Some disgruntled neutrals, fans of big clubs who are sad to see their monopoly broken, and Chelsea haters in general are resorting to low comments like: "Congratulations. The one billion investment pays off." In doing this, they are trying to make us seem like unworthy winners. The reality is that if it only took coaching, scouting and team spirit to win a European trophy, then Arsenal would have won it a long time ago. Barcelona can't win anything with only La Masia graduates, Real Madrid have overpaid for almost every player they have ever bought, and Bayern Munich habitually raid lesser German clubs off their best talent.
Here's a transfer-fee comparison between Chelsea's and Bayern Munich's key players tonight, and through their respective UEFA Champions League campaigns:
1) Petr Cech: £7 million -- Manuel Neuer: £19 million
2) Gary Cahill: £7 million -- Jerome Boateng: £11 million
3) Didier Drogba: £24 million -- Mario Gomez: £26 million
4) Juan Mata: £23 million -- Arjen Robben: £21 million
5) Ramires: £19 million -- Franck Ribery: £22 million
6) Branislav Ivanovic: £11 million -- Luis Gustavo: £14 million
7) Ashley Cole: £6 million plus our pre-Roman player William Gallas.
Sure, we have got the odd transfer wrong due to Roman's whims - Torres for £50 million, and Shevchenko for £30.8 million - and we have had to invest more because we were a mid-table team trying to become elite, but overall our transfer activity has been as good as Bayern Munich. Not to mention it has been more ethical. Bayern has pilfered time after time from other Bundesliga clubs. It is also worth noticing that our captain and vice-captain are from before Roman bought the club: John Terry, Frank Lampard.
Have a look at Chelsea's key players when they won the title 7 years ago: Terry (academy player), Petr Cech (£7 million), Makalele (£16 million), Robben (£12 million), Lampard (pre-Roman £12 million), Gallas (pre-Roman £6 million), Gudjohnsen (pre-Roman £5 million), Ferreira (£13 million), Carvalho (£19 million), Drogba (£24 million), Joe Cole (£6 million), Duff (£17 million). Then for the second title we brought in: Essien (£24 million), Obi Mikel (£16 million).
You will notice that: a) a lot of these players only became world-class after they signed with Chelsea and not the other way around: we just didn't 'buy' the best, and b) it's not the reckless spending most people believe we have done; on the other hand, it's smart investment considering the value we've got for it: 3 Barclay's Premier League titles, 1 UEFA Champions League trophy, great consistency in Europe (5 Champions League semi-finals), 4 FA Cups, and in the past 9 Premier League seasons Chelsea have dropped out of the top two only twice.
Not only does it hurt me when they say we've bought our success, but it angers me too because it is naive and incorrect. Which competitive team refrains from spending? Who hasn't 'bought success'? It's about the value one gets for his money, and I would like to think we got decent value for it.