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Chelsea fear new stadium delays could have disastrous implications for the club

Blues had hoped to be playing in 60,000 new home in 2021 but now face two-year delay in turnaround

CHELSEA face having to play for four years on the road after being hit by delays with the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League leaders have been given planning permission to transform their ground into a state-of-the-art £500million 60,000 seater arena.

The new-look Stamford Bridge has been given planning permission

PA
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The new-look Stamford Bridge has been given planning permission

Under the original plans that would have left the club playing for two years elsewhere, with the club returning to the Bridge for the start of the 2021-22 season.

But the project has hit a stumbling block over the need to build over the top of the existing rail lines that run behind two sides of of the site.

Redevelopment work on the new stadium could take up to four years

ChelseaFC
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Redevelopment work on the new stadium could take up to four years

And those delays mean completion may not now be signed off for the team to resume playing matches in the stadium until the opening day of the 2023-24 season.

It means Chelsea could now have to find a temporary home elsewhere for four seasons, with Wembley and West Ham’s London Stadium the leading candidates.

Roman Abramovich and the club’s board are still considering which venue would be the best to host them, having seen Twickenham ruled out because of resident protests.

Tottenham will be using Wembley as their home ground next season, having been granted a 90,000 capacity by Brent Council despite resident protests.

The fact they would only be tenants for a year helped Spurs push through their increased capacity – but Chelsea would find it harder to convince planners a four-year arrangement would be good for the area.

So they could have to settle on a reduced Wembley capacity of 50,000 should they agree the ground rent deal at the national stadium.

Chelsea could follow Tottenham in using Wembley Stadium while Stamford Bridge is rebuilt

AP:Associated Press
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Chelsea could follow Tottenham in using Wembley Stadium while Stamford Bridge is rebuilt
60,000 seater Chelsea stadium set for approval as Stamford Bridge gets makeover

A ground-share with West Ham had initially been ruled out, but the possibility of relocating to the old Olympic site in Straford has recently been revived.

Meetings have taken place with officials over the prospect of a long-term arrangement, with initial safety and security issues now seemingly a thing of the past.

But accoring to The Mail, Chelsea have even looked at the possibility of pitching up at Reading's Madjeski Stadium.

Sharing the London Stadium with West Ham is another option open to Chelsea

Reuters
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Sharing the London Stadium with West Ham is another option open to Chelsea

Chelsea still have plenty of time before they need to decide on their short-term departure from west London.

Although building work is expected to start next year, the team will play the 20189-19 season at Stamford Bridge before moving out.