Chelsea handed boost in £2bn Stamford Bridge plans as land sale agreed
Chelsea cut £80m deal to buy the homes of 100 military veterans next to Stamford Bridge, despite residents fuming at being forced out, in a major boost to £2bn plans to redevelop their stadium
- Chelsea are looking to invest £2bn to redevelop their Stamford Bridge stadium
- Military veterans living next to the stadium had opposed the redevelopment
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Chelsea have been handed a major boost in their plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge after approval was granted to sell the site of homes of military veterans to the club.
The Blues’ redevelopment plans were given the green light in July after a deal as agreed for the site where around 100 military veterans and their war widows live next to Stamford Bridge.
Mail Sport revealed the veterans were furious at the prospect of being forced out of their homes.
Veterans had reportedly applied for an injunction in a bid to stop the Stoll Charity trustees, who run the block of flats, from selling the site to Chelsea.
Stoll have now confirmed that the agreement to sell the land to Chelsea has been approved.
Chelsea’s long-planned renovations to Stamford Bridge have received a key boost
Approval has been given for the sale of the Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions (left) to Chelsea
Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions (left) and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge (right) are next to each other
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‘The veterans are the heart of this organisation and we continue, as we have always done, to act in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries,’ said Will Campbell-Wroe, Stoll chief executive.
‘The Chelsea FC ownership group’s offer enables us to limit uncertainty for residents and offer support over a longer period of time.
‘The site at Fulham is just not fit for purpose for the long term and while this is a difficult time for our residents, it is something we must do, to enable us to support veterans now and in the future.
‘We are enhancing our robust support programme for our residents during this process and our commitment to them will continue to be at the forefront of all we do at Stoll.’
Stoll said the sale of the majority of the Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions site is subject to contract with completion expected in early 2024.
The organisation’s board said it had received 13 bids which were reviewed over a period of six months, with the approval following a nine-week consultation with residents.
Stoll said the board took responses into account before making its final decision.
In a statement, the Stoll said its board had concluded that refurbishment of the site would ‘require funds that the charity simply does not currently have’, which would reportedly have cost at least £10million.
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has been keen to expand the capacity of Stamford Bridge
Refurbishments would have also have required residents to leave their homes, Stoll said.
It is claimed the sale will enable the charity to establish new properties which would provide ‘higher quality, more sustainable housing with greatly improved grounds, accommodation and facilities’.
The charity, who will retain 20 flats on the site, added that the sale will allow them to enhance services to veterans and will enhance support services during the process as a ‘matter of priority’.
Stoll stressed that residents will not have to leave their homes straight away, with land leased temporarily leased back to the charity after the sale’s completion, which would allow them to support residents move to alternative accommodation.
Approval of the sale will come as a major boost to Chelsea’s plans for a £2billion expansion of their 40,341-capacity stadium.
Chelsea have faced a number of obstacles to making the large-scale renovations under former owner Roman Abramovich.
But funds for the rebuild were put aside as part of the £4.25bn acquisition of the club by co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in May 2022.
A potential stadium relocation to nearby Earl’s Court was ruled out in April 2023, and full focus has since been placed on making renovations to the current stadium.
The club are keen to bring their stadium in line with that of their Premier League rivals
Potential work on the stadium, which would aim to increase capacity to 60,000 in line with that of the club’s Premier League rivals, would see the Blues playing away from Chelsea for over four years.
Venues that have been floated to host the club whilst the renovations are being undertaken have included Wembley, Twickenham, and Craven Cottage, where their west London neighbours Fulham play.
Boehly is believed to have held informal talks with Fulham’s owner Shahid Khan about the possibility of groundsharing, but although representing the most convenient move just one mile down the road, a spell in Craven Cottage – capacity 25,700 – could see the Blues miss out on key revenue.
Should Chelsea’s owners opt for a stand-by-stand refurbishment the work could take significantly longer than four to five years, and independent experts have called Chelsea’s proposed 2030 finish date ‘optimistic’.
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