No trou­bled wa­ter over new Bridge

Daily Mail - - Football - Charles Sale

CHELSEA sub­mit the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion to­day for their new 60,000- seat sta­dium at Stam­ford Bridge, hav­ing gone the ex­tra mile to en­sure they have the sup­port of fans and lo­cal res­i­dents.

The blue­print, which has been worked on in con­junc­tion with Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham Coun­cil since Oc­to­ber 2011, will al­low Chelsea fans, if they wish, to sit in the same seat in the same stand as they do now, although the ground is be­ing re­built from scratch over three years.

The stands will have the same names, so fans can stay in their favoured place. This is be­cause at two pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tions to show­case the plans, which drew a 93 per cent ap­proval rate, the most com­mon ques­tion fans asked plan­ners was where their seat would be.

The meth­ods of keep­ing the neigh­bours on­side in­clude ap­pren­tice schemes to learn build­ing skills dur­ing con­struc­tion and en­sur­ing min­i­mum dis­rup­tion by em­ploy­ing Kelt­bray, the firm who are painstak­ingly bring­ing down Earls Court Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre brick by brick.

Chelsea, who have to place the first no­tice of their plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion in a lo­cal news­pa­per to­day, hope to ob­tain per­mis­sion from the coun­cil by next sum­mer and would then move out for three sea­sons from 2017-18.

A deal to play at Wem­b­ley is al­ready be­ing ne­go­ti­ated, although Tot­ten­ham also want to use the na­tional sta­dium for that first sea­son while White Hart Lane is re­de­vel­oped.

The new Chelsea ground is be­ing to­tally fi­nanced by owner Ro­man Abramovich, whose spe­cial­ist sta­dium team are work­ing sep­a­rately from the foot­ball club.

Such is the em­pha­sis on foot­ball and Chelsea his­tory that there is no room in the new design for the club’s ad­min­is­tra­tive op­er­a­tion, which will have to find nearby premises. The min­i­mum cost of the build has been put at £600mil­lion, although it could be a lot more as the con­struc­tion ten­der is yet to be done.

THE high­est es­ti­mate has new Eng­land rugby head coach Ed­die Jones (right) earn­ing £500,000 a year, which puts his in­come be­low RFU chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Ritchie, who the lat­est RFU an­nual report re­veals was paid a whop­ping pack­age of £600,000 in 2015. This makes him the best-paid boss of a na­tional sport­ing body in the UK, per­haps only ri­valled by the FA’s Martin Glenn. And this in a year when the Eng­land rugby team ex­ited a home World Cup at the group stage.

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