Chelsea Football Club, usually just referred to as Chelsea, is one of the most successful soccer clubs in England, and is known worldwide.
This soccer club was founded in 1905, and the club itself is based in Fulham, in West London. It is within the top division of English soccer, and it competes in the Premier League, so it’s a pretty serious and professional team!
The Chelsea club has won over thirty competitive honors, with six league titles, and seven European trophies. They’re easily identifiable by their logo, which is blue with the English lion. You also might have heard of some of the Chelsea players, such as John Terry, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, or Didier Drogba.
But if you don’t know that much about Chelsea Football Club, or you want to know more so that you’re a bit more of a connoisseur, then we’ve got you covered.
In this complete guide, we’ll give you all the key facts. We can also give you plenty of information on the history of the club, their successes, and their players. Sounds good? Then let’s get right into it!
Let’s start off with a quick list of all the basic facts before we delve deeper to all of the extended information:
- Location: London
- Founded: 10 March 1905
- Ground: Stamford Bridge
- Nickname: The Blues, or The Pensioners
- Kit Color: Blue
- Owner: Roman Abramovich
- League: Premier League
- Current Manager: Thomas Tuchel
- Current Captain: Azpilicueta
The Chelsea Football Club team has only ever had one home ground, which is kind of impressive but also, if something works then why would you change, right? This home ground is Stamford Bridge, which is where the team has played ever since they were first founded back in 1905.
This home ground, Stamford Bridge, was first officially opened on the 28th of April, in 1877. For the first 28 years, it was used for the London Athletic Club, not for playing soccer, but for athletics meetings. (Kind of a waste really!)
Then, in 1904, this ground was bought by Gus Mears, a businessman, and his brother Joseph. They had also purchased some nearby land (which until then had been a large market garden), and they had the plan to stage various soccer matches on the entire site. Stamford Bridge was then designed for the Mears family, by the soccer architect Archibald Leitch, so that it could be used for that purpose.
Once Stamford bridge was ready and waiting for a soccer team to fill it, the Chelsea team was founded. It is quite curious because most teams are founded first, and then they look for suitable grounds to have as a home base. But with the Chelsea team, it was founded specifically for Stamford bridge, and it has remained there ever since!
As we’ve mentioned, the Chelsea Football Club is a pretty successful soccer team, and definitely amongst the best in England. Here are all of the main trophies they have won over the years:
- First Division/Premier League: 1954-55, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15, 1016-17
- Second Division/First Division/Championship: 1983-84, 1988-89
- FA Cup: 1969-70, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2017-18
- Football League Cup/EFL Cup: 1964-65, 1997-98, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15
- FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shield: 1955, 2000, 2005, 2009
- Full Members’ Cup: 1985-86, 1989-90
- UEFA Champions League: 2011-12, 2020-21
- UEFA Europa League: 2012-13, 2018-19
- UEFA Winners’ Cup: 1970-71, 1997-98
- UEFA Super Cup: 1998
- League and FA Cup: 2009-10
- League and League Cup: 2004-05, 2014-15
- League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup: 1997-98
- FA Cup and League Cup: 2006-07
- FA Cup and UEFA Champions League: 2011-12
Founding of the Club, and Early Years:
The Chelsea Football Club was first founded in 1904, after Gus Mears purchased the Stamford Bridge grounds, and turned it into a soccer stadium. The stadium was then in need of a good team, and this is why Chelsea was founded, and where it has remained ever since.
To be precise, Chelsea was founded on the 10th of March, in 1905, at the Rising Sun pub which is opposite the main entrance to the grounds. It wasn’t long after that it was elected to the Football league, and its journey began.
Chelsea won promotion to the first division in their second season, and during the first few years, it went back and forth between First and Second. In 1915 they reached the FA Cup Final, but they lost to Sheffield United and ended up third.
In their first era, Chelsea quickly became known for having star players, which in turn attracted large crowds, helping them gain popularity at a very fast pace. In fact, the club had the highest average attendance in all of English soccer, for ten separate seasons.
Throughout the 1930s they remained in the First Division, but during the interwar years, they got into a bit of a slump, and couldn’t quite get any proper victories.
Modernization of the Club, and the First League Championship:
In 1952, Ted Drake (former center-forward for the Arsenal soccer team, and for England) was appointed manager of Chelsea Club.
He decided to modernize Chelsea, starting by removing the Chelsea pensioner crest, improving the youth set-up, improving the training regime, rebuilding the side, and leading the team into their first League Championship victory in 1954.
