Nick Candy, who has submitted an offer to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich, has promised to redevelop Stamford Bridge, in a similar manner to Tottenham’s redevelopment of White Hart Lane, if he is successful in his bid to take over the West London club.
Candy, a London-born businessman and lifelong Chelsea fan, has led The Blue Football Consortium’s £2 billion offer to take over Chelsea (Evening Standard).
The property developer has now insisted that Stamford Bridge is no longer fit for purpose when compared to the other grounds in the capital like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
He expressed a desire to knock down Chelsea’s home ground and build a new stadium from scratch, just as Spurs did a few years ago.
The 49-year-old also confirmed that, like the Lilywhites, he would be open to a temporary move to Wembley while the stadium is being redeveloped.
Candy told The Sun: “The stadium is not fit for purpose in the 21st century. It’s just not. So it needs doing, especially if the government wants to pitch for the World Cup in years to come.
“Stadiums like Tottenham and Arsenal have been brought into the modern world and are mind-blowingly brilliant. The issue at Chelsea is complicated because it is a very tight footprint to build a 60,000 capacity ground.
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“You have to dig down a long way to get that number in but it needs to be done. That will mean relocating for a period of time, something like five years probably, to Wembley like Tottenham did. Spurs have the best stadium in the world, mind-blowingly brilliant.
“They have a hotel on the training ground for the players to stay in after a European game as well, so we need to look to do that as well. We are way behind on the facilities of a club like Tottenham – although Spurs are way behind us on the pitch.
“This is not about high-end real estate but about developing a state-of-the-art stadium which is not just used for football matches that has other utilities, like Tottenham have done with their stadium. If you build a stadium for £1.5 billion and only use it once a week that’s not a very good utility.”
Candy insisted that describe Chelsea could build an even better venue than Tottenham’s 62,850-capacity home ground.
He continued: “I sit in the executive club and have sat in lots of different parts of the stadium. I used to sit with my dad next to the away fans and lots of parts of the stadium but it’s basically s***.
“Just look at Tottenham or Arsenal or any of the other good ones and that is why Manchester United are looking at doing something as well.
“If England wants to host the biggest tournaments on the planet we need to have the best stadiums. You can’t just rely on two clubs to have the best stadiums. Tottenham is the best in the world but we can be even better.”
Candy went on to add: “We need to do the stadium because it’s embarrassing when we go to Spurs to see how good it is. I can say that as Daniel Levy is a good friend!”
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One of the reasons that clubs like Chelsea did not need a new stadium for so long is because their business model under Abramovich was basically about being funded by their owner. They thus had no need to turn profits.
However, the economic reality of their situation compared with the likes of Spurs could hit home for Chelsea, now that they can no longer simply be reliant on being consistently bankrolled by a wealthy individual.
Over the coming decade, it will become clear why Levy’s decision to build a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue gives Spurs a big financial advantage over many of their Premier League rivals.