No matter the country, no matter the sport, diehard sports fans are a notoriously superstitious bunch.

They might be free of superstitions in all other aspects of their lives, but when it comes to supporting their favourite team, logic takes a backseat and the love for their team makes them search for good omens and avoid bad signs.

Fans try to sit a specific way or wear a certain shirt to bring their team some luck. Some even stop watching their team play, thinking this will help the team do better.

All their efforts bear no impact on the end result, but that hasn’t stopped the diehard fans, nor will it in the future.

Now, for a moment, imagine that a group of ardent fans of a sports team have opened a fan club. Together, they moved mountains and spent a considerable amount of time and money to get officially certified by the team itself.

But after getting the official stamp, they see their team have their worst start to the season in recent memory.

That is exactly what the members of Chelsea FC Bangladesh Supporters Club (CFCBSC) faced in 2011.

CFCBSC is Bangladesh’s first and only official supporters club of the English Premier League club Chelsea. The journey of CFCBSC began in April 2011, with the formation of the Facebook group ‘Chelsea Supporters Bangladesh’. Later that same year, they became officially affiliated with Chelsea.

“There were a lot of football-related public groups on Facebook. There, some of us Chelsea fans would have regular interactions. From there, a few of us got together and thought, ‘Why not build up a community of Chelsea fans?’ That’s where we got the idea of opening a fan group for ourselves,” said Mutammim Ahmad, communication lead of CFCBSC.

“As the community kept getting bigger, we saw that there is a chance of getting officially affiliated with Chelsea. After we learnt about it, we went for it. We contacted Chelsea, they were very happy to see our approach.

“In 2011, we became a Silver tiered official community for the first time by ensuring 15 official Chelsea members and 100 general members, also paid a membership fee of £100. Later in a few years, we upgraded our tier to Gold, with 30 official members and paying £150 as a registration fee. Since then we have been maintaining the status of being an officially affiliated member by Chelsea,” Mutammim added.

By the time they had become an official supporters club, Chelsea were lost in mid-table obscurity. New coach Andre Villas-Boas was finding life difficult at Stamford Bridge and the previous season’s big money signing Fernando Torres was failing to justify his hefty price tag.

Chelsea owner at the time, Roman Abramovich, finally lost his patience with Villas-Boas, sacking him in March of 2012. The assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo, who is also a former Chelsea player, took over as the caretaker coach for the rest of the season.

Seeing their beloved Blues struggling this much, it’s possible for CFCBSC members to begin thinking, ‘Maybe, we have brought bad luck for the team!’

But by the end of that season, the same group of fans were busy celebrating!

Chelsea had finished sixth in the Premier League table, but it didn’t matter. The West London Club had won its first ever Champions League trophy, beating an incredible Barcelona team in the semifinal before twisting a knife in the hearts of Bayern Munich fans in Munich, by beating them in the final on penalties.

As icing on the cake, they also defeated rival Liverpool FC in the final to win the FA Cup that same season.

CFCBSC members celebrated the triumphs in a grand get-together in Dhaka. From fears of being bearers of bad luck, CFCBSC now had enough proof to claim that they have brought the rub of the green for the Blues.

In the 11 years since the formation of CFCBSC, Chelsea have won two Champions League titles, two Europa League trophies, two Premier Leagues, two FA Cups and an English League Cup.

The fan club, which now has over 42,000 followers on Facebook, has also gone from strength to strength in this period, as in 2021-22 they became part of the ‘Official 1000 Supporters Club’ of Chelsea.

“Chelsea has launched an app named The 5th Stand App, where you have to register your members to get official affiliation. We currently have more than 1,000 members registered there, it’s the top tier and very few countries have this status as of now,’ Mutammim Ahmad said.

The official status comes with some perks, as Chelsea sends official merchandise like signed jerseys, souvenirs and other goodies to CFCBSC, which they distribute among the group members through giveaways and competitions.

Alongside holding regular get-togethers to watch Chelsea in action, CFCBSC holds prediction contests and Fantasy Premier League competitions.

‘We regularly arrange get-togethers, watch matches together. We usually do screenings in restaurants in Dhaka. 100-150 odd supporters usually come and we watch the matches together. If we win a trophy, we celebrate it at the end of the season. We also go together to watch Bangladesh football events, go watch football matches,’ Mutammim said.

CFCBSC is also active in different humanitarian causes.

“Chelsea is involved with social responsibility causes. They expect that communities that hold the official tag to also, if possible, take part in some humanitarian causes… We have worked with quite a few marginalised communities. We have worked with Mojar School. We raise funds for such activities. We share our activities with Chelsea. They have shared our activities from their platforms multiple times,” he said.

The 2021-22 season was a unique one for Chelsea. While the players were trying to win titles on the field, the management was fighting off the field for the club’s existence.

After Roman Abramovich’s era came to an abrupt end due to unforeseen circumstances, there were fears about the future of the club. But in the end, a consortium led by US businessman Todd Boehly bought the club and affectively saved it.

Boehly has giant shoes to fill. Roman Abramovich built an empire in Chelsea. Under the Russian oligarch’s ownership, Chelsea won every major trophy possible, winning a total of 21 titles in 19 years.

But Bangladeshi Blues are optimistic that Boehly, who is the owner of the baseball team LA Dodgers and basketball team LA Lakers, will help Chelsea reach new heights.

“After the recent sanction, there were doubts about the club’s existence. When Boehly completed the takeover, the club got saved,” Mutammim said.

“Boehly is the owner of New York Dodgers. He has already created a dynasty there. He is a winner. I’m hoping that he will create another dynasty in Chelsea.

“When Roman put the club up for sale, he imposed many tough conditions, like the new owner can’t take any profit from the club in the next 10 years and will have to invest a lot of money for infrastructure. Because of these restrictions, many parties walked away from the deal. But Todd Boehly and his consortium didn’t back off. They agreed to all of those conditions. So, overall we are hopeful of a good future,” he added.

With the departures of Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia and technical adviser Petr Cech, Boehly is handling Chelsea’s transfer activities this season.

He has already signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli. He has also managed to convince captain Cesar Azpilicueta to stay at Chelsea in spite of interest from Barcelona, which was crucial for the club after the departures of defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

They are also reportedly close to signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona to fill up the gap left by the departures of forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

Overall, Chelsea’s transfer activity in the first summer window in the Boehly era is making the fans optimistic.

“In both Sterling and Koulibaly’s cases, Boehly's opening bid was close to their club’s asking price. That’s how both parties knew that Chelsea was serious about the deal. And ultimately, both deals happened. Even in the missed deals of Raphinha and Kounde, Boehly was willing to give the club the asking price. I see this as a plus point. We are not trying to pinch money like before,” said Mutammim.

All in all, Bangladeshi Blues are keeping their feet on the ground and are hoping their team uses this season to recover from the past season’s blues and come back fighting for every title from the following season.

“Frankly speaking, the team we already have is a decent team. But, all in all, I think our most legit expectation should be to secure the top 4. And if possible, fight for one or two cup finals and maybe win them. It’s not like we are expecting a trophy this season. Top 4 will be the main target I think.”