Latest news:

A Decade Of Turmoil, 1974-85

By Gary Watton
March 12 2014

The club now endured a merry-go-round of managers, namely Ron Suart, ex-player Eddie McCreadie, ex-player Ken Shellito, Northern Ireland legend Danny Blanchflower, England legend Geoff Hurst, and John Neal. Only Mr Neal took Chelsea back to a position of strength. For the others, dwindling resources meant trying to keep the team afloat and fending off the running sore of inconsistency.

1974-75: Chelsea finished 21st and were relegated. By the end of November the team had won only three of their first nineteen league matches.

Best result: Arsenal 1 CHELSEA 2 (A pair of goals from Chris Garland helped Chelsea to a 2-0 interval lead. Alan Ball reduced the deficit with a penalty.)

Horrible result: Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 CHELSEA 1 (Bill Garner's goal cut the Wolves lead to 2-1, but then John Phillips conceded five further goals.) 


1975-76: Chelsea finished eleventh in Division Two. The team won only three of their first fifteen fixtures and failed to win any of their last nine outings.

Best result: Plymouth Argyle 0 CHELSEA 3 (Garry Stanley, Ian Britton, and Kenny Swain were the goalscoring heroes for this new look Chelsea squad.)

Horrible result: CHELSEA 0 Oldham Athletic 3 (Young scored in each half as Eddie McCreadie's young team were struggling to stay in the second division.)


1976-77: Chelsea finished second and were promoted. They were unbeaten at home in the league while Finnieston scored 24 goals in 39 league matches.

Best result: CHELSEA 5 Hereford United 1 (The home team cruised to a three-nil lead at the interval. Finnieston soon added a fourth in this easy stroll.)

Horrible result: Charlton Athletic 4 CHELSEA 0 (A treble from Flanagan contributed to this surprise result as Chelsea staggered towards the finishing line.)


1977-78: Chelsea finished sixteenth in Division One. They conceded forty-nine goals in their 21 away fixtures, more than any other team in the league.

Best result: CHELSEA 3 Liverpool 1 (After a scoreless first half, Tommy Langley cancelled out a Neal penalty before Steve Finnieston grabbed a double.)

Horrible result: Everton 6 CHELSEA 0 (The Toffees led two-nil inside fifteen minutes and then scored four more goals past Peter Bonetti in the second half.)


1978-79: Chelsea finished 22nd in Division One and were relegated. They conceded more goals at home and more goals away than any other team.

Best result: CHELSEA 4 Bolton Wanderers 3 (Bolton led 3-0 at half time. Then Chelsea substitute Clive Walker inspired four goals in the last twenty minutes.

Horrible result: CHELSEA 1 Manchester City 4 (Ron Futcher scored twice just before half time and added a third. Garry Stanley scored a late consolation.)


1979-80: Chelsea finished fourth in Division Two. Only two wins from their last seven fixtures prevented a near-certain promotion for Geoff Hurst's team.

Best result: Orient 3 CHELSEA 7 (Kevin Hales and Colin Pates enjoyed a happy debut as Lee Frost netted three goals. Chelsea had led 7-1 at one stage.)

Horrible result: Birmingham City 5 CHELSEA 1 (If Chelsea had drawn this March match, they would have been promoted a couple of months later.) 


1980-81: Chelsea finished twelfth. They depressingly failed to score in nineteen of their last twenty-two league matches, six of which were 0-0 draws!

Best result: CHELSEA 6 Newcastle United 0 (The Blues scored three goals in each half, with Colin Lee helping himself to a treble in this impressive triumph.)

Horrible result: CHELSEA 1 Derby County 3 (Colin Lee's goal was a late consolation. This result brought high-flying Chelsea crashing back down to earth.)


1981-82: Chelsea finished twelfth. This team drew five and lost the other two of their seven remaining fixtures and remained marooned in Division Two.

Best result: CHELSEA 4 Leicester City 1 (Just over ten thousand watched this Tuesday night win. Alan Mayes scored twice in the last ten minutes.)

Horrible result: Rotherham United 6 CHELSEA 0 (The hosts scored three times in the first fifteen minutes. This was a dreadful horror show on Hallowe'en.)


1982-83: Chelsea finished eighteenth, their lowest-ever finish. By the end of November, Chelsea had only won four of their first sixteen league matches.

Best result: CHELSEA 6 Cambridge United 0 (Less than eight thousand came along to watch as Mike Fillery scored twice in this January demolition.)

Horrible result: Charlton Athletic 5 CHELSEA 2 (The veteran Bryan 'Pop' Robson scored on his last outing for Chelsea, but the damage was already done.)


1983-84: Chelsea finished first and were promoted as champions. They scored more goals at home and more goals away than any other team in that league.

Best result: CHELSEA 5 Derby County 0 (An early goal from the debutant Spackman gave Chelsea the interval lead. Kerry Dixon added the last two goals.)

Horrible result: CHELSEA 2 Grimsby Town 3 (Bumstead and Dixon scored goals in the second half, but Grimsby also scored twice in the second half.)


1984-85: Chelsea finished sixth in Division One. They would have finished fifth if they had not lost their last match at home to struggling Norwich City.

Best result: CHELSEA 6 Coventry City 2 (Both teams shared four first-half goals. Kerry Dixon recorded a hat trick and Keith Jones scored twice as well.)

Horrible result: CHELSEA 0 Southampton 2 (Two second-half goals enabled the Saints to complete a league double and two shut-outs against the Blues.)

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

A Decade Of Turmoil, 1974-85
Discussion started by Chelsea FC (IP Logged), 12/03/2014 23:52
Chelsea FC
Chelsea FC
12/03/2014 23:52
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing