Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, London, that competes in the Premier League. Founded in 1905, the home ground since then has been Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship and they then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The clubs greatest period of success has come during the last two decades, winning 21 trophies since 1997. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League, and one of four clubs, Chelseas regular kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The clubs crest has changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club. The current crest, featuring a lion rampant regardant holding a staff, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s. The club have the sixth-highest average all-time attendance in English football and their average home gate for the 2015–16 season was 41,500, the seventh highest in the Premier League. Since 2003, Chelsea have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, in 2016, they were ranked by Forbes magazine as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, at £1.15 billion. 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. Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub, opposite the main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road. The club won promotion to the First Division in their second season and they reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and finished third in the First Division in 1920, the clubs best league campaign to that point. Chelsea attracted large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions Cup, but after objections from The Football League, Chelsea failed to build on this success, and spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Drake was dismissed in 1961 and replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty, Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the clubs 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 stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup. In three seasons the side were beaten in three major semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up, under Dochertys 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 year, with another replayed win
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is a football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Marks, they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887, the club moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won five major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, by 2014–15, Manchester City had the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €463.5 million. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated they were the sixth most valuable football club. City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899, with it promotion to the highest level in English football. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, in the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, after relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer, in the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Further trophies followed, City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy, the club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, the final trophy of the clubs most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2–1 in the League Cup final. A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s, Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone, under John Bond, City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were relegated from the top flight in the 1980s. However, this was only a respite, and following Reids departure Manchester Citys fortunes continued to fade. City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, after two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their countrys third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline, under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham
Villa Park is a football stadium in Aston, Birmingham, England, with a seating capacity of 42,682. It has been the home of Aston Villa Football Club since 1897, the ground is less than a mile from both Witton and Aston railway stations and has hosted sixteen England internationals at senior level, the first in 1899 and the most recent in 2005. It was the first English ground to stage international football in three different centuries, Villa Park has hosted more FA Cup semi-finals than any other stadium, having hosted 55 matches in total. In 1897, Aston Villa moved into the Aston Lower Grounds, a ground in a Victorian amusement park in the former grounds of Aston Hall. The stadium has gone through stages of renovation and development, resulting in the current stand configuration of the Holte End, Trinity Road Stand, North Stand. The club has planning permission to redevelop the North Stand. Before 1914, a track ran around the perimeter of the pitch where regular cycling meetings were hosted as well as athletic events. Aside from football-related uses, the stadium has seen various concerts staged along with sporting events including boxing matches and international rugby league. In 1999, the last ever final of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup took place at Villa Park, Villa Park also hosted the 2012 FA Community Shield, as Wembley Stadium was unavailable due to it staging the final of the Olympic football tournament. The Aston Lower Grounds, later renamed Villa Park, was not the first home of Aston Villa F. C and their previous venue, Wellington Road faced increasing problems including an uneven pitch, poor spectator facilities, a lack of access and exorbitant rents. As a result, in 1894, Villas committee began negotiations with the owners of the Aston Lower Grounds, situated in the former grounds of Aston Hall, a Jacobean stately home, the Lower Grounds had seen varied uses over the years. The current pitch stands on the site of the Dovehouse Pool, the committee immediately engaged an architect who began preparing plans for the site, which included construction