Chelsea consider new stadium away from Stamford Bridge
Tue 9th Nov 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Chelsea Football Club are reportedly in talks to quit their 105-year old home at Stamford Bridge and build a ground on the site of the soon- to-be-demolished Earls Court exhibition centre to hold at least 60,000 spectators.
According to the Guardian newspaper the Premier League champions are considering a move to the prime west London site just half a mile from their existing home amid growing concern they are losing ground to rivals with bigger and bigger stadiums.
Earls Court, which will be a London 2012 Olympic venue is due to be demolished after the games, becoming a victim of the success of other London venues such as the O2 arena at the Millennium Dome.
The site had been earmarked as a residential site to provide up to 8,000 new homes but Chelsea are keen on developing the site which they considered 4 years ago as they struggle to keep up with rivals Manchester United and Arsenal.
Stamford Bridge’s capacity of 41,000 is seen as restricting Chelsea’s ability to compete financially and as Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations come into force, Chelsea will need to increase revenues in order to comply and become less reliant on Abramovich’s money.
"There have been discussions about it and the club is clearly considering its next step," confirmed a source close to Chelsea told the newspaper.
Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, said it was "very difficult for us to make the philosophical decision that we are going to move on.
"Certainly we wouldn't leave west London or thereabouts and there are very few sites available," he said. "We have to do things with our other commercial activities to make up the deficit that is created by the fact we don't have a 60,000 seat stadium. We can't say that we will never move or have a new stadium but at the moment, it's not at the front of our agenda."
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