Middlesbrough Football Club is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They are competing in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889, they played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995. They were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and became one of the first clubs to be relegated from it following the 1992–93 season; the club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by board member and chairman Steve Gibson. The club's main rivals are Newcastle United. There is a rivalry with fellow Yorkshire club Leeds United. Middlesbrough won the League Cup in the club's first and only major trophy, they were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. The club's highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season and they have only spent two seasons outside the Football League's top two divisions.
The League Cup win and the UEFA Cup run was part of an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League, before a relegation in 2009. Although the club returned in 2016, instant relegation followed; the club's traditional kit is red with white detailing. The various crests throughout the club's history, the most recent of, adopted in 2007, incorporate a lion rampant, they won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898. The club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892, they turned professional permanently in 1899. After three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years. In 1903, the club moved to their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, a record fee. Over the next few years, their form fluctuated rising to sixth in 1907–08 before dropping to 17th two seasons later; the club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, in 1913–14. World War I soon intervened and football was suspended.
Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League, but the team were unable to maintain their previous form and finished the 1919–20 season in mid-table. They remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, 10 points adrift of their nearest rivals. Three seasons they won the Division Two title. During that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks, he would continue as top scorer for each of the next 10 seasons. Their tenure back in the top flight lasted only one season, the club were relegated, they were promoted at the first attempt in 1928–29, winning another Second Division title. The club remained in the First Division until 1954; the decade before the war saw the emergence of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick, both of whom would go on to become England internationals in the years ahead.
Middlesbrough climbed to fourth in the last full season before World War II and were expected to challenge for the title next season, but the war intervened. After the war, the club was unable to recover the form of the previous seasons and hovered around mid-table and exited in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Soon afterwards, the team began to falter suffering relegation in 1953–54; this was the start of a 20-year spell outside the top division, but saw the emergence of one of the club's top goalscorers, Brian Clough, who scored 204 goals in 222 games, before he left for Sunderland. Over that period, Middlesbrough maintained reasonable progress in the Second Division but were never serious contenders for promotion. After a fourth-place finish in 1962–63, the club endured a steady decline and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history in 1966. New manager Stan Anderson returned the club to the second flight at the first attempt. Middlesbrough would not finish below ninth during the next eight seasons.
By 1974, Jack Charlton had guided the team back to the top flight. They ensured promotion as early as 23 March, with eight games of the season left, they became runaway champions, finishing with a record 65 points. Middlesbrough won their first silverware as a professional side in the 1975–76 season, lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup in its inaugural season after a two-legged final win over Fulham; the club experienced severe financial difficulties during the mid-1980s. Middlesbrough were dropping down the table, finished 19th in the 1984–85 season. In April 1986, the club had to borrow £30,000 from the Professional Footballers' Association to pay wages; the final game of the season saw Middlesbrough relegated to the Third Division again. That summer, the club called in the Provisional Liquidator and shortly afterwards, the club was wound up and the gates to Ayresome Park were padlocked. Without the £350,000 capital required for Football League registration, a new rule, it seemed inevitable that the club would fold permanently.
Steve Gibson, however, a member of the board at the time, brought together a consortium, with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline they completed their registration with the Football League for the 1986–87 season. Following the registration came both a change of club crest and a change of the official company name to Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Club Ltd. Over the next two seasons, Middlesbrough gained successive promotions into Division Two and into Division One; the nex
Xavier Gravelaine is a French football manager and former football player, who played for many clubs in France and Europe and for France national team. He was sometimes seen as a mercenary because of the impressive number of teams he played for but appreciated by supporters. In his spell in England, for Watford, he is remembered by the fans for scoring a brace in a 3–2 win over Southampton in December 1999. After his retirement, he became a coach at FC Istres, but did not manage to save the team from relegation, he was a consultant on France Télévisions from 2004 to 2012, on Eurosport in 2013–2014. In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Director of Stade Malherbe Caen. http://www.fff.fr/servfff/historique/historique.php?cherche_joueur=GRAVELAINE&submit=go http://racingstub.com/page.php?page=joueur&id=146
Bradford City A.F.C.
