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Chelsea Football Club

Chelsea Football Club (also known as The Blues or previously as The Pensioners), founded in 1905, are an English Premier League football team. The club's home ground is the 42,360 capacity Stamford Bridge football ground in Fulham, West London, where they have played since foundation. Despite their name, the club is based just outside the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. It is on the Fulham Road, which runs between Fulham and Chelsea. In 2003, the club were bought by Russian oil tycoon, Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football, and have had two broad periods of success: first during the 1960s and early 1970s, and then again from the late 1990s to the present day. In total, they have won three league titles, three FA Cups, three League Cups and two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups. During the 2005-06 season, they became Premier League champions for the second consecutive year.

Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have only ever had one home ground, Stamford Bridge, where they have played since foundation. It was 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 at all for football. In 1904 the ground was acquired by H A (Gus) Mears and his brother, J T Mears, who had previously acquired additional land (formerly a large market garden) with the aim of staging football matches 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 for the Mears family by the noted football architect Archibald Leitch. They offered the stadium to Fulham Football Club, but the offer was turned down. As a consequence, the owners decided to form their own football club to occupy their new ground. Most football clubs were founded first, and then sought grounds in which to play, but Chelsea were founded for Stamford Bridge. Since there was already a football club named Fulham in the borough, the founders decided to adopt the name of the adjacent borough of Chelsea for the new club, having rejected names such as Kensington FC, Stamford Bridge FC and London FC.[1]

 

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Starting with an open bowl-like design and one covered terrace, Stamford Bridge had an original capacity of around 100,000.[2] The early 1930s saw the construction of a terrace on the southern part of the ground with a roof that covered around 1/5th of the stand. It eventually became known as the "Shed end", the home of Chelsea's most loyal and vocal supporters, and particularly came into its own during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The exact origins of the name are unclear, but the fact that the roof looked like a corrugated iron shed roof played a part.

During the 1960s, the club's owners embarked on a modernisation of Stamford Bridge with plans for a 60,000 all-seater stadium. Work was begun on the East Stand in the early 1970s but the cost almost brought the club to its knees, which led to the sale of the freehold to property developers. Following a long legal battle, it wasn't until the mid-1990s that Chelsea's future at the stadium was secured and renovation work resumed. The north, west and southern parts of the ground were converted into all-seater stands and moved closer to the pitch, and the current legal capacity of Stamford Bridge is 42,360. Due to its location in a built-up part of London on a main road and next to a railway line, there are obvious constraints on further expansion, something deemed as necessary for Chelsea to compete with their rivals. As a result the club have been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.[3]

The pitch is now owned by Chelsea Pitch Owners, an organisation that took out a loan to purchase the stadium and also the rights to the Chelsea FC name. This was done to ensure the stadium could never again be sold to developers. It also means that if someone tries to move the football club to a new stadium they could not use the name.

 
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History

Chelsea F.C. was founded on March 14, 1905

Chelsea F.C. was founded on March 14, 1905 at The Rising Sun pub (now The Butcher's Hook), opposite today's main entrance to the ground on the Fulham Road, and were elected to the Football League shortly afterwards. The club began with established players recruited from other teams and promotion to the top flight was swift, but their early years saw little success, save for an FA Cup final in 1915, where they lost to Sheffield United. Chelsea gained a reputation for signing big-name players[4] and for being entertainers, but made little impact on the English game in the inter-war years. Former England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club. He removed the club's Chelsea pensioner crest, improved the youth set-up and training regime, re-built the side, and led Chelsea to their first major trophy success - the League championship - in 1954–55. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions' Cup, but after objections from The Football League and the FA Chelsea were persuaded to withdraw from the competition before it started.[5]

Tommy Docherty became manager in 1961 with the club facing relegation, which he was unable to prevent. In his first full season as manager, Docherty led Chelsea to promotion again with an impressive new, youth-oriented team. The new Chelsea side, epitomised by cult hero Peter Osgood - talented, stylish and occasionally self-destructive - oozed charisma and class and soon built up a major following, but ultimately failed to match its swagger with on-field triumphs, and endured several near-misses. The League Cup was won in 1965, but in three seasons the side were beaten in three semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up. They also narrowly missed out on winning the league title in 1964-65. In 1970 Chelsea ran out FA Cup winners, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a pulsating final replay. A UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph was added to the haul the following year - Chelsea's first European honour - with another replayed win, this time over Real Madrid in Athens.

