Over the years, Chelsea has proven to be one of the most notable soccer clubs in the world. They’ve become known for their passionate fan base, talented roster, and exciting style of play. Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan or just a casual admirer, the name Chelsea has probably been brought up before. Despite their humble history, Chelsea has made a major impact on English football today. Continue reading to learn more about the Blues!
About the Club
Chelsea was founded in 1905 by businessman Gus Mears who purchased the Stamford Bridge athletics complex in London, England. Mears’ original plan was to rent the complex to Fulham FC, who refused his offer, so he decided to create his own club. The club started from scratch, but they promised to become huge in every aspect that English football had to offer. Keeping to their word, Chelsea quickly established themselves as a local hit becoming the largest club in the capital with an average attendance of over 40,000 in the 1910’s.
Their huge attendance numbers made them one of the richest clubs in the country, allowing them to purchase big name players. During the 1907-1915 seasons, Chelsea achieved sensational viewer results, recording high amounts of turnout unlike other clubs at the time. For such a young club, they had a large sum of money to their name, and some criticized them on behalf of this. Many said that Chelsea cared more about entertainment and ‘showbiz’ rather that being a serious contender in the game.
Chelsea’s popularity stemmed from being well-funded and their watchability, but the team spent the first 50 years with no silverware. The team was in constant motion between Division 1 and Division 2 and didn’t snag their first major trophy until 1955. In 1955, the club won their first league trophy – shocking everyone – since the club had finished in the bottom half of the league during previous years. The mid-60’s saw Chelsea at the height of their popularity with celebrities being regular guests at Stamford Bridge. People began to see Chelsea as a real contender, and shortly after they claimed 2 FA Cups (1965, 1970) and a Cup Winners’ Cup (1971). From the 1990’s up into the early 21st century, Chelsea moved up in the ranks to become one of the most successful English Football Clubs. They won back-to-back Premier League titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06, two more FA Cups, two League Cups, and their second Cup Winners’ Cup.
What Chelsea calls The Roman Conquest, happened when they club was bought by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003. Abramovich came with ambition and a vision for what the club would grow to become. He quickly set out to clear any debts the club had, and sign serious talent from abroad and within the Premier League like Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, and Adrian Mutu. In 2004, Jose Mourinho was appointed manager of the club and was the catalyst needed to raise Chelsea to become England’s best. Mourinho was fresh off a Champions League win with Porto, so he brought the winners mentality to the club.
Today, Chelsea is one of the richest, strongest, and most popular European football clubs. They are home to some of the world’s best soccer stars and continue to be ambitions, courageous, and successful. They may not have as rich of a history as some other clubs, but it’s hard to pay much attention to the past when the club has such a bright future!
Highlights and Fun Facts
The beginning of Chelsea’s timeline may not include much hardware or memorable moments, but they have proven themselves since. Here are some major highlights and facts about the club:
- Chelsea, along with Arsenal, were the first clubs to introduce numbered jerseys.
- Ken Bates bought the club for 1 euro in 1982 when the club was facing financial issues. He later sold it for 140 million euros in 2003.
- They were the first English club to win all UEFA’s four major European trophies (European Winners’ Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Super Cup).
- Chelsea has the longest unbeaten run at their home stadium of any English team (86 matches).
- Stamford Bridge is not owned by the Chelsea board – it’s owned by the fans through Chelsea Pitch Owners – a nonprofit organization.
- Chelsea has won 8 FA Cups, 2 Champions League titles, 5 League Cups, 6 Premier League titles, 2 Europa Cup’s, and 2 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups, to name a few!
Many of Chelsea’s best moments were in the early 21st century after Roman Abramovich purchased the club. This allowed them to buy some of the best players in the world along with coaches to train them. Around this time, the club acquired who would become the top scorer in club history, Frank Lampard. Lampard was a mid-fielder and scored a total of 211 goals during his career with Chelsea. He played a major factor during Chelsea’s greatest years winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and two European titles including UEFA Champions League. He’s not only one of Chelsea’s most notable players, but some consider him one of the best midfielders of all time.
Other notable players during Chelsea’s high time (1990’s-2010) include John Terry, Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba, and Petr Cech. Each of these players certainly made their mark in the Premier League and have set the standards for younger Chelsea players. Over the past 10 years, we’ve gotten to watch players including Eden Hazard, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, some who contributed to their most recent 2020-21 UEFA Champions League title. As we’ve recently seen Chelsea hasn’t held back on signing some of the best modern-day players no matter the price. Let us know in the comments who you would love to see represent the Blues!
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