Chelsea have taken steps which reports suggest could presage a move away from Stamford Bridge.
They have made an offer to acquire the land their pitch sits on, which was sold thirty years ago to a group of supporters called the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) as a move to protect the ownership of the pitch at a time the club faced possible bankruptcy.
The purchase was part-funded by a £8.5m loan from the club which it is now offering to write off as part of the re-purchase.
Owning the pitch once more would allow in principle the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, and a move for the club to a new stadium with a larger capacity than their present 41,000. The club would be following Place West London away from the venue – our 2009 and 2010 events were held there, but for 2011 we have moved to Olympia.
There have been persistent rumours about potential moves to Earls Court, as part of the CapCo regeneration, or White City, where a number of landowners including the BBC and Helical Bar are proposing a major regeneration scheme. There has even been speculation that Hammersmith’s other two premier league clubs – QPR and Fulham – could ground share in the new stadium, allowing the redevelopment of their Shepherds Bush and Fulham Riverside locations.
Chelsea are reported to have pledged to CPO not to move more than three miles away from Stamford Bridge until after 2020 at least, although this is a relatively minor restriction in what would be a major project.
Whether Chelsea will leave Stamford Bridge is unclear, but Abramovich could it seems, be following Place West London’s lead.
CapCo, Helical Bar and many others will be at Place West London on October 11. Book your place now to hear top speakers like Boris Johnson, and to learn more about developments at Earls COurt, White City and elsewhere