Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chelsea Football Club,,

Chelsea Football Club ( /ˈtʃɛlsiː/) is an English football club based in Fulham, London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Their home is the 41,837-seat[2] Stamford Bridge stadium, where they have played since their establishment. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery

Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship, and won various cup competitions during the 1960s, 1970s, 1990s and 2000s. Since 1996, Chelsea have enjoyed the most successful period in their history. Overall, Chelsea have won four league titles, seven FA Cups, four League Cups and fourFA Community Shields. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery

The club have also been successful in continental competitions, winning two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and one UEFA Champions League title. In 2009–10, the club won their first "Double"[3] and in 2012 became the first London club to win the UEFA Champions League.[4][5] Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery

Chelsea's regular kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The club's crest has been changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club and modernise its image. The current crest, featuring a ceremonial lion rampant regardant holding a staff, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s.[6] Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery

The club has sustained the fifth highest average all-time attendance in English football.[7] Their average home gate for the 2011–12 season was 41,478, the sixth highest in the Premier League.[8] In April 2012 it was ranked by Forbes Magazine as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, at £473 million ($761 million). Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery

Since 2003, Chelsea have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

In 1904 Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the aim of turning it into a football ground. An offer to lease it to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Mears opted to found his own club to use the stadium. Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery

As there was already a team named Fulham in the borough, the name of the adjacent borough of Chelsea was chosen for the new club, having also considered names like Kensington FC, Stamford Bridge FC and London FC.[12] Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub (now The Butcher's Hook),[1] opposite the present-day main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road, and were elected to the Football League shortly afterwards. Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery

The club won promotion to the First Division in their second season, and yo-yoed between the First and Second Divisions in their early years. They reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and finished 3rd in the First Division in 1920, the club's best league campaign to that point.[13] Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery

Chelsea attracted large crowds[14] and had a reputation for signing big-name players,[15] but success continued to elude the club in the inter-war years. Former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club. Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery

He removed the club's Chelsea pensioner crest, improved the youth set-up and training regime, rebuilt the side with shrewd signings from the lower divisions and amateur leagues, and led Chelsea to their first major trophy success – the League championship – in 1954–55. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery

The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions' Cup, but after objections from The Football League and the FA Chelsea were persuaded to withdraw from the competition before it started.[16] Chelsea failed to build on this success, and spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery

Drake was dismissed in 1961 and replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty.

Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the club's youth set-up and Chelsea challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, enduring several near-misses. Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery

They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the final stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup but faltering late on in the other two.[17] In three seasons the side were beaten in three major semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up. Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery

Under Docherty's successor, Dave Sexton, Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph, the following year, with another replayed win, this time over Real Madridin Athens. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery

The late 1970s through to the 1980s was a turbulent period for Chelsea. An ambitious redevelopment of Stamford Bridge threatened the financial stability of the club,[18] star players were sold and the team were relegated. Further problems were caused by a notorious hooligan element among the support, which was to plague the club throughout the decade. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery

In 1982, Chelsea were, at the nadir of their fortunes, acquired by Ken Bates for the nominal sum of £1, although by now the Stamford Bridge freehold had been sold to property developers, meaning the club faced losing their home.[20] On the pitch, the team had fared little better, coming close to relegation to the Third Division for the first time, Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery

but in 1983 manager John Neal put together an impressive new team for minimal outlay. Chelsea won the Second Division title in 1983–84 and established themselves in the top division, before being relegated again in 1988. The club bounced back immediately by winning the Second Division championship in 1988–89. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery

After a long-running legal battle, Bates reunited the stadium freehold with the club in 1992 by doing a deal with the banks of the property developers, who had been bankrupted by a market crash.[21] Chelsea's form in the new Premier League was unconvincing, although they did reach the 1994 FA Cup Final. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery

It was not until the appointment of Ruud Gullit as player-manager in 1996 that their fortunes changed. He added several top international players to the side, as the clubwon the FA Cup in 1997 and established themselves as one of England's top sides again. Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery

who led the team to victory in the League Cup Final and the Cup Winners' Cup Final in 1998, the FA Cup in 2000and their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. Vialli was sacked in favour of Claudio Ranieri, who guided Chelsea to the 2002 FA Cup Final and Champions League qualification in 2002–03. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery

In June 2003, Bates sold Chelsea to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for £140 million.[11] Over £100 million was spent on new players, but Ranieri was unable to deliver any trophies,[22] and was replaced by José Mourinho.[23] Under Mourinho, Chelsea became the fifth English team to win back-to-back league championships since the Second World War (2004–05 and 2005–06),[24] Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery

in addition to winning an FA Cup (2007) and two League Cups (2005 and 2007). In September 2007, Mourinho was replaced by Avram Grant,[25] who led the club to their first UEFA Champions League final, which they lost on penalties to Manchester United. In 2009, caretaker manager Guus Hiddink guided Chelsea to another FA Cup success,[26] Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery

and in 2009–10, his successor Carlo Ancelotti led them to their firstleague and FA Cup "Double", becoming the first English club to score 100 league goals in a season since 1963.[27] In June 2011, Ancelotti was sacked and replaced by André Villas-Boas,[28] who was in turn dismissed in March 2012. Under caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea won their seventh FA Cup,[29] Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery

and their first UEFA Champions League title, beating Bayern Munich 4–3 on penalties,[30] the first London club to win the trophy.

