Chelsea consider switch to Twickenham whilst Stamford Bridge is redeveloped

The Blues could temporarily play at the home of rugby

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Chelsea have taken the first step towards a possible temporary move to Twickenham after making an approach to the Rugby Football Union.

The RFU has confirmed it has been sounded out about the prospect of the Premier League club using the 82,000-capacity home of English rugby if Stamford Bridge is redeveloped.

Chelsea announced in June that they are looking at possible expansion plans for their stadium, although dates for any work have not been specified. It had previously been mooted that the club could seek out a permanent new home, however suitable London sites are in short supply.

The Scottish Rugby Union has allowed Murrayfield to be used for club football, with Celtic playing European games at the Edinburgh stadium earlier this year while Celtic Park and Hampden were tied up during the Commonwealth Games.

Twickenham has previously refused football teams permission to move in for short periods, with the then RFU chief executive Francis Baron saying in 2001, when Fulham were seeking a temporary home, that "we are not interested", citing difficulties with segregation of supporters along with traffic and policing issues.

The RFU said in a statement: "We are regularly contacted by a variety of organisations, within and outside sport, on a wide range of opportunities concerning use of what we believe is a world-class stadium. We have had an enquiry from Chelsea FC but have not had any discussions of any substance.

"While we don't comment on any specific confidential conversations, each request is taken on its merit, assessing a variety of factors, such as the effect on the pitch, availability, transport and local considerations and other important implications."

660871.bin
A view of Stamford Bridge

 

It is understood the RFU considers the enquiry to be a long way short of indicating that Chelsea have chosen Twickenham as the stadium they specifically would want to move to, should redevelopment work at Stamford Bridge necessitate a ground move.

There are thought to be other stadiums under consideration by the club owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Tottenham have recently been linked with a move to play a number of games at Wembley in the 2017/18 season while their new home is built.

A Chelsea spokesman said: "We're investigating different scenarios as part of the consultation process we started earlier this year, but have had no discussions of substance so far."

PA

Comments