GOURLAY MEETS MYCHELSEA
A few short hours after the team arrived at the hotel in Kuala Lumpur it was time to talk, with Jose Mourinho and Michael Essien on stage at a media conference and in a nearby large room, Ron Gourlay hosting members of the official Chelsea supporters' club in Malaysia.
With the Europa League trophy accompanying the Chief Executive, there was a similar format to the evening for the local fan club in Bangkok earlier in the week. A Q&A session was followed by a draw for signed Frank Lampard, John Terry and Fernando Torres shirts, and there was a chance for pictures with the silverware.
In answers to questions, Gourlay spoke about his optimism over the contribution young players at the club will provide in the coming years, and he detailed aspects of the changing landscape of football with Financial Fair Play and the Premier League's most recent broadcasting contracts.
Gourlay informed those present that Asia is the area in which the fanbase is growing the most and Mae Tang, secretary of the Malaysian Supporters' Club (MyChelsea) which was founded in 2003, told chelseafc.com that when it was announced the team were returning to the country two years after our previous visit, there was a boost in interest and enquires, taking their membership to around the 800 mark.
They meet at Modesto's at CapSquare in the city to watch live broadcasts of the game, and have done their best to replicate the atmosphere in the stadium during the Champions League and Europa League final victories. As previously, they will be out in force and vocal at Sunday night's game.