Chelsea Football Club has grown immensely in the last two decades. The arrival of Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich as club owner in 2003 paved the way for spending and success aplenty, as the Blues became a force at home and abroad.
For much of the last two decades the club from south west London have been among the contenders at the top of the Premier League table. In fact, Chelsea has now won the Premier League five times in the current era, which is quite impressive considering they had won the English First Division just once before the rebranding of the competition in 1992.
2016/17 Last Premier League Title Win
The Blues’ most recent title triumph came in season 2016/17 under title specialist Antonio Conte. It was an excellent start for the former Juventus head coach, as he won the title in his first season in the Chelsea hot seat.
The title triumph earned the Italian the Manager of the Year award. He had the rare distinction of winning the Manager of the Month award in three straight months, from October until December.
Conte’s team didn’t just win the title, but they won the title with a record number of Premier League victories. However, a poor start to their league campaign prevented the Blues from breaking the record for the number of points in a top-flight campaign. Chelsea clinched the title with two games to go after a narrow 1-0 win at West Brom.
One of the key aspects of that season was an incredible 13-game winning run, which formed the basis of the title triumph. Despite the stellar campaign, Chelsea didn’t have the best attack or defence, as that honour fell to capital rivals Tottenham, who finished as runners-up. A goal difference of +52 was an excellent one for the champions despite coming second in the goals for and against metrics.
The Blues only scored one fewer league goal than Spurs, whose star striker Harry Kane had scored an impressive 29 goals to win the Golden Boot. Spanish international striker Diego Costa’s 20 league goals significantly contributed to the title victory. The season was his most production in a Chelsea shirt, as not only did he notch 20 goals, but Costa also produced seven assists in the English top flight.
Belgian forward Eden Hazard also enjoyed the joint most prolific campaign of his Premier League career, as he notched 16 goals. While the attacking pair sparkled, French midfielder N’Golo Kante’s outstanding performances on the pitch were also recognised, as he was awarded both the PFA Players Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year awards.
Kante was joined in the Premier League team of the season by defensive duo David Luiz, Gary Cahill, and Hazard.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’ form was also enough to earn him the Golden Glove award, as the Belgian international kept 16 clean sheets.
Frustration in the league since the title triumph
Since last winning the title, Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021 against compatriots Manchester City in a 1-0 final win, amongst other silverware. However, after their success in the Premier League earlier in the Abramovich era, expectations have been high for Chelsea in the league.
In recent years, the Blues have not quite lived up to what their fans would hope they would in the Premier League.
The Blues haven’t even got close to winning the Premier League since their last title, with their highest finishes coming when they finished in third place in seasons 2018/19 and 2021/22.
The lowest ebb of recent times was when the Blues finished in 12th position in the 2022/23 season, despite having spent big money to strengthen their squad in the summer and January windows. It was the first time since season 1995/96 that Chelsea had finished in the bottom half of the English top-flight table.
The team collected just 44 points, which meant they finished just ten points clear of the relegation zone and 27 points adrift of those all-important Champions League spots.
A changing of the guard at the Bridge
In May 2022, due to restrictions government restrictions, Roman Abramovich sold Chelsea Football Club to a consortium fronted by USA Businessman Todd Boehly. The deal reportedly cost an eye-watering £4.25bn. Boehly took on the responsibility of chairman, replacing compatriot Bruce Buck, who had held the role for nearly two decades.
The new owners haven’t been shy about investing in new players. It didn’t quite work out in their first season as guardians of the club.
However, the new owners have mostly invested in young players who could still improve in the future. Whether they are any closer to winning the Premier League title in the near future is doubtful, but only time will tell if the significant investment in younger players will pay off with a top-flight title in the long term.
Do you remember Chelsea’s last Premier League title triumph?