Manager: – Jose Mourinho
Captain: – John Terry
Owner: – Roman Abramovich
Chairman: – Bruce Buck
Rivals: – Fulham, Liverpool, QPR
Chelsea has undoubtedly been one of the strongest clubs in the English Premier League for the past two decades and has spent most of their time in the top division of English Football.
Nicknamed “The Blues”, Chelsea FC play their home matches at Stamford Bridge in Fulham, London.
Chelsea, fruitless early days…
Chelsea was founded in the year 1905 by a young businessman named by Gus Mears. Mears had bought the Stamford Bridge Athletics Stadium and wanted to turn it into a football ground. He approached the then Fulham FC chairman Henry Norris but Norris decided not to relocate his club and as result Mears decided to make a club on his own.
Immediately after the establishment of the club they were admitted to the English Football League. They started playing in the Second Division and in the second year the club won promotion to the First Division. The club was not able to achieve any major success during Gus Mears time as he passed away in 1912.
Finally Some Success
Chelsea almost tasted silverware for the first time during the 1914-15 season when they reached the FA Cup final but lost out to Sheffield United. Chelsea had to wait nearly 50 years after their establishment to win a major trophy. They won the Football League title in the 1954-55 season under the management of Ted Drake.
Chelsea failed to build on their trophy count after their first league title and remained a mid-table club till the appointment of Tommy Docherty in 1961. Docherty turned the club into title contenders but was never able to achieve the success it tasted. Chelsea won the League Cup in the 1964-65 season and the FA Cup in 1970.
In 1971 Chelsea won their first ever European Trophy, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup beating Real Madrid in the final.
Tough Times for Chelsea
Towards the end of the 70’s and the early 80’s the club started to struggle in the financial department as a result of which they were relegated from the First Division. The team was almost relegated to the third division in the 1982-83 season but in the 1983-84 season the then Chelsea manager John Neal put together a team with the minimum finances he had and managed to get promoted to the First Division as 2nd Division champions.
Chelsea were relegated from the 1st Division at the end of 1987/88 sadly, but managed to come back to the top division after winning the 2nd Division title in the 1988-89 season.
Chelsea Premier league Era
Chelsea were never a big hitter in the newly formed Premier League, but that all changed in 1996 when then player Ruud Gullitt was appointed as player-manager. Under Gullitt Chelsea won the 1997 FA Cup but was soon replaced by Gianluca Vialli. In the 1998 season under the guidance of Vialli, Chelsea went on to win the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. They also won the FA Cup in 2000 under Vialli management.
Chelsea’s path towards greatness became clear when the club was bought by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich after the 2002-03 season. It was Abramovich that brought Jose Mourinho to the club and under Mourinho Chelsea went on to become one of the strongest clubs in the Country registering back to back league titles in the 04-05 and 05-06 seasons along with two league cups and a FA Cup.
Mourinho left the club at the end of the 07 season to manage Inter Milan. Chelsea hired Avram Grant as manager after Mourinho and he led the club to their first Champions league final but lost to its fellow English club Manchester United on penalties.
A whole host of big names managed Chelsea after Grant including Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez. All of them brought silverware to Chelsea during their time at the club, but it was Di Matteo’s contribution as a care-taker manager that was the high point for the club. Under him they went on to win their first Champions league trophy in the 2011-2012 season beating Bayern Munich on penalties.
Chelsea’s Champions League 2012 Triumph vs Bayern Munich:
The start of the 2013-14 season saw the return of Jose Mourinho to the club but his second coming wasn’t as successful as his first – finishing third on the EPL table behind eventual champions Manchester City and runners-up Liverpool.
Chelsea Premier League 2014/15 season so far
After finishing as a disappointing 3rd place last year, Mourinho expects nothing but the Premier League title at the end of this season.
So far Chelsea are undoubtedly the favourite to win the title by a huge margin this year. They have already opened up a 5 point gap between them and the nearest contender Manchester City. Chelsea currently has 52 points from 22 games (As of 19th January 2014) and with the likes of Diego Costa, Oscar, Matic and Fabregas in top form it doesn’t look like they can be stopped this season.
They are very much in the Champions League title contention as well, and have been drawn against PSG in the round of 16 of the tournament.
Most appearances: – Ron Harris (795)
Top Goalscorer: – Frank Lampard (211)
More details including the current squad and other facts coming in the February update…
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