He might have had a point though. Drake was sacked in September after a 4–0 loss to Blackpool with Chelsea bottom of the league table. [123] Gradi was among the first to be targeted by a FA enquiry,[124] and, in connection with these allegations, Gradi was suspended by the FA on 11 December 2016. A curious reign by a manager who was clearly not one of Europe's coaching elite but who pushed an outstanding Manchester United side to the last day in the title race, no small feat considering the struggles for form they were having when he took over, and took Chelsea to the Champions League final for the first time in their history. [37], In the mid-1970s, Chelsea fans were "involved in... many incidents of violence, vandalism and general mayhem". [34] The result included a 13–0 home win over Jeunesse, the biggest winning scoreline in Chelsea's history. The club's appeal against a transfer ban levied by FIFA for breaching rules regarding the signing of foreign under-18 players was rejected on the 8 May 2019. In Ancelotti's first competitive match, Chelsea met Manchester United in the Community Shield. Winning the league completed a domestic double for the club, since Chelsea had already won the League Cup in February after a thrilling 3–2 win over Liverpool in the final at the Millennium Stadium. A year later, Chelsea Football & Athletic Company, heavily in debt and unable to pay its players, was acquired from the Mears family interests by businessman and one-time chairman of Oldham Athletic, Ken Bates, for the sum of £1, though for reasons which remain disputed, he did not buy SB Properties, the company which now owned the Stamford Bridge freehold. Reaction to the sacking of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard on Monday: CHELSEA OWNER ROMAN ABRAMOVICH "This was a very difficult decision for the Club, … There was pragmatism aplenty in Mourinho's sides but it would not be the default plan. However, they would be knocked in the FA Cup Fourth Round by Bradford City after they led an unexpected comeback at Stamford Bridge to win the game 2–4, and give Chelsea their first loss at home during the entire season.[105]. The 1999–2000 season saw inconsistency return to Chelsea's league form as the side struggled to juggle Premier League and Champions League commitments, ultimately finishing a disappointing fifth. You are welcome to Contact Me with corrections and additions. The project coincided with a world economic crisis and was hit by delays, a builders' strike and shortages of materials, all of which sent the cost escalating out of control, to the extent that the club's debts stood at £4 million by 1977. However, though the team occasionally clicked, such as in a 6–2 win over Manchester United and a 5–0 win over Sunderland, none of the trio had the desired impact. Chelsea did not concede 15 goals because they were defensive but because they had the best midfielders in the world in Claude Makelele, Lampard and eventually Essien shielding the best back four in the world with Petr Cech as an outstanding last line of defense. Racing Genk's 1–1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen meant that Chelsea topped Group E. On 12 December, Chelsea inflicted league leaders Manchester City's first league defeat of the season, coming from behind in a fiery encounter with goals from Raul Meireles and a late penalty by Frank Lampard to turn the deficit into a victory. In the same season, Chelsea reached the FA Cup Final, where they faced Premiership champions Manchester United, a team Chelsea had beaten 1–0 in both league games that season. 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