Chelsea were UEFA Champions for Year 2012. Photo: goal.com
Chelsea is always the team to be grouped with other well-known teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Some call the club the blue lions where some called them the juggaunants among the football league teams. Chelsea dominated a portion of the football scene during the olden days, winning themselves League titles, Football Association (FA) Cups and League Cups over the years. However, the most notable was when they found success in Europe, becoming the only British club to emerge victorious among all 3 major Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) trophies; the Cup Winners’s Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.
Origin of Chelsea Football Club
Chelsea Football Club Logo. Photo: worldsportlogos.com
Like how football clubs start out, it all started off along a business deal between businessmen. In 1904, an English businessman by the name of Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the initial aim of revamping it into a football ground. His initial plan was just to offer a lease to an existing club, but the deal turned south with Fulham F.C, so Gus Mears turned to forming his own club to utilize the stadium. Chelsea was then founded on 10 March 1905 at the Rising Sun pub, now in recent years as “The Butcher’s Hook”. Among the founding directors were as follows ; Millionaire owner Gus Mears, his own brother Joseph , their brother-in-law Henry Boyer, publican Alfred Janes and his nephew Edwin who actually ran the Rising Sun pub.
Picture of the Rising Sun Pub, now named The Butcher’s Hook. Photo: Pinterest
Chelsea then proceeded to quickly dominate the scene, being a hit among local supporters and gained itself a foothold as the biggest club within the capital. Subsequently, the club became the very first club in Britain with an average match attendance of over 40,000. Beside the previously mentioned nickname for the club as the Blue Lions, the huge attendance number gave Chelsea their second nickname, “ The Pensioners”. The nickname was given due to their association and respect to the ever famous Chelsea Hospital, which was home to British war veterans – the Chelsea Pensioners. From then on, Chelsea too became home for the very first non-British player in Football League, Nils Middelboe, a danish that made his way to the club in 1913.
Records Through the years
Chelsea did not really have a smooth sailing time later on in subsequent football seasons. Although the club won the promotion for the First Division in just their second season, they experienced a series of yoyo effects between First and Second Division in their early years. A notable moment then was when the club reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they dropped a series against Sheffield United, finishing third in the First Division in 1920, which was the club’s best league campaign to that point of time.
Chelsea then had a reputation for signing star players who without a doubt attracted large audience crowds. And with that, Chelsea hold the records for highest average attendances in the English football in ten separate seasons from 1907 – 1914 and 1919 – 1920. Although the club fought long and hard, even managing to secure their semifinalist positions in 1920 and 1932 but only to remain within the First Division through the 1930s and nothing more after that.
Picture of Ted Drake managerial appointment. Photo: chelseafc.com
It was until in 1952 when the former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake was appointed the manager and proceeded to revamp Chelsea. With the removal of the pensioner crest, a new and fresh training regime and rebuilding the side with the shrewd signings of the leagues and division. That in doubt came as a shock from everyone, considering that the club was always seen finishing in the bottom half of the previous in prior seasons till now, their first major league championship trophy in season 1954 – 1955. However the moment was short and the club reverted back to mediocrity especially when the following season saw the start of the European Champions’ Cup where after various objections from the Football league and the Football Association (FA) , Chelsea were persuaded to drop out from the competition.
Only after the 1960s did Chelsea see a change once again, with Ted Drake being dismissed and replaced by another player-coach Tommy Docherty . Rosen back into the spotlight, Chelsea caught hold of many regular guests at Stamford Bridge and was seen as an actual adversary for the very first time. From then, the club then secured their win in the League Cup in 1965, followed by 2 more wins in the FA Cups in 1970 and Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971. But once again Chelsea hit a wall, with many financial difficulties regarding the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge and the increased hooliganism among the fans, putting the club in a very unsettling position. Within the club, many star players were sold and the team were relegated.
In such a tough financial predicament, Chelsea’s performance wasn’t a priority anymore and the financial stature status has taken over. Thus in 1982, the club was then acquired by Ken Bates for a ostensible amount of £1.
Picture of Ken Bates(right) Photo: dailymail.uk
However, under a new manager, John Neal, Chelsea managed to win the Second Division title in season 1982-1983 and established themselves within the top division of top 6 finishes before facing relegation again in 1988. However, that period did not last long when Chelsea bounced back in season 1988-1989 and claimed the Second Division championship. The club then once again went to slumber due to poor performance all the way till 1996.
Rudd Gullit, new player-manager for Chelsea in 1996 began to give life to the club once again. By adding several top international players, Chelsea managed to secure their first major honour, FA Cup, since 1971. With that, the club once again experience a change of management where Rudd Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli who saw a different future for Chelsea. Under his regimentation, Chelsea went ahead to claim the League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 1998, and the FA Cup in 2000. The team proceeded to deliver a strong performance in the years to come till in July 2003 when Ken Bates made the decision to sell Chelsea over to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for a whopping £140 million.
How Jose Morinho changed Chelsea forever. Photo: thesefootballtimes
Since then, Chelsea as a club has changed in terms of financial stability. The fresh new owner led Chelsea to an era of debt-free timeline, inclusive of signing new stars for over £100 million. And under the leadership of José Mourinho, the club saw themselves winning back to back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, 2 League cups in 2005 and 2007 and FA Cup in 2007. In spite of all the success, José Mourinho left the club due a series of disagreements switching Abramovich into the spotlight as the manager to take over.
Present Day Chelsea
Chelsea, grabbing hold of their second Europa League title. Photo: planetfootball.com
Under various changes in both owners and managers, Chelsea is one of the very few teams to make it till today. With the absence of Mourinho, Chelsea still continued to be a force to be reckoned with with the English Football scene, acquiring another league title, 2 more FA Cups, a Champions League and even a Europa League in just the following 6 years.
Despite the changes in terms of manager and players, Chelsea still continue to fare well in terms of performance and consistent title wins. As of recent year in 2018, Antonio Conte was fired after a disappointing performance of a 5th place finish and replaced with Maurizio Sarry, which brought Chelsea to the League Cup final where they lost to Manchester City and then proceeded to win the Europa League for a second time.