Chelsea F.C.

From Academic Kids

Template:Football club infobox Chelsea Football Club (also known as the Blues, previously known as the Pensioners), founded in 1905, is a Premier League football team that plays at Stamford Bridge football ground in South west London. Notwithstanding the club's name, it is not actually based in the borough of Chelsea, but just outside its boundaries, in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. It is on the Fulham Road, which runs between Fulham and the borough district of Chelsea. Chelsea currently have the seventh longest unbroken tenure in the top division, having been there since the 1989-90 season.



Stamford Bridge

Chelsea's history is inextricably linked to Stamford Bridge—the club's stadium since its inception—and its history, therefore, begins with the building of the stadium although this was before the foundation of the Club.

Stamford Bridge officially opened on 28 April 1877. For the first 28 years of its existence it was used almost exclusively by the London Athletic Club as an arena for athletics meetings and not for football at all. In 1904 the ownership of the ground changed hands when H A (Gus) Mears and his brother, J T Mears, obtained the deeds, having previously acquired additional land (formerly a large market garden) with the aim of establishing a football team there on the now 12.5 acre (51,000 m²) site. The Mears family remained the owners of the ground (and subsequently the Club) until the 1970s.

Stamford Bridge was designed by Archibald Leitch and initially included a 120 yard long stand on the East side which could hold 5000 spectators. The other sides were all open in a vast bowl with thousands of tons of material excavated from the building of the underground railway providing high terracing on the West side.

The stadium was initially offered to Fulham Football Club, but the offer was turned down. As a consequence, the owners decided to form Chelsea Football Club to occupy the new ground. Most football clubs were founded first, and then sought grounds in which to play. By contrast and a historical quirk, Chelsea was founded for Stamford Bridge—a readymade club for the ground. Although technically in Fulham, the founders decided to adopt the name of the adjacent borough of Chelsea for the new club as there was already a Fulham Football Club in existence.

Early years (1905-1955)

Chelsea F.C. was founded on March 14, 1905 at The Rising Sun pub (now The Greene Room) opposite today's main entrance to the ground on the Fulham Road. This was followed by the club's election into the Second Division at the Football League AGM on May 29, 1905. Chelsea's first match took place away at Stockport County on September 1, 1905. The Club began with established players recruited from other teams and promotion to the top flight was swift, but the club's early years were uneventful. Chelsea reached the FA Cup final in 1915, but no major honours were won until the 1954-55 season when Chelsea finished top of the First Division and lifted its first trophy - the league title.

Sixties to eighties (1960-1989)

The swinging 60's ushered in an era that saw football and inimitable style merge in the heart of London; with the fashionable King's Road at the heart of the swagger. A 60's Chelsea that oozed charisma and class soon built up a major following, but ultimately failed to match its swagger with on-field triumphs. No major domestic titles were won, except for the League Cup in 1965 (Chelsea's first League Cup), followed by an FA Cup final loss in 1967.

The early 1970s saw a great Chelsea team which is still fondly remembered (not least because it was a couple of decades before its achievements were matched at the club): it featured the likes of Ron 'Chopper' Harris, Ian Hutchison and Peter Osgood. In 1970 Chelsea ran out F.A. Cup winners (beating 'dirty' Leeds 2-1 in a pulsating final). A UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph was added to the haul the following year—Chelsea's first European honour.

But there was no further success in that decade as the discipline of the team degenerated and an over-ambitious redevelopment of the stadium (which only got as far as the pioneering East Stand, which retains its place even in the modern stadium) threatened the financial stability of the club as well. Further problems were caused by a fearsome reputation for violence amongst a section of the supporters (the boundary between passion and hooliganism being dangerously narrow in those days) and the club started to fall apart both on and off the field.

The financial problems exacerbated the club's other difficulties and a spiral of decline began. Star players were sold off, the team was relegated, and the freehold of the stadium site was sold off to property developers, which was to create serious problems in the years to come.

As always, however, Chelsea retained its high profile; and its widespread base of supporters, many of them very hard core, saw it through what proved to be the very difficult years of the 1970's and 1980's. However, although relegated to the Second Division twice, it never fell further (although it came dangerously close).

Chelsea was, at the nadir of its fortunes, acquired from the Mears family interests by new Ken Bates for the princely sum of 1, and Bates proved to be a real fighter as the new Chairman, although his opponents included supporters (who did not take kindly to his suggestion of electrified fences to keep them off the pitch) as well as the property developers who now owned the freehold. In 1992, Bates finally outmanoeuvred the latter and reunited the freehold with the Club, by seeing the property developers go bust and doing a deal with their banks.

