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I'm for a new stadium...


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I never thought I'd say this.

At the beginning of Roman's era, when there were rumblings that we might be moving, I was totally against it. I mean, Stamford Bridge is the home of many memories. A new stadium just wouldn't be the same.

But for the past few seasons now, I have been slowly changing my view. You look at all the big clubs in England and around Europe and compare Stamford Bridge with what they've got (a few notables having moved recently, e.g. Bayern, Arsenal) and you can see that we cannot really compete (in the long term). There may be arguments that we might not be able to fill a larger stadium but I cannot comprehend that one. And if we continue our success on the field, our fan base is going to continue growing. We cannot become the best club in the world if we continue to live at Stamford Bridge. That's the economics side of it.

From the footballing side (and aesthetics), the Stamford Bridge pitch, it seems to me, to be beyond repair. Again, for a side of our aspirations, not having an immaculate pitch to play on at home just doesn't feel right. And the amount of money we're ploughing into stop-gap measures is a shame.

Though I'd be sorry to see us leave Stamford Bridge, I think it is the way forward.

Samsung Arsena anyone?



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I'm completely against us moving to a new stadium, and always will be.

We're one of the few top clubs in this country who still play at their original ground, and that's something to be proud of. Just walking down the Fulham Road on matchday brings back all kinds of memories from down the years, and I still get a thrill when I see the main entrance.. All that would just disappear if we were to move.

Take a look at some of the teams that have moved stadium: -

Bolton - Burnden Park was a sh*t hole, but it had it's own atmosphere.

Sunderland - nobody's going to tell me that their new ground has the same atmosphere as Roker

Middlesbro - same again, although Ayresome Park was a dump, it was Boro

Derby - I've still got good memories of the Baseball Ground icon_wink.gif

Arse - sh*t, I've even got good memories of Highbury too (not least the taking of the North Bank, plus of course the '84 game when we packed the Clock End.

Everybody and his dog is saying that Chelsea FC have no soul since Roman took over, and if we were to move stadiums, it would become true. We may move to a magnificent new stadium, with larger capacity and all the rest of it, but it wouldn't be the Bridge. If we were to move, I can honestly say that my love for Chelsea would drop to the point that I wouldn't even bother to check their results anymore. Not out of petulance, but because it would mean that Chelsea have finally gone the whole hog and sold out completely - I wouldn't want to be a part of that.

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I would hate to leave the Bridge.

First and foremost for reasons of history and emotion. Throughout the history of the club we have had hundreds of players, hundreds of thousands of fans, a fair few manager's, a squad of canteen staff, ticket office clerks, programme sellers etc and each and eveyone comes and goes eventually. They move on, retire, lose interest, die etc.

Throughout all these changes, all these personnel, all this history, there is one thing that binds it all together, one thing that they have all been in, all played in, all watched football in, all worked in, that thing has been the Bridge. Many of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents went to the Bridge and I'm sure many of us would like our kids, grandkids, great grandkids (may need to start leading a healthier lifestyle if I am to see that!!) go there as well.

And this isn't just about the ground itself, it is about everything around it. All the bars that have changed hands, shops that have disappeared, flats built, roads rerouted. I go to the game with my old boy and he points out umpteen buildings and tells me what the pub used to be called or what it was before it became flats (hell go to the game with Bluebeard and he does the same icon_wink.gif ). Yet the one thing that is still there (albeit very different inside) is the Bridge and the fact that when my Dad went to the games all those years ago he got off at the same tube station and walked down the same road that I do to this day.

For me moving from the Bridge would sever the link to the Chelsea I have always supported.

Now put all the emotional angle aside and lets talk about the capacity of a new stadium. We wouldn't fill an 80,000 capacity stadium. Hell we struggle to fill the Bridge as it is. To an extent I will accept the argument that if we had an 80,000 capacity we may see drop in ticket prices which means we might sell more tickets but we wouldn't sell 80,000 of the beggars unless we made it a tenner a match and threw in a free pie and a pint!! We get embarassed enough as it is about the atmosphere inside the stadium these days, it would be a hell of a lot worse in a massive stadium with thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of empty seats.

