To this day, the FA Community Shield (formerly Charity Shield) remains the only trophy in football, which only remains a trophy if your team wins it. For the losing side, the game is merely denounced of its importance and equated to a pre-season friendly… however, the Community Shield can be even stranger than just that – some say the fixture is cursed, that the victor in a particular year, will not go on to win the Premier League in that same season.
Manchester United seems to be the team that can either confirm or deny this curse. They’ve won the “not really a trophy, but still a trophy” 16 times (sharing it 4 times making it 20 in total) with 10 of those winning years coming during the Premier League era. Seeing as though United won the Premier League 13 times the curse theory seems to be flawed, or is it… Surprisingly, for a team that’s won 57% of all Premier League titles, they’ve only won the Premier League 5 times after winning the Shield. In 1994 Blackburn Rovers won the League after United won the Shield and the same thing happened in 1997 (Arsenal), 2003 (Arsenal), 2011 (Manchester City), 2013 (Manchester City). So there’s a little merit to the curse…
Let’s look at some of the other teams that have won the Shield during the Premier League era. First the obvious ones who’ve never won the Premier League, like Liverpool (2001,2006) and Everton (1995), who clearly, kind-off, sort-off, confirm that there’s a little bit of a “curse”. Arsenal has also confirmed the curse. None of their three Premier League titles have come after winning the Shield, even though they’ve won it 5 times in this period. Manchester City also failed to win the league following after their Shield victory in 2012. All this does seem pretty conclusive, you know, as curses in-general work purely on evidence and doesn’t constitute hogly-bogly bull crap.
Chelsea, does seem to be the anomaly. They’ve won the Shield three times in this era and followed that up by winning the Premier League twice. Which then leads me to my useless conclusion: In the 23 years of the Premier League there’s been 22 concluded Shield games and 32% of the “trophy” winners followed that up by winning the league. You might say that confirms the curse…
Interestingly enough, as Chelsea defies the curse and Arsenal confirms the curse, this weekend’s game should be rather interesting as the loser could win the league unless the loser is Chelsea who have better odds of winning the league if they win the Shield… So if Chelsea wins, both Chelsea and Arsenal stand a chance at winning the league, which is spectacular as both of them have a chance of winning the league before the game. Fascinating, really.
In all honesty, it’s a game for charity and that’s about as much you have to read into it. Does it happen to be a game between Wenger and Mourinho, yes – and that makes it fun. So tune in, relax and watch some football. Pray your players don’t get injured and when you win the trophy, please smear it in the opposing fans’ faces. When you lose, please feel free to mention to everyone it’s only a pre-season friendly and retreat to a corner where you may be sad for 10 minutes at most. Then grab another cold one.
Little side note: Both Liverpool and United (twice, nogal) have been Champions League runners-up when they won the Shield which is another spectacular coincidence which I’m sure someone will pick up and mention in something like this useless blog post about a charity game… Also, @ThatWallace and myself will have our usual Arsenal vs Chelsea bet thing so if Cesc Fabregas makes a presence in my profile pic for say a week after the game, don’t ask any questions.
WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN THE COMMUNITY SHIELD THIS SUNDAY?
VOTE ON OUR POLL TO THE RIGHT OF THE SITE.
Written for The Pundits by @Froners