Founded in 1905, Chelsea Football Club is a professional football club based in Fulham, London, which plays in the Premier League, the highest level of English Football.
The Stamford Bridge Athletics Stadium was purchased by Guy Mears with the aim of turning it into a football stadium. When the option of leasing it to Fulham was turned down, Mears decided to found his own club to use the stadium.
The club was promoted to the Premier Division in their Second season, but it struggled between the First and Second Divisions in the early years.
Ted Drake, former England center-forward became manager in 1952 and immediately proceeded to modernize the club, removing the Chelsea pensioner crest, improving the youth set-up and training regime and led Chelsea to their first major trophy, the League championship in 1954-1955.
The late 1970 through to the 1980’s was a turbulent period for Chelsea as an ambitious redevelopment of Stamford Bridge threatened the financial stability of the club, star players were sold and the club was relegated. In 1992, after a long running legal battle, the stadium and the club were reunited.
Chelsea established themselves as one of England’s top football clubs after winning the FA cup in 1997, with as a player-manager Ruud Gullit in charge. He was replaced by Gianluca Vialli who led the team to victory in the League Cup Final, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final and the UEFA Supercup in 1998 the FA Cup in 2000 and their first appearance in UEFA Champions League.
In june 2003 Bates sold the club to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for over 140 million pounds. Another 100 million pounds were spend on new players and Claudio Ranieri was replaced by Jose Mourinho because he was unable to deliver any trophies. Under Mourinho Chelsea became the fifth English Club to win back to back league championships since the Second World War, won the FA Cup in 2007 and two League Cups in 2005 and 2007.
In 2012 caretaker manager Roberto Di Mateo led Chelsea to their seventh FA Cupa and their first UEFA Champions League title. Interim manager Rafael Benitez Guided Chelsea to win the UEFA Europa League becoming the first club to hold two European trophies simultaneously and one of four to have won all three UEFA major club competitions.