Chelsea have only ever had one home ground, Stamford Bridge, where they have played since foundation. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery

It was officially opened on 28 April 1877 and for the first 28 years of its existence it was used almost exclusively by the London Athletics Club as an arena for athletics meetings and not at all for football. In 1904 the ground was acquired by businessman Gus Mears and his brother Joseph, Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery

who had also purchased nearby land (formerly a large market garden) with the aim of staging football matches on the now 12.5 acre (51,000 m²) site.[31] Stamford Bridge was designed for the Mears family by the noted football architect Archibald Leitch, who had also designed Ibrox, Celtic Park and Hampden Park. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery

Most football clubs were founded first, and then sought grounds in which to play, but Chelsea were founded for Stamford Bridge.

Starting with an open bowl-like design and one covered terrace, Stamford Bridge had an original capacity of around 100,000.[31] The early 1930s saw the construction of a terrace on the southern part of the ground with a roof that covered around one fifth of the stand. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery

It eventually became known as the "Shed End", the home of Chelsea's most loyal and vocal supporters, particularly during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The exact origins of the name are unclear, but the fact that the roof looked like a corrugated iron shed roof played a part.[31] Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery

In the early 1970s the club's owners announced a modernisation of Stamford Bridge with plans for a state-of-the-art 50,000 all-seater stadium.[31] Work began on the East Stand in 1972 but the project was beset with problems and was never completed; the cost brought the club close to bankruptcy, culminating in the freehold being sold to property developers. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery

Following a long legal battle, it was not until the mid-1990s that Chelsea's future at the stadium was secured and renovation work resumed.[31] The north, west and southern parts of the ground were converted into all-seater stands and moved closer to the pitch, a process completed by 2001. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery

When Stamford Bridge was redeveloped in the Ken Bates era many additional features were added to the complex including two hotels, apartments, bars, restaurants, the Chelsea Megastore, and an interactive visitor attraction called Chelsea World of Sport. The intention was that these facilities would provide extra revenue to support the football side of the business, Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery

but they were less successful than hoped and before the Abramovich takeover in 2003 the debt taken on to finance them was a major burden on the club. Soon after the takeover a decision was taken to drop the "Chelsea Village" brand and refocus on Chelsea as a football club. However, the stadium is sometimes still referred to as part of "Chelsea Village" or "The Village".Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

he Stamford Bridge freehold, the pitch, the turnstiles and Chelsea's naming rights are now owned by Chelsea Pitch Owners, a non-profit organisation in which fans are the shareholders. The CPO was created to ensure the stadium could never again be sold to developers. As a condition for using the Chelsea FC name, Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery

the club has to play its first team matches at Stamford Bridge, which means that if the club moves to a new stadium, they may have to change their name.[33] Chelsea'straining ground is located in Cobham, Surrey. Chelsea moved to Cobham in 2004. Their previous training ground inHarlington was taken over by QPR in 2005.[34] The new training facilities in Cobham were completed in 2007.[35] Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

Stamford Bridge has been used for a variety of other sporting events since 1905. It hosted the FA Cup Final from 1920 to 1922,[36] has held ten FA Cup semi-finals (most recently in 1978), ten FA Charity Shield matches (the last in 1970), and three England international matches, the last in 1932; it was also the venue for an unofficial Victory International in 1946. Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery

In October 1905 it hosted a rugby union match between the All Blacks and Middlesex,[38] and in 1914 hosted a baseball match between the touring New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox.[39] It was the venue for a boxing match between worldflyweight champion Jimmy Wilde and Joe Conn in 1918.[40] Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery

The running track was used for dirt track racing between 1928 and 1932,[41] greyhound racing from 1933 to 1968, and Midget car racing in 1948.[42] In 1980, Stamford Bridge hosted the first international floodlit cricket match in the UK, between Essex and the West Indies.[43] It was also the home stadium of theLondon Monarchs American Football team for the 1997 season.[44] Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery

The current club ownership have stated that a larger stadium is necessary in order for Chelsea to stay competitive with rival clubs who have significantly larger stadia, such as Arsenal and Manchester United.[45] Owing to its location next to a main road and two railway lines, fans can only enter the ground via the Fulham Road exits, Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery

which places constraints on expansion due to health and safety regulations.[46] The club have consistently affirmed their desire to keep Chelsea at their current home,[47][48][49] but Chelsea have nonetheless been linked with a move to various nearby sites, including theEarls Court Exhibition Centre, Battersea Power Station and the Chelsea Barracks.[50] Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery

On 3 October 2011, Chelsea made a proposal to CPO shareholders to buy back the freehold to the land on which Stamford Bridge sits, stating that "buying back the freehold removes a potential hurdle should a suitable site become available in the future".[51] The proposal was voted down by CPO shareholders.[52] Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery

In May 2012, the club made a formal bid to purchase Battersea Power Station, with a view to developing the site into a 60,000 seater stadium.[53] Chelsea released artistic impressions of the proposed stadium at the Battersea site on 22 June 2012.

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