created the chants.
Furthermore, the increase in ticket pricing has put a lot of people off. Not everyone can afford to go now so instead they might just go to away games instead as the atmosphere is better there. Many fans will pick to just go to away games rather than home now.
Many Chelsea fans admit that the atmosphere is terrible. It is something that fans can’t deny. The loyal supporters would love this to change but they cannot do it on their own. It is very frustrating for all of us loyal fans to see and something that all of us want to see change.
(Photo Credit- Chelseanews24)