Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club from West London. Founded in 1905, he plays in the English Premier League and spent most of his history in the top division of English football. One of the founding clubs of the English Premier League in 1992. Chelsea became the champion of England six times, won the FA Cup eight times and the Football League Cup five times. The club achieved success in the European arena by winning the UEFA Champions League, twice the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. Chelsea is one of five clubs, along with Juventus, Ajax, Bayern and Manchester United, which won all three major UEFA club events, as well as the only club that owned two main European clubs at the same time.
Despite its name, the club is not located in the Chelsea area, but in nearby Fulham. Chelsea Home Stadium, Stamford Bridge, which the club has played since its founding, was opened in 1877. The stadium occupies the 9th place in terms of capacity in England and holds 41,631 fans. Since July 2, 2003, the owner of the club is a Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.
At the moment, Chelsea is ranked 8th in the list of clubs with the highest incomes. On June 8, 2017, Forbes magazine estimated the club at $ 1.845 billion (£ 1.42 billion).
The main form is blue t-shirts and underpants with white socks, a similar combination has been used since the 1960s. The club emblem was modified several times in attempts to modernize club symbols; the current emblem, the ceremonial blue lion holding a staff, is a modified version of the emblem, first adopted in 1953; This version of the logo was adopted in 2005. The club ranks fifth in terms of attendance at the home stadium for all the time involved in English football. The average home attendance in the 2016/17 season was 41,528 people, or 99.75% of the total number of seats.
The head coach of the team is Italian specialist Maurizio Sarri, who replaced Antonio Conte in dismissal in July 2018. The team captain is Cesar Aspilicueta.
Chelsea footballers always wore blue T-shirts. Originally, T-shirts were of a lighter shade than the current version, and also wore white shorts and dark blue leggings. The lighter blue form was taken from the racing colours of the then club president, Viscount Chelsea, Count Cadogan. Blue T-shirts were not worn for a long time, they were replaced by royal blue T-shirts in 1912. When Tommy Docherty became the head coach in the early 1960s, he changed the set again, adding blue shorts (which have remained since then) and white socks, believing that this would make the club colours clearer, as there were no other major clubs that would use this combination, the kit was first used in the 1964/65 season.
The traditional colours of the away form are yellow or white with blue trim, but, like most teams, they also had a somewhat unusual shape. Originally an away form, consisted of black and white stripes, which the team wore until the 1960s. But again, by the will of Tommy Docherty, the colours of the away form were changed to blue-black in the style of the Milan Internationale. This form was used in the semi-final of the FA Cup against Sheffield Wednesday, April 23, 1967. In the season 1974/75 there was a white form with vertical red and green stripes, from 1979 to 1981 – a form completely copying the home form of “Norwich City”, from 1981 to 1985 – a thin, tight, striped yellow form. From 1990 to 1992 – a sample of white and red combination with a diamond-shaped pattern was quite unusual. In the 1990s and 2000s, the primary colours of the visiting club form were black and white, which are still in use.
The manufacturer of the club form is Nike. The main sponsor of the club, whose logo is depicted on a T-shirt, is the company Yokohama Rubber Company. Home kit form was submitted on May 11. A blue shirt, decorated with horizontal lines in red and white, complements the traditional blue shorts and white leggings with red and blue stripes on the knee.
During its existence, Chelsea has replaced four emblems that were considered major. The first was the emblem with the image of “Chelsea Pensioners”, adopted in 1905. From her club got his nickname – “Pensioners”. On the form, it was not used, appearing only on the programs for the matches. In 1952, Ted Drake decided to change the logo in order to save the club from the image of “Pensioners”. The club temporarily used the emblem in stylized CFC letters against a blue shield.
A lion with a staff in a circle was used from 1953 to 1986. This emblem is derived from the civil coat of arms of the Chelsea region, where the team came from. The image of the standing lion club received from the president of the club, Lord Cadogan. And the staff of Abbot Westminster, who performed his duties including in Chelsea. Also on the emblem there are roses that denoted England and footballs.
Until 1960, Chelsea did not use the emblem on the club’s jerseys. Due to the complexity of the production process, the club had to use a simpler version of the logo. However, its circular version was still the official symbol of Chelsea. After victories in the FA Cup, options with stars on the sides of the lion or with the Cup of the country were added to the emblem.
In 1986, the adoption of the 4th in the history of the emblem of the club. It was created to expand Chelsea’s football marketing. The emblem was composed of several types of colours – the lion and the abbreviation of the club could have red, blue or yellow colours. The team’s coat of arms also had several types of colours and backgrounds, while it could be both round and in the shape of a shield. The emblem was used for 19 years, right up until the new board of directors joined the club.