of a new 440 yards cement cycle track to replace the existing cinder one. The main stand was to be built to the east on the Witton Lane side, with the track, construction of the final phase of the stadium began in the winter of 1896 following negotiations with contractors over the price. Several months behind schedule, the stadium finally opened on 17 April 1897. The process of fixing issues with the work would continue for a number of months thereafter. As built, the stadium could house 40,000 spectators, the first match at the ground, a friendly against Blackburn Rovers, took place on 17 April 1897, one week after Aston Villa had completed the League and FA Cup Double. After winning the championship in 1899, Villas record-breaking average crowd of 21,000 allowed the club to invest in a two-stage ground improvement programme. In 1911, Villa bought the freehold of the ground for £8,250, the buildings in the old aquarium and car park area for £1,500
Birmingham is a major city and metropolitan borough of West Midlands, England lying on the River Rea, a small river that runs through Birmingham. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London, the city is in the West Midlands Built-up Area, the third most populous urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,440,986 at the 2011 census. Birminghams metropolitan area is the second most populous in the UK with a population of 3.8 million and this also makes Birmingham the 8th most populous metropolitan area in Europe. By 1791 it was being hailed as the first manufacturing town in the world, perhaps the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive demolition. Today Birminghams economy is dominated by the service sector and its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121. 1bn, and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, Birminghams sporting heritage can be felt worldwide, with the concept of the Football League and lawn tennis both originating from the city. Its most successful football club Aston Villa has won seven league titles, people from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the citys nickname of Brum. This originates from the citys name, Brummagem, which may in turn have been derived from one of the citys earlier names. There is a distinctive Brummie accent and dialect, Birminghams early history is that of a remote and marginal area. The main centres of population, power and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon. The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era, within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years, by 1700 Birminghams population had increased fifteenfold and the town was the fifth-largest in England and Wales. The importance of the manufacture of goods to Birminghams economy was recognised as early as 1538. Equally significant was the emerging role as a centre for the iron merchants who organised finance, supplied raw materials. The 18th century saw this tradition of free-thinking and collaboration blossom into the phenomenon now known as the Midlands Enlightenment
McDonalds is an American hamburger and fast food restaurant chain. It was founded in 1940 as a restaurant operated by Richard. In 1948, they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand, the first McDonalds franchise using the arches logo opened in Phoenix, Arizona in 1953. Businessman Ray Kroc joined the company as an agent in 1955. Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, McDonalds confirmed plans to move its headquarters to Chicago by early 2018. Today, McDonalds is one of the worlds largest restaurant chains, McDonalds primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken products, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, milkshakes, wraps, and desserts. In response to changing tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fish, wraps, smoothies. A McDonalds restaurant is operated by either a franchisee, an affiliate, the McDonalds Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to a BBC report published in 2012, McDonalds is the second largest private employer,1.5 million of whom work for franchises. The business began in 1940, with a restaurant opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, the first McDonalds with the arches opened in Phoenix, Arizona in March 1953. The original mascot of McDonalds was a man with a hat on top of a hamburger-shaped head whose name was Speedee. In 1962, the Golden Arches replaced Speedee as the company symbol, a new mascot, Ronald McDonald was introduced in 1965. The clown-like man having puffed out costume legs served advertising aimed at children. On May 4,1961, McDonalds first filed for a U. S. trademark on the name McDonalds with the description Drive-In Restaurant Services, on September 13,1961, the company filed for a trademark on a new logo—an overlapping, double-arched M symbol. By September 6,1962, this M-symbol was temporarily disfavored, although the Golden Arches logo appeared in various forms, the present version as a letter M did not appear until November 18,1968, when the company applied for a U. S. trademark. Kroc later purchased the McDonald brothers equity in the company and led its expansion. Kroc was also noted for aggressive business practices, compelling the McDonald brothers to leave the fast-food industry, Kroc and the McDonald brothers feuded over control of the business, as documented in Krocs autobiography. The San Bernardino restaurant was demolished in 1976 and the site was sold to the Juan Pollo restaurant chain and this area now serves as headquarters for the Juan Pollo chain, as well as a McDonalds and Route 66 museum
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
2012 FA Cup Final
