Today’s look back at a classic Chelsea Independent fanzine takes us back to issue 15 which came out just before Christmas in 1989.
The front cover proclaims that “Arsenal played football!” It goes on to state that a spokesman for the FA alleged that “Arsenal played cultured and following football during the game.” On several occasions, according to journalists present Arsenal were seen to use swift, incisive passing movements, rather than rely on brute strength and physical intimidation. What short memories the very same journalists have nowadays as they always bang on about the unrivalled Arsenal traditions and football abilities.
Peter Collins was the editor of this issue and the main topic of controversial was the Glasgow Rangers, Chelsea connection. It centres around an Everton away game when a large contingent of Rangers fans turned up to give their support to Chelsea in their own inevitable way. Peter was concerned that Rangers fans would involve the name Chelsea FC with sectarianism.
The CISA got a mention in the official programme, not once but twice. Ken Bates referred the CISA as a “so called fanzine” and stated that the fanzine was “too critical.” I’m guessing that the real reason for his displeasure was the fact that he had no control over the organisation and the fact that he couldn’t make any money out of it.
Peter also welcomed Erland Johnson to the team and commented that Chelsea had a lucky escape as it was rumored that they were interested in Colin Henry who went to Manchester City.
The correspondence page starts off with a letter from Steve Rough who wrote from Hounslow. Steve was disappointed with Chelsea’s defeat in the Littlewoods Cup against Scarborough. He also reminds us of Chelsea’s previous cup conquerors – Reading, Scunthorpe, Wigan, Cardiff and Orient. This year 19 of the First Division teams avoided a first round defeat. Chelsea were the only team to stumble.
Ian Robinson from Upminister refers to an anecdote about Clive Wilson from Kelvin Barker in issue 14. (I will dig out issue 14 very soon to find out more.) Ian was dismayed that the guy he was sitting behind racially abused Kenny Monkou and identified him as, wait for it Keith Jones.
In an article from Nick Brown he wants Chelsea Supporters to defend Fulham from the threat of people like John Duggan and Cabra Estates. Nick reminds the reader that the Chelsea Independent arose in May 1987 in response to the David Bulstrode led threat to West London football. The intention was to merge Fulham and Queens Park Rangers. (Fulham Park Rangers). Many Chelsea Supporters at the time were also aware of the threat of Fulham ground sharing with Chelsea.
This issue always carries an advert for the legendary Gary’s Coaches. This particular issue advertises trips to Sheffield Wednesday for £12 and Coventry for just £10. Gary boasts that “all coaches include a video, toilet, drinks machine and quite often, tables and a microwave.”
Mick Allpress attended the London branch of the FSA’s meeting, unfortunately Ken Bates didn’t citing “doctor’s orders.” Topics included the future of Stamford Bridge and football in west London in general, racism and complaints from away fans that the Bridge’s facilities were too cramped.
The controversial ID Card Scheme is also covered by Nick Brown and Peter Collins. The scheme was nearly a reality at the end of 1989 and it emerged that Chelsea were to be among one of the guinea-pigs for the scheme. The Dutch version of the scheme was scrapped after a few weeks when card-less fans forced their way into the stadiums.
Fan Fair was written by Paul Roberts and investigates tabloid stories about the behavior of Chelsea fans at Portsmouth. The CISA contacted all of clubs that Chelsea had played and asked them how the Chelsea fans had behaved. Manchester City were the only club to make a compliant about Chelsea fans. They stated that 35 rows of seats were damaged. (This was during the top of the table clash between the two teams who were leading Division 2 at the time.) Other clubs questioned were worried about Chelsea’s reputation but pleasantly surprised with the conduct and the sense of humour from the travelling hordes.
Chelsea played in Sweden during the summer of 1989. However the tour started a little earlier for Nick Brown in the city of Copenhagen. Nick recommends the John Bull public house which was located around the corner from Radhuspladsen. (City square.) At the time the John Bull was owned by an English, an Irishman and a Scotsman. There’s got to be a joke there somewhere. Nick also recommends the Carlsberg brewery where you are allowed 10 minutes at the end of the tour to sample the products.