Chelsea Football Club

  • When Chelsea were founded

    Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub (now The Butcher's Hook), opposite the present-day main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road, and were elected to the Football League shortly afterwards. The club's early years saw little success; the closest they came to winning a major trophy was reaching the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United. Chelsea gained a reputation for signing big-name players and for being entertainers, but made little impact on the Englis
  • First Chelsea team

    First Chelsea team
    The first Chelsea team in September 1905
  • First competitive game

    The first competitive game was on September 2nd 1905, a 1-0 defeat away at Stockport. Chelsea didn't take long to prove worthy of the League's faith. The crowds flocked to Stamford Bridge with 67,000 recorded against Manchester United on Good Friday of that first season. At the end of the second season, we were promoted to Division One.
    Those early days saw Stamford Bridge populated by spectators rather than passionate fans, attracted by what was to become a Chelsea tradition for signing star n
  • FA cup

    An FA Cup run in 1932 brightened the mood and Chelsea found ourselves in our third semi-final. Ironically for Gallacher it was against Newcastle. The wee man scored past his former team but Chelsea lost 2-1. The next season we finished 18th out of 22 teams.
    Those two redoubtable servants - Jack Harrow and then Tommy Law had ensured quarter-of-a-century of quality at left-back, but it wasn't enough to tip the balance.
  • history in 1935

    Emerging from the horrors of war to face economic depression, Londoners wanted distraction and entertainment in their limited spare time. Crowd figures at the Bridge continued to rise, culminating in an October Saturday in 1935 when 82,905 crammed into the curving terraces for a league game against Arsenal - the highest official attendance ever recorded at the ground. It remains the biggest attendance in English league football too.
    It was little wonder this London derby proved such a draw. Ars
  • Ted Drake became manager

    Ted Drake became manager
    Former Arsenal and 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, rebuilt 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 befor
  • They challenged for honours throughout the 1960s

    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

    Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United2–1 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.
  • Turbulent period

    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.
  • chelsea

    . 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.

    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

    Chelsea won the Second Division title in 1983–84 and established themselves in the top division, before being relegated again in 1988.
  • winning the Second Division championship

    The club bounced back immediately by winning the Second Division championship in 1988–89.
  • After a long-running legal battle

    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.
  • new Premier League

    Chelsea's form in the new Premier League was unconvincing, although they did reach the 1994 FA Cup Final.
  • former European Footballer

    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

    He added several top-class international players to the side, as the club won the FA Cup in 1997and established themselves as one of England's top sides again.
  • Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, who led the team to victory

    Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, who led the team to victory in the League Cup Final and the 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

    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.
  • Bates sold Chelsea to Russian

    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

    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).
  • Mourinho was replaced by Avram Grant

    In September 2007 Mourinho was replaced by Avram Grant, who led the club to their first UEFA Champions League final, which they lost on penalties to Manchester United.
  • Grant was fired

    Grant was fired days later and succeeded by Luiz Felipe Scolari in July 2008.
  • Scolari spent only seven months in the job

    Scolari spent only seven months in the job before being dismissed after a string of poor results. Russia coach Guus Hiddink was appointed caretaker manager until the end of the 2008–09 season, and guided Chelsea to a second FA Cup triumph in three years.
  • Two days later

    Two days later, former Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti was confirmed as Chelsea's new manager.
  • Ancelotti parted

    Ancelotti parted company with Chelsea in May 2011 and was replaced by then Porto coach André Villas-Boas.