Until you read this, you probably won’t have heard of Chelsea’s American Chairman Bruce Buck (I certainly hadn’t) nor the comments that he made yesterday. However, as a Huddersfield Town fan, you needn’t.
Since gaining promotion to the Premier League, we have become far too familiar with the elitist rhetoric and condescending undertones used when referring to Town or any side outside of the ‘Top Six’. This is just another example of it.
Often it’s thinly veiled but if you look closely, patterns emerge. Take a look at the Match of the Day running order every week or the amount of airtime Town receive as a simplistic indicator.
Today, however, Bruce Buck gave us a glimpse through the looking glass at what football administrator’s at the very highest level really think of sides like Town and other “lowly” sides in the top flight.
In response to a proposed new set of UEFA regulations, which would look to address the growing inequalities within football (within the same league) and close the gap between the “the big teams” and the rest, Chelsea’s Chairman condemned the rulings: “I am not, as a general proposition, in favor of dumbing down the large clubs in order to make all clubs the great unwashed”.
The irony of that comment is clearly lost on Chelsea’s chairman – considering his club was part of ‘the great unwashed’ during the 1970’s and 80’s.
The audacity and arrogance to say it so openly and use such a derogatory loaded term gives an insight into how those at the very highest positions see clubs like Town. Whilst many don’t speak so overtly and frankly, it is a viewpoint that is not just accepted but is being adopted by more and more people.
What Bruce Buck and many bureaucrats involved in football don’t understand is that football is one of the great genuine meritocracies. Success is determined on merit, not on the size of football clubs and that notion is clearly lost on him.
What his comments do highlight is what we as fans have had to endure since our meteoric rise to the proclaimed promise land.
Any notion of a warm embrace or even the simple acknowledgment that we deserve to be here seems to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Instead, we have had to endure and subsequently shrug off the belittling comments and patronising remarks from football administrator’s and football fans alike.
It lends itself to an even more common trend. Whilst delusions of grandeur were rife amongst fans in the Championship, an equally disparaging delusion of superiority is just as rife amongst Premier League fans.
With delusions of superiority becoming a common trait amongst Premier League fans, the ugly arrogance of elitism on display by Bruce Buck is likely to be accepted and adopted by football fans as well as football administrators.
It means that we as a fan of Huddersfield Town, not a fashionable club of grand infamy nor media favourability will have to continue to fight for acceptance and continue to fight for the acknowledgment that we deserve our rightful place at the top table.