Chelsea FC have been one of the major forces in the English Premier League, and are currently the reigning champions. A surprisingly poor start to the 2015/16 season by their standards has put a successful defence of their crown in serious jeopardy. Yet since their formation in 1905 they have won the top flight of English football 5 times, the first back in 1955. Among their other major trophies are 7 F.A. Cups and a famous victory in 2012 in the UEFA Champions League. Such success, with 17 trophies since 1997, makes Chelsea tickets much sought after, particularly when their ground, Stamford Bridge, has a capacity under 42,000, significantly lower then some of their rivals.
Stamford Bridge has been Chelsea's home since the club formed, witnessing all the ups and downs in the years since. From club legends of the past such as Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti and Peter Osgood, to the current crop of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and John Terry, Chelsea have seen many of the games top players pull on the club's blue shirts. The famed Champions League winning team, under the guidance of manager Roberto Di Matteo, included Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Ashley Cole, with Drogba scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out after the game against Bayern Munich finished level after extra-time.
Since 2003 Chelsea FC have been under the ownership of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. In that time he has hired a string of high-profile mangers, including Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez. In 2013 he brought Jose Mourinho back to the club for a second stint, following a successful first spell between 2004 and 2007, during which time he won two Premier League titles. Mourinho's success in winning the league again last season cemented his reputation as one of Europe's best managers, as well as one of the most colourful.
As a result of last season's success demand for home game tickets has increased considerably and often Chelsea tickets are impossible to buy at the gate and sell at premium prices via third parties.
Based in West London and nicknamed The Blues, Chelsea's rich heritage was under serious threat in the early 1980's following a ground redevelopment. Bought by Ken Bates for a nominal £1 without the freehold to the ground at the time, the club was facing possible relegation to the third division of English football. Yet the club was stabilised over time with the team initially recovering under the astute management of John Neal. After initially struggling when the Premier League was introduced, Chelsea have since seen mostly success, with a host of top players, both domestic and international, playing for the club.