Chelsea Football Club may well stay at their historic home if local council officials can agree redevelopment plans of the 42,055-seater stadium.
Stamford Bridge has been the home of the Blues since their formation in 1905 and any proposed new stadium has either been hindered by supporter groups or escalating construction costs. But directors of Chelsea Pitch Owners – a group of fans with shares of the freehold - attended a meeting with councillors of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) and planning officers to discuss the future of the venue.
The meeting follows the rejection by CPO shareholders of a buyout by Chelsea which would see the club take complete ownership of the site and allow a possible move away from the ground rumoured to be Battersea or Earls Court.
CPO chairman Steve Frankham said: “The LBHF reiterated their position - laid out in a statement from them on 9 March - that they would like Chelsea to stay at Stamford Bridge. They also explained they would be happy to assist the club further in exploring ways to expand the stadium's capacity, and that it remains their belief this can be done, although not without difficulty.
"The club has put an immense amount of time and money into exploring how to expand Stamford Bridge and believes there are serious planning difficulties and, in any event, it is not financially viable. It is the CPO board's intention to continue dialogue with both parties in the hope of producing more clarity on these crucial issues.”
But with new financial fair play rules being implemented by UEFA, Chelsea look committed to finding new revenue streams in order to keep up with the footballing elite of Europe.
Posted on 27/04/2012