Chelsea Play It Cool Over Earls Court 60,000-Seater Stadium Move

Ollie Irish

9th, November 2010


By Ollie Irish

Exhibition football (ho ho)

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has refused to confirm whether the Blues are in talks about moving to a new 60,000-seater stadium in Earls Court, as was reported this morning.

Reports claim Chelsea are in talks about moving to the site of the current Earls Court exhibition centre (located less than a mile from Stamford Bridge), which is due to be demolished after it hosts the Olympic volleyball tournament in 2012.

“It is very difficult for us to make the philosophical decision that we are going to move on,” Buck told the Guardian.

“Certainly we wouldn’t leave west London or thereabouts and there are very few sites available.

“We have to do things with our other commercial activities to make up the deficit that is created by the fact we don’t have a 60,000 seat stadium.

“We can’t say that we will never move or have a new stadium but at the moment, it’s not at the front of our agenda.”

Translation: Chelsea do want to move to Earls Court but will handle the move in a diplomatic fashion so as not to upset the fans; not that I think Chelsea’s fans have quite as much emotional attachment to the Bridge as Liverpool fans do to Anfield or United fans to Old Trafford, for example.

The softly softly approach is also necessary as there is a major plan to develop Earls Court into a residential paradise. Roman Abramovich’s size 9s would stomp all over that in a hurry.

Ultimately, Chelsea fans will only want what is best to ensure their team’s position at the Premier League’s top table – and they have managed that despite playing in only the eight-largest stadium in the English top flight.

Chelsea fans, are you prepared to leave the Bridge?

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  1. gaptooth says:

    it makes perfect sense at first – but when you scratch beneath the surface – there are issues

    stamford bridge is not a sell out every game – and full capacity is only guaranteed when playing the top 5 clubs (or european knock out games)

    chelsea do not have the huge waiting lists that Liverpool + spurs and arsenal did have (pre emarites)
    so it would take a while before this 60K seater would be repaying itself

    we must also remember that chelsea are running at a considerable loss every year – add a stadium to that and the need for reinforcements and your looking at an awful lot of money being spent – how much of this is abramovic willing to underwrite ?

    its strange because altho sucess has followed them for the last 5 seasons – chelsea have not won over that many new fans – not when you compare it to arsenal

  2. Masoncc says:

    Chelsea would have no problem filling a 60,000 seater stadium. I’m a fan who is neither a season ticket holder nor a member and I can never buy a ticket unless it’s for a Carling Cup game or an early European tie against unheard of opposition. The only reason why Stamford Bridge is often not at full capacity is because a number of tickets taken by companies to give as freebies to staff or for corporate entertainment don’t always fill.

    I’d be happy to move to Earls Court but there is a major issue over naming rights as far as I’m aware. The Chelsea Pitch Owners who physically own the Stamford Bridge pitch (not the surrounding stands or development), also have the rights to the name Chelsea FC. If they don’t want to lose their Chelsea cash cow they can, and surely will, play hardball. I cannot see the move happening.

  3. J says:

    It’s okay that just means that they could literally become Chelski FC.

  4. Sleeba says:

    I hope it does happen. Stamford Bridge lost all it’s history when Blue Ken decided it would be better to turn a football ground into a posh Butlins. It’s devoid of any atmosphere and is sooo corporate it’s unbelievable. Chelsea do sell out 90% of it’s games and would most definitely sell out a 60k plus per game. Earls Court would be easier to get to and we could have a pre-match entertainment Royal Tournament as the spiritual home of this event would be lost.

  5. ab says:

    Is it blasphemy to suggest Fulham move the cottage o’er to the Bridge if this happens?

  6. David says:

    Chelsea fans would like to stay at the Bridge, but for some remote fans it would be good to move to a bigger ground.

  7. tom says:

    ab – yes.

  8. alan says:

    What are you talking about.. ” not that I think Chelsea’s fans have quite as much emotional attachment to the Bridge as Liverpool fans do to Anfield or United fans to Old Trafford, for example.”…. Why not??? Ofcourse we do!! We have the best location in the country! No one else can boast the amount of pubs we have on our doorstep..

  9. alan says:

    And we do always sell out!! Unlike man utd and liverpool… Empty seats everywhere for their cup and european games this season! Where is their ”famous” loyal support and waiting lists then??

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