Chelsea have been given the permission to build a £500 million 60,000-seat stadium by the mayor of London, according to reports.
This means the club can demolish or rework the current state of the stadium to increase the capacity from the current 41,600 to 60,000.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council approved the plans earlier in the year but the mayor – who makes the final decision – has given the go-ahead.
“Having taken a balanced view of the application, I’m satisfied this is a high-quality and spectacular design which will significantly increase capacity within the existing site, as well as ensuring fans can have easy access from nearby transport connections.
“I’m confident this new stadium will be a jewel in London’s sporting crown and will attract visitors and football fans from around the world,” the mayor Sadiq Khan said.
The Premier League side was elated at the permission to proceed.
“Following a review by mayor of London Sadiq Khan, we are delighted he has chosen to support the council’s decision,” the club said.
The chair of the club’s supporters group Trizia Fiorellino said he is happy with the news as it means the club would not be “left behind,” considering that Spurs and West Ham have gotten new stadiums.
It was a long time getting here for the club as they have been seeking an increase in matchday capacity. The owner Roman Abramovich lost a vote to buy the freehold of Stamford Bridge back in 2011. The Russian billionaire wanted to buy it from Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) but the group – owned by supporters denied the move as they did not want the groud ever sold without agreeing.
Abramovich also tried getting the Battersea Power Station so he could build a stadium but he lost out in the battle with property developers. The club would likely play games at Wembley Stadium whilst the renovation work is ongoing, the BBC claims.