Chelsea now look set to stay at Stamford Bridge after the club hinted a defeat in the attempts to build a brand-new stadium.
In a statement released by the club, it is learnt that Roman Abramovich has ordered his staff to look into the possibility of expanding the current capacity at the Bridge. This appears to have ended any interest in moving away to new location. Chelsea have looked into the possibility of constructing a brand-new stadium at Earls Court or Battersea Power Station.
These attempts have been hindered by aspects like cost, availability, and the reluctance of some hard-core Chelsea supporters. A club statement read:
“A study of the area from Fulham Broadway town centre to Stamford Bridge and beyond has been commissioned by Chelsea Football Club’s owner Roman Abramovich.
“The study will also assess the feasibility of an expansion of the stadium within the existing historic site boundaries, potentially to enlarge its capacity, enhance its facilities and improve the movement of people and vehicles on match and non-matchdays.”
One of the oldest grounds in England, Stamford Bridge suffers from a capacity of just 41,798.
This is nowhere near enough to meet the ballooning demand for Chelsea tickets, as the club goes from success to success. Further, the club is also losing heavily on match day income compared with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United.
The benefits of a larger stadium – provided that it can be filled – cannot be argued. Liverpool and Tottenham are set to move into 55,000 capacity stadiums in the next few years. This would give them a huge advantage when it comes to the transfer market.
According to Deloitte’s Football Money League 2014, Arsenal enjoyed match day revenues of £92.7 million. In comparison, Chelsea’s match day revenue were just £70.7 million. Effectively, Arsenal will be able to sign a £20 million player – read that as a Ramires or David Luiz – every summer.
Due to Stamford Bridge’s location, the club previously maintained that it would be almost impossible to expand the current capacity without causing significant traffic disruption. It remains to be seen if they will be able to work around the problem.