Chelsea is also one of the foremost football clubs with the largest and most passionate fanbase in the world today. Let’s take a look at some aspects of Chelsea Football Club’s history with Wiki Chelsea FC.
The History of Chelsea Football Club
|Name||Chelsea Football Club|
|Nickname||The Blues, The Pensioners|
|Founded||March 10, 1905|
|Capacity||Approximately 40,834 (as of 2021)|
|Manager||Mauricio Pochettino (As of 2023)|
|Major Honors||Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League|
|Notable Achievements||First English club with an average attendance of over 40,000 in 1910|
|UEFA Champions League winners in 2012|
|Multiple Premier League and FA Cup titles|
|Anthem||“Blue Is the Colour”|
Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905 by Gus Mears, an English businessman who had previously purchased the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the plan of turning it into a football ground. Initially, his idea was to lease it to an existing club, but after the deal with Fulham FC fell through, he came up with the idea of establishing a new football club.
The Pride of London
Chelsea quickly demonstrated its allure to local supporters and became the premier club in the capital. By the end of 1910, the club had become the first in England to have an average attendance of over 40,000.
The large number of attendees also allowed “The Pensioners,” a nickname of Chelsea, to become one of the wealthiest clubs in the country, capable of paying high wages to famous players. Chelsea was also the first home for a non-English player in the Football League, Nils Middelboe from Denmark, who joined the club in 1913.
The first five decades of the club’s existence were not particularly successful. The team moved between Division 1 and Division 2. However, in their second five decades, they reached the FA Cup Final for the first time.
First Championship Triumph
Chelsea’s first league championship was won in 1955, which came as a surprise to many, especially as the club had finished in the lower half of the league in most seasons prior. But this unexpected success wasn’t enough to change their fortunes, and financial difficulties, along with hooliganism, caused Chelsea to fall into turmoil.
Debt & New Ownership
These turned out to be their last major trophies for a while, as financial difficulties, coupled with the need to redevelop Stamford Bridge, and increasing hooliganism among their fans, led to a period of instability.
In the following decades, Chelsea’s on-field results were not prioritized as club officials struggled to avoid bankruptcy. The Mears family ownership was interrupted when the club was sold for a nominal fee of £1 to the new owner Ken Bates in 1982.
The Blues did not stand out until 1996, when Ruud Gullit was appointed as player-manager. Under the leadership of the famous Dutch footballer, with attacking forces led by Italian players Gianluca Vialli and Gianfranco Zola, Chelsea once again became the most fascinating club in English football.
Though they didn’t manage to win the Premier League during this period, The Blues had some successes in the domestic cups, with 2 FA Cup victories in 1997 and 2000, and a League Cup triumph in 1998. Additionally, they claimed their second European trophy in 1998 by defeating Stuttgart 1-0 in the Cup Winners’ Cup final.
Chelsea in that era was a team dominated by foreign players. The Boxing Day match in 1999 marked a new era in English football when Chelsea fielded the first “All-Foreign XI” against Southampton. Not a single English player started the game and here’s the lineup:
- Ed De Goey (Netherlands)
- Albert Ferrer (Spain)
- Frank Lebouef (France)
- Emerson Thome (Brazil)
- Dan Petrescu (Romania)
- Celestine Babayaro (Nigeria)
- Gus Poyet (Uruguay)
- Didier Deschamps (France)
- Roberto Di Matteo (Italy)
- Gabriele Ambrosetti (Italy)
- Tore Andre Flo (Norway)
Roman Abramovich’s Departure
On February 26, 2022, Roman Abramovich handed over Chelsea’s chairmanship to the club’s charitable foundation amid opposition in Russia over the Ukraine situation. However, the foundation’s members hesitated to accept the offer, concerned about the compatibility of charitable work with club management. In early March, Abramovich announced the sale of Chelsea after 19 years of ownership, with the proceeds going to support Ukraine war victims and clear the club’s £1.5 billion debt. The UK government sanctioned Abramovich, prohibiting ticket and merchandise sales, but allowed the club to play matches and receive broadcasting revenue.
On May 7, 2022, Chelsea confirmed the approval of a new ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter, and Hansjörg Wyss to buy back the club.
Reformation of coach
On September 7, 2022, after just 100 days as coach, Todd Boehly dismissed Thomas Tuchel due to Chelsea’s poor performance. Tuchel received £13 million in compensation, while his assistants received £2 million.
On September 8, 2022, Chelsea appointed Graham Potter as Tuchel’s replacement on a £15 million contract, along with some members of the Brighton coaching staff.
On April 2, 2023, Chelsea announced Graham Potter’s departure after a defeat to Aston Villa. Frank Lampard returned as an interim coach until June, ending a season with Chelsea finishing 12th in the Premier League and being knocked out in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Before the season ended, Chelsea signed Mauricio Pochettino on a 3-year contract, set to lead the team from the 2023-2024 season.
Chelsea 2023/24 Squad