CHELSEA SEEK STADIUM NAMING RIGHTS DEAL

Chelsea Football Club has announced it hopes to secure a naming rights deal before the start of next season.

The news comes following the club’s setback in their bid to move grounds after shareholders in the Chelsea Pitch Owners [CPO] company rejected proposals to purchase the land that Stamford Bridge sits on. Chief executive Ron Gourlay believes the club must press on looking for ways to increase stadium revenue ahead of the introduction of Financial Fair Play within European competitions.

Gourlay told the International Football Arena in Zurich: "We have one of smallest stadiums in Europe. We have corporate hospitality that is second to none and 30,000 season ticket holders. But we have a stadium slightly larger than 40,000 which drops to 38,000 on Champions League nights. We have to find a solution.

"We have outgrown our stadium and tried every way possible to extend capacity. We need a 60-65,000 stadium. We have the eighth biggest stadium in England and the 61st biggest in Europe. But when you look at the activity of stadiums planned for next few years, we will fall out of top 75 which can only be restrictive to the football club.

"In the meantime we continue on our conversations to see if there is any way at all to extend Stamford Bridge. We hope to make an announcement on naming rights for Stamford Bridge within the next six to eight months. It would make a big step because we have to drive up the revenues."

With the club already losing one vote to the CPO, Gourlay refused to rule out the possibility of another ballot.

He added: "This is a time for reflection, to sit down with the owner and discuss the situation. We thought we made a very good proposal to the CPO shareholders.

"They decided on a 'no' vote. We got 62% but it's time to discuss it with Roman and the board. We have been very transparent in terms of venues."

Posted on 09/11/2011