The 2012 FA Cup Final was a football match between Chelsea and Liverpool on 5 May 2012. It was the match of the 2011–12 FA Cup, the 131st season of the worlds oldest football knockout competition. Chelsea were participating in their final, they had previously won six. Liverpool were appearing in their final, they had won seven times. Scheduled to provide a clear four-week period between the end of the English season and the start of UEFA Euro 2012, the date of the final clashed with Premier League fixtures. To avoid having the final played at the time as league games. As both teams were in the highest tier of English football, the Premier League, they entered the competition in the Third Round, matches up to the semi-final were contested on a one-off basis, with a replay taking place if the match ended in a draw. Chelseas matches ranged from comfortable victories to close affairs and they beat Tottenham Hotspur 5–1 in the semi-final, while they beat Queens Park Rangers 1–0 in the Fourth Round. Liverpools matches were similar, with three ending in a 2–1 scoreline, while the two against Oldham Athletic and Brighton & Hove Albion were won by at least four goals. Watched by a crowd of 89,102, Ramires put Chelsea in front in the 11th minute after he disposed Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing and they extended their lead in the 52nd minute when striker Didier Drogba scored. Liverpool substitute Andy Carroll scored in the 64th minute to reduce the deficit to one goal, Carroll thought he had scored a second in the 81st minute, but his header was saved on the line by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech. Carroll ran off celebrating, as he thought the ball had crossed, as a Premier League team, Chelsea entered the competition in the Third Round, where they were drawn at home to Portsmouth. After a goalless first half Juan Mata struck early in the second, Chelsea then travelled to face local rivals Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in the Fourth Round, where a controversial Mata penalty was enough to see them through. Chelsea were drawn to play at home against Birmingham City in the Fifth Round, daniel Sturridge scored in the second half to force a replay, which was played on 6 March at Birmingham, just two days after André Villas-Boas was relieved of his duties as Chelsea manager. In the Sixth Round, Chelsea overcame Leicester City at home in a 5–2 thriller, gary Cahill scored his first FA Cup goal for Chelsea from a corner in the 12th minute, with Salomon Kalou following up five minutes later. In the second half, Fernando Torres ended a drought of over 25 hours to score, before Jermaine Beckford gave Leicester a late lifeline. In the semi-final, Chelsea faced local rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, the first half was even, with both sides enjoying long spells of possession, until Didier Drogba put Chelsea ahead just before the break. Chelsea scored at the start of the second half, however, Juan Matas goal that did not appear to cross the line, but referee Martin Atkinson awarded the goal
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Maine Road was a football stadium in Moss Side, Manchester, England, that was home to Manchester City F. C. from 1923 to 2003. It hosted FA Cup semi-finals, Charity Shield matches, a League Cup final and England matches and, because of its high capacity, gained the nickname Wembley of the North. The following season Manchester City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in East Manchester, two sites in Belle Vue, East Manchester were suggested, but neither was deemed sufficient. To many City fans east Manchester was regarded as Citys home, but the site was just 8 acres and an available lease of 50 years was deemed too short by the club, so it was decided that City would move to Moss Side. The move to a stadium at Maine Road was backed by then manager Ernest Mangnall. Many were disappointed when a site in south Manchester was chosen, a City director, John Ayrton, resigned from the Board later in the decade and helped to form a breakaway club, Manchester Central F. C. which played at Belle Vue. A sixteen and a quarter acre former brickworks on Maine Road was purchased for £5,500, during construction, the stadium was reputedly cursed by a gypsy when officials evicted a gypsy camp from the area. This curse was allegedly removed on 28 December 1998, however, the gypsy curse is likely to be an urban myth, as such stories are endemic to a number of football league grounds. Construction took 300 days, the total cost £100,000, the initial layout of the ground consisted of one covered stand with a seating capacity of 10,000, and uncovered terracing on the other three sides, with gentle curves connecting the corners. The first match at Maine Road took place on 25 August 1923 when 58,159 fans watched the home side beat Sheffield United 2–1. The first changes to the ground took place in 1931, when the corner between the Main Stand and the Platt Lane end at the south of the ground was rebuilt to incorporate a roof. This renovation was the first of many, as Maine Roads layout, in 1934, the second highest attendance at an English football game at a club ground was recorded at Maine Road. The first was the 1913 FA Cup Final, hosted by Crystal Palace with a crowd of 121,919, the Maine Road match was between Manchester City and Stoke City in front of 84,569 fans in the 6th round of the FA Cup on 3 March 1934. Queues formed four hours before the match, and one journalist stated that Maine Road was packed two hours before kick-off, a decision was taken to close the turnstiles with an attendance at approximately 85,000,3000 short of what was thought to be the maximum capacity. Supporters witnessed a visiting Stoke team which included Stanley Matthews and Citys team boasted players, Frank Swift, Fred Tilson, Sam Cowan, the match was won 1–0 by Manchester City. This is the home attendance for a domestic match and the record home attendance at a club ground. Changes at the Platt Lane end took place in 1935, extending the terracing and providing a roof for the full stand and this marked the peak capacity of the ground, estimated at around 88,000. Further changes were planned, but suspended when Manchester City were relegated from Division One in 1938, the stadium was shared by Manchester United after the Second World War as Manchester Uniteds Old Trafford ground had been damaged during the Manchester Blitz