Bradford City Association Football Club is a professional football club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Gary Bowyer is the club's manager, appointed on 4 March 2019; the club was founded in 1903 and elected into the Football League Second Division. Promotion to the top tier followed in 1908 and the club won the FA Cup in 1911, its only major honour. After relegation in 1922 from Division One, the club spent 77 years outside the top flight until promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Relegation followed in 2000–01 and since a series of financial crises have pushed the club to the brink of closure and resulted in two more relegations to League Two. In the 2012–13 season, they became the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final, losing 5–0 to Swansea City. In the same season, they returned to Wembley for the playoff final and won promotion to League One with a 3–0 win over Northampton Town; the club's colours are claret and amber and they play home games at Valley Parade.
The ground was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985 which took the lives of 56 supporters. Bradford City were formed in 1903 as a result of a series of meetings called by James Whyte, a sub-editor of the Bradford Observer, with Football Association representatives and officials at Manningham F. C. a rugby league side. The Football League saw the invitation as a chance to promote association football in the rugby league-dominated county of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it duly elected the new club in place of Doncaster Rovers. Four days at the 23rd annual meeting of Manningham FC, the committee decided to change code from rugby league to association football. Bradford City Association Football Club were formed without having played a game, taking over Manningham's colours of claret and amber, their Valley Parade ground. Robert Campbell was appointed the club's first manager and with the help of the new committee, he assembled a playing squad at the cost of £917 10s 0d. City's first game was a 2–0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 1 September 1903, six days before their first home game attracted 11,000 fans.
The club finished 10th in their first season. Peter O'Rourke took over as manager in November 1905, he led City to the Division Two title in 1907–08 and with it promotion to the Division One. Having narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight, City recorded their highest finish of 5th in 1910–11; the same season they won the FA Cup, when a goal from captain Jimmy Speirs won the final replay against Newcastle United. City's defence of the cup, which included the first Bradford derby against Bradford Park Avenue, was stopped by Barnsley after a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War and for three seasons afterwards, but were relegated in 1921–22 along with Manchester United. Back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table, they suffered a second relegation to Division Three in 1926–27. Two seasons O'Rourke, who had retired in 1921 following the death of his son and guided City to promotion with a record haul of 128 goals.
O'Rourke left for a second time after one more season, although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two, they looked like earning promotion back to the top flight. Instead in 1936–37, the club were relegated back to Division Three. City won their third piece of silverware two seasons when they lifted the Third Division North Challenge Cup, but they were unable to defend the trophy because competitive football was suspended for the Second World War. After the war, City went through two managers in the first two seasons, were in the bottom half of the Division Three table until 1955–56. After three successive top half finishes, City were placed in the new Division Three in 1958–59. Bradford spent just three seasons in Division Three, but during their relegation season in 1960–61, they upset Division One side Manchester United in the inaugural season of the League Cup. With 34 goals from David Layne, City nearly earned an instant promotion the following season 1961–62, but it did include a record 9–1 defeat to Colchester United.
Layne left for Sheffield Wednesday, without him City finished second from bottom of the league and had to apply for re-election. Bradford City just failed to win promotion in 1963–64, winning more games than any other team in the division that season, twenty five, with Rodney Green top scoring with 29 league goals. There followed three difficult seasons during which time manager Grenville Hair died following a heart attack in training, City returned to Division Three getting promoted in 1968–69. City's stay in Division Three lasted just three years, when they finished bottom in 1971–72. Promotion via fourth spot was won again in 1976–77 but it was followed by a relegation season. City failed to win promotion for three successive seasons, until the board appointed former England centre back Roy McFarland as manager in May 1981. McFarland won promotion in his first season, but was poached by his former club Derby County just six months later. City won compensation from Derby and installed another England international Trevor Cherry as McFarland's replacement.
Cherry, with former teammate Terry Yorath as his assistant manager, failed to win for two months, but the pair guided City to safety from relegation. During the summer, the club chairman Bob Martin had to call in the official receivers; the club was saved by former chairman Stafford Heginbotham and former board member Jack Tordoff
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Newcastle United was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, has played at its current home ground, St James' Park since; the ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and has a capacity of 52,354. The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but three years of the competition's history, spending 85 seasons in the top tier as of May 2016, has never dropped below English football's second tier since joining the Football League in 1893, they have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club; the club's most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles.