In the next season, the UEFA created the European Champions’ Cup, but The Football League and the FA persuaded Chelsea to withdraw from this competition.
Therefore, they spent the rest of the 1950s in mid-table, unable to advance or succeed. In 1961, Ted Drake was dismissed, and he was replaced by Tommy Docherty.
Docherty built a new team, with emerging young players from the youth set-up. They were then on course for a treble of League, FA Cup, and League Cup, winning the League Cup but ending up as runner-ups in the other two.
Dave Sexton took over from Docherty, and in 1970 Chelsea won the FA Cup. The following year they won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Redevelopment of the Club, and the Financial Crisis:
In the late 1970s, and into the 80s, Chelsea fell into a turbulent era. A very ambitious redevelopment of Stamford bridge left them in a bad financial state, and star players were sold off, with the team being relegated. There was also a notorious hooligan element among the support, and this caused many problems for the team.
In 1982, Chelsea was acquired by Ken Bates for the nominal sum of £1 (which says enough about how dire the situation was), and they faced losing their home ground as it had been sold off to the property developers. On top of this, the team was coming close to relegation to the Third Division, as they weren’t playing very well.
In 1983, luck began to turn. John Neal, the manager, put together an impressive new team, and Chelsea won the Second Division title, they then also went on to win the Second Division Championship in 1988.
They also got their home ground back in 1992, after a long-running legal battle, by making a deal with the banks and property developers.
Although Chelsea was now back up in the Premier League, they were not in top shape. But in 1996, Ruud Gullit was appointed manager, and he added top international players to the team, leading them to win the FA Cup, reputation finally restored.
After Gullit came Gianluca Vialli, who led them to win the League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup. Plus, Chelsea made its first appearance in the UEFA Champions League.
In 2002 Vialli was fired, and Claudio Ranieri took over, guiding Chelsea into yet more victories.
The Abramovich Era:
In July of 2003, Bates sold Chelsea off to Roman Abramovich (a Russian billionaire), for £140 million. Over £100 million was spent on acquiring new players, and Ranieri was replaced by Jose Mourinho. Chelsea then became the fifth English team to win back-to-back league championships, since the second world war.
Mourinho was replaced by Avram Grant after the start of the 2007-2008 season, and he led the club to their first-ever UEFA Champions League final, although they lost to Manchester United.
In 2009-10, Carlo Ancelotti led Chelsea to their first Premier League and FA Cup double, and they became the first English top-flight club to score 100 league goals in a season, since 1963.
Next came Roberto Di Matteo, which led Chelsea to a few more victories, and in 2013 the club won the UEFA Europa League, which made them the first soccer club to hold two major European titles at the same time.
Fast forward to the 18th of April 2021, Chelsea announced that they were joining a new European Super League for the biggest and best European clubs. There was a massive backlash from the supporters, so they ended up withdrawing just a few days later.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has been checking up on the team, as well as ex-players, to ensure they are okay. The club was also one of the first to help out the NHS, lending the club-owned Millenium Hotel for NHS staff.
As we covered quite a lot in the previous section, with all the history of the Chelsea Football Club, here is a simple timeline with some of the key dates and events:
- 1905: The club is founded. The first game is played in September, at Stamford Bridge.
- 1907: The club was promoted to First Division for the first time.
- 1913: The first non-British player is transferred to the club (Nils Middelboe, from Denmark).
- 1928: Chelsea becomes the first team to wear numbered shirts.
- 1935: A new record of attendance is set at Stamford Bridge, at 82,905 people.
- 1955: Chelsea wins First Division for the first time.
- 1965: First league Cup title.
- 1970: Chelsea wins their first FA Cup title.
- 1971: First European Cup Winners’ Cup title.
- 1982: Ken Bates buys the club for £1.
- 2003: Roman Abramovich buys the club for $140 million.
- 2010: Chelsea wins their first First Division and FA Cup double.
- 2012: First Champions League title.
- 2013: First UEFA Europa League Title.
Club Net Worth
According to Forbes, the Chelsea Football Club is currently worth $3.2 billion, making it the seventh richest soccer club in all of Europe.
The official home stadium for Chelsea Football Club is Stamford Bridge, which has been their home ever since they were founded. This stadium is in Fulham, in South West London, and it is commonly referred to as “The Bridge”.
The stadium has a capacity of 40,834 people, which makes it the ninth-largest venue within the 2019-20 Premier League season. However, the club has plans to expand capacity to 60,000 by the 2023-24 season.
