Chelsea have insisted that a move to a new stadium is necessary to keep growing and developing, as the club explained to fans why they couldn’t expand Stamford Bridge instead.
The Blues have long had a move on the cards, with the club hoping to find a home with a capacity of around 60,000. And after an offer was made to the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) for the freehold of Stamford Bridge, they explained why some decisions over the move had to be made.
"The club has reports and studies from as early as 2003/04 on various aspects of a redevelopment of [Stamford Bridge], and has spent a considerable amount of time and money in looking at various aspects of a redevelopment,” Chelsea said on their official website.
“The bottom line is a redevelopment adding a significant number of seats needs a site of 16 to 18 acres or more, and at Stamford Bridge there are less than 12 acres.
"The club has worked with several architects firms looking for ways to redevelop each of the four stands at Stamford Bridge to increase capacity.”
Chelsea went on to explain that they looked in detail at expanding every part of the stadium, but found that any possible plan to do so was effectively unworkable.
"The club has looked at tearing down all four stands and at turning the direction of the pitch by 90 degrees but neither plan makes sense, because again it should be emphasised that the site is less than 12 acres, and it is generally considered that to build a stadium from scratch with a capacity of 55,000 then approaching 20 acres is needed,” they said.
“A major reconstruction at Stamford Bridge also raises issues as to where the club would play during the two or three seasons that Stamford Bridge would not be available.”
Chelsea have also promised members that the stadium would be very close to Stamford Bridge, but warned that time was running out on whether a move could take place at all.
“The club believes that by 2020 all available sites within three miles will have gone. If we are unable to secure one of those sites, and did eventually decide that leaving Stamford Bridge would be in the best interests of the club and its fans, then sites further afield than three miles may be the only option," the statement continued.
"The club's objective is to remain at Stamford Bridge or move to a new stadium within three miles."