In the meantime, Chelsea had achieved promotion to the First Division again as Second Division champions in 1989 and, this time, it managed to stay in the top flight: indeed, it has remained there ever since.

The 1990s: back on track

Chelsea had an impressive return to the First Division in 1989-90. Manager Bobby Campbell guided a squad of mostly unremarkable players to a creditable fourth place in the final table. Although the ban on English clubs in European football was lifted that year, Chelsea missed out on a UEFA Cup place because the only English place in the competition that year went to runners-up Aston Villa. Campbell resigned a year later and he was replaced by Ian Porterfield, who helped Chelsea finish high enough in 1991-92 to qualify for the first-ever season of the Premier League. He quit halfway through the season and was briefly replaced by David Webb, who guided Chelsea to an 11th place finish. Webb quit at the end of the season to be replaced by 35-year-old former England midfielder Glenn Hoddle, who had just won promotion to the Premiership as player-manager of Swindon Town.

Hoddle's first season as manager saw Chelsea's league form dip slightly, but they reached the FA Cup final—and were hammered 4-0 by Manchester United. But United had won the Premiership/FA Cup double, which allowed Chelsea to compete in the 1994-95 Cup Winners Cup. They reached the semifinals of the competition and went out by one goal to eventual winners Real Zaragoza. Chelsea now had a decent squad with several top class players, the most significant of which was courageous captain Dennis Wise. But chairman Ken Bates and director Matthew Harding were making millions of pounds available for the club to spend on players, and two world-famous players were signed in the summer of 1995 - Dutch legend Ruud Gullit (free transfer from Sampdoria) and Manchester United's high scoring striker Mark Hughes (1.5million). Hoddle guided Chelsea to another 11th place finish in 1995-96 and then quit to become manager of the England team.

Gullit was appointed player-manager for the 1996-97 season, and had an impressive first season in management by achieving a sixth-place finish in the Premiership and winning the FA Cup. The 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Wembley ended Chelsea's 26-year wait for a trophy, and was a happy end to a season which had looked to be dominated by sadness after the death in October of director Matthew Harding in a helicopter crash.

Gullit was suddenly sacked in February 1998 with Chelsea set for a top-five Premiership finish, and another player-manager was appointed—33-year-old Italian striker Gianluca Vialli. Vialli began his management career in style with victory in the Cup Winners Cup and the League Cup. He also guided them to a third-place finish in the 1998-99 Premiership campaign, high enough for a first-ever appearance in the Champions League. Vialli also guided Chelsea to another FA Cup victory in 2000. By now Chelsea had a top-notch multi-national squad which included the likes of Italian striker Gianfranco Zola, Dutch goalkeeper Ed de Goey, Nigerian full-back Celestine Babayaro, Italian midfielder Roberto di Matteo and French centre-half Frank Leboeuf.

The new millennium: glory days

Vialli was dismissed in September 2000 and replaced by another Italian, Claudio Ranieri—who guided them to another FA Cup final in 2002 but was unable to prevent them from losing to double winners Arsenal.

Ken Bates finally sold Chelsea F.C. in June 2003 for 150million—making a 149,999,999 profit over the 1 he had bought the club for in 1982. The club's new owner was Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who also went on a 100million spending spree before the start of the season and landed players like Claude Makelele, Glen Johnson, Joe Cole and Damien Duff. The policy almost paid off, with Chelsea finishing Premiership runners-up and reaching the Champions League semifinals after beating Arsenal in the quarterfinals. But Ranieri was sacked after ending the season trophyless, and Abramovich recruited Jos Mourinho (who had lifted two Portuguese league titles, a Portuguese Cup, a European Cup and a UEFA Cup with FC Porto) as the club's new manager.

2004-05 is probably the most successful season yet in the history of Chelsea Football Club. They secured the Premiership title in a record breaking season by gaining 95 points from 38 fixtures (ending a 50-year wait for the title with the highest Premiership points total for a 38 game season), along with setting records for: most wins (29), fewest goals against (15) and most clean sheets (25) in a 38 game season. All this in the season that also saw "The Blues" lift the League Cup. Jos Mourinho was regarded by many as one of the best managers in the world, and many of Chelsea's players were also subjected to critical acclaim from journalists and supporters alike. Chelsea had originally been hoping for a clean sweep of four major trophies, but their bid for ultimate success was ended by a defeat against Newcastle United in the FA Cup Fifth Round and a surprise defeat against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals. In July 2005 they will compete in The World Series of Football.