Bottom line for me is that I would rather support Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge with Robert Fleck and Cascarino up front then support West London FC at the Samsung Dome with Eto'o, Shevchenko and Ronaldinho up front!

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Eventually we will leave the bridge...Arsenal gave up the library for the big new expensive library, Liverpool will be leaving Anfield...its going to happen sooner or later, and with our money bags owner I can only lean towards sooner.

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I could never envisage Chelsea playing home games anywhere other than "The Bridge", what loz & bluebeard say is bang on, so much of the history and culture of our club IS Stamford Bridge, forget ideas of 80,000 seater stadia, we will only have to have a season or two without CL football and you will be looking at a rerun of the bad old good old days, when you would turn up at the gates 20 mins before kick off, pay at the gate and pick where you wanted to sit.

What will happen to the Gooners should they miss out on CL qualification this season ? 128.gif128.gif the above scenario I would imagine, it's all very well banging on about moving to a new ground to facilitate a current trend (ie Chelsea are "a trendy team"to follow at the moment), but as many of us old gits here can remember, we were trendy in the late 60's early 70's and plans were made for a super stadia, then.............."BANG" !!!! the bubble burst, the trendies vanished into thin air and it was left to the "real supporters" to keep the club going, remember the "POUNDS FOR POINTS" campaign in our76-77 promo season? the players taking a wage cut ? this situation went on for years until a kindly old gent with a white beard pulled us out of the sh*t while fighting off property developers LR&C.

No! the bridge is our home and long may it stay that way, there have been too many "battles of stamford bridge" down the years to give it all up for the sake of a trend.


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What will happen to the Gooners should they miss out on CL qualification this season?

We can only hope ...

But seriously - no make that even more seriously, God forbid the club should ever leave the Bridge. If it has to happen then so be it, but such an upheaval should only ever be considered as a last resort. I've stood in crowds of under 10,000, and I also remember back in the '70s not being able to get in to evening kickoffs that sold out on the night and running all over the shop trying to sneak in; down the railway, through the flats, and even over the top of the turnstile building. In short, like all of us, I've seen my share of ups and downs at the Bridge. The ground and the surrounding area are a massive part of my history. Nowadays it's nigh on impossible for me to get down there but even though the ground has vastly changed since my day (try as I might, I still think of the East Stand as the New Stand), it's still The Bridge and is too special to put into words. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'd stop supporting the club if we moved, but by Christ it would be difficult. And a name change? Don't even think about it.

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It's one of those things that will inevitably happen. Unfortunately, like it or not its all about the money these days, and if Stamford Bridge can't be expanded, the money men will eventully win and we will move.

Having said that, when it happens it will be gutting. I have only been to the bridge on a handful of occaisions (the last one being for the Newcastle match just before Christmas) but there is nothing like the atmoshphere that is there, and it wouldn't be the same watching Chelsea play elsewhere.

The Bridge is one of the few things that links the current Roman era to the history of Chelsea. So much has happened over the past 4 or 5 years to distance ourselves from our history, that it seems like the Bridge is one of the few links back to the past.

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When time comes that the Bridge is not big enough... destroy it and build it right where it is now. Best solution! 139.gif

Ideally yes but it can't happen that way. The main obstacle is that we are not allowed to have a greater capacity at the current location due to the limited entrance and exit routes.

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My 2 cents for what it's worth.

I don't want to offend anyone, I understand there are several die-hard older fans, who have been through the worst and the best of Chelsea, who have been to the Bridge since they were kids by his fathers/grandfathers hand.

History, tradition are all very fine values.

However I'd like to give some food for a tought.

To brake even by 2008 (?) with a capacity of roughly 42000/43000, it's an impossible task.

There are those who complain about the prawn sandwich brigade, there are those who complain about the ticket prices, there are those who complain - possibly originated by the first and second - about the lack of support/etc.

