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The end?

Few things are more dispiriting to the football fan than when their club has to leave its historic home in order to ‘maximise revenue’, or simply because the old place is falling apart. So no doubt Chelsea fans are all ready to get their hankies out at the potential end of the 105-year stay at Stamford Bridge, the ground that gave birth to the club.

The club are apparently considering taking the site at Earls Court once the exhibition centre is knocked down, and building a new 60,000-capacity stadium in its place. The club are concerned about the difference in matchday takings between them and Arsenal and Manchester United, both of who have at a third more spectators through the turnstiles every fortnight.

‘The discussion is now on again,’ said a source to the Guardian. ‘It is largely because the owners are progressing alternative uses for the site and there's lots more urgency for Chelsea to make a decision. From Chelsea's point of view this is their last opportunity to get a new ground and stay in the same area they have been in for over a century.’

‘(It would be) very difficult for us to make the philosophical decision that we are going to move on,’ said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck. ‘Certainly we wouldn't leave west London or thereabouts and there are very few sites available. We have to do things with our other commercial activities to make up the deficit that is created by the fact we don't have a 60,000 seat stadium. We can't say that we will never move or have a new stadium but at the moment, it's not at the front of our agenda.’

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