Moving To A New Stadium Could Force Chelsea To Change Their Name

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Like seemingly half of the professional clubs in London, Chelsea are currently pushing for a new stadium, seeing the limited capacity and commercial revenue of their 135-year old home as a hindrance to competition with Europe’s top clubs within UEFA’s financial fair play system. While many clubs lament the abandoning of their historic home as a loss of some sense of identity, Chelsea could lose a much more basic form of identity – their name.

When he saved the ground from property developers in the early 90s, then-chairman Ken Bates sought to ensure that Chelsea fans could never have their club ripped away from them. In creating the Chelsea Pitch Owners, a non-profit group which owns the Stamford Bridge freehold and the rights to the Chelsea Football Club name, he set up a system in which no one person could take total control of the club’s future. One of the stipulations was that:

“If the club should ever leave Stamford Bridge it must change its name and hand over the rights to the name Chelsea Football Club to Chelsea Pitch Owners.”

Chelsea have made an offer the buy the stadium’s freehold and naming rights, but the measure must be approved by 75% of CPO members.

Full Story: The Mirror

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