Hammersmith & Fulham Council Make Odd Stamford Bridge Claim

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Supporters are seen outside Stamford Bridge before the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on October 15, 2011 in London, England. Chelsea has made an offer to buy back the parts of Stamford Bridge sold to supporters in the 1990s in what has been seen as a precursor to a move to a new 60,000-seater ground. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

I know I promised to put my engineering hat on and analyse Chelsea's talk about the impossibility of a Stamford Bridge expansion, but I've been travelling around for most of the week and frankly engineering is kind of boring, so I haven't gotten around to it. The gist of Chelsea's detailed presentation, at any rate, was that the cost of fitting extra seats onto the Stamford Bridge site would be prohibitive and thus a increased match day revenue would be tied to moving away from the club's traditional home.

The Hammersmith & Fulham Council, however, disagree:

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 have drawn but it is very likely any move away from Fulham would cost far more than either the £600m the club claims it would cost to rebuild its current ground or the cost of upgrading and expanding the existing structures.

-Council deputy leader Nick Botterill. Source: Mail.

To be honest, this is a bit of a head scratcher. The council can't comment on the accuracy of what Chelsea have said, but assert that moving would be more expensive than staying? I might have entirely the wrong end of the stick here, but it strikes me that if Chelsea were to move and build a new stadium to their own specifications, they would then be able to sell the current one, which would mitigate quite a lot of the costs involved in a new build.

Furthermore, we'd expect the club to go with the cheapest long-term solution here, making Mr, Botterill's comments feel rather spectacularly misguided. This just seems like a kneejerk 'no no no' response rather than anything particularly well thought out, but it'll be plenty of fuel for the say no CPO folks.

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