Monday, July 7, 2008


About OF Chelsea

Chelsea will be desperate to regain the Premier League crown after finishing second to Manchester United in the last two seasons. Former manager Jose Mourinho, bankrolled by owner Roman Abromovich's millions, brought the first title to Stamford Bridge for 50 years when the Blues lifted the trophy in 2005. Chelsea became only the second team to win back-to-back Premier League titles when they clinched it a year later. Mourinho left the club by mutual consent in September 2007.

Although Chelsea reached the FA Cup final in 1994, they hardly set the world alight in their early Premier League days. Ruud Gullit became manager in 1996 and steered the Blues to an FA Cup triumph in 1997, while his successor Gianluca Vialli guided the team to victory in the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1998.

Shortly after, he led the team to the UEFA Super Cup after a 1-0 win over Real Madrid. The FA Cup followed in 2000. Vialli was replaced by Claudio Ranieri in 2000 and he led Chelsea to another FA Cup final appearance in 2002.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the Blues for £140 million. After a trophyless season, he appointed Mourinho as new Chelsea manager and there was instant success. In 2005, Chelsea won the Barclays Premiership and League Cup, along with a Champions League semi-final appearance.

And Mourinho retained the Barclays Premiership crown the year after, equalling the club's own Premier League record of 29 wins set the previous season. They were league runners-up in 2006/07 and also claimed the FA Cup and League Cup double.

They were also runners-up in the 2007/08 campaign, but by this time Mourinho had left the club. He was replaced by Avram Grant who led the Blues to the final of the Champions League and Carling Cup.

Grant left Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and was replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari who will be charged with bringing the title back to the club.

Club Heritage

Chelsea were formed in 1905 and were elected into the Second Division of the Football League. They just missed out on silverware 10 years later with an FA Cup final defeat. The Blues had to wait for their first major trophy in 1955, when under manager Ted Drake, they won the league title. Chelsea claimed the League Cup for the first time in 1965 and were defeated in the FA Cup final two years later.

Featuring the likes of Ron 'Chopper' Harris, Ian Hutchison and Peter Osgood, Chelsea overcame Leeds to win the FA Cup in 1970. In the following season, they clinched the European Cup Winners' Cup with a replay victory over Real Madrid.

Financial problems meant the Stamford Bridge club dropped into the Second Division, and at one point they were close to falling to the Third Division.

They eventually won their place back in the top flight in 1984, but their stay only lasted four seasons. They clawed their way back to the First Division again as Second Division champions in 1989 and have remained there ever since.

Premier League History

1992/93 - Inaugural members of the Premier League
1993/94 - Lose FA Cup final
1996/97 - Ruud Gullit appointed player-manger
1996/97 - Win FA Cup
1997/98 - Gianluca Vialli becomes manager
1997/98 - Win League Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Super Cup
1999/00 - FA Cup winners
2000/01 - Claudio Ranieri becomes manager
2001/02 - Lose FA Cup final
2003/04 - Chairman Ken Bates sells Chelsea to Roman Abramovich
2000/05 - Jose Mourinho takes over as manager
2004/05 - Chelsea win Barclays Premiership and League Cup
2005/06 - Chelsea win Barclays Premiership
2006/07 - Win FA Cup and League Cup
2007/08 - Jose Mourinho leaves the club to be replaced by Avram Grant. Runners up in the Carling Cup, Barclays Premier League and Champions League. Part company with Grant. Luiz Felipe Scolari appointed manager in June.

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