Current squad

Chelsea's home ground is , in
Chelsea's home ground is Stamford Bridge, in London

Notable players

1900s: William 'Fatty' Foulke, George 'Gatling Gun' Hilsdon, Robert McRoberts, John Tait Robertson, Ben Warren

1910s: Jack Harrow, Nils Middelboe, Robert Whittingham

1920s: Ben Howard Baker, Jack Cock, Tommy Law, Tommy Meehan, GR Mills, Jack Townrow, Bob Turnbull, Andrew Wilson

1930s: Hughie Gallacher, Sam Weaver, Vic Woodley, George Mills

1940s: John Harris, Tommy Lawton, Willi Steffen

1950s: Ken Armstrong,Roy Bentley, Jimmy Greaves

1960s: Frank Blunstone, Peter Bonetti, Eddie McCreadie, Ken Shellito, Bobby Tambling, Terry Venables

1970s: Charlie Cooke, Ron Harris, John Hollins, Alan Hudson, Ian Hutchinson, Peter Osgood, Ray Wilkins

1980s: Paul Canoville, Kerry Dixon, Pat Nevin, Nigel Spackman, David Speedie, Clive Walker

1990s: Steve Clarke, Nick Colgan, Roberto Di Matteo, Ruud Gullit, Glenn Hoddle, Mark Hughes, Frank Leboeuf, Graeme Le Saux, Dan Petrescu, Gianluca Vialli, George Weah, Dennis Wise, Ed de Goey, Dimitri Kharine, Tore Andr Flo, Gianfranco Zola

2000s: Marcel Desailly, Eiður Smri Guðjonsen, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Carlo Cudicini, Damien Duff, Arjen Robben, Didier Drogba, Petr Čech

Chelsea player of the year (1967-2004)


John Tait Robertson 1905 - 1907
David Calderhead 1907 - 1933
Leslie Knighton 1933 - 1939
Billy Birrell 1939 - 1952
Ted Drake 1952 - 1961
Tommy Docherty 1962 - 1967
Dave Sexton 1967 - 1974
Ron Stuart 1974 - 1975
Eddie McCreadie 1975 - 1977
Ken Shellito 1977 - 1978
Danny Blanchflower 1978 - 1979
Geoff Hurst 1979 - 1981
John Neal 1981 - 1985
John Hollins 1985 - 1988
Bobby Campbell 1988 - 1991
Ian Porterfield 1991 - 1993
David Webb 1993
Glenn Hoddle 1993 - 1996
Ruud Gullit 1996 - 1998
Gianluca Vialli 1998 - 2000
Claudio Ranieri 2000 - 2004
Jos Mourinho 2004 -


Note: In 1954-55 the Football League First Division was the top tier of the English football league system. Therefore Chelsea have been English football champions twice: 1954-55 and 2004-05.


  • Most League Points (2 for a win): 57, Division 2, 1906-1907
  • Most League Points (3 for a win): 99, Division 2, 1988-1989

- Chelsea have spent 69 seasons in the national top flight (they rank 9th equal with Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion in this respect). In these 69 seasons, Chelsea have finished in the following positions: - 1st: 2 - 2nd: 1 - 3rd: 4 - 4th: 2 - 5th: 5 - 6th: 7 - 7th: 1 - 8th: 3 - 9th: 2 - 10th: 1 - 11th: 6 - 12th: 5 - 13th: 5 - 14th: 4 - 15th: 1 - 16th: 2 - 17th: 1 - 18th: 6 - 19th: 6 - 20th: 2 - 21st: 2 - 22nd: 2 - As one can see, the Blues' favourite position in the table is No. 6. They are one of those few clubs that found themselves in every position during the years in the top flight.

External links

Template:FA Premier League teamlist
FA Premier League seasons

1992-93 | 1993-94 | 1994-95 | 1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99
1999-00 | 2000-01 | 2001-02 | 2002-03 | 2003-04 | 2004-05 | 2005-06 edit (

Football in England

League competitions

The FA

Cup competitions

FA Premier League FA Cup
The Football League (Champ, 1, 2) England
League Cup
Football Conference (Nat, N, S) FA Community Shield
Northern Premier League (Prem, 1) (women) Football League Trophy
Southern League (Prem, 1W, 1E) List of
FA Trophy
Isthmian League (Prem, 1, 2) FA Vase
English football league system Records FA NLS Cup

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