Consider this:

Moving to a new stadium, projected and built in proper english footballing phylosophy (public close to the pitch + no physicall barriers between the stands and the pitch, excelent accustics, etc), can make the tickets cheaper (forget Arsenal), can improve the conditions drastically, can get more people in, and ultimately can get better profits on the long term.

In relation to the prices of the tickets, it's obvious that the ones who suffer the most are the "true" supporters. Those who follow the team week in week out and spend half a months budget on...Chelsea. Raise the capacity, drop the tickets prices, still make more money then today.

On the issue of tradition and history itself.

How is tradition and history built ?

Years ? Decades ? Centuries ?

There is tradition today, there is history today. Build a new stadium, that stadium's tradition will be ZERO. No one will relate to it, no one will feel at home. Roll on the years...5 years, 10 years...100 years ? won't this issue repeat itself ? The old die-hard fans by then will feel exactly the same.

Ultimately your sons, your grandsons will be the ones to benefit. They will be the ones to make the history and the tradition after we're long gone.

On the issue of other clubs and stadiums.

Chelsea can't be compared with others. As Bayern Munich (for instance) can't compare to Chelsea. The common thing here is that all other clubs supporters who have moved to a new stadium have felt EXACTLY the same. They survived. Their clubs survived.

On the issue of rebuilding or raising the capacity of Stamford Bridge.

I have taken a look. In fact several looks. It's my opinion that it can be done to an extent. Obviously it could imply destroying a great deal of it and rebuilding from the ground. Obviously you can't get 100.000 in there. But it can be done. I'm sure. Kenyon says it can't be done. Don't think so. Raise the capacity the way it has been done, almost step-by-step will prove impossible. Get it on the ground and you could fit in at least 50000-60000 no doubt.

The problem is...will that still be Stamford Bridge as you know it ?

The name issue is a pesky one. There has to be a way of maintaining the name.

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The other major stumbling block will be the Chelsea Pitch Owners. Through the CPO, the Chelsea FC name is tied up with the stadium, meaning Chelsea FC has to play at Stamford Bridge. If we moved, we couldn't call ourselves Chelsea anymore. No matter if we kept the same colours, players, manager etc, I could never support London FC.

Let the Scousers and Gooners sell the history and tradition they think so much of, but we can't leave the Bridge.

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At this time, when so many only support Chelsea because we are winning, we must grasp on to any soul and atmosphere that we can! Like loz said, the atmosphere at another stadium would be horrible, and the empty seats would be embarassing. Our home is the Bridge, it is our only gap with the Chelsea of old, before all the money and glory hunting supporters appeared.

Also, were we ever to find ourselves no long backed by Roman, and not winning as much as we do now, we would lose a lot of our "fan" base, and definitely not fill an entire, shiny, new commercial stadium.

Save the Bridge!

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I've been saying all season that the visit to The Arse on May 6th will be the turning point for us, not in terms of football but for Roman and his buddies, 'cos once they see inside that ground they'll start making plans to shift us to a bigger and 'better' stadium if they haven't already. I don't want it to happen, for the reasons many have already stated, but I feel it is inevitable. Roman is one of the richest men on the planet and if he can't keep up with the Jones' who can? Financially it would make a lot of sense to have a bigger capacity, could even make it cheaper for the average fan to go. I understand it would be difficult for a lot of people to adjust but the times they are a changing. If we are to continue being one of the most successful clubs in the world we have to be self-sustaining at some point, we have to have a stadium that doesn't need barriers outside it's East stand to attempt to channel people in before kick-off, we need more than one way out so the crowd disperses a little better and we need to be able to accomodate CL matches without having to close off half of one end, and we need somewhere to house opposition fans so that no-one can hear them!

And if it's inevitable then the sooner the better, in terms of cost and giving us a chance to keep pace with everyone else. If we stay at the Bridge way after everyone else has 65-75K stadiums, we will fall behind attracting players and new fans.

The ideal solution would be to buy up all the land in the surrounding area, pay off the council, build a massive stadium and live the life of Reilly - not gonna happen I'm afraid.

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