Following that high, the team declined dramatically. Disciplinary issues saw key players transferred while 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, leading to the sale of more players and later the sale of the Stamford Bridge freehold. The team were relegated and various managers came and went, all of whom were hamstrung by the club's financial woes. 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.

Chelsea were, at the nadir of their fortunes, acquired by businessman Ken Bates for the 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. On the pitch, the team had fared little better, finishing 18th in the Second Division in 1982–83. But in the summer of 1983 manager John Neal put together an impressive new team for less than £500,000. The new-look Chelsea won the Second Division in 1983–84 and then secured two successive 6th place finishes. Following that, the club declined again and were relegated in 1988, before bouncing back immediately by emphatically winning the Second Division championship.

Chelsea were unconvincing in the new Premier League, but off the pitch and after a decade-long legal battle, Bates finally reunited the stadium freehold with the club by doing a deal with the banks of the property developers, who had been bankrupted by a market crash. Glenn Hoddle was appointed player-manager for the 1993–94 season, and led the club to the final of the FA Cup in 1994. In a move significant for the club's future, Hoddle also signed former World Player of the Year, Ruud Gullit in the summer of 1995, before leaving to take charge of the English national side in 1996.

Gullit became player–manager and added several top-class international players to the side, particularly Gianfranco Zola, as the club won the FA Cup and established itself as one of England's top sides again, earning a reputation for playing Sexy Football. Gullit was then sacked after a dispute with Bates and Gianluca Vialli was installed as player-manager. Vialli led the team to victory in the League Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1998, a near-miss in the Premier League title race in 1998-99 and the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 2000. In 2000, Chelsea were again FA Cup winners with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa. A disappointing start to the 2000–01 season saw Vialli sacked in favour of another Italian, Claudio Ranieri. Ranieri guided Chelsea to the 2002 FA Cup final and Champions League qualification in 2002–03.

In June 2003, Bates sold Chelsea to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for £60 million, thus completing the biggest-ever sale of an English football club.[6] Owing to Abramovich's Russian heritage, the club were soon popularly dubbed "Chelski" in the British media. Over £100 million was spent on new players. The spending saw an upturn in the club's form, but they had to settle for 2nd place in the Premiership, and reaching the Champions League semi-finals. Ranieri was sacked and replaced by successful Portuguese coach José Mourinho, who had just guided FC Porto to victory in the UEFA Champions League.

2005 was Chelsea's centenary year. Led by captain John Terry and high-scoring midfielder Frank Lampard, they celebrated it in style by becoming Premiership champions in a record-breaking season (most clean sheets, fewest goals conceded, most victories, most points earned),[7] League Cup winners with a 3–2 win over Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium and reaching the Champions League semi-finals. The following year, they were again League Champions, equalling their own Premiership record of 29 wins set the previous season. They also became the fifth team to win back-to-back championships since the Second World War and the only London club to do so since the 1930s.

Stamford Bridge - Chelsea football club

Source.

Stamford Bridge Stadium, Fulham. Home to Chelsea football club

Crest

Since the club's foundation, Chelsea have had four main crests, though all underwent minor variations. In 1905, Chelsea adopted as its first crest the image of a Chelsea pensioner, which obviously contributed to the pensioner nickname, and remained for the next half-century, though it never appeared on the shirts. As part of new manager Ted Drake's modernisation of the club from 1952, he insisted that the pensioner badge be removed from the match day programme in order to change the club's image and that a new crest be adopted. As a stop-gap, a temporary emblem comprising simply the initials C.F.C. was adopted for one year. In 1953, the club adopted what is arguably its most famous crest - that of an upright blue lion looking backwards and holding a staff - which was to endure for the next three decades. The crest was based on elements in the coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea (discussed and illustrated on this website) with the "lion rampant regardant" taken from the arms of then club president Viscount Chelsea and the staff from the Abbots of Westminster, former Lords of the Manor of Chelsea. This was also the first club badge to appear on shirts, since the policy of putting the crest on the shirts was only adopted in the early 1960s.

In 1986, with new owners now at the club, Chelsea's crest was changed again as part of another attempt to modernise and to capitalise on new marketing opportunities, because new Chairman Ken Bates was advised he had not acquired any copyright in the existing crest. The new badge featured a more naturalistic non-heraldic lion, yellow and not blue, standing over the C.F.C. initials. It lasted for the next 19 years, though with some modifications such as the use of different colours. With new ownership, and the club's centenary approaching, combined with demands from fans for the club's traditional badge to be restored, it was decided that the crest should be changed again in 2004. The new crest was officially adopted for the start of the 2005-06 season and marks a return to the older design of the blue heraldic lion holding a staff.