The stadium was first opened in 1877, and it was used by the London Athletic Club for meet-ups. In 1905 Gus Mears purchased the grounds, turned it into a proper soccer stadium, and founded the Chelsea Football Club to occupy it. In the 1990s it was renovated to be more modern.
Stamford Bridge has been used for England international matches, for FA Cup finals, for FA Cup semi-finals, and for Charity Shield games. It has also been used to host other sports, such as cricket, rugby, greyhound racing, baseball, and American football.
The highest official attendance for this stadium was recorded on the 12th of October, 1935. It hosted 82,905 people, for a league match between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Here is a summary of the owners that Chelsea Football Club has had:
- Gus Mears, 1905. (Founder of the club)
- Ken Bates, 1982. (Bought the club for £1)
- Roman Abramovich, 2003. (Bought the club for £140 million)
Chelsea has been known for always having plenty of star players, which is what has allowed it to become so big and popular. Here are some of the most notable players that you need to know about, in order to be a proper Chelsea fan.
All Time Top Scorer:
The all time top scorer for Chelsea is Frank Lampard, with a grand total of 211 goals. Bobby Tambling is second, with 202, and Kerry Dixon is third with 193.
The current captain of the Chelsea team is Azpilicueta, appointed in July of 2020.
The Chelsea goalkeepers are Edouard Mendy, Marcus Bettinielli, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Lucas Bergstrom.
Some of the best Chelsea defenders of all time are John Terry, Thomas Tuchel, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ricardo Carvalho, and Ashley Cole.
Some of the best Chelsea strikers of all time are Didier Drogba, Peter Osgood, Tammy Abraham, Gianfranco Zola, and Diego Costa.
Currently, the manager of Chelsea Football Club is Thomas Tuchel.
Past managers, in order from most recent to furthest away, include Frank Lampard, Maurizio Sarri, Antonio Conte, Guus Hiddink, Steve Holland, Eddie Newton, Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez, Roberto di Matteo, and many more.
Currently, the coach for Chelsea Football Club is Thomas Tuchel (also the manager). He was appointed to the team in January 2021 and has signed an 18-month contract with the future possibility of an extension.
Thomas Tuchel, who is German, is a professional soccer manager and ex-professional player.
The current assistant coach of Chelsea Football Club is Zsolt Low. He was appointed to the team in 2021 and is hoping to be there for the foreseeable future.
The home kit that Chelsea Football Club uses, and which is also their home color, is royal blue uniforms, with white socks. This kit was first introduced and worn during the 1964-64 season, and it remains as such nowadays.
The away kit that Chelsea Football Club uses is either all yellow, or all white, with a royal blue trim. Recently, they have also started using black and dark blue away kits, which they like to alternate every single year.
Chelsea has had a few different crests, four to be precise.
The first crest/logo is from when the club was founded in 1905, and it was the image of a Chelsea pensioner, which is where the nickname “the pensioners” comes from.
In 1952, Ted Drake became manager and decided to modernize the logo, replacing the crest. It, therefore, became a stop-gap badge with the initials CFC.
Then, it was changed to an upright blue lion looking backward and holding a staff. (This was based on the coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea). It also features three red roses to represent England and two soccer balls. It appeared as such on the shirts, in 1960.
In 1986, Jen Bates became owner of the club and changed the logo again, as the old rampant lion could not be trademarked. It was changed to feature a non-heraldic lion, in white instead of blue, standing over the initials CFC.
In 2005, with the club being owned by Roman Abramovich, the logo was changed one last time to its current appearance. It was officially adopted at the start of 2005, and it was a return to the previous older design, with the blue heraldic lion holding the staff.
Chelsea has a club academy, where they train their youth players. This academy operates with under-9 age groups, all the way through to under-23.
In 2016, the Academy actually won a Category One award status, following an independent audit by the Premier League.
The League titles that Chelsea holds are winners of the First Division and Premier League, in six different seasons. And winners of the Second Division and First Division Championship, in two different seasons.
You can check all of the other titles and successes that the team has collected throughout the years in one of the sections we covered previously, titled “Main Trophies”.
We’ve covered quite a lot of information about Chelsea, so you should pretty much be an expert now. But to finish it up, here are a few fun facts that you can share with others:
- Chelsea, along with Arsenal, was one of the first-ever soccer teams to wear numbers on their shirts!
- Stamford Bridge, the stadium and ground homie to Chelsea, is owned by their fans.
- Chelsea is part of the UEFA clean sweep club
- Chelsea was founded because they needed a soccer team to fill the Stamford Bridge stadium, and that has been their home ever since!