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Chelsea FC is in the midst of the club’s Golden Era which started in 2003 when Roman Abramovich bought the London club.  The Blues as they are called by fans have become one of the most popular and most followed clubs in the world winning 5 Premier League titles and 1 UEFA Champions League since the Russian billionaire took control.
Chelsea FC

Chelsea FC

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The Chelsea FC 2018/19 Home Jersey was unveiled today by Nike Soccer. The new kit, set to be worn by the men’s women’s and academy teams, features a bold design inspired by fan-favorite kits from the 1980s and 90s. The new Chelsea jersey will be worn on May 13th, the final game of the season for the Blues.

Dazzling horizontal rad and white lines dash through the fabric of the jersey, creating a dynamic look. The modern collar line and sleeve graphic enhance the shirt, which features the classic Chelsea Blue as base color. A custom detail on the inner neck reads “Blue Is The Colour”, stylized to mimic the shape of the club’s crest and featuring 1903 – the year when Chelsea FC was established.

The back of the neck shows the Chelsea lion. The kit is completed by blue shorts and white socks with red and blue branding.

Chelsea FC is one of the most popular clubs in England and around the world but why should a fan looking for a club to support pull on the blue jersey of Chelsea? We give 5 reasons to help convince the undecided fan that the Blues are the club for them.

5 – Top London Club: Chelsea is arguably the top club in London. They are the only club from England’s capital to win the UEFA Champions League (2012 UEFA Champions League) and have consistently contended for silverware over the last decade and a half (see more below). And fans outside of England looking for a club with the goal of attending matches, you’d be surprised at how much easier it is to travel to London and Stamford Bridge for a match than some of their rivals in Manchester, Liverpool, etc.

4 – Celery is Banned from Stamford Bridge: Club culture is critical and can sometimes be crazy but that is something to be cherished. Chelsea supporters are loyal and pack Stamford Bridge and restaurants and pubs around the world (many cities have official fan clubs) to watch games. To the best of our knowledge, Chelsea are the only club in the world to have a ban on a vegetable, celery, at their home stadium, Stamford Bridge, since 2007. Fans used to bring celery to game and ‘accidentally’ toss it on the field or at opposing players until said players and referees’ reports starting giving the habit a bad name. Celery did not happen out of the blue, as it was selected in tribute due to the ‘Celery’ chant regular heard from the terraces.

Celery, Celery,
If she don't come,
I'll tickle her bum,
With a lump of celery.

3 – Famous Fans: Sometimes it is more important with who you know and hang out with than anything else and Chelsea has some A-listers who support the club and have been known to pull on the jersey. After the match you can be treated to a good meal, a song, and political discussion with other Blues fans. The list includes celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsey and Nigella Lawson, singers Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice) and Billy Idol, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who is rumored to have attended matches while at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in the 1960’s, along with others like Sir Michael Caine, Will Ferrell, Steve McQueen, and Matt Damon.

2 – Distinctive Kit: Let’s face it too many teams in the Premier League have red jerseys but not Chelsea. The club has worn blue since it was founded in 1905 and adopted the blue jersey, blue shorts, and white socks kit in the 1960’s and are the only major club using the combination.

The away kit is not as traditional and the Blues have been known to have fun with the design and colors. From tribute kits like the black and blue striped kit used at the 1966 FA Cup semifinal for Inter Milan or the red, green, white look in tribute to Hungary’s Magical Magyars to the bold looks of red and white diamonds, luminous yellow, or the graphite/tangerine look (that is sometimes included on list for Worst Kits of All-Time).

1 – Excellence on the Field: Chelsea has been one of the most dominant and consistent teams since 2003 when Roman Abramovich bought the club. Since then the club has won 4 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cup titles, 3 League Cups, and 2 FA Community Shields on the domestic front along with the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League in European competitions. And there is no reason to think as long as the Russian billionaire is in charge that success won’t follow the club and you should too.

With the spring comes the conclusion of one campaign and a new focus on the coming season and with that in mind all the big clubs will start unveiling their kits for the 2016/17 season. Chelsea FC and adidas revealed their new home jersey inspired by their tradition of heritage and glory.

