Chelsea FC have been given hope over their plans to expand Stamford Bridge after the area's council has stated that is ready to listen to proposals.
The west London club recently lost out to purchase the Battersea Power Station site which it had planned to build a new 60,000-seater stadium on in a bid to compete with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and other major European clubs in terms of gate receipts. However, since the contract for the development was given to a Malaysian conglomerate, the club has had to review plans to expand its current Stamford Bridge home.
Chelsea have been playing at their current stadium since 1905 but its capacity of 42,000 is tiny in comparison to world football's heavyweights and is currently dwarfed by the likes of Newcastle United, Sunderland and Manchester City in terms of size.
Despite previous attempts to build a new stadium, chief executive Ron Gourlay told Reuters last month that the club's preferred choice was to remain at Stamford Bridge and the move would prove popular with supporters who would back a decision to stay at their historic home. The ground is currently owned by the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPC) who recently criticised the board during the Battersea plans stating that officials had not shown enough willing to stay at the Bridge.
Now the council has given the clearest indication that Chelsea will be staying in west London with officials saying that they are open to the idea of collaborating with the current Champions League holders on what can be done to expand Stamford Bridge.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council's new leader councillor Nicholas Botterill said: "The council remains committed to working with the club to explore all possible avenues for keeping the Blues here at their original home.
"The door is open and the council is again ready to sit down and discuss how Stamford Bridge can be appropriately upgraded so that it is fit for one of Europe’s leading football clubs."
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