When was the last time Chelsea finished a Premier League season in the bottom half?

In the season of 1995/96, Chelsea stood 11th in the Premier League table with 50 points.


When was the last time Chelsea finished a Premier League season in the bottom half?

The season of 2022/23 was always going to be a year of transition for Chelsea after Roman Abramovich’s departure. And the club seemingly committed to a long-term project by replacing Thomas Tuchel, who brought them the Champions League glory in 2021. They replaced Tuchel with the impressive Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter.

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However, new owner Todd Boehly left Potter with an unbalanced squad. And while Potter shouldn’t be kept aside from any criticism, he wasn’t exactly given the best chance to succeed during his first year on the job. The club’s form under Potter turned so poor in 2023 that the club had no choice but to part ways with the manager. Chelsea now have turned to a familiar face in Frank Lampard in a bid to re-establish some good feeling around the club heading into 2023/24. It is because this season could be historically poor. They currently reside 12th in the Premier League table. Did Chelsea ever face such a horrific season in their career before?

The last time Chelsea stood below the 10th position in the Premier League was in the 1995/96 season. In that season Chelsea stood 11th in the Premier League table with 50 points.

1995/96 season- One of the ugliest season in Chelsea history

Chelsea stood 11th in the premier league
Back in 1995/96, Chelsea stood in the 11th position of the Premier League. (Image Via- Google)

The big news at Chelsea at the start of the 1995–96 season was the arrival of Manchester United striker Mark Hughes, one of the most accomplished strikers of the last decade in the English leagues, and the arrival of Dutch superstar Ruud Gullit.

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Chelsea had a mid-table Premiership campaign in 1995–96. They finished 11th for the third time in four seasons. But once again they enjoyed a good cup run. This time they reached the FA Cup semi-finals. They took on Manchester United. Man United had beaten them in the final two years earlier.

Chelsea took an early lead. But they lost 2-1 and with it went their hopes of a foray into Europe. A few weeks later, Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle’s decision to quit the England manager’s job was understandable as a job he could not turn down.

The club responded by appointing Ruud Gullit as player-manager. Gullit wasted no time in preparing Chelsea for the following season. He broke the club record in a £4.9 million move for Italian midfielder Roberto Di Matteo from Lazio.

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Chelsea players regret signing long-term contracts with the club amid club’s poor run: Report

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Several members of the Chelsea squad are reportedly regretting signing long-term deals with the club. The first XI players are concerned about the future of the club given Chelsea have lost five games on the bounce and crashed out of the Champions League after losing to LaLiga giants Real Madrid in the Quarterfinals. In addition to concerns about the club’s future, a number of squad members are apprehensive about their first-team chances next season owing to Chelsea’s bloated squad.

Chelsea’s January recruitment business has reportedly left them with a huge squad of over 30 players leaving many players. All the players are worth millions of pounds completely frozen out on match days. Additionally, the club face missing out on European football altogether next season given their poor performances in the Premier League. Therefore, the new players will be given even fewer opportunities in the first XI.

According to reports, several squad members have expressed their desire to leave the club this summer. But, the majority of them have signed long-term deals with the Premier League giants. A source close to the first XI said several players were told they were going to be ‘key’ to the ‘exciting new Chelsea project’ during their contract negotiations. However, they have hardly featured for the Blues this season. The longevity of their deals will make it harder for them to leave the club. This is said to have irritated several players and caused an unwanted atmosphere among the Chelsea squad.

Chelsea’s failure to qualify for the Champions League has caused another issue within the squad. Owners Boehly and Clearlake Capital implemented a bonus structure to player contracts linked to Champions League qualification. This would see their wages fluctuate depending on whether they were playing in the competition. It was a significant move away from the ownership era of Roman Abramovich. He only rewarded players for winning trophies. Reports suggest the club’s most recent signings, or those who have agreed new contracts, will see their earning power slashed by at least 30 per cent. Sources have indicated that the figure could be as high as 50 per cent.

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Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly are among those who will not be affected as they signed for the club before the salary structure was adopted. Chelsea reportedly addressed this situation. He said, “That situation is hardly going to help harmony within the group. You’ll have some players paying the price financially for the bad results this season, and some who are not“.

Chelsea have signed 12 senior players on permanent contracts since the Boehly-Clearlake takeover, while seven existing squad members have signed fresh terms since Abramovich’s departure. Therefore, Chelsea’s new manager will have the difficult task of convincing a group of players. They have grown increasingly unhappy at Chelsea in recent weeks, about the direction the club is headed under the Boehly and Clearlake regime.

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