Chelsea’s women’s team debuted the jerseys against Arsenal in the FA Women’s Cup on May 14th, 2016. The men’s team took to the field with the new jersey for the first time when they hosted the 2015/16 Premier League champions, Leicester City, at Stamford Bridge in the final game of the season on May 15.

The jersey has an elegant look provided by the use of royal blue with white accents for the three stripes on the sides and the fitted V-neck collar. The later features a blue/white necktape which holds the club’s name on the back. However, the jersey’s main feature are the small Chelsea lions seen all over the front and sleeves, showing their pride on their identity.

adidas and Chelsea badges are on the chest, sitting over the red and white Yokohama Tyres logo. The full kit be completed with blue shorts and white socks

After announcing the end of their partnership with adidas 6-years early in May 2016, Chelsea wasted little time in signing a new technical sponsor. The Blues announced a new technical sponsorship deal with Nike in October 2016 that is reported to be for $1.1 billion over the next 15-years starting prior to the 2017/18 Premier League season.

Nike will provide the team kits for the first team, academy, and ladies’ team along with a full line of club leisure wear.

The $73.5 million per season the club will receive is double what the London club were being paid by former technical sponsor adidas. Chelsea and the 3-Stripes ‘mutually’ agreed to terminate their contract but reports indicate Chelsea pushed the issue with adidas focusing more on other clubs.

“This is an incredibly exciting and important deal for the club,” Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said. “Like Chelsea, Nike is known around the world for its excellence and innovation and we look forward to working together in what is sure to be a successful partnership.”

“We believe Nike will be able to support our growth into new markets as well as helping us maintain our place among the world’s elite football clubs.”

“Chelsea is a world-class club with a rich tradition and passionate fans across the globe,” Trevor Edwards, President of the Nike Brand, added. “The partnership with Chelsea reinforces our leadership position in football. We are excited to help grow the club’s global reach, serving players and supporters with Nike innovation and design.”

When Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium in 1904 his plan was to develop it into the best football ground in England and use it to host high-profile and high-attendance matches. The first step of the plan was to lease Stamford Bridge to the local football team, Fulham FC, but when they turned down the offer Mears was left to come up with a plan B.

The empty ground needed a club and with no club beating down his door to lease the property, Mears did what any good businessman would…he founded his own club on March 10, 1905. The new club was named Chelsea Football Club after the adjacent borough.

Establishing the club was easy, finding success on the field proved more difficult. Despite earning a promotion to the First Division in their second season and making the 1915 FA Cup final, Chelsea did not hoist any silverware until they marched to the 1954/55 League Championship.

The title could not have been timed better with it being the club’s 50th anniversary. And certainly had Mears, who passed away in 1912 and never witnessed the club’s rise to the top, smiling not only from the silverware but also confirming his initial idea that Stamford Bridge would become the focus of London football. Stamford Bridge saw an average attendance of 48,307 that season, the highest in the division.

Chelsea won the 1955 FA Community Shield but faltered on the season and were unable to repeat their on-field success for the remainder of the 1950’s and most of the 60’s. The 60’s were more about coming close than finishing strong with the club narrowly missing out on several trophies although they did win the 1964/65 League Cup.

The 1970’s started strong with Chelsea winning the 1969/70 FA Cup and their first European honor, the 1970/71 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with a win in a replay over Real Madrid, but optimism quickly turned sour. The club battled financial problems and hooligans off the field and their form was no better on the field being relegated.

With troubles plaguing the club at every turn, businessman Ken Bates, who many jokingly referred to as Papa Smurf for his round face and beard, bought the club for £1 in 1982. He helped the club earn a promotion back to the First Division in 1983/84 and again in 1988/89 after a 1 season hiatus in on their first attempt to regain top flight status.

A series of successful player/managers turned the tide for Chelsea starting with Glenn Hoddle (1993-1996) laying the foundation, Ruud Gullit (1996-1998), the first Dutchman to manage a Premier League side, building the talent and depth with several key international players and winning the FA Cup in 1997, and finally with Gianluca Vialli (1998-2000), the first Italian to manage in the Premier League, and help the club to the 1997/98 League Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and the 1998 UEFA Super Cup. He also helped the club to qualify for their first UEFA Champions League competition. Vialli was sacked and replaced by Claudio Ranieri, who famously led Leicester City to the 2016/17 Premier League title.

£140 million; that is what Bates sold Chelsea FC to Roman Abramovich for in 2003.

The Russian billionaire had big plans for the club. He wanted to challenge the success of the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid on the field while building the London club into a global brand. And it is hard to argue that he has not achieved those goals in the decade and a half since he took over.

Abramovich has worked to always have a high-profile manager in place with the likes of José Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benítez, and Antonio Conte spending time at the helm managing a equally high-profile roster of players - John Terry, Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard – on the field.

The Blues have won 4 Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, 4 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, and 2 Community Shields during Abramovich’s tenure.

Chelsea have been graced by some truly great players since its’ establishment in 1905. Chelsea’s rise to one of Europe’s stronger teams has been aided with a roster that included some world-class players who are truly Chelsea legends.

World Soccer Shop takes a look at 5 of these legends and examine what exactly helped them to achieve this status at Stamford Bridge. This list is in no specific order, but these 5 are undoubtedly Legends of Chelsea FC.

Gianfranco Zola
Zola joined Chelsea in November of 96 and immediately helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup later that season. He was voted the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the year having only played half a season. Zola illustrious career continued its’ amazing assent in 1997/98 season as he led Chelsea to the treble of the League cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup - scoring the game winner 21 seconds after coming on, and the Super Cup. Zola championed Chelsea to 6 trophies in his 7 years at the club, making him a true legend.

Peter Osgood
The ‘King of Stamford Bridge’ made his first appearance for Chelsea at the age of 17 in 1964 in the League Cup and scored both goals in The Blues 2-0 win. Although Osgood only won 2 trophies with the club he was an absolute goal-scoring machine. While making 289 appearances for the club, Osgood racked up an impressive 105 goals. And although he sadly passed away in 2006, a statue of him still stands tall outside of Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard
No surprise to anyone that Lampard would make the list as one of The Blues Legends. After making his 2001 debut for Chelsea, Lampard went on to make 648 appearances in all competitions and scoring 211 goals from the midfield, which makes him Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer. The Legendary midfielder won 13 trophies with Chelsea including both a Europa League and Champions League trophy.

Didier Drogba
The Ivorian forward joined Chelsea in 2004 was an incredibly clutch player for Chelsea. He always seemed to score very impactful goals including the incredible equalizer in the 2012 Champions League Final as well as the game-winning penalty. Drogba made a total of 341 appearances and scored 157 goals for Chelsea as well as winning 14 trophies with the club.

John Terry
John Terry needs no justification for why he is a Chelsea Legend. Having captained Chelsea through its most successful period in the clubs history, a period which brought the club 15 trophies, John Terry is the definition of a club legend. During this course Terry also won 25 individual awards that only add to his illustrious career.

Chelsea FC has become one of the most powerful English clubs since the arrival of Roman Abramovich in 2003. WorldSoccerShop.com looks back at the London club’s front-of-jersey sponsors.

Fans are now accustomed to the Yokohama Tyres (with the English spelling using a ‘y’ in the company name) on the front of the Chelsea jersey, and that’s thanks to a reported $51 million per year deal that both parties signed in 2015.

"Chelsea and Yokohama are a perfect fit. Both are global organizations with a focus on performance and innovation, as well as having huge ambition and an unwavering culture of success," said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck.

The current deal was a huge improvement from their $23 million per season agreement with Samsung, that began in the 2008/09 season. The club already had an ongoing relationship with the South Korean giants, sporting the Samsung Mobile logo between 2005 and 2008 as part of a $64 million five-year deal.

The Fly Emirates logo first appeared in English soccer in 2001 for the sum of $30.5 million for four years. This was the second time Chelsea signed with an airline. The Blues won their first Premier League title (second league title) in their last season with Emirates.

