The main issue with buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich has now been revealed
Stamford Bridge’s size and capacity could prove to be an issue as Roman Abramovich looks to sell Chelsea Football Club.
That’s according to football finance expert, Kieran Maguire, who was speaking about the size of Chelsea’s home ground in comparison to some of their Premier League rivals.
Stamford Bridge holds just over 40,000 fans at full capacity but is dwarfed by their main London rivals.
Arsenal and Tottenham hold 60,260 and 62,850, respectively, while West Ham have a current capacity of around 60,000 at the London Stadium, with plans to increase that figure in the future.
So, any businessperson interested in purchasing Chelsea will have to consider the problem regarding Stamford Bridge, Maguire has claimed.
Speaking on the Price of Football podcast, Maguire said: “Chelsea would be an attractive investment because it’s in a desirable part of London, it’s the current UEFA Champions League holders, it’s the current FIFA Club World Cup holders, it’s won the Premier League – so, there are some positives.
“Against that, you’ve got people such as Jim Ratcliffe, head of INEOS, a British man. He, quite tellingly said a couple of years ago, that Chelsea was offered to him or he was made known that Chelsea was potentially available, but he felt the price being asked was too high – about £2billion.
“There’s also an ongoing issue with Stamford Bridge, it’s not big enough, that’s the simple statement. Old Trafford holds 74,000, the Glazers are potentially going to increase that to 80,000, Liverpool are at 54,000, they want to expand to 60,000, Manchester City want to expand to 60,000.
“We’ve got West Ham, Arsenal and Spurs in London at 60,000 plus. That’s going to be an expensive project and also, it’s going to take a long time to sort because finding a property space in London with the appropriate planning permission to build a 60,000-plus stadium is not going to be an easy task and it’s going to involve perhaps dismantling existing properties, getting the right planning permission and then there’s the issue of funding.
“Chelsea has many positives, but also from an investor’s point of view, it has its challenges as well.”
Chelsea did of course have plans to complete a £1billion redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, but they were eventually scrapped.
Maguire spoke about Jim Ratcliffe on the podcast, but a spokesperson for the businessman has confirmed there is “no substance” in speculation linking him with the purchase of the west London football club.
As per @sgevans on Twitter: “Spokesman for Jim Ratcliffe tells Reuters there is ‘no substance’ to reports that he is considering buying Chelsea from Roman Abramovich”.