“Further contact between CPO and the representatives involved in the consultation has been made. There is no further information available currently, although it was reported that further announcements will be made shortly.”
- That the club (or perhaps Roman himself) ‘are intent on staying at Stamford Bridge and developing it’ although ‘local authorities have drawn the club's attention to Old Oak Common, where Queen's Park Rangers are now planning a new ground, and the Olympic Stadium.’ Another piece states that the club ‘would prefer to stay as close as possible to its current Stamford Bridge site’ which is of course subtly different to ‘staying at Stamford Bridge and developing it’ but most of the papers agree what the club’s preference is now.
- Even if the club agreed to start work on the project tomorrow they estimate that it would take up to seven years until they could start playing in a redeveloped stadium due to the length of time it will take to navigate planning issues and construction. This far from surprising. Arsenal took almost eight years from their initial announcement to the opening of the Emirates. Spurs new stadium has taken six years so far and will take at least nine to complete. And the Stamford Bridge development is likely to be even more controversial and difficult than either.
- Stamford Bridge currently generates £1.5m-£2m less per match than Arsenal does which adds up to over £35m less a season in matchday revenue. The club may be managing the FFP landscape brilliantly but £35m-£40m a year is still a lot of cash (over seven years something around a quarter of a billion). And of course, based on Gourlay’s first statement above, the club sees a bigger stadium as the key that would increase the fanbase and unlock more long-term commercial income too.
- The club has estimated that it would cost £20,000 per seat to raise the capacity to 60,000 which suggests an overall project cost of around £364m. This figure is significant (see below).
- The club ‘admit that overhauling the Bridge does not make conventional business sense, with a listed building and a cemetery amid the impediments, though the level of the water table is not quite such a problem as had been thought’. Overall ‘the club estimate that it would take 25 years to make a profit out of the new seats’. The cost must be enormous, the obstacles even bigger so no wonder the plan doesn’t make business sense. And what is this listed building by the way? Oswald Stoll? The Artists’ Studios on Fulham Road? The East Stand, even? None of these are listed according to LBHF or English Heritage.
- Twickenham is still seen as an option for temporary relocation while construction is underway but it would probably be for two seasons rather than one. There is no desire from the club to make Twickenham our permanent home. Good, although we do hope the club have a back-up plan.
- The club believe that an increase in capacity would allow them to take steps to improve the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge through ‘experimenting with the sale of tickets’. This is not the place for a discussion on this point but the club would certainly have to offer some discounted tickets in order to sell out a 60,000 stadium against clubs like Hull and West Brom. But don’t expect cheaper tickets when we play the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.
- Again this is not for discussion here but it is also worth noting that, according to the briefing, the club have ‘sanctioned the Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, to examine the idea of the League's sides playing a 39th game overseas’. The club apparently feel that ‘feel that the ambition to nurture overseas fans through a 39th game is acceptable.’ Hmm.