Chelsea bid for Battersea Power Station stadium is rejected in favour of Malaysian property developers
Champions League winners Chelsea will not be moving from Stamford Bridge to Battersea Power Station after the club failed in their bid for the land. Chelsea had hoped to relocate to the Battersea area, building a 60,000 seater stadium on the 16-hectare site, but have lost out in the bid for the land to two Malaysian property developers. A £400m joint-bid by SP Setia and Sime Darby was approved by administrators Ernst and Yound and it is believed that the two companies will redevelop the area with both residential and commercial properties. It is also believed that the bid includes an extension to the Northern Line with a new underground station.
The club had previously said that any development would "include a town centre with substantial street-level retail shops, affordable housing and offices". It's statement added, "All of which would benefit Wandsworth and bring a significant number of permanent jobs to the area."
Local planning authority Wandsworth Council said the deal was "potentially very good news".
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "We're making tremendous progress towards transforming this old industrial stretch of the South Bank which will provide up to 25,000 new jobs for London.
Chelsea have been at Stamford Bridge since it was founded in 1905 and their options now seem to include sites at Earls Court and Shepherds Bush, where a new stadium could be built, or to remain at Stamford Bridge and renovate the existing stadium. The club have yet to comment on the rejection of their bid but are likely to release a statement through their website.
The Independent's arts correspondent Nick Clark took to Twitter to speak of his dismay at the failure of Chelsea's bid and tweeted, "I'm gutted that Chelsea missed out on Battersea Power Station as the new home ground #sickasaparrot".
Daily Mirror's world football blogger Matt Fortune claimed that it was "always a losing fight", whilst social media man Steve Spicer asked, "Chelsea isn't going to turn Battersea Power Station into a football stadium. Am I the only person who thinks that's great news?"
Reaction was certainly mixed to the news that Chelsea had been outbid with Sustainability Advisor Tom Jennings tweeting, "Disappointed Chelsea FC's bid for Battersea has been trumped. Disappointed also that one of those Malaysian firms is a key palm oil producer", whilst Chelsea fan Callum Dean could not hide his delight at the possibility of hi sclub staying at Stamford Bridge. Dean tweeted, "YES! Chelsea's bid for Battersea Power Station has been rejected. Long Live Stamford Bridge! :) #CFC"
Wiltshire based comedian Tony Cowards speculated that Cardiff City's owners may be behind the approved bid. After news yesterday of Cardiff's Malaysian owners changing the club's kit from blue to red, Cowards jokingly tweeted, "A Malaysian company have beaten Chelsea in the bid for Battersea power station, expect it to become Cardiff City's new home stadium."