CHELSEA DISMISS STAMFORD BRIDGE REDEVELOPMENT

Chelsea Football Club has announced that any potential redevelopment of Stamford Bridge is unfeasible due to cost and timescales.

The club has stated it could cost around £600m and take three-years to rebuild the ground which has been their home since 1905. The Blues published a presentation made to Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) last week explaining the problems of the project which aimed to convince the fan-owned company to sell it the stadium in order to trigger a possible move.

CPO acquired the freehold to the stadium in 1997 to protect Stamford Bridge from developers if the club fell into financial difficulties. But Chelsea tried to buy back the stadium freehold last October, but not enough CPO shareholders voted to accept the bid as many accused the club of not fully exploring the possibility of staying put at Stamford Bridge.

A club statement read: "We are not in any way stating the club has made a decision on the need to move. It is clear to the board that a complete new build of a 60,000 seat stadium at Stamford Bridge has little chance of acceptability.

"A 60,000 new-build would cost over £600m and require the club to play away for at least three seasons. Even if the economics were acceptable, the planning risks would likely be insurmountable."

"Expanding Stamford Bridge to 55,000 also has a number of challenges. The cost-per-seat of expanding the stands is very high. The incremental revenues would not even cover the hypothetical financing costs."

The current capacity of 42,055 is a considerable financial disadvantage to rivals such as Arsenal, whose Emirates Stadium holds 60,305 and Manchester United’s Old Trafford which holds 75,797.

Posted on 03/03/2012