Chelsea yet to make formal approach over playing matches at Twickenham Stadium
Chelsea are yet to make a formal approach about playing matches at Twickenham Stadium while Stamford Bridge is rebuilt, City A.M. understands.
The Blues are reported to have drawn up a shortlist of possible venues at which to play home fixtures should they demolish their ground and build a new 60,000-seater arena.
Twickenham, seven miles south-west of Stamford Bridge, is said to have been earmarked as one possible location for the club’s biggest Premier League and European games.
But it is understood that Chelsea chiefs are yet to make any formal approach to the Rugby Football Union to use the 82,000-seater stadium.
The Premier League club face several years of disruption should they press ahead with plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge at an estimated cost of £2bn.
Chelsea could groundshare Fulham’s Craven Cottage, which is itself currently being upgraded, for the majority of home games, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Twickenham or Wembley Stadium, which holds 90,000, would be options for matches likely to attract the biggest crowds.
Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly’s consortium pledged an additional £1.75bn towards stadium and squad investment as part of their takeover last year.
They have already spent more than £500m in transfer fees on the likes of Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk and Wesley Fofana.
No announcement has yet been made on a stadium upgrade but it has long been accepted that Chelsea need to increase capacity and modernise their home to earn more money and compete with Europe’s biggest clubs.
Previous owner Roman Abramovich commissioned striking plans for a neo-gothic rebuild of Stamford Bridge that received planning permission.
But he halted the project amid delays in renewing his UK visa and was forced to sell Chelsea 10 months ago after being sanctioned by the government over his links to Vladimir Putin.
Chelsea and the RFU declined to comment.