CHELSEA could opt to change name due to a little-known clause in their stadium arrangements.
Plans have been in the works for years for the club to move on from Stamford Bridge and follow London rivals Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham by upgrading to a bigger ground.
But former owner Roman Abramovich and now new club chiefs Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have faced headaches over getting the wheels in motion. One big issue is Stamford Bridge’s unique arrangements which sees the stadium owned by thousands of fans in shares. The Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC (CPO) have a big say on whether the Blues can move and continue with their name. The group have to approve the move from Stamford Bridge if the club are to continue in their current form of “Chelsea”.
The CPO also own the freehold to the Bridge and the owners would have to buy it off the group to allow them to have control of the stadium.
This could be beneficial as selling Stamford Bridge could help provide funding for any new venture.
But the process promises to be far from straightforward with Abramovich’s attempts to buy the land in 2012 being shot down by CPO shareholders.
Fans are believed to be split over the issue with some happy with Stamford Bridge – which has been the club’s home ground since 1905 – while others have looked enviously over at rivals Tottenham and their new, state-of-the-art stadium.