Chelsea open to Bridge stay

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Chelsea are ready to consider developing Stamford Bridge as oppose to moving to a new site.

The Chelsea Pitch Owner's refusal to see the their freehold that guards the club from selling the ground sold back to the football club has led to The Blues beginning their search for an alternative solution.

And the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham say they will come to the aid of Chelsea, by discussing plan to redevelop the ground, rather than move from their 106-year home.

"In light of the recent decision by Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC to retain its freehold of the ground, we reaffirm our desire to see Chelsea FC remain in the Borough and our commitment to help the club to remain at its historic home of Stamford Bridge.

"The Council now proposes to examine whether there are planning options to expand Stamford Bridge to accommodate a larger capacity, recognising that such a project must be economically viable, benefit local businesses and not unreasonably affect residents.

"We look forward to working closely with Chelsea FC and all local stakeholders as soon as possible to examine the options of redeveloping Stamford Bridge."

Last week, Chelsea failed to gain the 75% of the vote required to take control of the freehold owned by the CPO, which would have set in motion the club moving from the Stamford Bridge site.

The club said upon the result of the vote that they would investigate other avenues, with the council coming to their aid this week.

"Chelsea Football Club welcomes the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham's commitment to see the Club stay in the Borough and importantly their recognition of our need for greater capacity at Stamford Bridge," a statement read.

"As an initial step in a renewed dialogue with the Borough, we would like to explore promptly with LBHF how they propose helping us address the club's current problem of Stamford Bridge having substantially reduced capacity for big games."

At 42,055, Chelsea have the eighth highest domestic ground in the country, but with continued participation in the Champions League expected, the club are looking to expand their capacity to compete with their rivals.

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