Professional football club in London: England that competes in the English Premier League. Founded in 1905, it has been the home stadium of Stamford Bridge ever since.
Chelsea FC History
Chelsea won the 1st Division title in 1955, followed by several cup competitions between 1965 and 1971. The past two decades have continued success, with the club winning 21 titles since 1997. In addition, the club has won 27 major titles; Six titles, seven FA Cups, five League Cups, four FA Cups, the Champions League once, the European Cup Winners’ Cup twice, the European League Cup once, and the European Super Cup.
The regular Chelsea collection colors are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The club’s logo has been changed multiple times to rebrand and update its image. The current logo, featuring a rampant ceremonial lion holding a wand, modified the symbol introduced in the early 1950s. The club has the sixth-highest attendance rate ever in English football, for the 2016-2017 seasons at 41,507. Since 2003, Chelsea has been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. In 2017, they were ranked by Forbes as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, with 1.40 billion pounds ($1.85 billion), and in the 2016-2017 seasons, it was the 8th highest-earning football club in the world, earning 428 euros Million.
In 1904, Gus Mears acquired Stamford Bridge Athletics Stadium intending to convert it into a football stadium. However, an offer to rent him to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Myers chose to set up his club to use the stadium. Since there was already a team named Fulham in the town, the name of the neighboring Chelsea area was chosen for the new club; Names such as Kensington FC, Stamford Bridge FC, and London FC were also considered. Chelsea was founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub (now The Butcher’s Hook), opposite the current main entrance to the grounds on Fulham Road, and was elected to the Football League shortly after that.
The club won promotion to the 1st Division in its second season and moved between Divisions I and II in their early years. They reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, losing to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and finished third in First Division in 1920, the club’s best league campaign to that point. Chelsea drew large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, but success continued to elude the club in the interwar years.
Former Arsenal and England striker Ted Drake became coach in 1952 and modernized the club. He removed the emblem of retired Chelsea, improved the youth training system, rebuilt the team with intelligent signings from the lower divisions and the amateur league, and led Chelsea to their first major title – the League Championship – in 1954-55. The following season saw the creation of the UEFA Champions Cup. Still, after objections from the Football League and the FA, Chelsea was persuaded to withdraw from the competition before it could even begin. Chelsea failed to build on that success, spending the remainder of the 1950s in the middle of the table. Drake was fired in 1961 and replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty.
Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge
Chelsea has only had one stadium, Stamford Bridge, where they have played since the team’s founding. It was officially opened on April 28, 1877, and during the first 28 years, it was used almost exclusively by the London Sports Club as a venue for athletics meetings and not at all for football. Then, in 1904, the land was acquired by businessman Gus Mears and his brother Joseph, who also purchased land nearby (formerly a large market park) intending to hold football matches on the now 12.5-acre (51,000 m) site. Stamford Bridge was designed for Mears’s family by famed football architect Archibald Leach, who also created Ibrox, Craven Cottage, and Hampden Park. Most football clubs were founded first, then sought stadiums to play in, but Chelsea was founded for Stamford Bridge.
Starting with the open bowl-like design and one covered porch, the original Stamford Bridge had a capacity of about 100,000. The early 1930s saw the construction of a veranda on the southern portion of the land with a roof covering about a fifth of the arena. It eventually became known as the “Shed End,” the home of Chelsea’s most loyal and vocal supporters, especially during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The exact origin of the name is unclear, but the fact that the roof looks like a corrugated iron shed played a role.
Chelsea FC In the early 1970s
The club’s owners announced the renovation of Stamford Bridge with plans to build a state-of-the-art 50,000-seat stadium. Work began on the East Wing in 1972, but the project was plagued by problems and was not completed; the cost brought the club to bankruptcy, culminating in a freehold sale to real estate developers. After a lengthy legal battle, Chelsea’s future on the field was not secured until the mid-1990s, and renovations resumed.
When Stamford Bridge was redeveloped in the Bates era, many additional features were added to the complex, including two hotels, apartments, bars and restaurants, a Chelsea Megastore, and an interactive visitor attraction called the Chelsea World of Sport. The facility was intended to provide additional revenue to support the football side of the business. Still, it was less successful than expected, and before the Abramovich acquisition in 2003, the debt incurred to finance it was a significant burden on the club. Soon after the purchase, a decision was made to abandon the “Chelsea Village” brand and refocus on Chelsea as a football club. However, the stadium is still sometimes referred to as part of “Chelsea Village” or “The Village.”