New Telegraph

Chelsea’s Stanford Bridge Redevelopment Plans

BlueCo, the owners of Chelsea, have made significant progress in improving the club, but there is still more work to be done behind the scenes.

One of those important changes that is yet to be sorted comes in the form of the home stadium, Stamford Bridge, and plans to redevelop it.

The Bridge was built in 1877 and has been the home of the Blues since 1905, with an attendance capacity registering at just over 40,000.

Given the demand of the club and the stadiums often used by their European rivals, the west London outfit have fallen behind in terms of their infrastructure.

Liverpool, for example, have taken on plenty of work to redevelop Anfield so that it now holds up to 54,000, while Tottenham and Arsenal have built whole new stadia to maximise revenues.

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As part of the deal to buy the club from Roman Abramovich in May 2022, BlueCo had agreed to redevelop Stamford Bridge themselves.

Whether that would be part of an expansion, that could prove difficult to complete, or a totally new stadium remains to be seen.

However, there are a few options for the owners to assess that leave them able to work around either idea, though there are obstacles to both.

Looking at site expansion, the club recently agreed on a deal to buy the Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions veterans’ accommodation for £80million, which gives the surrounding areas of Stamford Bridge more room to work with.

As for the possibility of a totally new stadium, there are few locations available and a tough hurdle to jump to ensure that it could go through.

In terms of sites itself, there are reports that the Earls Court site is the last realistic option in west London that could be acquired, though it is currently planned for housing and retail which can be reversed at this stage.

Should that, or somewhere else be chosen, then the next task will be persuading the fan-led Chelsea Pitch Owners that the decision is the right one.

The organisation was created to avoid the sale of Stamford Bridge to property developers and it controls the licensing of the club itself, the pitch and the turnstiles.

It was a high bar that even Abramovich hadn’t been able to pass, failing to receive a vote that would’ve allowed for a change in 2011.

It remains to be seen how the new owners will tackle the issue going forward, with plenty to consider for the welfare of the club and community as a whole.

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