Monday, October 8, 2012

Chelsea made headlines

Chelsea made headlines by signing a pair of stars in the final moments of the January transfer window, David Luiz for £21.3m from Benfica and a British transfer record of £50m for Liverpool'sFernando Torres.[79] The two signings proved not to be enough to salvage something from Chelsea's season and they failed to win a trophy. Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/S Battery

As a result, Ancelotti was dismissed as manager shortly after Chelsea's 1–0 defeat to Everton on the final day of the season.[80]

On 22 June 2011, André Villas-Boas was appointed as the new Chelsea manager on a three-year contract, with immediate effect. Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/W Battery

On 14 August, Chelsea drew 0-0 their first match of the 2011–12 Premier League season away to Stoke City. Villas-Boas won his first match as Chelsea manager the following week after the Blues beat West Bromwich Albion 2–1. On 22 August, Chelsea and Valencia agreed a deal for Spanish international winger Juan Mata, who signed for £23.5 million.[83] Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/L Battery

The following week, another new signing arrived in the form of Mexican midfielder Ulises Dávila, who signed a five-year contract.[84] On transfer deadline day, Raul Meireles joined the Blues from Liverpool, whilst Yossi Benayoun and Patrick van Aanholt departed on season-long loan deals to Arsenal andWigan Athletic, respectively. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/P Battery

Gaël Kakuta also joins Bolton Wanderers on loan until 1 January 2012. On 18 September: Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the season, losing 3–1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

On 29 November 2011, Chelsea were knocked out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage by Liverpool, who won 2–0 at Stamford Bridge. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S Battery

The loss was Chelsea's third in four games. Four days later, Villas-Boas confirmed the departures of Nicolas Anelka and Alex, both of whom had handed in their respective transfer requests to the club. The announcement was made after the away match against Newcastle United which Chelsea won 3–0, Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/W Battery

putting them back into the Champions League qualification places. On 6 December, Chelsea won their final Champions League group game 3-0 against Valencia, securing progress to the knockout stages.Racing Genk's 1–1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen meant that Chelsea topped Group E. On 12 December, Sony VAIO VGN-NS240E/L Battery

Chelsea inflicted league leaders Manchester City's first league defeat of the season, coming from behind in a fiery encounter with goals from Raul Meireles and a late penalty by Frank Lampard to turn the deficit into a victory. On 21 February 2012, Napoli beat Chelsea 3-1 in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.[85] Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/L Battery

On 4 March, following a 1–0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion, Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea manager. A club statement read that results had "not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season."[86] Italian first team assistant manager (and former Chelsea player) Roberto Di Matteo was appointed caretaker manager until the end of the season. Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/S Battery

In his first match in charge, Chelsea beat Birmingham City 2–0 to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.[87] On 14 March, Chelsea beat Napoli 4–1 in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League second round match, overturning a 3–1 deficit from the first leg.[88] Due to defeats for Arsenal, Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/L Battery

Manchester United and Manchester City, this left Chelsea as the only English team still in Europe. On 14 March, Chelsea progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup after beating Leicester City 5–2 at Stamford Bridge.

On 4 April, Chelsea progressed to the Champions League semi-finals for the sixth time in nine seasons, Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/W Battery

courtesy of a 3–1 aggregate win over Benfica, to set up a tie against holders Barcelona, the sixth time the two clubs had been drawn against each other in the competition. On 15 April, Chelsea progressed to their third FA Cup final in four seasons, courtesy of a 5–1 win against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/L Battery

Three days later, as heavy underdogs, Chelsea secured a hard-fought 1–0 win over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge. In the return leg, Chelsea went 2–0 down in the first half and had captainJohn Terry sent off, but goals from Ramires and Fernando Torres saw them a clinch a place in the final with a "truly remarkable" 3–2 aggregate win.[89] Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/P Battery

Despite their progress in the cups, Chelsea's league form remained indifferent, and draws with Tottenham and Arsenal and a home loss to Newcastle effectively ended their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League, meaning they would have to win the Champions League to secure qualification for the following season's competition. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/W Battery

In the FA Cup final, Chelsea faced Liverpool. Chelsea were the better team for the first hour; Ramires put them ahead early in the match, and in the second half Didier Drogba doubled the lead. Despite Liverpool halving the deficit with an Andy Carroll strike, Chelsea held out to win their seventh FA Cup, Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/L Battery

their fourth success in the competition in six seasons[90] and the best record of any club in the competition since Wanderers won it five times in seven years in the nineteenth century.

In the UEFA Champions League final, Chelsea's opponents were German club Bayern Munich. By coincidence, the match was being held at the Allianz Arena, Bayern's home ground. Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/P Battery

Bayern took the lead after 83 minutes through Thomas Müller, but five minutes later Drogba headed in the equaliser - his ninth goal in nine cup finals for Chelsea - to take the game to extra time. Bayern were awarded a penalty, but Arjen Robben's strike was saved by Petr Čech. Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/W Battery

The game remained 1–1, meaning it went to a penalty shootout. Bayern took a 3–1 lead after Juan Mata saw his penalty saved, but Cech then saved Ivica Olić and Bastian Schweinsteiger's efforts, leaving Drogba to score the decisive spot-kick to clinch Chelsea's first UEFA Champions League title in their history. Sony VAIO VGN-NS70B/W Battery

Stamford Bridge /ˈstæm.fərd ˈbrɪdʒ/ is a football stadium located in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London. It is the home ground of Chelsea Football Club. The stadium is located within the Moore Park Estate also known as Walham Green and is often referred to as simply The Bridge. Sony VAIO VGN-NS71B/W Battery

The capacity is 41,837,[5]making it the eighth largest ground in the Premier League.

Opened in 1877, the stadium was used by the London Athletics Club until 1905, when new owner Gus Mears founded Chelsea Football Club to occupy the ground; Chelsea have played their home games there ever since. Sony VAIO VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

It has undergone numerous major changes over the years, most recently in the 1990s when it was renovated into a modern, all-seater stadium.

Stamford Bridge has been used as a venue for England international matches, FA Cup Finals, FA Cup semi-finals andCharity Shield games. Sony VAIO VGN-NS90HS Battery

It has also hosted numerous other sports, such as cricket, rugby union, speedway, greyhound racing, baseball and American football. The stadium's highest official attendance is 82,905, for a league match between Chelsea and Arsenal on 12 October 1935.

'Stamford Bridge' is considered to be a corruption of 'Samfordesbrigge' meaning 'the bridge at the sandy ford'.[6] Sony VAIO VGN-NS92JS Battery

Eighteenth century maps show a 'Stanford Creek' running along the route of what is now a railway line at the back of the East Stand as atributary of the Thames. The upper reaches of this tributary have been variously known as Billingswell Ditch, Pools Creek and Counters Creek. Sony VAIO VGN-NS92XS Battery

In mediaeval times the Creek was known as Billingwell Dyche, derived from 'Billing's spring or stream'. It formed the boundary between the parishes of Kensington and Fulham. By the eighteenth century the creek had become known asCounter's Creek which is the name it has retained since.[7] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

The stream had two local bridges: Stamford Bridge on the Fulham Road (also recorded as Little Chelsea Bridge) and Stanbridge on the Kings Road, now known as Stanley Bridge.The existing Stamford Bridge was built of brick in 1860–2 and has been partly reconstructed since then. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

Stamford Bridge opened in 1877 as a home for the London Athletics Club and was used almost exclusively for that purpose until 1904, when the lease was acquired by brothersGus and Joseph Mears, who wanted to stage high-profile professional football matches there. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

However, previous to this, in 1898, Stamford Bridge played host to the World Championship of shinty between Beauly Shinty Club and London Camanachd.[8] Stamford Bridge was built close to Lillie Bridge, an older sports ground which had hosted the 1873 FA Cup Final and the first ever amateur boxing matches (among other things). Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

It was initially offered to Fulham Football Club, but they turned it down for financial reasons. They considered selling the land to the Great Western Railway Company, but ultimately decided to found their own football club instead, Chelsea, to occupy the ground as a rival to Fulham. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

Noted football ground architect Archibald Leitch, who had also designed Ibrox,Celtic Park, Craven Cottage and Hampden Park, was hired to construct the stadium.

