SNeoh -your not gonna like this! Ive gotten to three or four Chelsea matches a year for the last four years. I met a guy drinking a beer in a pub about five years ago and we just started talking. At one point he asked me if I knew anything about soccer - and I said football - and he was all ears. Told him I followed the premiership a bit and was surprised that a "yank" would do that. When he asked if I had a favorite team and I said Chelsea he said I was his new best American friend.
We've become great friends - I get lotsa 2:00 am london time phone calls from the pub!
He works in the football field and has for years - addidas, Glasgow Celtic, Man U and now has his own company. So, one of his good friends whom I've met at the Chelsea offices is head of licsencing. If we can't get tix on the open market we ring him up and in we're in. In fact this time I actually made the call to the guy at Chelsea and tix were on the way to Derek's (we pay face value). Ive actually met the president of Chelsea - abromovich's right hand man.
Over the last few years I've seen all the big teams - Man U, city, arsenal, spurs, everton, Liverpool and lesser teams like hull city on Saturday. Been to two champions league matches too. And will probably schedule a business trip to see them play paris SG in the next round. We actually had two tix to the champions league final last year in Lisbon (he has benifica connections and it was at their stadium). Unfortunately chelsea lost to athletico so we sold them.
So, getting back to beer - if I'd not stopped in that pub for a beer and met Derek I'd not have this great friend but also a football and beer mate when I come to England.
And oh boy do we pub crawl!
A bit long winded...sorry!