Colours

Chelsea have always worn blue shirts, though they initially adopted a lighter shade than the current version, and unlike today wore white shorts and dark blue socks. The lighter blue was taken from the racing colours of then club president, Earl Cadogan (Lord Chelsea). This light blue kit was short-lived, however, and soon replaced by a royal blue version. When Tommy Docherty became manager in the early 1960s he changed the kit again, adding blue shorts (which have remained ever since) and white socks, believing it made the club's colours more distinctive, since no other major side used that combination.[8]

Chelsea's traditional away colours are all yellow or all white with blue trim but, as with most teams, they have had some more unusual ones. The first away strip consisted of black and white stripes and for one game in the 1960s the team wore Inter Milan-style blue and black stripes, again at Docherty's behest.[9] Other memorable away kits include a mint green strip in the 1980s, a red and white checked one in the early 90s and a graphite and tangerine addition in the mid-1990s, which is widely seen by fans as one of the worst ever. All kits are discussed on Chelsea's official site. The current Chelsea away strip consists of a black shirt with thin white stripes, coupled with shorts of either matching black, or white.

Chelsea's kit is currently manufactured by Adidas, which is contracted to supply the club's kit from 2006 to 2011. Their previous kit manufacturer was Umbro. Chelsea's first shirt sponsor was Gulf Air, agreed midway through the 1983-84 season. Following that, the club were sponsored by Grange Farms, Bai Lin tea and Italian company Simod before a long-term deal was signed with computer manufacturer Commodore International in 1989 (Amiga, an off-shoot of Commodore, also appeared on the shirts). Chelsea were subsequently sponsored by Coors beer (1995-97), Autoglass (1997-2001) and Emirates Airline (2001-05). Chelsea's current shirt sponsor is Samsung Mobile.

Supporters

Chelsea are generally a well-supported club. They have the fifth highest average all-time attendance in English football[10] and regularly attract over 40,000 fans to Stamford Bridge; they were the 5th best-supported Premiership team in the 2005-06 season, with an average gate of 41,870.[11] Chelsea's traditional fanbase comes from working-class parts of West London, such as Hammersmith and Battersea, from wealthier areas like Chelsea and Kensington, and also from the Home Counties. The club estimates its UK fanbase at around 4 million.[12] In addition to the standard football chants, Chelsea fans sing songs like Carefree, "We all follow the Chelsea" (to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory), "Ten Men Went to Mow" and the celebratory "Celery", with the latter often resulting in fans ritually throwing celery.[13]

Chelsea fans have a strong rivalry with various clubs.[14] The club's nearest neighbours are Fulham (Chelsea FC is itself based in the Hammersmith and Fulham borough), but they are generally not seen as big rivals by Chelsea fans, because the clubs have spent the greater part of the last 40 years in separate divisions. However, the West London derby may have been rekindled somewhat following crowd trouble after a recent match between the sides.

The club Chelsea fans regard as their biggest rival is partially a generational issue. A strong rivalry with Leeds United dates back to their heated and controversial FA Cup final in 1970, which coloured all future matches between the sides, especially during the 1970s and 1980s. Chelsea are rivals with numerous London clubs such as West Ham United and Millwall (east and south London), with matches against those two always passionate and in the past often marred by crowd trouble. However, as neither side regularly challenge Chelsea in the league, they may be discounted. Chelsea also enjoy a fierce and longstanding rivalry with North London clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, which have both been exacerbated by some memorable matches between the sides.

In recent years, the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United could be added to the list, with Chelsea challenging for major honours in direct competition with those clubs and, again, having been involved in some contentious matches with them. In European competition, Chelsea's most bitter rivalry would appear to be with F.C. Barcelona, with the two competing to be among the best sides in Europe and having played in some highly controversial matches in the UEFA Champions League in recent seasons.[15]

Club records

Chelsea's highest appearance-maker is ex-captain Ron Harris, who played in 795 first-class games for the club between 1961 and 1980.[16] This record is unlikely to be broken in the near future; Chelsea's current highest appearance-maker is John Terry with 281.[17] The record for a Chelsea goalkeeper is held by Harris' contemporary, Peter Bonetti, who made 729 appearances (1959-79). With 116 caps (67 while at the club), Marcel Desailly of France is Chelsea's most capped international player.

