Chelsea Confirms Exploring Site for New Stadium in South London

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst INovember 24, 2011

A Chelsea spokesman confirmed today that the West London club was seriously looking at the prospect of moving away from their home since 1905.

According to statements made in the Guardian, the Blues' spokesman was reported as saying, "In the past, we've talked to various people with interests in Battersea power station, but we haven't had any substantive discussions with anyone regarding that site for several months.

"However, in light of current developments, we now think it prudent to look again at the feasibility and potential for the BPS site to be developed for a football stadium. We have made no decision to leave Stamford Bridge, and we continue to discuss with the local council any economically viable options to expand the Bridge, but we will continue to investigate various options close to Stamford Bridge."

From the statement, it is almost clear that the Blues' are now determined to move to a larger stadium in order to make up on their lost opportunities due to Stamford Bridge's low capacity.

The club has already appointed Mike Hussey, Almacanter's chief executive, as their development partner, along with the hiring of Kohn Pedersen Fox, an architecture firm, to plan out their new 55,000-60,000 capacity stadium.

The Battersea Power Station has been unused for almost two decades and Chelsea are looking set to move if the site beside the Thames seems their best bet to relocate.

If Chelsea do move, it could prove to be very beneficial to them. Apart from the prospect of being able to earn more from ticket sales, Chelsea could redevelop Stamford Bridge into luxury apartments, which can earn them fortunes even greater than what Arsenal earned from Highbury.

But even the new spot is not free of troubles. The site that Chelsea are looking at owes debts to Lloyds Banking Group and the Irish National Asset Management Agency of around £300m. Moreover, the owners are looking for investors to redevelop the spot at around £5.5 billion, which could prove a big obstacle to Chelsea's plans.

Chelsea are still trying to convince Earl's Court owners to give permission for building the new stadium there, but the ray of hope is fading rapidly. In the given circumstances, checking out a new site only validates the latest developments.

But Chelsea are still facing the biggest problem hindering their ambitious projects. The Chelsea Pitch Owners need to be convinced to sell their stake in the freehold property of Stamford Bridge.

Without being able to buy back the Bridge, Chelsea cannot move anywhere. Their previous attempt had been rejected by the supporter-based company and it will take Chelsea something really big to convince them.