New Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are currently dealing with a few headaches at the club, including a stadium decision. On the pitch, the typical European powerhouse is struggling significantly. Head coach Graham Potter has managed to win only 37% of games since his was appointed by the club in September. In fact, the Blues have lost more matches than they’ve won in the Premier League and currently sit 10th in the table.
However, team owners also want to have one of the best soccer stadiums in all of Europe. Stamford Bridge is a historic stadium that has been in use for well over 100 years. Nevertheless, despite renovations over the years, the club clearly want a new home.
Building new stadium on current site is best option for Chelsea
Telegraph Sport is reporting that there are three possible routes Chelsea ownership can take to drastically improve where they play. Perhaps the most likely option would be to tear down Stamford Bridge and build a new stadium in its place. This was previously planned by former Blues owner Roman Abramovich and is the preferred choice by most Chelsea fans.
Starting from scratch would allow the club to build a state-of-the-art stadium on an already familiar spot in west London. It would also give Chelsea the opportunity to increase capacity from about 40,000 to 55,000. However, this process would obviously take time. Knocking down Stamford Bridge and clearing debris would take around 12-18 months alone. And then they would have to build a new stadium afterwards. In all, the entire process could take five years to complete.
Renovating Stamford Bridge not preferred choice
The second option would be to just completely renovate Stamford Bridge. This, however, would be very difficult due to the surrounding area. Liverpool have undergone a similar construction on Anfield, but the Merseyside club has more room to work with. Chelsea, on the other hand, just don’t have the space to make this move in a timely fashion.
Choosing this route would also most likely take more time than actually tearing down Stamford Bridge and starting from scratch. It would also be difficult for the club to create one of the best stadiums in Europe this way as well. This is clearly something that Boehly and Eghbali want.
Moving team would be unpopular, expensive
Finally, Chelsea could opt to move to an entirely different location. Club supporters would obviously prefer not to make this move. Members of the Chelsea Pitch Owners [CPO] would also have to vote on a potential move as well. This would, however, allow the team to play at Stamford Bridge while the new stadium to be built. Nevertheless, this option is also the most expensive of the trio. It is estimated that purchasing other land and building a new stadium would cost around $900 million.
The club could also opt to stay the course and remain at Stamford Bridge. Team owners have shown that they are not afraid to spend money though. The current stadium is the ninth-biggest arena in the Premier League. Although a new stadium would cost a lot of money, the club is falling behind on matchday revenue.
Photo: IMAGO / Sebastian Frej