So with an FA Cup win and an upcoming Champions League final in Munich in two weeks, things are starting to look up for Chelsea after what looked like being a faltering season. With the news that Chelsea may be moving grounds, this season is potentially one of their most defining in recent years.
After AVB’s sacking, the club seemed to burst into a new lease of life. The news that the club have submitted a bid to purchase Battersea Power Station with the aim of building a 60,000 capacity stadium further proves that owner Roman Abramovich is sticking around for years to come.
Stamford Bridge has been the home of the Blues since their formation all the way back in 1905, and it is fair to say that there have been plenty of problems between the club and the ground. With Chelsea’s recent successes, both on and off the field, many people have said it is only a matter of time before the club moved due to the somewhat limited area around Stamford Bridge.
Developments to Stamford Bridge have been discussed, but would cost the club roughly £600 million and would involve demolishing and rebuilding the ground. Chelsea would also be required to move away for three years. In a recent study of the finances involved, it worked out that the development would cost a staggering £20,000 per seat. However, a move to Battersea would cost infinitely more than this.
So why not just develop Stamford Bridge then? Well, there are two reasons why the move could be financially viable. Firstly, the demolition of Stamford Bridge would free up an 11.9 acre site of West London that would have prime property value, and therefore provide Chelsea with fresh funds in the same way that Highbury has for Arsenal. Secondly, stadium development costs are not included in the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, so this would not affect Chelsea’s push for European football, but would greatly increase their match-day revenue.
Made famous by a Pink Floyd album and regularly being used in film and television, Battersea Power Station is one of London’s most recognisable buildings and Chelsea have said they want to keep these recognisable features. In their statement, Chelsea said that they would keep the four chimneys, and that they would have a 15,000-seater, one tier stand behind the goal after discussions with fans.
Obviously there are still a lot of potential obstacles on the journey from Stamford Bridge to Battersea Power Station, but it could become one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, and would really propel Chelsea into a new age. Whether or not it happens is difficult to say as you can never predict the future, especially with other unknown bids for the site having been submitted and Boris Johnson returning as mayor, but either way, Chelsea fans have a lot to look forward to, both on and off the field.