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Chelsea expand away dressing room after complaints, Premier League orders

Now less hilariously tiny

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Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC - FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

If you’ve ever taken a tour of Stamford Bridge, you might remember the disparity between the home dressing room and the away dressing room — the former a large, rather luxurious space that smells of leather-bound books and rich mahogany with all the amenities you’d ever want, the latter a cramped tiny room that smells of feet and cottage cheese, with bright lights, bare walls, low ceilings and maybe some hot water, if they’re lucky.

This obviously is by design, and is often brought up almost as a point of pride and a source of amusing anecdotes by the tour guides — though it also has a lot to do with the fact that the stand in which it’s located was built some 50 years ago.

Alas, in these modern times, such shenanigans no longer fly, and Chelsea have been forced to do a bit of home renovation demo work while the team were away for three straight games over the past ten days, knocking down a wall and enlarging the away dressing room to meet the league’s COVID regulations and to satisfy complaints from recent visitors Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Chelsea FC v Malmo FF: Group H - UEFA Champions League
Not the away dressing room
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

(Chelsea had away teams changing in the health club outside the stadium, which was quite a hike, during the height of the pandemic, and which caused a few complains as well, but more normal service was resumed this season.)

That’s according to multiple reports following Sunday’s Spurs game, with journalists obviously noticing the changes since it was (a large part of) the media room that was sacrificed in order to add square footage to the away facilities. It’s not quite clear what the plan may be for the now missing media work functions, but there’s little scope to expand the existing structures.

In any case, I find this all fairly amusing, especially as the more comfortable arrangements didn’t help Spurs one bit.

(As far as any long-term plans in this regard, there’s no update. The new stadium plans remain indefinitely on hold, with the planning permissions now long expired as well. Alas.)