— As they invite fans to view plans for revamped 60,000 stadium
Chelsea may have to find themselves a new home for three years as they push forward with plans to expand Stamford Bridge to house 60,000 supporters.
The Barclays Premier League champions have taken the first big step toward a revamp by inviting fans and local residents for an early exhibition into potential changes later this month.
Chelsea have long been restricted by the 41,837 seats available at their SW6 home, which leaves them lagging behind other big clubs at domestically and in Europe.
In a letter sent out to season-ticket holders, members and neighbours of the ground this week, the Blues provide detail of an exhibition to be held at their East Stand Reception from June 30-July 2.
The plans would see Chelsea move out of their home for at least three years – with Twickenham and Wembley already sounded out as potential temporary destinations.
Chelsea have already conducted a study of the area, ordered by owner Roman Abramovich, that included the feasibility of building decking over the restrictive railway lines to the east and north of the ground.
The club say their need to expand is driven by huge demand for tickets and the need to improve stadium revenue figures in the era of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Stamford Bridge is England’s ninth-largest football ground, with the likes of Sunderland, Aston Villa and Liverpool all having bigger stadiums despite their lack of Champions League football.