Chelsea F.C. and Their Playing style-
|Full name||Chelsea Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Pensioners, The Blues|
|Founded||10 March 1905|
|Ground||Stamford Bridge, London |
|2009–10||Premier League, 1st|
Chelsea Football Club (pronounced /ˈtʃɛlsiː/) is an English professional football club based in west London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League CupUEFA Cup Winners' Cup twice. winners four times. They have also been successful in Europe, winning the match.
The club had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship. Chelsea won several cup competitions during the 1960s and 1970s, but after that did not win another major title until 1997. The past decade has been the most successful period in Chelsea’s history, capped by winning Premier League titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010, and reaching their first UEFA Champions League final in 2008.
Despite their name, the club are not based in Chelsea, but in neighbouring Fulham. The club's home is the 41,841 capacity Stamford Bridge football stadium in Fulham, where they have played since their establishment. In 2003, they were bought by Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea's regular kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks, the combination used since the 1960s. The club crest has been changed several times in attempts to modernise or re-brand; the current crest, featuring a ceremonial lion holding a staff, is a modified version of one first adopted in the 1950s. The club has sustained the fifth highest average all-time attendance in English football. Their average home gate for the 2009-10 season was 41,423, the fifth highest in the Premier League.
They challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, and endured several near-misses. They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the final stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup but faltering late on in the other two. In three seasons the side were beaten in three major semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up. Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph, the following year, with another replayed win, this time over Real Madrid in Athens.
The late 1970s through to the 1980s was a turbulent period for Chelsea. An ambitious redevelopment of Stamford Bridge threatened the financial stability of the club, star players were sold and the team were relegated. Further problems were caused by a notorious hooligan element among the support, which was to plague the club throughout the decade. In 1982 Chelsea were, at the nadir of their fortunes, acquired by Ken Bates for the nominal sum of £1, although by now the Stamford Bridge freehold had been sold to property developers, meaning the club faced losing their home. On the pitch, the team had fared little better, coming close to relegation to the Third Division for the first time, but in 1983 manager John Neal put together an impressive new team for minimal outlay. Chelsea won the Second Division title in 1983–84 and established themselves in the top division, before being relegated again in 1988. The club bounced back immediately by winning the Second Division championship in 1988–89.
After a long-running legal battle, Bates reunited the stadium freehold with the club in 1992 by doing a deal with the banks of the property developers, who had been bankrupted by a market crash. Chelsea's form in the new Premier League was unconvincing, although they did reach the 1994 FA Cup Final. It was not until the appointment of former European Footballer of the Year Ruud Gullit as player-manager in 1996 that their fortunes changed. He added several top-class international players to the side, as the club won the FA Cup in 1997 and established themselves as one of England's top sides again. Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, who led the team to victory in the 1998 Football League Cup Final and the 1998 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final in 1998, the FA Cup in 2000 and the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 2000. Vialli was sacked in favour of another Italian, Claudio Ranieri, who 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 £140 million, completing what was then the biggest-ever sale of an English football club. Over £100 million was spent on new players, but Ranieri was unable to deliver any trophies, so he was replaced by Portuguese coach José Mourinho. Under Mourinho, Chelsea became the fifth English team to win back-to-back league championships since the Second World War (2004–05 and 2005–06), in addition to winning an FA Cup (2007) and two League Cups (2005 and 2007). In September 2007 Mourinho was replaced by Avram Grant, who led the club to their first UEFA Champions League final, in which they lost on penalties to Manchester United. Grant was fired days later and succeeded by Luiz Felipe Scolari in July 2008.
Stamford Bridge was designed for the Mears family by the noted football architect Archibald Leitch. They offered to lease the stadium to Fulham, but were 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.
Starting with an open bowl-like design and one covered terrace, Stamford Bridge had an original capacity of around 100,000. The early 1930s saw the construction of a terrace on the southern part of the ground with a roof that covered around one fifth of the stand. It eventually became known as the "Shed End", the home of Chelsea's most loyal and vocal supporters, particularly during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. 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 late 1960s and early 70s, the club's owners embarked on a modernisation of Stamford Bridge with plans for a 50,000 all-seater stadium. Work began on the East Stand in the early 1970s but the project was beset with problems and the cost almost brought the club to its knees, culminating in the freehold being sold to property developers. Following a long legal battle, it was not 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, a process completed by 2001.
When Stamford Bridge was redeveloped in the Ken Bates era many additional features were added to the complex including two hotels, apartments, bars, restaurants, the Chelsea Megastore, and an interactive visitor attraction called Chelsea World of Sport. The intention was that these facilities would provide extra revenue to support the football side of the business, but they were less successful than hoped and before the Abramovich takeover in 2003 the debt taken on to finance them was a major burden on the club. Soon after the takeover a decision was taken to drop the "Chelsea Village" brand and refocus on Chelsea as a football club. However, the stadium is sometimes still referred to as part of "Chelsea Village" or "The Village".
The Stamford Bridge pitch, the freehold, the turnstiles and Chelsea's naming rights are now owned by Chelsea Pitch Owners, a non-profit organisation in which fans are the shareholders. The CPO was created to ensure the stadium could never again be sold to developers. It also means that if the club moves to a new location, they could not use the Chelsea FC name.
The club plans to increase its capacity to over 50,000. Owing to its location in a built-up part of London on a main road and next to two railway lines, fans can only enter the stadium through the Fulham Road entrances, which places severe constraints on expansion due to health and safety regulations. As a result, Chelsea have been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge to sites including the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Battersea Power Station and the Chelsea Barracks. However, the club have reiterated their desire to keep Chelsea at their current home.
