Premier League football club Chelsea has reportedly secured a $500m (£407m/€470m) investment from US-based hedge fund Ares Management to fund a potential stadium development project.
ESPN has reported that Chelsea is nearing a deal with Ares after meeting several potential investors. The funds would reportedly be put towards either a major redevelopment of Stamford Bridge or building a new stadium from scratch.
Other areas of investment targeted by Chelsea owners include a redevelopment of the club’s Cobham training ground and an expansion of the group’s multi-club plans.
In July, Chelsea’s plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge were given a boost after the club agreed a deal in principle to buy an area of land next to the stadium 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. Stoll said that it had agreed to sell the majority of the site to Chelsea, subject to resident consultation, which ended yesterday (Wednesday).
Reports emerged in March that Chelsea was considering building a new £2bn 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.
Chelsea is still undecided on whether to revamp Stamford Bridge or build a new stadium. Reports have previously suggested that the club would consider building a new 60,000-seat stadium at Earl’s Court, but in March the company overseeing the regeneration of the site categorically denied reports that it was in talks with Chelsea.
Stamford Bridge has served as Chelsea’s home since 1905.