Stamford Bridge had an official capacity of around 100,000, making it the second largest ground in England after Crystal Palace. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

It was used as the FA Cup final venue. As originally constructed, Stamford Bridge was an athletics track and the pitch was initially located in the middle of the running track. This meant that spectators were separated from the field of play on all sides by the width of running track and, on the north and south sides, Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

the separation was particularly large because the long sides of the running track considerably exceeded the length of the football pitch. The stadium had a single stand for 5,000 spectators on the east side. Designed by Archibald Leitch, it is an exact replica of the Johnny Haynes stand he had previously built at the re-developed Craven Cottage Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery

(and the main reason why Fulham had chosen not to move into the new ground). The other sides were all open in a vast bowl and thousands of tons of material excavated from the building of the Piccadilly Line provided high terracing for standing spectators exposed to the elements on the west side. Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/TC Battery

In 1945, Stamford Bridge staged one of the most notable matches in its history. Soviet side FC Dynamo Moscow were invited to tour the United Kingdom at the end of the Second World War and Chelsea were the first side they faced. An estimated crowd of over 100,000 crammed into Stamford Bridge to watch an exciting 3–3 draw, Sony VAIO VGN-NW35E Battery

with many spectators on the dog track and on top of the stands.

In the early 1970s the club's owners embarked on an ambitious project to renovate Stamford Bridge. However, the cost of building the East Stand escalated out of control after shortages of materials and a builders' strike and the remainder of the ground remained untouched. Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/S Battery

The increase in the cost, combined with other factors, sent the club into decline. As a part of financial restructuring in the late 1970s, the freehold was separated from the club and when new Chelseachairman Ken Bates bought the club for £1 in 1982, he did not buy the ground. A large chunk of the Stamford Bridge freehold was subsequently sold to property developers Marler Estates. Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/T Battery

The sale resulted in a long and acrimonious legal fight between Bates and Marler Estates. Marler Estates was ultimately forced tobankruptcy after a market crash in the early 1990s, allowing Bates to do a deal with its banks and re-unite the freehold with the club. Sony VAIO VGN-NW50JB Battery

During the 1984-85 season, following a series of pitch invasions and fights by football hooligans during matches at the stadium, chairman Ken Bates erected an electric perimeter fence between the stands and the pitch – identical to the one which effectively controlled cattle on his dairy farm. Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/N Battery

However, the electric fence was never turned on and before long it was dismantled, due to the GLC blocking it from being switched on for health and safety reasons.[9]

With the Taylor Report arising from the Hillsborough disaster being published in January 1990 and ordering all top division clubs to have all seater stadiums in time for the 1994-95 season, Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/W Battery

Chelsea's plan for a 34,000-seat stadium at Stamford Bridge was given approval by Hammersmith and Fulham council on 19 July 1990.[10]

The re-building of the stadium commenced again and successive building phases during the 1990s eliminated the original running track. Sony VAIO VGN-NW70JB Battery

The construction of the 1973 East Stand initiated the process of eliminating the track. All stands, now roofed and all-seater, are immediately adjacent to the pitch. This structure has the effect of concentrating and capturing the noise of supporters. Paradoxically, the noise was louder prior to the 1990s redevelopment, Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/N Battery

when supporters were dispersed at a distance from the pitch on open terraces, even though average attendances were around half of what they are now. The pitch, the turnstiles, and the naming rights of the club are now owned by Chelsea Pitch Owners, an organisation set up to prevent the stadium from being purchased by property developers again. Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/W Battery

