Chelsea ‘are finalising their future plans’ on whether to stay at Stamford Bridge or move to Earls Court – and a rebuild could take SEVEN YEARS
- Chelsea Pitch Owners expect the club to soon reveal their future stadium plans
- The powerful fan group will vote on any proposal made by Chelsea’s owners
- Follow Mail Sport’s new Chelsea WhatsApp channel for all the breaking news
Chelsea Pitch Owners have confirmed a decision from the club over their future stadium plans is expected to be finalised shortly, but warned a rebuild of Stamford Bridge could take as long as seven years.
The powerful fan group was founded in 1993 to ensure the club’s ground could never be sold off to property developers.
The collective of more than 14,000 Chelsea fans around the world own the freehold to the Stamford Bridge pitch and other parts of the stadium. The CPO also own the naming rights of Chelsea Football Club and would have to approve of any move away from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge appeared to take a major step forwards earlier this month, after the Stoll Charity trustees granted approval to sell the site of homes of military veterans to the club.
The £80million sale of the majority of the Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions site is subject to contract with completion expected in early 2024.
Chelsea Pitch Owners are expecting the club to soon reveal their future stadium plans
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is believed to be pursuing a move to redevelop Stamford Bridge
A total of 75 per cent of fans group Chelsea Pitch Owners need to approve any future plans
Your browser does not support iframes.
Chelsea had also weighed up a potential stadium relocation to nearby Earl’s Court, but are believed to have focused efforts on a £2billion expansion of their existing 40,341-capacity stadium.
CPO board chair Chris Isitt issued a statement to confirm they expect the club to make a decision on their stadium plans shortly, before warning a potential rebuild could take up to seven years.
‘CPO has not yet been informed of any decision made by the Club on its future plans for the stadium,’ the statement read. ‘We believe their decision is due to be finalised shortly, having worked through all the available options.
‘Board members may choose to make their own views clear on the process but cannot of course do so until there is a proposal, and its detail can be properly considered.
‘As we understand it, although the purchase of the Stoll site has been agreed, it will be some considerable time before the site can be vacated.
‘In addition, a new planning application would be required, even though some of that work was done during the earlier project under Roman Abramovich.
‘Once an application has been approved, estimates on the time required for demolition and rebuild vary from four years up to as much as seven years, during which time the Club would need to relocate its home games.’
The CPO reiterated that any vote on a proposal from the club would be open to the group’s over 14,000 shareholders, with 75 per cent needing to agree for plans to proceed.
Approval was granted earlier this month for the sale of the Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions (left) to Chelsea, marking a significant step forward in potential redevelopment plans
Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions (left) and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge (right) are next to each other
The Blues face relocating from between four to seven years if the stadium is redeveloped
The group added that it continues to sell shares during the redevelopment process.
Chelsea have faced a number of obstacles to making the large-scale renovations under former owner Roman Abramovich.
But funds for the rebuild were put aside as part of the £4.25bn acquisition of the club by co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in May 2022.
Potential work on the stadium, which would aim to increase capacity to 60,000 in line with that of the club’s Premier League rivals, would see the Blues playing away from Chelsea for over four years. An expansion would not begin until 2026 at the earliest.
Venues that have been floated to host the club whilst the renovations are being undertaken have included Wembley, Twickenham, and Craven Cottage, where their west London neighbours Fulham play.
Boehly is believed to have held informal talks with Fulham’s owner Shahid Khan about the possibility of groundsharing, but although representing the most convenient move just one mile down the road, a spell in Craven Cottage – capacity 25,700 – could see the Blues miss out on key revenue.
Should Chelsea’s owners opt for a stand-by-stand refurbishment the work could take significantly longer than four to five years, and independent experts have called Chelsea’s proposed 2030 finish date ‘optimistic’.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
Your browser does not support iframes.
Source: Read Full Article