The Chelsea football club stadium is called Stamford Bridge (English Stamford Bridge). The official opening of the Stamford Bridge Stadium was held on April 28, 1877. However, during the first 28 years the London Sports Club exclusively for athletics competitions used it. In 1904, the brothers Gus and Joseph Mears became the owners of the stadium.
Originally, the stadium was offered to the Fulham football club, which declined the offer. As a result, in 1905, the newly created Chelsea team settled at Stamford Bridge. Architect Archibald Litch designed Stamford Bridge. It originally consisted of a tribune with a length of 110 meters on the east side with a capacity of up to 5,000 spectators. The rest of the stands were opened only after significant construction and repair work.
For 25 years, the stadium was practically not reconstructed. Only in 1930 a canopy was built over the South Stand (“Shed End”), which was dismantled in 1994. In 1939, the Northern Stand was built. The tribune in the north-eastern part was a continuation of the eastern tribune. She was very different from all the other stands, but she was still used to accommodate fans. This tribune was used until 1975, then it was dismantled and the new North Tribune was opened, which was destroyed in 1993 before the start of the restructuring of the entire stadium. In 1973, the East Stand was built. This tribune is the only part of the stadium that has been preserved to this day, although during the restructuring of the stadium in the 90s it underwent a major renovation.
When the club went bankrupt in the late 1970s, the owners decided to sell the Stamford Bridge to a construction company in order to pay off their debts, but the subsequent hard struggle to return the stadium was a success in 1992. To gain confidence that such a fight with developers will not be continued in the future, Chelsea Pitch Owners was organized, which was given the opportunity to purchase the site, and which began to raise funds by selling shares of companies for 100 pounds each. In December 1997, Chelsea Village reorganized finances and, in particular, provided the CPO with a non-refundable loan of £ 10 million in order to complete the sale of the plot. In turn, the CPO gave Chelsea a land lease for 199 years.
Today the capacity of the stadium is 41,841 people, the stadium itself has changed its oval shape to the shape of a rectangle with stands as close to the field as possible. Over the past 10 years, almost all parts of the stadium have undergone any changes. Stamford Bridge is the largest football stadium in London after the newly built Emirates and the new Wembley and one of the best stadiums in the UK and Europe. The construction was carried out not only on the territory of the stadium itself, but also on the entire territory of the Chelsea club complex. During this time, Chelsea Village was built. The sports and business complex consists of two four-star hotels, five restaurants, conference rooms, banquet halls, a night club, an underground parking lot, a sports club, entertainment events for visitors and a business centre. It was a long way from the moment when the track and field stadium was built in 1876.
The club plans to increase capacity to more than 50 thousand people. Due to its location in the built-up part of London on the main road, and next to two railway lines, all this puts serious restrictions on expansion. As a result, Chelsea had ideas for moving from Stamford Bridge and building a new stadium. However, the club confirmed its desire to stay at Stamford Bridge. In the spring of 2017, the city authorities in London supported a plan to demolish the existing Stamford Bridge stadium and to build a new stadium in its place, capable of receiving almost one and a half times more spectators – 60 thousand people. After the owner of the club Roman Abramovich had problems with entering the UK in 2018, Chelsea football club announced the freezing of a project to create a new stadium, calling it “an unfavourable investment climate”.
The Chelsea training base is located in Cobham, Surrey. Chelsea moved to Cobham in 2004. The previous base was in Harlington, which since 2005 belongs to Queens Park Rangers. The complete restructuring of the Cobham base was completed in 2007.
Chelsea do not have traditional rivalries on the scale of the Merseyside or North-London derby. The West London derby with Fulham is less significant than the other derbies in English football, due to the fact that the teams were mainly in different divisions and they did not have to fight for titles. According to an online fan poll in December 2003, Chelsea fans consider Arsenal as their main rival, followed by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. The rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur, conducted from the final of the FA Cup in 1967, was the first final of the Cup, in which two London clubs met. In addition, matches with Leeds United are also important, it goes back to the 1960s and 1970s, when there was a serious rivalry between these clubs, which peaked in the 1970 England Cup final.
Officially in England, there is no friendly relationship between Chelsea Ultras and the other teams. But, on the other hand, they have friendly relations with foreign clubs, there are only three of them: the Italian Lazio, the Northern Irish Linfield and the Scottish Rangers. Friendship with “Lazio” is conducted primarily for reasons of closeness of political points of view, and with “Linfield” and “Rangers” because of the similar club colours that characterizes all three teams; together they formed a common group of blues brothers