Russian oligarch Roman
Abramovich's Chelsea has bid for the London landmark Battersea
Power Station site where they could build a 60,000-seater
stadium, the Premier League team said on Friday.
The derelict power station on the south bank of the Thames,
a familiar site with its four white chimney stacks, "has the
potential to become one of the most iconic football stadiums in
the world," Chelsea said.
Champions League finalists Chelsea would like a larger
stadium to allow them to compete with rivals at home and abroad.
Stamford Bridge, their home since 1905, has a capacity of just
under 42,000 - modest by comparison with other top clubs.
However, any move could run into opposition from fans.
Chelsea tried to buy the freehold of Stamford Bridge last
year to clear the way for a possible move but the plan was
rejected by the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), a group of fans who
acquired the freehold in 1993 to protect the ground from
"We have many significant hurdles to address if we are to
build a new stadium on the site, including winning the support
of our fans, the CPO shareholders and local Wandsworth
residents, as well as securing the approval of Wandsworth
Council, the Greater London Authority and heritage authorities,"
Chelsea said in a statement.
Some local politicians say the Chelsea plans would not
create enough jobs and that securing planning approval for a
stadium could prove too lengthy to be viable.
Previous reports have said the Battersea site could have a
price tag of 300 to 400 million pounds
and would be likely to attract interest from international
Announcing a bid for the 39-acre site with property
development partner Almacantar, Chelsea said they had not made a
final decision to leave Stamford Bridge and that they were not
the only party interested in the site.
However, Chelsea set out ambitious plans for a new ground
that would incorporate the power station's key features.
The power station, which featured on the cover of Pink
Floyd's 1977 album Animals, has been disused for three decades
and a series of regeneration projects have come to grief.
It is currently in the hands of administrators Ernst & Young
who are trying to recover debt on behalf of Lloyds Banking Group
and Ireland's National Asset Management Agency.
Chelsea play in the FA Cup final against Liverpool on
Saturday and meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on
Abramovich, who made his fortune in post-Soviet Russia in
the 1990s, has transformed Chelsea since buying the club in
2003, helping them to win the Premier League three times.
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