Chelsea FC could still remain at Stamford Bridge despite lodging a bid to build a new stadium at the Battersea Power Station, according to the club's chief executive.
Ron Gourlay insisted that the London outfit had not ruled out staying at their current home, even though it had been thought that they could move to a new 60,000-seater stadium across the River Thames. Mr Gourlay claimed that no final decision had been made on whether to move the club away from its ground for the past 109 years and a possible expansion of Stamford Bridge could still be possible.
Speaking at the launch of the club's partnership with Sauber Formula One team, Mr Gourlay said: "We do feel, as a club, that to stay among the elite, we've got to have a bigger stadium. And one of the things that we discussed with the shareholders was to look at opportunities within a three-mile perimeter of the current site at Stamford Bridge."
While the first team is currently preparing for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday (May 19th) the board is looking for ways to put Chelsea on a par with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona in terms of revenue and a move to a bigger stadium had seemed like the only viable option.
However, the Chelsea executive board has to reach an agreement with Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) which purchased the stadium in 1997 and who have previously criticised the club for not showing enough willing to stay at Stamford Bridge. Mr Gourlay is now looking to arrest fans fears by adding that an expansion to 55,000 seats is another possible avenue that the club may take in order to help boost revenues and compete with Europe's elite on and off the field.
Mr Gourlay added: "When we met with the Chelsea Pitch Owners shareholders back in October, we indicated that we were doing everything in our power to stay at Stamford Bridge, to extend Stamford Bridge, and we've looked at potential opportunities of a new-build around the Stamford Bridge area."
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