Abramovich wouldn't gain from Chelsea move

Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck has refuted the idea that owner Roman Abramovich might gain financially if the club left Stamford Bridge for a new stadium.

The 2009/10 Premier League champions announced this month that they had made a proposal to buy back the freehold land at Stamford Bridge from a group called Chelsea Pitch Owners.

Chelsea said this did not mean the club would definitely move but added that buying back the freehold removed a potential hurdle should a suitable alternative site become available.

"There is no possibility for Mr Abramovich to make any money [from moving]," Buck told Chelsea TV on Friday.

The chairman then went on to explain the financial details surrounding a possible relocation.

"To build a new stadium of 55,000 to 60,000 seats would cost in the region of 450 million pounds which with the land would total maybe 500 to 550 million pounds," said Buck.

"The profit on the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge would be maybe a third of that amount and money from other sources such as Mr Abramovich and banks would be needed to move to another location."

Abramovich has already invested hundreds of millions of pounds since buying the west London club in 2003 and his spending power has played a major role in Chelsea winning three league titles since then.

"I don't know how much money Mr Abramovich has," added Buck. "He has invested 800 million pounds into this club and no matter how much he has, he must notice he has invested 800 million.

"A figure of 500 million pounds for a new stadium is a lot of money no matter who you are and the decision has been made we're not going to move to another stadium unless we can take the proceeds of a redevelopment of Stamford Bridge towards it."


Stamford Bridge has a capacity of 41,000 but Buck said moving to a new stadium would help lower ticket costs.

"Many more seats available should put downward pressure on ticket prices," Buck said.

"We can't make guarantees today what the pricing will be in five, 10, 20 years, that is impossible in any stadium, but a big stadium would allow us to test pricing, test different categories and test things that hopefully would help the fans."

Buck described Abramovich as a "Chelsea fan" and said he was "virtually certain" the Russian had no intention of selling the club.

Senior club officials accept that some supporters may show their opposition to a possible relocation by handing out leaflets at Saturday's home game with Everton.

"We take all this discussion seriously," Buck said. 'This is all I have been doing for the last 10 days, talking to fan groups and fans and I am happy to do it - it is an important part of the process.

"If there are leaflets handed out, OK. I believe in free speech and as long as there is compliance with the safety and security regulations we have at the ground on matchdays then free speech is what life is all about."