Chelsea is one of England’s oldest football clubs playing for over a century. The club is based out of Fulham and plays home games at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is also one of England’s most successful clubs in terms of competitive trophies (more than 30). Most of the club’s success has come in the last two decades under the Abramovic era. The club has managed to win five English Premier League trophies (6 in total), several League and FA trophies, and the prestigious Champions League (2012). In fact, Chelsea is the only London-based club to hold the Champions League trophy. Chelsea in the past 20th century did not compromise on many trophy or league wins. In spite of that, the club has a wide fan base across the globe (not as much as Manchester United). Since the decline of the illustrious Manchester club in the 21st century, Chelsea has cemented itself as a top-4 club in English football among several top-clubs. The club’s list of rivals includes Arsenal, Spurs, and Leeds. The former two clubs are based in London too. We take a deeper look at Chelsea’s past, where the club stands currently, and what the future holds for the Blues.
Chelsea Football Club’s Past
Chelsea was founded by Gus or Augustus Mears after he bought the ground where the club currently hosts its home games. In 1955, Chelsea won their first league trophy in the club’s history and would take another 50 years before the club won it again.
1. Ken Bates Era – In the 1980s, the team was in financial trouble trying to develop their home stadium, Stamford Bridge. The team had to sell key stars to remain financially solvent. Thus, the team managed to get relegated to the lower league. It was around this time Ken Bates bought the club for a grand total of 1 pound (because the club was losing money). The Bates era came to end in 2003 with the sale of the club and its assets to the new owner, Roman Abramovic.
2. The Abramovic Era – Abramovic bought Chelsea Football Club for 140 million pounds in 2003. The club spent over 100 million pounds to acquire new players and even bought in Jose Mourinho for his first reign at the club. Chelsea with a squad that included Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Cech, Essien, etc. lifted the Premier League in two consecutive seasons (2004-06) along with an FA trophy and a couple of League Cups. The Abramovic era is one of the most successful periods for the club. However, the club has also managed to have the most change in managers. Chelsea has changed their managers more than any other English team at the same time. 2017 is the last time Chelsea won the EPL trophy under manager Conte with Eden Hazard at the helm.
3. Eden Hazard – With the sale of Eden Hazard for a club-record fee (for over 130 million Pounds), the club started a rebuilding process. Chelsea Football Club did not win any cup or competition for the first time in a long time in 2019-2020. This was under manager, Frank Lampard’s first season in charge. The former player is a club legend and is the highest-scoring midfielder in Premier League history.
Chelsea is currently managed by Frank Lampard. The former player is a fan favorite. Even the owner has given him time and the budget to rebuild Chelsea for the next generation. The current crop of world-class players includes Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kante, Tiago Silva, Mateo Kovacic, Mendy, Zouma, etc. The club also has several young players also playing in the first-team squad and are also in the English squad. Some of these players include Mason Mount, Reece James, Tammy Abraham, and several other players out on loan. In fact, Chelsea Football Club loans out the most players from their development squad (usually around 30). Thus, ensuring the club has a new crop of world-class players coming through each generation.
Chelsea Football Club was banned from signing players for an entire season. This gave the club the financial muscle to spend over 200 million the following transfer window. These were proceeds from the sale of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard. The club spent wisely by filling in key positions such as keeper, wingers, a left-back, attacking midfielder, etc. The one area the club will seek reinforcements will be at center back. The club has a young squad and a determined manager. Chelsea will continue its dominance for the next few decades as well.