Supporters and rivalries-
Chelsea have the fifth highest average all-time attendance in English football and regularly attract over 40,000 fans to Stamford Bridge; they were the fifth best-supported Premier League team in the 2009–10 season, with an average gate of 41,423. 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 from the Home Counties. In addition to the standard football chants, Chelsea fans sing songs like "Carefree", "Blue is the Colour", "We all follow the Chelsea" (to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory), "Ten Men Went to Mow", "Zigga Zagga", "Hello! Hello!" and the celebratory "Celery", with the latter often resulting in fans ritually throwing celery.
Chelsea do not have a traditional rivalry on the scale of the Merseyside derby or the North London derby; their West London derby with Fulham has not been as prominent over the years, with the two clubs often spending time in separate divisions. A 2004 survey by Planetfootball.com found that Chelsea fans consider their main rivalries to be with (in order): Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Their rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur is said to have developed following the 1967 FA Cup Final, the first cup final held between two London clubs.
Additionally, a strong rivalry with Leeds United dates back to several heated and controversial matches in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the 1970 FA Cup Final. A more recent rivalry has grown with LiverpoolJosé Mourinho dubbed a "ghost goal" by Luis García in the UEFA Champions League 2004–05 semi-final, knocking them out of the competition. following several clashes in cup competitions – particularly after what
During the 1970s and 1980s in particular, Chelsea supporters were long associated with football hooliganism. The club's "football firm", originally the Chelsea Shed Boys, now known as the Chelsea Headhunters, were nationally notorious for violent acts against hooligans from other teams, such as West Ham United's Inter City Firm and Millwall's Bushwackers, both during and after matches. The increase in hooliganism in the 1980s led chairman Ken Bates to propose erecting an electric fence to deter them from invading the pitch; the proposal was rejected by the GLC. Since the 1990s there has been a marked decline in crowd trouble at matches, as a result of stricter policing, CCTV in grounds and the advent of all-seater stadia.
Chelsea's highest appearance-maker is ex-captain Ron Harris, who played in 795 first-class games for the club between 1961 and 1980. This record is unlikely to be broken in the near future; Chelsea's current highest appearance-maker is Frank Lampard with 477. The record for a Chelsea goalkeeper is held by Harris's contemporary, Peter Bonetti, who made 729 appearances (1959–79). With 82 caps (80 while at the club), Frank Lampard of England is Chelsea's most capped international player.
Bobby Tambling is Chelsea's all-time top goalscorer, with 202 goals in 370 games (1959–70). Eight other players have also scored over 100 goals for Chelsea: George Hilsdon (1906–12), George Mills (1929–39), Roy Bentley (1948–56), Jimmy Greaves (1957–61), Peter Osgood (1964–74 & 1978–79), Kerry Dixon (1983–92), Frank Lampard (2001–) and Didier Drogba (2004–). With 193 goals, Dixon is the only player in the club's recent history to have come close to matching Tambling's record. Greaves holds the record for the most goals scored in one season (43 in 1960–61). Lampard is the top scorer currently at the club with 157.
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. The modernisation of Stamford Bridge during the 1990s and the introduction of all-seater stands mean that neither record will be broken for the foreseeable future. The current legal capacity of Stamford Bridge is 41,841.
Chelsea hold numerous records in English and European football. They hold the record for the highest ever points total for a league season (95), the fewest goals conceded during a league season (15), 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).
The club's 21–0 aggregate victory over Jeunesse Hautcharage in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 Chelsea hold the record for the longest streak of unbeaten matches at home in the English top-flight, which lasted 86 matches from 20 March 2004 to 26 October 2008. They secured the record on 12 August 2007, beating the previous record of 63 matches unbeaten set by Liverpool between 1978 and 1980. Chelsea's streak of eleven consecutive away league wins, set between 5 April 2008 and 6 December 2008, is also a record for the English top flight. remains a record in European competition.
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. Chelsea were the first English side to travel by aeroplane to a domestic away match, when they visited Newcastle United on 19 April 1957,Stoke City on 27 January 1974. On 26 December 1999, Chelsea became the first British side to field an entirely foreign starting line-up (no British or Irish players) in a Premier League match against Southampton. On 19 May 2007, they became the first team to win the FA Cup at the new Wembley Stadium, having also been the last to win it at the old Wembley. After the conclusion of the 2007–08 season, Chelsea became the highest ranked club under UEFA's five-year coefficient system used in the seeding of European club competitions in the following season, the first English club to do so in the 21st century. During the final day of the 2009–10 season, Chelsea became the first team in Premier League history to score at least 100 goals in a single season. and the first First Division side to play a match on a Sunday, when they faced
In 1930, Chelsea featured in one of the earliest football films, The Great Game. 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 included 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. Chelsea also appear in the Hindi film Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.
Up until the 1950s, the club had a long-running association with the music halls, with their underachievement often providing material for comedians such as George Robey. 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 describe a series of bizarre and improbable occurrences on the hypothetical day when Chelsea finally won a trophy.
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 Canada. In the build-up to the 1997 FA Cup final, the song "Blue Day", performed by Suggs and members of the Chelsea 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.
- As of 7 September 2010.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
In 1986, with Ken Bates now owner of the club, Chelsea's crest was changed again as part of another attempt to modernise and to capitalise on new marketing opportunities. 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, 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. As with previous crests, this one has appeared in various colours, including white and gold.