Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: WHY CHELSEA HAS MORE FANS IN WEST AFRICA: See Sport Business Anaysts Recommendations
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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Chelsea Fans in West Africa Football has since gone global, so does the fan base. It may surprise you that Chelsea football club i...
Chelsea Fans in West Africa


Football has since gone global, so does the fan base. It may surprise you that Chelsea football club in England has an estimated 50 million fans in West Africa; far more than 18.6 million in the UK and 22.8 million in Eastern Europe. The Blues, as the team is fondly called, has more supporters than anyone local club in West African region.  



Note: Chelsea Global fans size is 135 million as at the end of 2013.



Although, the broadcast of football matches via Satellite TV may have been the major reason and over the years, English Premier League (EPL) has built a more globally appealing brand than any other league in the world; but the romance between Chelsea and fans in West Africa sub-region is something so peculiar that you may want to find out how this came about.

What Happened?   We could trace what happened to the days when Chelsea first signed the Nigerian player, Celestine Babayaro in 1997, and he became an instance success with the team, and later they signed George Weah, the Liberian star who was the world best 1995. Chelsea managers like Ruudi Guilt and Gianluca Vialli began to scout the West African region for more quality players. In turn, fans in the region began to show interest in this Multi-racial club in England.


When Jose Mourinho became manager of the reformed Chelsea team, he began to sign some of the top stars from West Africa. He first signed Michael Essien of Ghana, Solomon Kalou, Didier Drogba both of Cote d’Ivoire, then Chelsea went on to sign John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses of Nigeria and just recently, Mourniho brought Samuel Eto’ of Cameroun to Join the current team.

Apart from the big stars, players like Kenneth Omeruo, Olayito Makiwa both of Nigeria and Sekou Camara of Guinea were also recruited into Chelsea Team B. Naturally, most fans from the region began to identify with the club and often see Chelsea ‘as a West African team in EPL.’

The Response: The recent successes of Chelsea in EPL, winning UEFA Champions League and Europa Cup may have attracted a massive growth of fans, especially in countries like Cote d’Ivoire, where the team’s fan grew to an estimated 16.3 million, Nigeria 14.6 million, Ghana 8.6 million, Liberia 8.2 million, Cameroon 5.3 million, and Senegal 5.2 million…


In most countries in West Africa, Viewing centers are usually packed out with fans any time Chelsea play. It was something else when the team won UEFA Champoins League in 2012 and Europa Cup in 2013. The burn fire and celebrations by fans took several days in places like Abidjan, Lagos and Accra.


Chelsea has established fan clubs in most of these countries and now some grassroots clubs and academies are named after the team and they also use their Jersey.

The merchandizing of Chelsea jersey and memorabilia in the region is estimated at $2.6 billion, sold at the paralleled market; as Chinese representatives continue to flood the market with replicas of original Chelsea products.

Recommendations: Many sport business analysts agree that any program or project Chelsea football club organize in West Africa will be an outright success. They recommended that it will be beneficial for Chelsea to set up football academies in the region and some social responsibility projects.

They’re also of the opinion that Chelsea identify with this great supporter-ship by undertaking a pre-season tour across major countries in the region.






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  1. Thats true because most of these signed players were also the major stars in their countries and where ever there went their fans supported them and even when they left the passion for the team remained. nice post. am a Chelsea fan too...because of samuel etoo and didier drogba

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