Autoglass, a vehicle windscreen manufacturer and retailer, sponsored the Chelsea jersey between 1997 and 2001, a period in which the club lifted a couple of domestic trophies and the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

The US-based Coors Brewing Company logo appeared on the Blues kits from 1994-1997. Remember that awful gray and orange jersey? It sported the Coors logo on the front. Not everything was bad, though, the sponsor and the club bid adieu with Chelsea winning the 1997 FA Cup.

Chelsea secured a then-groundbreaking deal with Commodore, the extinct Canadian home computers and electronics manufacturer (remember the Commodore 64?). The deal began in 1987, with the company paying approximately $1.5 million for a three year deal that was extended for three more years in 1990. The Commodore logo appeared on the Chelsea jerseys between 1987 and 1993, with their Amiga brand taking over for their last season together (and Commodore’s last year before declaring bankruptcy).

Commodore was the first long-term sponsor secured by Chelsea, preceded by three failed attempts during the 1986/87 season. Ken Bates, former owner of Chelsea FC, decided to promote his very own farm – the Grange Farm – on the front of the kit before signing short-lived deals with Bai Lin Tea and an Italian brand, Simod.

Chelsea’s first ever jersey sponsor was Gulf Air, who printed their logo in yellow lettering on the Chelsea kits for the last five months of the 1983/84 season. The club earned around $192,000 from this agreement.

Chelsea FC and Nike announced that they had struck a $1.1 billion deal over the next 15 years, starting with the 2017/18 season.

“Chelsea is a world-class club with a rich tradition and passionate fans across the globe,” said Trevor Edwards, President of the Nike Brand. “The partnership with Chelsea reinforces our leadership position in football. We are excited to help grow the club’s global reach, serving players and supporters with Nike innovation and design.”

The Nike deal was announced just a few months after Chelsea and adidas ‘mutually’ agreed to terminate their ongoing contract six years early. Their relationship began back in 2006, when they agreed to a 12-year-deal-deal that was extended in 2010 for around $205.5 million over eight years. The club then struck another extension in 2013 for ten more years’, worth around $384 million. Chelsea had to pay $51 million in compensation to adidas for breaking this last deal.

The adidas era is, with no doubt, the most successful in the club’s history: they won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups.

This was not the first time Chelsea and a kit manufacturer terminated their contract early. Umbro originally kitted the Blues between 1975 and 1981, and came back in 1987 before both parties agreed to part ways in 2006. In 2001 the club announced a 10-year deal with Umbro for $51 million, but it only lasted five years until adidas approached Chelsea with a lucrative proposal and they happily paid a $45.7 million compensation to Umbro.

The Blues had their jerseys manufactured by French brand Le Coq Sportif for five years between 1981 and 1986, and decided to make the kits themselves under ‘The Chelsea Collection’ name in the 1986/87 season.

Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905 and in the 100+ years of competition have used 5 major designs of their club badge on official team merchandise. WorldSoccerShop.com looks back at some of the more popular badges that were used over many years in this short history of the Chelsea FC badge.

Chelsea FC Badge: 2004 – PRESENT
Chelsea’s current badge was launched to celebrate the club’s centenary and was first used on player jerseys during the 2005/06 Premier League season. The design took a modern approach, aligned with the goals of new owner Roman Abramovich, who took over the club in 2003. The design was inspired by the famous crest from the 1950s, a fan-favorite.

Chelsea FC Badge: 1986 – 2004
In 1986 soccer merchandising had already become a big deal in England, and Chelsea decided to create a new badge that could be applied easily on jerseys, hats, scarfs and any other promotional gear the Marketing Department unveiled. That’s why this badge was a simplified version featuring the club’s initials and a new lion. Multiple variations where used during its 19 years of life, including different colors or a rounded outline.

Chelsea FC Badge: 1953 – 1986
This badge is probably the most popular Chelsea crest of all time. Its intricate design was inspired by the civic coat of arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea. It also depicts a lion from the Earl Cadogan Coat of Arms with a staff from the Abbot of Westminster, whose jurisdiction extended over Chelsea. The red roses represent England, accompanied by two soccer balls. This was the first Chelsea badge to regularly appear on player jerseys starting in the 1960’s.

