Its finally settled. Chelsea have shelved plans of moving from Stamford Bridge. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium is a 60,000-seater and Manchester United’s Old Trafford can accommodate 75,000-plus, Liverpool will probably in the future, if ever Hicks and Gillette realise that promises are in fact supposed to be kept, move across Stanley Park to a new home and Tottenham are already boasting of how their new state-of-art-stadium will be better than both Emirates and Stamford Bridge. Despite knowing, that we with our 42,000 capacity stadium really are slipping in the stadium-size league table, I couldn’t be happier that Chelsea aren’t moving. Stamford Bridge is our club’s home. In fact, Chelsea was one of the few clubs which had a ground and the club was formed to fill the ground and football has been played there for over a century. I don’t know of many clubs that can claimto play at the same place where it all started? Its ironic how so many are quick to taunt us for our lack of history!
So I would gladly watch Tottenham bankrupt themselves building their new White Hart Lane and Liverpool slowly and steadily lose that history that they are so proud off in a bid to make more money, so Rafa can spend it on some injured but allegedly superb player!
However, our 42,000 capacity stadium does put us at a disadvantage to our rivals when it comes to financial income from home games. Arsenal earn around £3million per match at the Emirates while Chelsea’s income is, on average, £2.2million.
So Chelsea are considering selling naming rights to Stamford Bridge. Now, before you panic, remember Chelsea aren’t owned by a nutter like Mike Ashley and there is no way that Chelsea would rename the ground in similar fashion as Newcastle United. I still can’t believe that Newcastle United will be playing at sportsdirect.com@St. James’ Park until the end of the season! (Will the game be real or virtual?) Chelsea have said that the name Stamford Bridge will be retained in any deal. Ok, just a scary thought but technically isn’t St. James’ Park also kind of retained in the new Newcastle United stadium name? Well, Roman isn’t Mike Ashley (thank God!) and Ron Gourlay in his first interview since succeeding Peter Kenyon was very reassuring.
He said, “Retaining the heritage of the stadium is paramount to considering such a move but we think that is achievable, and on that basis we would enter into discussions over naming rights with the right partner for Chelsea. We understand that this is a sensitive issue for our fans and that is why we would keep the name Stamford Bridge in any deal.”
Three Barclays Premier League clubs have stadium naming rights partners: Arsenal (Emirates), Bolton Wanderers (Reebok) and Wigan (JJB) and I think as long as we don’t go down the Newcastle United way we’ll do just fine. Selling the naming rights would make up the shortfall and will help keep the club out of losses. It really does seem like a very sensible way to hold on to what is important while still continuing to evolve and grow. ktbffh.