Chelsea’s plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge have been given a boost after the Premier League club agreed a deal in principle to buy an area of land next to the stadium that is currently owned by Stoll, which provides housing for veterans.
The 1.2-acre site is located to the west of the stadium, near Fulham Broadway tube station. Chelsea’s acquisition of the land will make it easier for the club to carry out a major revamp of Stamford Bridge.
In a statement posted on its Twitter account yesterday (Wednesday), Stoll said it has reached an agreement to sell the majority of the site to Chelsea, subject to resident consultation. Stoll said the proposed sale will enable it to establish new properties and better services for veterans.
Reports emerged in March that Chelsea was considering building a new £2bn (€2.3bn/$2.6bn) stadium on the site of Stamford Bridge, with the club potentially facing up to four years at a temporary home while the work is carried out.
With a capacity of around 40,000, Stamford Bridge is the smallest stadium of the Premier League’s ‘big six’. Owner Todd Boehly, who completed his acquisition of Chelsea in May last year, has made the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge a key priority.
Previous reports have suggested that Chelsea could consider building a new 60,000-seat stadium in Earl’s Court. In March, the company overseeing the regeneration of Earl’s Court “categorically” denied reports that it was in talks with Chelsea over potentially housing a new stadium for the club.
The acquisition of the Stoll site would appear to confirm that Chelsea’s focus is on redeveloping Stamford Bridge rather than building a new stadium, but The Guardian has reported that no final decision has been made.
The newspaper, citing sources close to the process, said that all options remain on the table with Chelsea still said to view Earl’s Court as an “attractive proposition” if the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge is not possible.
Any move away from Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home since its formation in 1905, would be met with significant challenges. The club would not be able to depart Stamford Bridge and keep the moniker ‘Chelsea FC’ without securing 75% backing from the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO). This group holds the freehold to the stadium under a 30-year agreement.