Chelsea Football Club are my favourite football team. Based in Stamford Bridge, in south-west London, I first started supporting Chelsea around 1995, when they were playing some of the most attractive football in the premiership. This was helped by some excellent signings by manager Glenn Hoddle, such as Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli, Dan Petrescu and Gustavo Poyet.
Chelsea FC were founded in 1905 by one Mr H.A. Mears. They've only won the League once, in 1955, and have won the F.A. Cup three times, in 1970, 1997 and 2000. Since I started supporting them, they've had four different managers: Glenn Hoddle, Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli and Claudio Ranieri. Hoddle left to become England manager in 1996, and was succeeded by Gullit, who was player-manager until 1998. Gullit was ousted in a row over his player-manager status, and replaced by Gianluca Vialli, who capitalised on the team built by his predecessors to become Chelsea's most successful manager ever, winning the FA Cup (twice), the European Cup-Winners Cup, the League Cup (AKA Worthington Cup), and the European Super Cup during his time in charge.
As mentioned above, Chelsea are now considered to be one of the "Big Six" of English football, and boast a huge array of talent. Since Claudio Ranieri took over, he has made a point of reducing the average age of the squad, which lead to the selling of such favourites as Dennis Wise and Gustavo Poyet. The one problem with Chelsea is their woeful inconsistancy; one week they could thrash Manchester United, and the next week they could lose at home to Charlton Athletic. They have been more consistent this season, but it remains to be seen whether or not the team will ever live up to its massive potential.
As of summer 2003, Ken Bates' 50.9% stake in Chelsea Village (Chelsea Football Club's parent company) has been bought out by a Russian billionaire named Roman Abramovich. Mr Abramovich is obliged to make a full take-over bid, by British stock-excahnge rules, and is all set to make an offer to the rest of the Chelsea shareholders. Apart from taking over, Abramovich is also going to pay off Chelsea's debts (some £STG 80m), as well as boost the transfer funds available to Claudio Ranieri this summer.
Already, Chelsea have used Abramovich's millions to make some fairly promising signings - two new full-backs, in the shape of Glen Johnson (formerly of West Ham United and Wayne Bridge, who left Southampton in exchange for £7 million sterling and Graeme Le Saux; long-time target Geremi, the Cameroonian international midfielder joined from Real Madrid, and Republic Of Ireland star Damien Duff left Blackburn Rovers to come to London. All young players, who have (apart from the 19-year-old Johnson) already proved themselves internationally, but who still have their best years ahead of them. Which is a welcome change from Chelsea's former policy of signing aging legends (such as Zola, Vialli, Deschamps and Hasselbaink).
Chelsea Star Players
My Chelsea dream team (current players only):
Petr Cech (Czech Republic)
Paulo Ferreira(Holland) | William Gallas(France) | John Terry(England) | Wayne Bridge(England)
Frank Lampard(England) | Claude Makelele(France) | Eidur Gudjonsen(Iceland)
Damien Duff(Ireland) | Didier Drogba(Ivory Coast)| Arjen Robben(Holland)
Subs: Carlo Cudicini (Italy); Robert Huth (Germany); Glen Johnson (England); Scott Parker (England); Joe Cole (England)
Celebrity Chelsea Supporters
Most information taken from http://www.chelseafc.com