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  • Chelsea Show 2017

Chelsea do not play fair

 

The UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations have been widely supported by the game and while high profile big spenders like Manchester City are looking at Commercial deals to balance the books, Chelsea are the latest club to use naming rights to ensure they do not fall foul of the changes.

The naming rights to the Stamford Bridge stadium are up for grabs in the new year.

Chief executive Ron Gourlay first mentioned selling the stadium rights in 2009, stipulating that Stamford Bridge should remain in the new title and that a lease would be for between seven and 10 years.

The existing ground capacity of 42,500 fans is reduced to 38,000 on Champions League games by UEFA restrictions. The defeat of Roman Abramovichin by supporters in his attempt to buy back Stamford Bridge to enable relocation is well documented.

Gourlay said no decision had yet been made as to whether a new vote will be called at next month's Annual General Meeting but insisted: "We need a 60-65,000 stadium. We have the eighth biggest stadium in England and the 61st biggest in Europe.

"But when you look at the activity of stadiums planned for next few years, we will fall out of the top 75 which can only be restrictive to the football club. We have corporate hospitality that is second to none and 30,000 season ticket holders.

The increased capacity is one way of ensuring Chelsea stay within the fair play guidelines but how will the the fans, given the rejection of Abramovich's attempt to gain the right to sell Stamford Bridge, to renaming of Stamford Bridge to the "Emirates Stadium at Stamford Bridge"?

TM

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