Bobby Tambling is Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer, with 202 goals in 370 games (1959-70).[16] Six other players have also scored over 100 goals for Chelsea: Kerry Dixon, Roy Bentley, Peter Osgood, Jimmy Greaves, George Mills and George Hilsdon, but the only player in the club's recent history to have come close to matching Tambling's record is Dixon (1983-92), who scored 193 goals. Greaves holds the record for the most goals scored in one season (43 in 1960-61). Chelsea's current top-scorer is Frank Lampard with 73.[17]

Officially, Chelsea's highest home attendance is 82,905 for a First Division match against Arsenal on 12 October 1935. However, an estimated crowd of over 100,000 attended a friendly match against Soviet team Dynamo Moscow on 13 November 1945.[18] The modernisation of Stamford Bridge during the 1990s and the introduction of all-seater stands mean that neither record will be broken for the forseeable future. The current legal capacity of Stamford Bridge is 42,360.

Chelsea hold numerous records in English and European football. They hold the record for the highest points total for a league season (95), the fewest goals conceded during a league season (15), the most consecutive clean sheets during a league season (10), the highest number of Premier League victories in a season (29), the highest number of clean sheets overall in a Premier League season (25) (all set during the 2004-05 season) and the most consecutive clean sheets from the start of a league season (6) (2005-06). Their 21–0 aggregate victory over Jeunesse Hautcharage in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 remains a record in European competition.[19] Chelsea may also hold the British transfer record, but the fee for Andriy Shevchenko, estimated at around £30m, remains unconfirmed.[20]

Chelsea have recorded several "firsts" in English football. Along with Arsenal, they were the first club to play with shirt numbers on 25 August 1928 in their match against Swansea Town.[21] Chelsea were the first English side to travel by aeroplane to an away match, when they visited Newcastle United on 19 April 1957, and the first First Division side to play a match on a Sunday, when they faced Stoke City on 27 January 1974. On Boxing Day 1999, Chelsea became the first British side to field an entirely foreign (non-UK) starting line-up in a Premier League match against Southampton.[22]

In popular culture

In 1930, Chelsea featured in one of the earliest football films, The Great Game.[23] One-time Chelsea centre forward, Jack Cock, who by then was playing for Millwall, was the star of the film and several scenes were shot at Stamford Bridge, including the pitch, the boardroom and the dressing rooms. It featured non-speaking guest appearances by then-Chelsea players Andrew Wilson, George Mills and Sam Millington. Owing to the notoriety of the Chelsea Headhunters, a football firm associated with the club, Chelsea have also featured in films about football hooliganism, most recently The Football Factory.

Up until the 1950s, the club a long-running association with the music halls, with their underachievement often providing material for comedians such as George Robey.[24] It culminated in comedian Norman Long's release of a comic song in 1933, ironically titled "On The Day That Chelsea Went and Won The Cup", the lyrics of which described a series of bizarre and improbable occurrences on the hypothetical day when Chelsea finally won the cup.

Chelsea became synonymous with glitz and showbusiness during the 1960s and 1970s; the cultural revolution in Britain placed the Kings Road as the epicentre of Swinging London, and Chelsea as the football club closest to it. It coincided with the emergence of a young, stylish and glamorous Chelsea team during the 1960s, and the club thus became a magnet for celebrities and trend-setters of the era, including Steve McQueen, Raquel Welch, Michael Caine and Richard Attenborough, who openly mingled and associated with the players, and were frequently seen at Stamford Bridge.

The song "Blue is the Colour" was released as a single in the build-up to the 1972 League Cup final, with all members of Chelsea's first team squad singing; it reached number five in the UK Singles Chart. The song was later adapted to "White is the Colour" and adopted as an anthem by the Vancouver Whitecaps. In the build-up to the 1997 FA Cup final, the song "Blue Day", performed by Suggs and members of Chelsea's squad, reached number 22 in the UK charts. Bryan Adams, a fan of Chelsea, dedicated the song "We're Gonna Win" from the album 18 Til I Die to the club. Chelsea also featured in Anthony Horowitz's 2005 spy novel, Ark Angel, with the principal character, Alex Rider, attending a match.

