Chelsea director Jonathan Goldstein has said the English Premier League football club is aiming to commence the planning process to redevelop Stamford Bridge “during the course of the next year”.
The British entrepreneur is a member of the consortium led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital which in May completed its acquisition of Chelsea. At that time, the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge was among the areas of investment outlined by the club’s new owners.
“We are looking very heavily at redevelopment… the planning process is something which we will start during the course of the next year and we’ll hope central government will get behind it and see it as an engine for growth,” said Goldstein, according to the Daily Mail.
“The only problem, of course, is the management of interest rates because it makes it so much more expensive to develop.”
When questioned if the club would delay the process, he responded: “No, no, we’ll carry on as fast and as hard as we can.
“It is a big project and there are very many constituents involved and we are at the beginning. But we will carry on because we believe in the business, in Chelsea FC and the area and we know, over time, Stamford Bridge needs redevelopment.”
Goldstein added: “We’ve had three sovereign wealth funds say to us at the moment, the United Kingdom is on hold. They’d rather watch, and watch and wait. Britain looks uninvestable at this point.”
In August, Chelsea’s new owners were reported to be planning a range of upgrades at Stamford Bridge, with the work to be focused on improving the stadium’s overall look. According to The Telegraph, the club will invest in a “major upgrade” of the 40,000-capacity stadium, with a renovation of the West Stand to be central to the plans.
Chelsea was given permission to expand the capacity of Stamford Bridge back in January 2017 but the plans were put on hold in May 2018 due to what the club described at the time as the “unfavourable investment climate”. In March 2020, Chelsea said it would continue to consider options for a new stadium “should economic conditions improve” but no major progress has been made since then.