The club were successful in the Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s without winning any trophies, but have been struggling since the 2006–07 season, were relegated in 2009 and 2016. They returned to the Premier League for the 2017–18 season after winning the Championship title the preceding year. Newcastle has a fierce local rivalry with Sunderland, the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898; the club's traditional kit colours are black shorts and black socks. Their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms. Prior to each home game the team enters the field to "Local Hero", written by Newcastle native Mark Knopfler, while "Blaydon Races" is invariably sung during games; the club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long term chairman and owner Sir John Hall. The club is the 17th-highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169.3 million in 2015. Newcastle's highest placing was in 1999, when they were the fifth-highest revenue producing football club in the world, second in England only behind Manchester United.
The first record of football being played on Tyneside dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club. That year, Newcastle's first football club, Tyne Association, was formed; the origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a football club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881. This team was renamed Newcastle East End F. C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the cricket club in Stanley, County Durham. Rosewood F. C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later. In 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F. C. formed from West End Cricket Club, in May 1886, the club moved into St James' Park. The two clubs became rivals in the Northern League. In 1889, Newcastle East End became a professional team, before becoming a limited company the following March. However, on the other hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble and approached East End with a view to a take over.
Newcastle West End were dissolved, a number of their players and backroom staff joined Newcastle East End merging the two clubs, with Newcastle East End taking over the lease on St James' Park in May 1892. With only one senior club in the city for fans to support, development of the club was much more rapid. Despite being refused entry to the Football League's First Division at the start of the 1892–93 season, they were invited to play in their new Second Division. However, with no big names playing in the Second Division, they turned down the offer and remained in the Northern League, stating "gates would not meet the heavy expenses incurred for travelling". In a bid to start drawing larger crowds, Newcastle East End decided to adopt a new name in recognition of the merger. Suggested names included Newcastle F. C. Newcastle Rangers, Newcastle City and City of Newcastle, but Newcastle United was decided upon on 9 December 1892, to signify the unification of the two teams; the name change was accepted by the Football Association on 22 December, but the club was not constituted as Newcastle United Football Club Co. Ltd. until 6 September 1895.
At the start of the 1893–94 season, Newcastle United were once again refused entry to the First Division and so joined the Second Division, along with Liverpool and Woolwich Arsenal. They played their first competitive match in the division that September against Woolwich Arsenal, with a score of 2–2. Turnstile numbers were still low, the incensed club published a statement stating, "The Newcastle public do not deserve to be catered for as far as professional football is concerned"; however figures picked up by 1895–96, when 14,000 fans watched the team play Bury. That season Frank Watt became secretary of the club, he was instrumental in promotion to the First Division for the 1898–99 season. However, they lost their first game 4–2 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers and finished their first season in thirteenth place. In 1903–04, the club built up a promising squad of players, went on to dominate English football for a decade, the team known for their "artistic play, combining team-work and quick, short passing".
Long after his retirement, Peter McWilliam, the team's defender at the time, said, "The Newcastle team of the 1900s would give any modern side a two goal start and beat them, further more, beat them at a trot." Newcastle United went on to win the League on three occasions during the 1900s. In 1904 -- 05, they nearly did the double. The
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1898 by the amalgamation of West Herts and Watford St. Mary's. After finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920; the club played at several grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where it remains. Watford spent most of the following half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours and crest on multiple occasions. England manager Graham Taylor's tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights. Between Taylor's appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division; the team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, reached the 1984 FA Cup Final.
Watford experienced a decade of decline between 1987 and 1997, before Taylor returned as full-time manager, leading the team to successive promotions from the renamed Second Division to the Premier League for one season in 1999–2000. The club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyd's management. Watford secured promotion in 2014–15, have competed in the Premier League since the 2015–16 season finishing 13th, 17th and 14th respectively. Watford is owned by the Pozzo family, which owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and Granada CF in Spain. Sir Elton John, who owned Watford during both of Graham Taylor's successful periods as manager, served alongside Taylor as the club's joint Honorary Life President until 2008, only to resume the role he shared alongside Graham Taylor until Taylor's death. Watford Football Club was formed on 15 April 1898 by the amalgamation of two strong local clubs, West Herts and Watford St Mary's.
The Watford Observer of 7 May 1898 reported - When three-parts of the season was gone, there were whispers of the advantages of amalgamation of the two clubs. That the principle was right few disputed, the question narrowed itself down to a few minor difficulties, it was ascertained that the executive on both sides regarded the suggestion favourably, joint meetings of the officials were arranged. The proposals took a definite shape, soon amalgamation was a thing accomplished, it was decided, that each club should finish off its fixtures. Next season the Watford club will play on the Cassio-Road ground, one of the chief ideas of the amalgamation is to have a second team of sufficient strength to be an attraction while the first string is engaged elsewhere; the details of the amalgamation scheme we have given in these columns. Speaking the local football season which has just closed has been a most important one, it has witnessed two steps which have marked fresh epochs - the adoption of professionalism and the amalgamation of West Herts and Watford St. Mary's.
The amalgamation was approved by the full F. A. committee on 27 May 1898 as reported by the Lichfield Mercury of 28 May 1898 "permission was given to Watford St. Mary's and West Herts to take the name of Watford Football Club, the two clubs having amalgamated." West Herts were known as Watford Rovers who were formed in 1881 by Henry Grover, who went on to play for the club as a full back. Rovers composed of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford; the team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, in 1889 Watford won the County Cup for the first time. The team became the football section of "West Hertfordshire Club and Ground" in 1891, moved to a ground on Cassio Road; as "West Herts" they joined the Southern Football League in 1896. West Herts fortunes slumped at the start of the 1897/98 season and attendances were less than 200, they took the bold step of turning their fortunes revived. Watford St. Mary's were runners up in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup of 1894/95 and attracted crowds of 400 to 500 when West Herts were at home.
The two clubs talked of an amalgamation, which occurred on 15 April 1898. This was reported by the Watford Observer of 7 May 1898, it was agreed. The new club was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and First Division top scorer John Goodall, he led Watford to promotion, kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, Harry Kent. Watford held the title for five years following the suspension of the Southern League during the First World War – after finishing the 1919–20 season runners-up on goal average, the club resigned from the Southern League to join the new Football League Third Division. From 1921–22, the third tier of The Football League consisted of two parallel sections of 22 clubs, fighting both for promotion to the Second Division and battling to hold on to their league status.
There was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six league positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. Following Kent's departure in 1926, they finished 21st out of 22 clubs in 1926–27, but were unanimously re-elected to the league after a ballot of clubs in the top two divisions of The Football
The EFL Cup known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. Organised by the English Football League, it is open to any club within the top four levels of the English football league system – 92 clubs in total – comprising the top level Premier League, the three divisions of the English Football League's own league competition. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top-tier domestic football competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup, it concludes in February, long before the other two. It was introduced by the league as a response to the increasing popularity of European football, to exert power over the FA, it took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games. With the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup for the 2016–17 season.
The tournament is played with single leg ties throughout, except the semi-finals. The final is held at Wembley Stadium. Entrants are seeded in the early rounds, a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in rounds, to defer the entry of teams still involved in Europe. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one being the original. Winners qualify for European football, receiving a place in the UEFA Europa League; the current holders are Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 4–3 on penalties in the 2019 final to win their sixth League Cup. Although the League Cup is one of the four domestic trophies attainable by English league teams, it is perceived as being of lower prestige than the league championship or the FA Cup. League Cup winners receive £100,000 prize money with the runners-up receiving £50,000, considered insignificant to top-flight teams, compared to the £2 million prize money of the FA Cup, in turn eclipsed by the Premier League's television money and consequent participation in the Champions League.
Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition, making the opportunity for giant-killing of the larger clubs more likely. Many teams in the Premier League and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wenger's claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as "a pot worth winning"; the original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs, knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous. Hardaker proposed the competition as a way for the clubs to make up on lost revenue, due to a reduction in matches played, for when the league was to be re-organised; the re-organisation of the league was not forthcoming. The trophy was paid for by Football League President Joe Richards, proud of the competition and he had his own name engraved on it. Richards described the competition's formation as an'interim step' on the way to the league's re-organisation.