KSS Design Group (architects) designed the complete redevelopment of Stamford Bridge Stadium and its hotels, megastore, offices and residential buildings.[11]

Stamford Bridge was the venue of the FA Cup Final from 1920 to 1922, before being replaced by Wembley Stadium in 1923. It has staged ten FA Cup semi-finals, Sony VAIO VGN-NW91FS Battery

tenCharity Shield matches, and three England matches, the last in 1932. It was one of the home venues for the representative London XI team that played in the original Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The team played the home leg of the two-legged final at Stamford Bridge, drawing 2–2 with FC Barcelona; they lost the away leg 6–0, however. Sony VAIO VGN-NW91GS Battery

Stamford Bridge has also hosted a variety of other sporting events since Chelsea have occupied the ground. In October 1905 it hosted a rugby union match between the All Blacks and Middlesex,[12] and in 1914 hosted a baseball match between the touring New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox.[13] Sony VAIO VGN-NW91VS Battery

A speedway team operated from the stadium from 1929 until 1932, winning the Southern League in their opening season. Initially open meetings were held there in 1928. A nineteen year old junior rider, Charlie Biddle, was killed in a racing accident. In 1931, black cinders were laid onto the circuit suitable for use by speedway and athletics.[14] Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

Greyhound racing was first held at the stadium on 31 July 1937 and continued until 1 August 1968.[14] A midget car meeting reportedly attracted a crowd of 50,000 people in 1948.[14]

The ground was used in 1980 for the first major day-night floodlit cricket match between Essex and West Indies (although organised by Surrey) which was a commercial success; Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

the following year it hosted the final of the inaugural Lambert & Butler county cricket competition. It, however, failed and the experiment of playing cricket on football grounds was ended. Stamford Bridge briefly hosted American football – despite not being long enough for a regulation-size gridiron field – when the London Monarchs were based there in 1997. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery

The Matthew Harding Stand, previously known as the North Stand, is along the north edge of the pitch. In 1939, a small two storied North Stand including seating was erected. It was originally intended to span the entire northern end, but the outbreak of World War II and its aftermath compelled the club to keep the stand small. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery

It was demolished and replaced by open terracing for standing supporters in 1976. The North Terrace was closed in 1993 and the present North Stand of two tiers (theMatthew Harding Stand) was then constructed at that end.

It is named after former Chelsea director Matthew Harding, Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery

whose investment helped transform the club in the early 1990s before his death in a helicopter accident on 22 October 1996. His investment in the club enabled construction of the stand which was completed in time for the 1996–97 season. It has two tiers and accommodates most season-ticket holders, Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

giving it an enthusiastic atmosphere, especially in the lower tier. Any proposal to enlarge the facility would necessitate demolition of the adjacent 'Chelsea World of Sport' museum.

For some Champions League matches, this stand operates at reduced capacity, some entrances being obstructed by the presence of TV outside-broadcast vehicles. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

The only covered stand when Stamford Bridge was renovated into a football ground in 1905, the East Stand had a gabled corrugated iron roof, with around 6,000 seats and a terraced enclosure. The stand remained until 1973, when it was demolished in what was meant to be the opening phase of a comprehensive redevelopment of the stadium. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

The new stand was opened at the start of the 1974–75 season, but due to the ensuing financial difficulties at the club, it was the only part of the development to be completed.

The East Stand essentially survives in its 1973 three-tiered cantilevered form, although it has been much refurbished and modernised since. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

It is the heart of the stadium, housing the tunnel, dugout, dressing rooms, conference room, press centre, AV and commentary box. The middle tier is occupied by facilities, clubs, and executive suites. The upper tier provides spectators with one of the best views of the pitch and it is the only section to have survived the extensive redevelopment of the 90s. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery

Previously, it was the home to away supporters on the bottom tier. However, at the start of the 2005/2006 season, then-manager José Mourinho requested that the family section move to this part of the stand, to boost team morale. Away fans were moved to the shed end.

