It's therefore no surprise when their sporting articles not only receive extensive coverage on Twitter and in other news outlets, but also carry a degree of authority based on the legacy of past departed star performers.
One such post appeared on twitter today and quickly spread via a raft of online newspapers and media, gaining many likes and re tweets.
The 'value for money' league where Man Utd & Sunderland prop up a table led by Spurs and Bournemouth https://t.co/Enz500mDp2— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) May 16, 2017
The post was a long performed ritual come the end of the season, whereby a side's wage bill is divided by their points total to derive a "cost per point" number.
Following this intuitively comforting calculation, one team is deemed the most wasteful with their millions, in this case Manchester United (£3.6 million per point) and one is crowned the "value for money" team of the year. Spurs (£1.3 million per point).
Title winners, Chelsea came 12th out of 17 (the promoted teams were omitted), implying perhaps that they had won the title with a wasteful, inefficient splurging of the chequebook.
But is that really the case?
When Chelsea last won the league in 2014/15, the average wage bill for the 20 teams was around £100 million, ranging from £29 M at Burnley to £217 M at the title winners.
The Blues' wage bill was just under 2 standard deviations above the league average and for that outlay they gained 87 points or a success rate of 0.8 per game if you prefer to express draws as half a win.
The reward for Chelsea spending 2 SD above the league average wage bill was a success rate that was slightly greater than 2 SD above the average success rate for the Premier League.
This relationship holds for multiple seasons and for most teams.
Below is the plot for 2014/15.
The uncomfortable truth for a team wishing to gate crash the top of the Premier League, Leicester excepted, is that a typical title winning season requires a financial outlay in the region of 2 SD's above the league average.
Similarly, a stinting on the wage bill inevitably, with some variation throughout to account for luck, innovation, plagues of locusts etc pitches you into the bottom half of the table.
But the take away is that there is a strong relationship between how much you spend in comparison to the league average and the actual wage bills of the remaining teams in a Premier League season and your success rate again compared to the league average and that of your competitors.
Therefore, any under or over performance in a season should be compared to this historical relationship, rather than a perennial and flawed click bait ritual involving nothing more than long division.
Using the raw figures used by The Times (actually from 2015/16, but we're assuming 2016/17 will be similar), Chelsea spent 1.64 SD's above the league average this term.
That "entitles" them, based on historical precedent to gain a success rate that is around 1.3 SD'a above the league average.
With a week to go their success rate ( (wins + draws/2)/Games played) is nearly 1.8 SD's above the league average success rate.
Whereas Chelsea languish two thirds of the way down The Times' value for money table, they've actually won the league, while also being this season's third best over performers in terms of share of money spent and success rate achieved.
Rather than being lambasted in a quality daily, Roman's bean counters, backroom staff and players deserve a huge pat on the back for being the best and efficiently so. Even if there was, as ever, an element of unsustainable good fortune, as well.
Bournemouth fall from 2nd to 4th, Watford from 4th to 8th, Stoke drop from 6th to 10th and Swansea also drop to 15th from 11th. Manchester City rise from 13th in The Times to 6th and Liverpool go from 15th to 9th.
Some teams remain relatively unchanged. Congratulations Spurs, sorry United fans, but consigning to the bin this self confessed "simplistic" method of ranking over or under achievement is long overdue.
Also check out Omar Chaudhuri's time line for his views on this "bugbear" & an alternate approach to quantifying inefficiency in wages.
Points per wages is a personal bugbear: @martynziegler's analysis vs adjustment for fact £1 extra spend is worth way more at bottom of table pic.twitter.com/n06pkw240F— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) May 16, 2017