Chelsea abandon stadium project; ZZ leaves Real Madrid, Mr Abramovich withdraws visa request

By Tony Attwood

And so the world moves on.  ZZ is leaving Real Madrid at a moment when they are perhaps going to struggle to get exactly the right person to take the club forward.   And Chelsea have (at least for a while) abandoned the project of rebuilding Stamford Bridge.

It was only a few days back that we were contemplating Mr Abramovich and his little local difficulty of getting a visa to allow him to come back into the UK.  Now SputnikNews, quoting the Jerusalem Post, says that Mr Abramovich has withdrawn his application for that visa.

And we hear that he had been granted an Israeli passport – he has business interests in that country as well as being a member of the Jewish faith, so that is not surprising that he has got it, although perhaps a little surprising that he applied for one in the first place.

That Israeli passport raised the question as to whether he could continue to run Chelsea from within the UK on an Israeli passport without the UK issuing a work visa.  The answer turned out to be no.  He could come into the country without getting a visa, but he could not work here as, for example, chairman of Chelsea.

And now as the latest twist, we have heard that Chelsea’s new stadium project has been put on hold “due to the current unfavourable investment climate”.   Which is a further interesting development.   How this will affect Chelsea is anyone’s guess.  If you want to place a bet on this or any other sporting matter you could take a look at Novibet Sports.

The original plan was for Chelsea either to be in the stadium by now or by next season.  This was then put back to 2021, and we started speculating if further delays were on the cards.   Now Chelsea has said….

“Chelsea has put its new stadium project on hold. No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur.  The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision. The decision was made due to the current unfavourable investment climate.”

Chelsea do of course have the planning permission for their new ground, something that was much delayed because of a dispute with neighbours about the interruption to natural light which the new ground would result in.  That too has been settled – but suddenly it all seems for nought.

So what is this “unfavourable investment climate”?   Interest rates are still low – lower than when Arsenal built the Emirates.   Mr Abramovich still has his money.   Although Chelsea didn’t win the league this season they won the FA Cup and they have had a very good run of trophies – although with dips in between far greater than Arsenal have experienced.

But they have a smaller and far less modern ground than several other London clubs.   The state aid stadium at West Ham can hold 66,000 people, although generally holds far fewer than this, even when they all turn up and stay off the pitch.  Tottenham’s new ground is said to be holding 66,062.   The Emirates is quoted as just under 60,000, but will go back to over the 60,000 mark after all the renovations are done at club level.

So Chelsea’s ground will remain at 63% of the size of the West Ham and Tottenham grounds, and also be the eighth largest ground in the PL next season.

And what does that mean for Mr Abramovich – and come to that Chelsea?   There are enough other multi-billionaires for someone to pop up and buy Chelsea if they fancy a club, but they would be buying with the knowledge that the current estimates for rebuilding the ground are five years away and at half a billion pounds cost.

Which might be the trouble.   From what I can gather billionaires are not always the most patient of people.

The worst case scenario for Chelsea (and I am not saying this is going to happen, just speculating) would be that Mr Abramovich has lost interest, and doesn’t get his UK visa back, and so has little inclination to invest in the team, but can’t find anyone to sell to.   Meanwhile I suspect however he will be watching the world cup in his native Russia which is where he might meet someone else trying to sell a club.

Either way Chelsea suddenly has to start living on its income – an income that would be smaller  without Mr A than that of Arsenal and Tottenham, although probably a lot of larger than West Ham, because of the existing sponsorship deals.

Of course I don’t know where any of this is going, but it does show the dangers of clubs that have grown used to having a rich sponsor watching on, rather than just living on the money that they earn.   When the tap is turned off, it can be a little difficult.

Meanwhile back with Real Madrid, there could be a knock on effect of managerial changes as they seek to appoint a new manager, who would then vacate a club who would seek a new manager who would…  Unless of course they appointed Mr Wenger.


