Down the years, Chelsea FC based in Fulham, West London is a well-known name when it comes to football, and behind every twist and turn from the founding father’s dreams, to a financial turmoil era to an upward path of success is the informally known as “The blues”.
In one hundred and sixteen years, the club has since won six league titles, two champion leagues, two Europa leagues, two winners cups, eight FA Cups, five league cups, one super cup, and four community shields.
On 10th March 1905, Chelsea was founded. Henry Augustus Mears and Frederick Parker marked its birth when they obtained the deeds with the aim of establishing a football ground which was offered to Fulham but they rebuffed and it was opted to set up a new football team.
A range of names was contemplated upon including; London and Stamford FC, the neighboring London borough was settled on and Chelsea Football Club was born.
The “Pensioners” named then, competed in the second division finishing third missing out on promotion. Battling relegation in their early decades they suffered bad luck and missed out on the FA cup, fate truly befalls them.
However, in the late 1910s, it attracted a huge attendance of over 40,000 and was reputable for signing star players. Despite the unfruitful early times they garnered success in the second decade and qualified for the final FA cup, they were runners-up in 1915. They became FA semi-finalists in 1920 and 1932 and maintained in the first division throughout the 1930s.
In the face of success elusion in the inter-war years, new energy was unleashed when Ted Drake landed at Stamford Bridge. He modernized the club both on and off the field. The training regime was like no other in England at that time. In 1955, the club’s jubilee year was the climax to the five decades of pure patience, hope, and expectation.
Finally, they sowed the seeds of success and they won the league title crown. Unable to retain their successful title and ranging in the mid-table finishes they were back to ordinary with slumping results, Chelsea was knocked out of FA Cup in the fourth division.
Swinging sixties marked by Tommy Docherty came promising, the rising stars in London during their first knockout competition grabbed their first league cup- winners in 1965. The time to triumph had finally come after a long battle and losing the FA cup at finals and semifinals.
Under Dave Sexton, Chelsea claimed the first-ever FA cup in 1970. With that, the club earned an entry into the European Cup Winners Cup and this was a major highlight in the 1970/71 season. The next cup final beckoned a year later in 1971 they won the European winners’ cup. Blue was indeed the color.
The Cup Winners’ cup appeared to be their last triumph in that decade, the following season the blues finished below halfway in the first division. They lost a good number of their trophy years players’.Tight financial margins got the best of the club, Stamford Bridge was also under reconstruction.
Fighting to survive by avoiding bankruptcy no new players were afforded instead the youth scheme was an option. with youth sub-cultures in conflict, random violence at all sorts of social gatherings, inner-city riots, vandalism, and social unrest that Chelsea FC fans were involved in, it turned out ugly for the club.
In 1981, Mears resigned as chairman, ending his family’s 76-year association with the club. It was later sold to Ken Bates for a sum of £1 in 1982. The 1982/1983 season ranked as the worst in Chelsea’s performance history.
1983 was a reckoning year for the club on the signing of John Neal as the manager who made crucial turnarounds through various deal signings. This saw Chelsea upfront and did not lose another game for the better part of the season, they were crowned second division champions.
However, they did not manage for a final cup in 1985 as they lost in the semifinals and were in sixth place in the first division which was promising considering the team’s last season performance. John Hollins took over after Neal and the performance at his regime deteriorated further and lead to their relegation.
The 21st century was a comeback for the blues at least in the mid-nineties with Chelsea’s future Stamford Bridge now secured, Bates spent money on big-name players and this meant a back on track for them. Ruud Gullit and Mark Hughes were recruited both who stood at the fate of the club’s success.
Gullit was appointed the player-manager for the 1996/97 season. He led the team to the long 26-year wait to win a trophy which was the FA cup in1997. Vialli’s debut was marked by the winning of the league cup and the second winners’ cup title. The UEFA Super Cup followed indeed 1998 was a year of trophies.
In 1999/2000, Chelsea qualified for the champion’s league for the first time. This historic achievement came after forty years of denial and was crowned by another FA Cup win in four years, such a success for Vialli as a manager.
1st July 2003 marked a change in Chelsea’s history forever, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich bought the club from long-serving chairman Ken Gates. He led the club to a financially stable state, cleared debts, and signing of star players.
Jose Mourinho was appointed as a manager in 2004, fresh from lifting two Portuguese league titles. Chelsea won back-to-back titles League Cup and FA Cup in 2006/07. They managed to retain the premier league title in a row.
Jose Mourinho left Chelsea in 2007, Israeli Avram Grant succeeded him.
In spite of star players’ absence, they won three different competitions reaching their third league cup final. After Grant. Dutchman Guus Hiddink steadied the ship and the team secured the FA Cup with Drogba and Lampard goals.
In 2010 Carlo Ancelotti was appointed the new head coach and they won another FA cup final and a league title making it a double win.
In 2010/11 Chelsea’s premier league started well with signing a pair of star players but no trophy was won to the final day of the season and they lost to Everton.
At the end of the 2012/13 season, the blues won every available UEFA competition with a triumph in the Europa League.
It was the second spell for Mourinho at Chelsea FC in 2013, having Drogba and Lampard sign off, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa among other star players of that time, Chelsea FC led the table from the very onset.
They won a league cup. In the next season of 2015/16, the team started off badly from the premier league champions and won only five of nineteen games. Mourinho’s end came in December 2015.
Guus Hiddink came in as the caretaker. The team however finished tenth in the premier league. Through the remainder 2015/16 season the team did well and never lost twelve matches in a row, however, they lost in the first leg of the champions league and the second leg and they were knocked out of the competition hence elimination from the FA Cup.
On the other hand, the premier league performance was not promising. Antonia Conte became the new Chelsea manager at the beginning of the next season. A good performance was noted and they won the premier league title. In the EUFA Champions League, they finished second. The season was coated with a win in the FA cup.
However, failure to qualify for the champions’ league, along with back and forth issues with striker Diego Costa had him sacked before the beginning of the next premier league season.
Maurizio Sarris oversaw the club to third place in the league thus guaranteed a champions league qualification in the next season, Besides that, they made it to the EFL cup finals and Europa League finals, against Arsenal they won their first European trophy in 2019 since 2013.
Frank Lampard replaced Sarri ahead of the 2020/21 premier league, he stood for the big summer purchases which were significant for most of their highlighted goals by Giroud.
Thomas Tuchel now manages Chelsea FC and has been undefeated in the first thirteen games on his arrival. The team also managed to reach the FA cup final but lost to Leicester City 1-0. They progressed to the 2021 EUFA Champions League Finals and won for the second time against Manchester City on 29th May 2021.