English Premier League football club Chelsea has today (Thursday) announced that it is putting plans for a new stadium on hold due to the “current unfavourable investment climate”.

Chelsea was granted permission to expand its Stamford Bridge stadium in January 2017 and had planned on increasing the capacity of the ground from 41,500 to 60,000.

The club had hoped to move into the new facility, which has been designed by Herzog & De Meuron, in time for the 2021-22 season. Chelsea had intended on starting work on the ground before the start of the 2018-19 campaign but the future of Stamford Bridge is now unclear following today’s announcement.

A club statement read: “Chelsea Football Club announces today that it has put its new stadium project on hold. No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur.

“The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision. The decision was made due to the current unfavourable investment climate.”

The BBC noted that the cost of the new 60,000-seat stadium has increased to £1bn. It has been reported that Chelsea would seek to use Wembley Stadium while work on its new ground is carried out, in a similar arrangement to the one fellow London club Tottenham Hotspur had last season.

Image: Lachlan Fearnley