Chelsea have published a statement detailing the difficulties behind expansion at Stamford Bridge, and have admitted that although they have not decided on a stadium move, if they do choose to leave their current home it will be for a site within three miles.
Andre Villas Boas’ side have a smaller capacity at their home ground than their Premier League title rivals, and are exploring the opportunity to build a new arena for the club’s supporters.
However, with renovation work on Stamford Bridge the ideal choice, the side have revealed the obstacles stopping them from doing this.
“The club has reports and studies from as early as 2003/04 on various aspects of a redevelopment of the stadium and has spent a considerable amount of time and money in looking at various aspects of a redevelopment,” a statement on the official website reads.
“The bottom line is a redevelopment adding a significant number of seats needs a site of 16 to 18 acres or more, and at Stamford Bridge there are less than 12 acres.
“The club has worked with several architects firms looking for ways to redevelop each of the four stands at Stamford Bridge to increase capacity.
“The club believes that by 2020 all available sites within three miles will have gone.
“If we are unable to secure one of those sites, and did eventually decide that leaving Stamford Bridge would be in the best interests of the club and its fans, then sites further afield than three miles may be the only option.
“The club’s objective is to remain at Stamford Bridge or move to a new stadium within three miles,” it concluded.
A new arena would be a huge outlay in Roman Abramovich’s millions, but in the long run would reap financial reward through increased attendances.
By Gareth McKnight