Notable former players

For more details on this topic, see List of Chelsea F.C. players.
  • 1900s-1940s: William Foulke, Hughie Gallacher, John Harris, George Hilsdon, Tommy Lawton, Nils Middelboe, George Mills, John Tait Robertson.
  • 1950s: Ken Armstrong, Roy Bentley, Frank Blunstone, Jimmy Greaves, Ron Greenwood, John McNichol, Eric Parsons, Peter Sillett.
  • 1960s: Peter Bonetti, Barry Bridges, George Graham, John Hollins, Eddie McCreadie, Ken Shellito, Bobby Tambling, Terry Venables.
  • 1970s: Tommy Baldwin, Charlie Cooke, Ron Harris, Alan Hudson, Ian Hutchinson, Peter Osgood, David Webb, Ray Wilkins.
  • 1980s: John Bumstead, Kerry Dixon, Graeme Le Saux, Pat Nevin, Joe McLaughlin, Eddie Niedzwiecki, Nigel Spackman, David Speedie, Mickey Thomas, Clive Walker.
  • 1990s: Ed de Goey, Roberto di Matteo, Albert Ferrer, Ruud Gullit, Mark Hughes, Vinnie Jones, Frank Leboeuf, Dan Petrescu, Gianluca Vialli, Dennis Wise, Gianfranco Zola.
  • 2000s: Marcel Desailly, Damien Duff, Tore Andre Flo, William Gallas, Eiður Guðjohnsen, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Emmanuel Petit.

Chelsea player of the year (1967–2006)

Year Winner
1967  Peter Bonetti
1968  Charlie Cooke
1969  David Webb
1970  John Hollins
1971  John Hollins
1972  David Webb
1973  Peter Osgood
1974  Gary Locke
1975  Charlie Cooke
1976  Ray Wilkins
1977  Ray Wilkins
1978  Micky Droy
1979  Tommy Langley
1980  Clive Walker
1981  Petar Borota
1982  Mike Fillery
1983  Joey Jones
1984  Pat Nevin
1985  David Speedie
1986  Eddie Niedzwiecki
 
Year Winner
1987  Pat Nevin
1988  Tony Dorigo
1989  Graham Roberts
1990  Ken Monkou
1991  Andy Townsend
1992  Paul Elliott
1993  Frank Sinclair
1994  Steve Clarke
1995  Erland Johnsen
1996  Ruud Gullit
1997  Mark Hughes
1998  Dennis Wise
1999  Gianfranco Zola
2000  Dennis Wise
2001  John Terry
2002  Carlo Cudicini
2003  Gianfranco Zola
2004  Frank Lampard
2005  Frank Lampard
2006  John Terry

Team honours

  • First Division/FA Premier League[26]: 3
     

1955, 2005, 2006

  • Second Division/First Division/The Championship: 2
     

1984, 1989

  • FA Cup: 3
     

1970, 1997, 2000

  • League Cup: 3
     

1965, 1998, 2005

  • FA Charity Shield/Community Shield[27]: 3
     

1955, 2000, 2005

  • Full Members Cup: 2
     

1986, 1990

  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 2
     

1971, 1998

  • European Super Cup: 1
     

1998

  • FA Youth Cup: 2
     

1960, 1961

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Winner
1971
Runner up: Real Madrid
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Winner
1998
Runner up: Stuttgart

References and Notes

Wiki Source

Vote on your favourite Chelsea player past or present and say why if you want

Player Votes Comment
Gianfranco Zola

7

 
Frank Lampard

6

frank lampard because of his thunder short and scoring ability

Frank Lampard because he is a legend --x love you lamps !

John Terry

5

John terryy the best defender i have ever seen in ma lifee nd HES JUST  A LEGEND nd hes just a great playerr
Didier Drogba

4

 
Ruud Gullit

2

 
Michael Essien

2

 
Dennis Wise

2

 
Alan Hudson 1  
Mikel John Obi

1

world class midfielder
Peter Osgood

1

 
Pat Nevin

1

 
Michael Ballack

1

 
Wayne Bridge

1

 
Eric Parsons

1

 
Andriy Shevchenko

1

 
Arjen Robben

1

 
Kerry Dixon

1

 
Barry Bridges

1

 
Frank Leboeuf

1

  

Robert Fleck

1

 

Comments

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of Raquel Welch wearing a chelsea strip??

how many managers have chelsea - had since 2000

when Coventry played Chelsea Jan 2000,how many different nationalities were on the pitch ?

what is the value of Chelsea these days please ?

Legend


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