Chelsea Football Club is regarded as a major force both in the English and European game after significant success in the last three decades. The financial backing of former owner Roman Abramovich, good recruitment and coaching have taken Chelsea to the top of the football tree.
But how many times have the Blues won the Premier League title? Here is a rundown of the six occasions in which the team from south west London have become English champions:
Their maiden English top-flight title
Although they were founded in 1905, the Blues didn’t claim their first top-flight title until season 1954/55 under boss Ted Drake, who arrived from London rivals Arsenal in 1952. Drake turned the club around, making it more modern and revolutionising the team’s training schedules. He also made some stellar signings, as he was especially good at spotting talent from the lower and non-leagues.
The Blues got their reward for Drake’s hard work in 1955 when they clinched that maiden English top-flight title, four points ahead of second-place Wolves in the table, after winning 20 of their 42 league matches.
UEFA created the European Cup the season after, but Chelsea didn’t participate in the competition as they withdrew before the inaugural tournament kicked off.
The club couldn’t build on their first title win and spent the rest of the 1950s competing in midtable, with Drake being sacked in 1961 and replaced by Tommy Docherty. Drake’s sacking was the end of an era for the Blues.
Docherty came close to guiding a promising young Chelsea team to the title in 1965, but the Blues blew their chance of a second title towards the end of the campaign.
The Abramovich era brings the next league success
In 2003, everything changed for Chelsea. The Blues had suffered financial problems when developing Stamford Bridge. However, the arrival of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich as the club’s new owner ended the club’s economic issues and transformed the Blues’ fortunes.
Although the Blues had been a good cup team before Abramovich’s arrival, they were never quite good enough to win their second English top-flight title. Significant financial investment from the Russian businessman changed all that, as he ploughed over £ 100 million into the team.
The decision to replace head coach Claudio Ranieri with a promising young coach called Jose Mourinho in 2004 was a masterstroke. The Portuguese boss led the Blues to the Premier League title in season 2004/05.
In the process of winning the title, Chelsea picked up 95 points, which was a then-record number of points in the English top flight. The Blues also claimed the League Cup in the same season.
A third title followed the year after, as Chelsea became only the fifth team ever to win back-to-back titles in the English top-flight. The Blues also won both the FA Cup and League Cup in 2007. However, after a poor start to their Premier League campaign in season 2007/08, the Chelsea hierarchy decided to replace Mourinho with veteran Israeli coach Avram Grant.
Grant led Chelsea to their first Champions League final in 2008, only for the Blues to suffer a penalty kick defeat at the hands of Manchester United. The team from south west London won more silverware in 2009 under interim boss Guus Hiddink as they defeated Everton 3-1 in the FA Cup final.
Chelsea fans didn’t have to wait long for their next silverware, though, as in season 2009/10, Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti led the Blues to their fourth English top-flight title. That season, Chelsea became the first English team to score 100 or more goals in a league season since 1963, when runners-up Tottenham scored an incredible 111 goals. Spurs lost out on the title to Everton that season, however.
The next silverware won by Chelsea came in 2012, as under caretaker head coach Roberto Di Matteo the Blues won the FA Cup for the seventh time. The Italian also guided Chelsea to their first-ever Champions League triumph, as the Blues defeated Bayern Munich at their own stadium, the Allianz Arena, on penalties in the final of the competition. They returned to European glory the following year, this time winning the Europa League under former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
Mourinho’s return to the club in 2013 signalled a return to winning ways in the Premier League for Chelsea. The Portuguese boss led the Blues to the English top-flight title in 2015, as well as the League Cup. Just four months into the next campaign, Abramovich and the rest of Chelsea’s hierarchy dispensed with the services of the controversial boss for a second time.
The team from south west London were crowned as English champions once again in 2017, this time with highly-rated Italian head coach Antonio Conte at the helm. The Blues also won the FA Cup the following season. As of writing, Conte is the last Chelsea boss to guide the Blues to the English top-flight title.
However, German head coach Thomas Tuchel guided the Blues to just their second Champions League win in 2021, as they defeated Manchester City 1-0 in the final. The former Dortmund boss had only arrived in January of the same year. He left the club in September 2022 and was replaced by Brighton boss Graham Potter.
New owners but the same ambition at Chelsea
In May 2022, Abramovich sold his stake in the club to a US consortium led by businessman Todd Boehly. The Blues’ new owners have continued to back the club financially, spending big in the 2022 summer transfer window.
The club’s new owners have shown signs that they will maintain the ambition shown under the previous regime. It would not be a major surprise to see Chelsea once again becoming English champions for the seventh time in the near future.