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Chelsea plans hit buffers

 

Football News 24/7
It was reported earlier today, that Chelsea have lost a vote to buy back their own stadium from a group owned by their fans and by some margin.

Only 61.5% of shareholders in Chelsea Pitch Owners voted in favour of selling the freehold for the club's Stamford Bridge stadium back to the club. Approval of 75% of the shareholders was needed to pass the proposal.

CPO acquired the freehold to the stadium in 1997 to protect Stamford Bridge from developers should the club run into financial difficulties.

Chelsea had wanted to buy the stadium in order to facilitate a possible move to a new stadium and redevelopment of the site. However, many fans opposed the move from the club's current location where it has been based for more than a century.

"Chelsea FC is naturally disappointed with the result. While we will remain as ambitious as ever, this decision could slow down our progress," the club said in a statement.

The club maintains no decision has been made on a move, even if the club does buy the stadium.

Looking around the country stadium redevelopments have a varied pedigree when comparing original location to the new ground.

The very first new stadium of the modern era, the unassuming Glanford Park in Scunthorpe was actually built in another Borough - Glanford. The move there - which is 2 or 3 miles outside Scunthorpe itself where the Old Showground was was a classic example of local politics gone mad with a rival council to Scunthorpe attracting the football club across its boundary.

Bolton's Reebok Stadium is even in another town technically - Horwich - and whilst still withing the Borough boundaries is a good 6 or 7 miles from the old Burnden Park. Indeed the old Horwich team Horwich RMI became Leigh RMI and relocated from the town.

In contrast both Arsenal and Cardiff have built fanatstic new grounds within spitting distance of their former homes. It's a similar tory with Leicester City who moved across the road virtually from the old Filbert Street ground. Derby moved a bit further but Pride Park is still like the Baseball Ground within the city proper.

It's an interesting dilemma for Chelsea, who may find it hard to find a 'Brown Field' site like Arsenal did at the right price and if they can't realise the value of their current site moving may become an non-option.

KT

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