Richards' priority was the re-organisation of the leagues. Hardaker felt that the Football League needed to adapt to the times, as the English game was losing prestige, he felt that the Football League should take the lead in revitalising football in the nation: "It must be obvious to all of you that the time has come to do something, it is up to the Football League to give the lead. I hope the Press will not assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else... the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game."The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling. The league had lost one million spectators compared to the previous season, it was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high. The biggest disagreement was about. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights.
This opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter. The League Cup was introduced in the 1960–61 season as a mid-week floodlit tournament, to replace the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup; the League Cup was criticised by the better-endowed clubs. The Times' correspondent at the time felt; the Times published on 30 May 1960: "Where a drastic reduction is required in an attempt to raise quality, no doubt quantity and a further spread of mediocrity
Chelsea Football Club is a professional football club in Chelsea, England, that competes in the Premier League, the highest tier of English football. The club has won six top division titles, eight FA Cups, five League Cups, four FA Community Shields, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Super Cup. Founded in 1905, the club's home ground since has been Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won its only First Division title in 1955, but saw limited success in various cup competitions until 2003, when the club was purchased by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Chelsea saw heavy investment, have since won 18 honours under Abramovich, second in that time only to Manchester United. José Mourinho is the club's most successful manager in terms of the number of major honours won, his title-winning team set an English record for points between 2004 and 2005. Chelsea have traditionally wore a royal blue kit with white socks, the club's crest features a ceremonial lion rampant regardant holding a staff.
The club have rivalries with neighbouring clubs Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur. In terms of club value, Chelsea are the seventh most valuable football club in the world, worth £1.54 billion, are the eighth highest-earning football club in the world, with earnings of over €428 million in the 2017–18 season. Based on attendance figures, the club have the sixth-largest fanbase in England. In 1904, Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the aim of turning it into a football ground. An offer to lease it to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Mears opted to found his own club to use the stadium; as there was a team named Fulham in the borough, the name of the adjacent borough of Chelsea was chosen for the new club. Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub, opposite the present-day main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road, were elected to the Football League shortly afterwards; the club won promotion to the First Division in their second season, yo-yoed between the First and Second Divisions in their early years.
They reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, finished third in the First Division in 1920, the club's best league campaign to that point. Chelsea attracted large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, but success continued to elude the club in the inter-war years. Former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club, he removed the club's Chelsea pensioner crest, improved the youth set-up and training regime, rebuilt the side with shrewd signings from the lower divisions and amateur leagues, led Chelsea to their first major trophy success – the League championship – in 1954–55. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions' Cup, but after objections from The Football League and the FA, Chelsea were persuaded to withdraw from the competition before it started. Chelsea failed to build on this success, spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Drake was replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty.
Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the club's youth set-up and Chelsea challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, enduring several near-misses. They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the final stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup but faltering late on in the other two. In three seasons the side were FA Cup runners-up. Under Docherty's successor, Dave Sexton, Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph, the following year, with another replayed win, this time over Real Madrid in Athens; the late 1970s through to the'80s was a turbulent period for Chelsea. An ambitious redevelopment of Stamford Bridge threatened the financial stability of the club, star players were sold and the team were relegated. Further problems were caused by a notorious hooligan element among the support, to plague the club throughout the decade.
In 1982, Chelsea were, at the nadir of their fortunes, acquired by Ken Bates for the nominal sum of £1, although by now the Stamford Bridge freehold had been sold to property developers, meaning the club faced losing their home. On the pitch, the team had fared little better, coming close to relegation to the Third Division for the first time, but in 1983 manager John Neal put together an impressive new team for minimal outlay. Chelsea won the Second Division title in 1983–84 and established themselves in the top division, before being relegated again in 1988; the club bounced back by winning the Second Division championship in 1988–89. After a long-running legal battle, Bates reunited the stadium freehold with the club in 1992 by doing a deal with the banks of the property developers, bankrupted by a market crash. Chelsea's form in the new Premier League was unconvincing, although they did reach the 1994 FA Cup Final with Glenn Hoddle, it was not until the appointment of Ruud Gullit as player-manager in 1996 that their fortunes changed.
He added several top international players to the side, as the club won the FA Cup in 1997 and established themselves as one of England's top sides again. Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, who led the team to victory in the League Cup Final, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final and the UEFA Super Cup in 1998, the FA Cup in 2000 and their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. Vialli was sacked in favour of Claudio Ranieri, who guided Chelse