Premier League - Chelsea deny new stadium talk

Tue, 09 Nov 16:03:00 2010

Chelsea have re-iterated their desire to remain at Stamford Bridge despite suggestions they are in talks to leave their 105-year-old home.

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Reports claim that the Premier League club are to build a 60,000 seater ground on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished Earls Court exhibition centre. It is understood that proposals have been sent to Chelsea but the club has no plans to follow them up at the present time.

A spokesman for the club said: "We'll always look at proposals presented to us, but we have no plans to move stadium at this time."

Leading architect Sir Terry Farrell is set to transform Earls Court into a new residential area with more than 8,000 new homes.

The scheme, being undertaken with fellow landowners, Transport for London and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, enters its latest stage of public consultation this week.

The move by Capital and Counties, the site's owners, is understood to be a last effort to get a better deal before the housing plan becomes final. They are believed to have contacted all previously interested parties to see if there is any renewed interest.

While Chelsea viewed the proposals, the club are currently intent on pursuing the sale of naming rights for Stamford Bridge to increase revenue.

The Blues understand they cannot compete with the match day income streams of rivals like Manchester United and Arsenal and see the sale of naming rights as a way of bridging the gap and re-stating their commitment to remain at the ground. Chelsea looked at the same Earls Court site four years ago but did not pursue the opportunity.

However, a spokesman for Capital and Counties, strongly denied they had approached Chelsea to try and get a better deal.

"It is categorically untrue to state that this latest speculation was prompted by Capco," said a spokesman. "Indeed, the initial approach was by Chelsea FC to Capital & Counties, not vice-versa."

PA Sport

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