Have Chelsea FC Ever Been Relegated?

The Blues are part of an elite group of clubs who have never been relegated from the Premier League. But what about before 1992?

Have Chelsea FC Ever Been Relegated?
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Have Chelsea FC ever been relegated from the Premier League?

The answer is no. The south west London side are part of a small and elite group of clubs who have never been relegated from the Premier League in its current format.

With the Premier League’s debut campaign having been the 1992-93 season, Chelsea FC, along with five other clubs, can proudly declare that they have competed in every single top-flight season since then and have never suffered the drop.

However, that’s not the whole story – and to say that Chelsea FC have never been relegated before is not correct.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Chelsea FC’s history in English football’s top divisions – in the Premier League and beyond – to see how they have fared over the years.

Chelsea FC – The Premier League Years

Chelsea FC were one of the founding members of the Premier League when the division was introduced in the 1992-93 season.

The Blues were joined in the Premier League by the 21 other founding members: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and Wimbledon.

Since then, the Blues have always remained in the Premier League, having not yet faced relegation.

That makes Chelsea FC part of an elite group of clubs who have never been relegated from the Premier League and who have played in every season since the division was founded in 1992. Those clubs are: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Everton, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

It should be noted though that technically speaking, Brighton and Hove Albion can also claim never to have been relegated from the Premier League, as they have been in the division since 2017-18. However, the Seagulls were not one of the founding members of the league.

Chelsea FC’s lowest finish in the Premier League (at the time of writing) came in the 1993-94 season, when the Blues finished in 14th place in the table with Glenn Hoddle as their player-manager.

More recently, the Blues finished as low as 10th in the table in the 2015-16 season. It was a tumultuous campaign for the Blues, who sacked Jose Mourinho in December of 2015 following a run of poor form, and brought in Guus Hiddink as their caretaker manager.

Of course, there have also been plenty of highs for Chelsea FC in the Premier League in recent years. The Blues have won the Premier League title five times, the first of which came under Mourinho in the 2004-05 campaign.

Jose Mourinho at his Chelsea FC unveiling in 2013

Jose Mourinho at his Chelsea FC unveiling in 2013 (Photo: The Sport Review)

Further top-flight title triumphs followed for the Stamford Bridge outfit in 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15 and 2016-17.

At the time of writing, Chelsea FC are third on the list of clubs to have won the most Premier League titles, with the Blues behind Manchester United (13) and Manchester City (6), and ahead of their London rivals Arsenal (3).

What About Before The Premier League Was Founded?

Despite having never been relegated from the Premier League since 1992, Chelsea FC have been relegated from English football’s top division before. Indeed, the Blues last suffered the drop just a few years before the Premier League was founded.

Chelsea FC were last relegated in the 1987-88 season – four years before the Premier League was founded – when they finished 18th in English first division table and then lost their relegation play-off tie with Middlesbrough.

In total, Chelsea FC have been relegated six times from English football’s First Division. The Blues were relegated in the following seasons: 1909–10, 1923–24, 1961–62, 1974–75, 1978–79 and most recently, 1987–1988.

They were last promoted to English football’s top division in the 1988-89 season, when they immediately bounced back from relegation the year before, winning the Second Division title to seal a return to the First Division. The Blues have competed in the top tier of English football since then.

Frank Lampard

Former Chelsea FC midfielder and manager Frank Lampard, pictured in 2020 (Photo: The Sport Review)

When Was Chelsea FC Formed?

Chelsea FC have a rich history in English football, with the club having been founded in March 1905.

In 1904, Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium in Fulham with the aim of turning it into a football ground. An offer to lease it to nearby Fulham Football Club was turned down, so Mears instead opted to found his own club to use the stadium.

Because the name of Fulham had already been taken by another club in the borough, it was decided that the club would be called Chelsea FC. Other proposed names such as Kensington FC, Stamford Bridge FC and London FC were also considered but were ultimately rejected.

Chelsea FC was officially founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub (now called The Butcher’s Hook), which is located opposite the present-day main entrance to Stamford Bridge. The Blues were then elected to the Football League Second Division in May 1905.

Chelsea FC Fans

(Photo: Mariusz Czajkowski / depositphotos.com)

Which Trophies Have Chelsea FC Won The Most?

Chelsea FC have won plenty of silverware over the years. We already know that they have won five Premier League titles – but what other major trophies have they collected?

The Blues won the English First Division title in the 1954-55 season, meaning that they have won six top-flight titles in England in total.

They have also won the FA Cup eight times – in 2017-18, 2011-12, 2009-10, 2008-09, 2006-07, 1999-00, 1996-97, 1969-70.

They have also won the Champions League twice – in 2011-12 and 2020-21, and have lifted the League Cup five times, most recently in the 2014-15 season.

Chelsea FC

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Wrapping Things Up – Conclusion

So, that brings us to the end our look at Chelsea FC’s history in English football. We’ve revealed that the Blues have never been relegated from the Premier League in its current format, but they did last suffer the drop in the 1987-88 season.

In total, Chelsea FC have been relegated six times from English football’s top division since the club was founded in March 1905.

We’ve also brought you some intriguing facts about how Chelsea Football Club came to be, and where they have been most successful in terms of silverware over the years.

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