The seemingly imminent takeover of Chelsea from Roman Abramovich looks set to be delayed after concerns over the renovation of Stamford Bridge were raised. Each interested party has had to provide evidence of funds to improve the ground moving forward, but now concerns among bidders have emerged over the potential cost of the project.
Upgrading the ground to compete with other elite European sides has long been on the agenda in west London, with Stamford Bridge currently capable of holding just 45,000 people. It is significantly fewer than the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United, let alone Barcelona and Real Madrid, but due to its location, upgrading the Bridge will be a far trickier and costly project.
Consortiums led by Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca are the bids still in contention to buy the Blues, with the Ricketts family withdrawing from the process after protest from supporters. Abramovich has decided to sell the club and the process has continued despite the Russian being sanctioned for alleged links to Vladimir Putin.
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However, a report from MailOnline has revealed that concerns have now emerged among the bidders over the potential cost of a Stamford Bridge renovation. According to a source close to the process, they do not feel that the sums work if the successful bid is to be £2.5bn and a stadium rebuild is required as part of that.
“Without moving the stadium, the sums don’t work,” they told MailOnline. “They’re private equity guys and want to make a profit in the long term. No matter how glamorous the trophies are, the sums don’t work without moving the stadium if the deal is for £2.5bn.”
The source went on to add that if such renovations are made part of any final agreement, the bidders are likely to drop the value of their bids, saying: “They will probably knock the price down. Everyone’s talking about it, it’s just no one’s talking about in the public domain.”