LB Hammersmith & Fulham has said Chelsea Football Club’s future should be at Stamford Bridge, that an expanded stadium is possible, and that they will work with the club to get to an acceptable solution.
The club has been strongly linked to a move to Nine Elms, with a new stadium as part of the redevelopment of the area. They have also voiced concerns that a 60,000 new-build stadium on their current site would cost over £600million and that the planning risks would be “insurmountable”.
A Chelsea Football Club (CFC) statement said: “It is clear that a complete new build of a 60,000-seat stadium has little chance of acceptability and that after discussions with the local council, they have come to the same conclusion.”
However, Hammersmith & Fulham Council has now said that, while it recognises that expanding the 42,000 capacity Stamford Bridge to 60,000 would not be easy or cheap, it thinks it is feasible to add capacity in a way that would benefit the club and local businesses, and would not unreasonably affect residents. The council also say moving away from Stamford Bridge to gain extra match day revenue from a bigger stadium could cost much more than £600million.
Cllr Nick Botterill, H&F Council’s deputy leader, says: “Stamford Bridge is Chelsea’s historic home and the council believes it should be their future home. We want the Blues to stay at Stamford Bridge and, if it can be done sensibly without negatively affecting local people, increase the ground’s capacity so they can retain their position as one of Europe’s top clubs.
“We cannot comment on the financial conclusions CFC has drawn but it is very likely that any move away would cost far more than either the £600million the club claims it would cost to rebuild its current ground or the cost of upgrading and expanding the existing Stamford Bridge structures.
“We will continue to work closely with CFC to explore all possible avenues for keeping the club here at their original home.”