Chelsea FC are exploring the possibility of temporarily locating to Twickenham rugby stadium should the West London club receive planning permission for the much talked about Stamford Bridge expansion which would take the ground’s capacity from 41,800 to just over 60,000.
Announcing plans for expansion back in June, Roman Abramovich had considered relocating to another site in London including Battersea Power Station but with a scarcity of land, and concerns about the club’s identity being affected should they move to another part of London, expansion appears to be the most feasible option for the blues.
Initially estimated at a cost of £600 million back in 2012 with a construction period of three years, in today’s footballing landscape it is believed that a larger stadium is needed by Chelsea if they are to counter UEFA’s increasingly strict Financial Fair Play Guidelines.
A Chelsea spokesman is quoted as saying: “We’re investigating different scenarios as part of the consultation process we started early last year, but have had no discussions of substance so far.”
The RFU confirmed that talks were in a preliminary stage by remaining tight-lipped on specific details about the venue which wouldn’t be available before the 2016-2017 season due to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“While we don’t comment on any specific discussions, each request is taken on its merit, assessing a variety of factors, such as the effect on the pitch, availability, transport and local considerations and other important implications.”
London rivals Tottenham are also seeking a temporary home after plans were revealed to move away from White Hart Lane with the vacant Upton Park and Stadium MK being viewed as the more realistic choices to date.