The Shed End is located along the south side of the pitch. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery

In 1930, a new terrace was built on the south side, for more standing spectators. It was originally known as the Fulham Road End, but supporters nicknamed it 'The Shed' and this led the club to officially change its name. It became the most favoured spot for the loudest and most die-hard support, Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery

until the terrace was demolished in 1994, when all-seater stadia became compulsory by law as a safety measure in light of the Taylor Report following the Hillsborough disaster. The seated stand which replaced it is still known as the Shed End (see below).

The new stand opened in time for the 1997/98 season. Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

Along with the Matthew Harding Stand, it is an area of the ground where many vocal fans congregate today. The view from the upper tier is widely regarded as one of the best in the stadium. The Shed also contains the centenary museum and a memorial wall, where families of deceased fans are able to leave a permanent memorial of their loved ones, Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

indicating their eternal support for the club. A large chunk of the original Shed End terrace still stands today and runs along the south side of the stadium. It has recently been decorated with lights and large images of Chelsea legends. Since 2005, it has been where away supporters are housed; Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

they are allocated 3,000 tickets towards the east side, roughly half of the capacity of the stand.

Peter Osgood's ashes were laid to rest under the shed end penalty spot in 2006.

When Stamford Bridge was redeveloped in the Ken Bates era, many additional features were added to the complex, including two hotels, apartments, bars, restaurants, Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

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, 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. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

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".

2005 saw the opening of a new club museum, known as the Chelsea Museum or the Centenary Museum, to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the club. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

The museum is located in the former Shed Galleria. Visitors are able to visit the WAGs lounge and then watch an introductory video message from the vice-president Richard Attenborough. They are then guided decade by decade through the club's history seeing old programmes, past shirts, José Mourinho's coat and other memorabilia. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

A motto on the wall of the museum reads "I am not from the bottle. I am a special one.",[15] a reference to Mourinho's famous quote upon signing as manager for Chelsea.[16]

On 6 June 2011 a new museum with improved and interactive exhibits opened behind the Matthew Harding stand. It is the largest football museum in London.[17] Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NDB Battery

The current Megastore is on the south-west corner of the stadium. The store is two floors. The first floor mainly consists of souvenirs and children's gear. The second floor is filled with training jerseys, coats, and replica jerseys. There are also two smaller shops, one located at the Stamford Gate entrance and the other inside the new museum building behind the Matthew Harding stand. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NEB Battery

Under Roman Abramovich's control, the club has announced that it wants to extend Stamford Bridge to around 55,000 seats. [18] However, its location in a heavily built-up part of Inner London, near a main road and two railway lines, makes this very difficult. The dispersal of an additional 13,000 fans into the residential roads of the Moore Park Estate, would undoubtedly create congestion and conflict. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NGB Battery

Alternative possibilities include moving from Stamford Bridge to a location such as London Olympic Stadium, the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, White City,Battersea Power Station, the Imperial Road Gasworks (off the Kings Road on the Fulham and Chelsea border) and the Chelsea Barracks. [19] Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PAB Battery

But, under the Chelsea Pitch Owners articles of association, the club would relinquish the name 'Chelsea Football Club' should it ever move from Stamford Bridge.[20] On 3 October 2011, the club issued a statement, in which it proposed to buy back the freehold from Chelsea Pitch Owners Plc. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PCB Battery

This has been widely speculated as the first move by the football club to begin their movement away from the current stadium. On 27 October 2011, Chelsea FC failed in its bid to buy back the freehold, with shareholders of the CPO voting against selling the land.[21] Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PFB Battery

On 4 May 2012, Chelsea FC announced a bid to purchase Battersea Power Station, as part of plans to build a new 60,000-seater stadium on the site.[22] Though they were not the preferred bidders, they released artistic impressions of the proposed stadium at the BPS on 22nd June 2012. Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

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