Chelsea Looking to Buy Back Stadium from Supporters Opening Up Stadium Move

October 4, 2011

English Premier League club Chelsea has opened up the possibility of a move away from Stamford Bridge by proposing to buy back the stadium’s freehold from supporters.

The freehold to the ground on which the club’s current 41, ampoule 800-seat stadium is built is owned by Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC (CPO), sale a supporter-led group that bought the land in 1997 to prevent the possibility of the venue falling into the hands of property developers.

Chelsea said this did not mean the club would definitely be relocating but added that buying back the freehold removed a potential hurdle “should a suitable (alternative) site become available in the future”. The club have not made any direct moves to make this venture happen yet but chairman Bruce Buck said: “We have to be prepared for a move if something right comes along for Chelsea.”

CPO acquired the freehold for £10 million in 1997, prostate | with £8.5 million of the total coming from a loan secured from Chelsea’s then-holding company as well as £1.5 million from investors. According to various reports, the club has offered to clear the outstanding loan amount and pay the organisation £1.5 million, and shareholders will be asked to approve the proposal at a general meeting on October 27.

Buck told The Guardian: “Chelsea should always be grateful to those who invested in CPO. We know only too well how close the club came to losing our home prior to the formation of CPO, but that threat has now gone under Mr (Roman) Abramovich’s ownership and with the CPO structure in place we cannot plan with certainty for the future.”