Selling Stamford Bridge and moving was never something I wanted to see happen. Leaving our much-treasured 107-year home, which holds so many amazing memories – good and bad – is the last thing I want to do.
But it seems the only option if we are to become financially viable and carry on competing with Europe’s elite. It inevitably simply boils down to cold, hard cash.
My gut feeling is that eight years of backing and support show Roman Abramovich’s motives can be trusted.
“It would be a new start but the new venue would be steeped in tradition.”
The fear factor surrounding our club being left in the lurch if he pulls the plug has been hanging around since the summer he started splashing the cash. And it will probably remain.
Who knows what will happen in two, five, or 10 years? Or even if the Champions League trophy is delivered this weekend?
But I see no reason why the club would not want to stay in situ if it were possible.
Chelsea Pitch Owners (the fan-owned company which bought Stamford Bridge’s freehold in 1997 to protect it from developers) disagree of course, as do plenty of my Chelsea-supporting friends.
But we need a bigger stadium and we need to generate more income from said stadium. Stamford Bridge is too small and seemingly cannot be expanded much beyond its current capacity. And knocking it down and starting again is not really an option given the location.
Moving to Battersea – with its four iconic chimneys – is a move that would genuinely excite me. It’s different, it’s interesting, it’s a venue full of history and it just seems right somehow.
My dad is from Battersea and has been going to Chelsea since the late 50s. It would be a new start but the new venue would be steeped in tradition, linked to times gone by and nothing like anything else around.
Many new stadia, no matter how splendid, can just be a bit soulless – identikit grounds lacking atmosphere and distinctly forgettable.
Whisper it quietly, but my favourite ground, for a number of reasons but mainly the atmosphere, proximity to the action and feel’, is Loftus Road. A proper football ground.
I’ve been to dozens of new grounds and they are wonderful in lots of ways but leave me feeling a bit cold.
The ‘Battersea Bridge’ may just be special and enable us to bring about the world domination Roman so badly craves.
And before people start lamenting who we are and what we are, football has changed so much. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and think we can carry on sustaining the challenge with crowds of 40,000. Change is not always a bad thing.
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