History

The 1990s

The modern Chelsea Football Club was created in this decade, starting with the crucial news that the owners of Stamford Bridge, Cabra Estates, had gone bust. An attritional war for control of the ground ended and its long-overdue regeneration as a temple of football could begin.

The big-name signings of Paul Elliott, Andy Townsend, Dennis Wise and co. only partially helped prepare the club for the revolutions that were about to happen when the top 22 clubs broke away from the Football League and European law handed footballers freedom of contract with the Bosman ruling.

Chelsea were founding members of the new Premier League in 1992/93 and have remained in the top flight ever since – the longest run in our history. That same year UEFA expanded its club competitions, making them far more lucrative.

FORMER MANAGERS

Bobby Campbell

photo of Manager: 1988-91 Manager: 1988-91

Ian Porterfield

photo of Manager: 1991-93 Manager: 1991-93

David Webb

photo of Manager: 1993 Manager: 1993

Glenn Hoddle

photo of Manager: 1993-96 Manager: 1993-96

Ruud Gullit

photo of Manager: 1996-98 Manager: 1996-98

Gianluca Vialli

photo of Manager: 1998-2000 Manager: 1998-2000

The Blues needed a football philosopher for this era of new possibilities and found it in Glenn Hoddle. In summer 1993 the graceful former England midfielder began implementing a root-and-branch revolution that would radically reshape everything from players’ diet to the training ground.

His most important change was in the mindset of the club and supporters and 1994 brought the first FA Cup final for 24 years, followed by a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup campaign.

Thus convinced, at a hotel meeting in May 1995 the board decided on a daring investment to lure star names back to the Bridge, playing attractive football, in front of big crowds watching European matches on a regular basis.

KEY PLAYERS

Gianfranco Zola

photo of Player: 1996-2003 Player: 1996-2003

Dennis Wise

photo of Player: 1990-2001 Player: 1990-2001

Roberto Di Matteo

photo of Player: 1996-2002 Player: 1996-2002

Frank Leboeuf

photo of Player: 1996-2001 Player: 1996-2001

The result was the stunning arrivals of Ruud Gullit, Mark Hughes, Gianluca Vialli, Frank Leboeuf, Gianfranco Zola, Marcel Desailly and others as the old Chelsea regained its glamour. Under Gullit, then Vialli, the Blues eradicated decades of underachievement by winning the FA Cup, League Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup.

The stellar continentals dominated the story lines – and on Boxing Day 1999 Vialli fielded the first all-overseas XI — yet homegrowns including Frank Sinclair and Eddie Newton and Brits such as Steve Clarke and Wise had been equally vital to each triumph. The success, though, would come at a price…

Spirit Of The Age
Earth becomes a global village with the arrival of the World Wide Web. (Whatever happened to Netscape Navigator? Must Google that… )

KEY MATCHES

CHELSEA 2 MIDDLESBROUGH 0
Three years after losing the 1994 FA Cup Final, Chelsea FC were back at Wembley attempting to win the club’s first major trophy in 26 years. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 4 LIVERPOOL 2
1997 saw another epic FA Cup victory against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. Unlike the previous two occasions though we went into the tie believing that we could win. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 1 STUTTGART 0
All the talk before the Cup Winners’ Cup Final against Stuttgart was whether talismanic striker Gianfranco Zola would recover from a severe groin strain in time to face the Germans. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 4 VIKOTIRA ZIZKOV 2 / VIKTORIA ZIZKOV 0 CHELSEA 0
Losing the FA Cup final in 1994 was hard to take but there was one consolation. Our conquerors in the final Manchester United has also won the league which meant we were eligible to take part in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, our first foray into Europe since 1971. READ MORE>>

BARNSLEY 0 CHELSEA 6
Chelsea’s biggest ever away win in the top flight was also a moment of personal triumph for one of the most popular players of the day. READ MORE>>

TOTTENHAM 1 CHELSEA 6
There was little at stake other than three league points and the protection of an unbeaten record against Tottenham that stretched back over seven years when we travelled to White Hart Lane in December 1997. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 2 MIDDLESBROUGH 0
Having finally ended a 27-year wait for a major trophy the team had the confidence and belief that they go on to win more. So possibly it was not much of a surprise that the wait this time was one of just ten months. READ MORE>>

VICENZA 1 CHELSEA 0 / CHELSEA 3 VICENZA 1
Chelsea were always the favourites to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1997-1998 a position that was only strengthened when Real Betis were beaten in the quarter-finals. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 0 MILAN 0 / MILAN 1 CHELSEA 1
44 years after first qualifying for the European Cup, we were finally due to play our opening game in the competition. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 5 MANCHESTER UNITED 0
Our biggest ever win against Manchester United was made a little more special by the fact that they were European champions at the time. READ MORE>>

CHELSEA 1 ASTON VILLA 0
After the excitement of three years previously, the 2000 FA Cup Final proved to be a tepid affair. READ MORE>>

1990s Matchday Programme Cover

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