Chelsea still have work to do in deciding the future of Stamford Bridge as the club owners hope to extract more from a matchday experience and there has been a suggestion that Earl’s Court could be an alternative destination.
The development company in charge of an Earl’s Court site that had been linked to a possible stadium build for Chelsea have denied the possibility of the Blues moving to the location. The Earl’s Court Development Company claimed that ‘there is no football stadium in our masterplan’.
The renovation of Stamford Bridge has been a hotly debated topic that reintensified following last year’s takeover of the club by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital. As part of the process of winning the bid, there was believed to be a commitment to remaining at Stamford Bridge, which remains the preference of Chelsea Pitch Owners.
In the aftermath of the takeover, co-owner Jonathan Goldstein acknowledged the club were at the beginning of the process of realising a new stadium, suggesting that that were two options: “You either redevelop the existing stadium or you take it down and build a new one on the site.”
In the same interview, Goldstein recognised: “We’re very tight at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Pitch Owners are part of that process and we’re going through our own educational process, we will then consult with fans and local authorities. I would hope that over the next 12 to 18 months you will be able to invite me back and I’ll be able to tell you how we intend to take that forwards. We’re really focused on understanding the locality and understanding what we’ve got at Stamford Bridge and maximising the opportunity and the excitement for the fans.”
They said: “We categorically deny that there are any talks taking place with Chelsea FC about a stadium relocation to the Earls Court site. We have recently launched a draft master plan for a transformative mixed-use scheme to bring the wonder back to Earls Court.
“Our masterplan proposals will deliver 4,500 homes, 15,000 jobs, acres of public space and cultural facilities in an ambitious zero carbon development. There is no football stadium in our masterplan.”
The redevelopment will be a grander undertaking however and could even see the club need to move away from Stamford Bridge or undergo stand-by-stand alterations. The process is made harder by the stadium’s location in London with the tube and a number of other factors causing issues.