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Does being a Chelsea fan drive you to drink?

It has to be said that after the conquering heights of last term, this season has been a difficult one for Chelsea fans. Dumped out of the UCL at the Round of 16 stage by Barcelona, the Blues won’t be even playing in the competition next year thanks to a lacklustre fifth-place EPL finish. The players bought in by Antonio Conte since the summer of ’17 have all flopped by varying degrees, and the season ended with a deafening whimper – a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle, masterminded by former caretaker Blues boss and former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.

Chelsea fans can hardly be admonished for hitting the bottle this season (and not a bottle of champagne in celebration) and indeed a recent survey by FootballTips.com has revealed that Chelsea supporters are among the heaviest drinking football followers in the UK.

Fans of Eden Hazard and co. are the third least temperance-avoiding supporters among all EPL sides, the survey reveals. Your average Chelsea supporter puts away thirty-five units of alcohol per week – that’s around twelve pints of higher strength (5.2%) lager or three and a half bottles of wine. The recommended ‘safe’ limit for alcohol consumption is no more than fourteen units per week.

There are two teams – both managed by recent former England managers – whose supporters tend to head to the pub even more often than Chelsea fans. Top of the alcopops according to the FootballTips.com survey are Everton fans who sink an average of forty-three units per week – that’s nearly fifteen pints of strong lager (or twenty-two pints of the weaker stuff). Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace come next at forty units, so if you find that Gareth Southgate is your new manager once he’s been sacked as England boss, pre-filling out an application form for Alcoholics Anonymous may be a wise move.

In the UK, there’s a definite link between football and alcohol and that’s made concrete somewhat by this survey. No less than thirteen of the sides questioned have fans who on average drink more than is considered healthy. The teams with fans whom are not habitually hammering on the door of the nearest offie are Huddersfield, West Ham, Watford, Southampton, Brighton, Bournemouth and Leicester.

It’s worth noting that fans of the three sides booted out of the EPL this term – Stoke, Swansea and West Brom – are all in the ‘overdoing it’ category, which proves that a relegation dog-fight is not good news for one’s liver. Perhaps such fans – as well as Chelsea supporters – should take the hint hidden in the name of one of Chelsea’s frequent benchwarmers and drink water instead.