Chelsea FC Badge: 1952
Chelsea’s first nickname, the Penisioners, was losing favor among fans not to mention the badge being somewhat outdated so new manager Ted Drake decided a changed was required. While the badge used from 1953 until 1986 was being designed, Chelsea adopted a temporary badge that highlighted the club initials, C.F.C., on a blue shield to use in 1952.

Chelsea FC Badge: 1905-1951
Chelsea’s first nickname was the ‘pensioners’ because the neighborhood was home to the Royal Hospital Chelsea that housed 1,000’s of British Army veterans known as the ‘Chelsea Pensioners.’ The club adopted the nickname and included a pensioner on their original badge in honor of these veterans. The badge was used for half century although it never featured on the club jersey.

Pictures courtesy of Chelsea FC.

‘Blue is the color, football is the game’ goes the song the Chelsea squad recorded ahead of their 1972 League Cup final clash with Stoke City. And blue certainly is, and always has been, the color for the Stamford Bridge club.

Ever since its humble beginnings in 1904, when London businessman Gus Mears founded the club after failing to convince Fulham to take up residence in his newly-purchased Stamford Bridge athletics stadium, Chelsea have worn blue.

However, the blue jerseys the fledgling team initially turned out in were quite different from the kind of shirts worn by the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and David Luiz today. Not least because of the advances in the technology of sporting attire and the prevalence of sponsor logos on modern football tops, but also because the blue Chelsea originally turned out in was much paler, lighter, almost turquoise shade called ‘Eton blue.’

The simple design of the Eton blue tops, with their round neck and button-up collars, was combined with plain white shorts and black socks. This is how Chelsea continued to appear on match days up until 1912, when a switch was made to the royal blue which has since become synonymous with the club. So much so, in fact, that West London side’s nickname is simply the Blues.

Despite the change of shirt, the white shorts and black socks remained in place right up until 1961, when the socks also became white. The next, more radical, change came shortly after in 1964. Scottish manager Tommy Doherty, who also had a spell at the helm of Manchester United during his career, was in charge of Chelsea and decided that the club’s shorts should also be royal blue to match the shirt.

Doherty was of the belief that, by switching to blue shorts, Chelsea took on a more modern look, and one which was unlike any other major club in England at the time. The fiery Scot’s decision to see his team’s shorts match their shirts has stood the test of time, with the Stamford Bridge side having stayed true to the same kit layout ever since.

That wasn’t the only kit change that Doherty instituted at the club, however. In the build-up to their 1964 FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday at Villa Park, the manager insisted that the Blues should wear black and blue stripes in hope of emulating the great Inter Milan side of that era.

Much as Don Revie’s idea to have his Leeds United side draw inspiration from Real Madrid by matching the colors of Los Blancos, Doherty too hoped that his team would benefit from mirroring the Nerazzurri. How much a part the shirts played cannot be known, but Chelsea lost the semi-final to Wednesday, who went on to contest the final against Everton at Wembley Stadium -- a game attended by Beatles duo John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Undeterred by the failed experiment, Chelsea tried to channel the spirit of another great side from the past for a period in the mid-1970s, wearing a red, green and white away strip supposedly as an homage to the famous Hungarian national side of the 1950s.

The great Hungary team of Ferenc Puskas, Nandor Hidegkuti and Sandor Koscis famously thrashed England 7-3 at Wembley in 1953, before going on to finish as runners-up in the following year’s FIFA World Cup, and are widely regarded as one of the best sides never to have been crowned world champions. Unfortunately for Chelsea, they experienced no such glories while wearing the same colors, remaining trophyless from their 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup triumph until being crowned Second Division champions in 1984.

In more recent times, the Blues have sported some garish away kits, with luminous oranges and yellows a particularly misguided choice, while the grey and orange number from the mid-1990s often appears on polls to determine the least appealing jerseys in memory.

The blue home shirt remains a classic, however. A simple configuration which, if adhered to properly, always produces attractive jerseys.

Blue is the color; long may it remain so.