22 Replies to “Chelsea abandon stadium project; ZZ leaves Real Madrid, Mr Abramovich withdraws visa request”

  1. Far too much joining up of the dots here and a lot of it based on inaccurate information for instance the planning consent wasn’t delayed due to the right of light issue. Planning was granted in January 2017 a year before the right of light issue was settled by way of a private agreement.
    RA isn’t and never has been Chairaman of CFC . That honour falls on a chap called Bruce Buck . RA hasn’t evern been a director of the club.
    For a while questions were being asked as to the viability of the new stadium and whilst the cost was initially suggested as being £ 471 million that it was felt that this would grow to £1 billion by the time it was completed.Even if match day income were to rise by £30 million a year excluding interest it would take around 30 years to be in profit and based on the life span of stadia almost certainly it would need to be redeveloped again before it had paid for itself.
    Our local supporters branch requested views by 30/4 regarding the redevelopment as it was planned and the question being asked was would it be preferable to rebuilt as per the plans or would redeveloping the Shed End and indeed the Matthew Harding ends be a better approach a far cheaper option the likelihood being the capacity would be closer to 50k than 60k
    The problem with expanding the ground capacity at Chelsea always centred around egress. If you know the layout you will know everyone has to exit onto the same road. To facilitate the rebuild a platform would have to have been built over the rail lines to enable access to the under ground station from the ground
    A couple of months ago the Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions announced they were in discussions with Chelsea to sell around 2 acres of land directly to the west of SB which if Chelsea gain possession of facilitates another exit point from the stadium immediately becomes available and like the decking gives direct access to Fulham Broadway
    Now I am no more privy to RA thinking than Tony but RA no doubt is peeved about the visa and my reading of Chelsea’s statement is more about how RA feels he is being treated that probably is the case but and a big but I tend to think that Chelsea or RA had come to the conclusion that it would be economic madness to invest £1 billion in an attempt to grow a revenue stream that has diminished in terms of its priority having been overtaken by quite some way by what I have heard called success based income included in that is prize money, sponsorship and TV incomes which as we have witnessed tend to drop when you have to pay for a stadium

  2. I think Roman if you look very carefully at the top of the site you will see the phrase “Football news from an Arsenal perspective” which gives you the answer. It has said that for 10 years.

  3. Spuds new ground is just over 62,000, whilst the London stadium capacity is 57,000 when in ‘football mode’ for West Ham games.

  4. Nice, Zizu packed it in, didn’t see that or Wenger but these are special people.

    Wenger has to get the job, would be a massive go run and jump. They need to tighten their purse strings, modernise and bring more value to their game.

    They need a calming influence who believes in the squad, can redefine player position and isn’t an ego.

    Ideally someone who could bring something to their youth set up and fully exploit the raft of young talent S. America and Portugal have.

    He will be open to Arsenal sales, Spurs would find that link severed and the rest of the League can expect a hard bargain.

    Same things you needed at Arsenal

    1 LB
    1 RB
    1 CB
    1 DM
    1 CM
    1 RW

    Couldn’t you have signed Hazard? he is coming, and De Gea is an option.

    Navas may keep his job, but if I were he and had that cash, knowing he loves to spend. Hazard and De Gea, massive investment, De Gea gives you good chance at Liga and 4th CL title in a row.

    It’s ideal fit. Oh I do think you deserve that. Only 5 teams world wide outside of England compare and of the Top, that is the pinnacle.

    I think Emery will work fine, wonder where he got that dossier of Arsenal from.

    Fully prepared was he, loving the set up and youth. Good good.

    What is Zidane going to do? He is the guy who signed out with a nut job so…..

    Barcelona, Bayern. EPL has surprising stability at top 6.

    Wait hold it, so Chelsea improved the share value with planning permission. Their fearless leader withdraws his visa application, gets a quick Israeli passport, the territory constantly playing devils advocate for the Soviets and White Kremlin Stateside.

    National service, insular attitudes and dust then.

    Asset freeze of Russian Oligarch, Chelsea can’t be run from such a position. Interesting. Well if I were in that particular predicament, subject too a child trafficking investigation. My own fearless leader was up Toby is eyeballs in sanctions amid civil unrest, I’d sell, oh boy I’d sell.

    I wouldn’t dilly dally and trry and save face, nor would I panic sell and damage asset value.

    Id sell Hazard, try and spark the GK merry go around by sounding out somebodies over a Tibaukt fee, £30m (Ederson) would be a good spark, Athletico obviously, they say look it’s £70m for Oblak, dont acceot it goes to £88m. UNITED, say look he wants it and it’s Real, the new contract boosts his wages there. We pay them, we get paid and have the other best GK for 5yrs going nowhere. And Barcelona will weaken Athletico as well. Poached.

    Cesar, Kante to PSG, Morata wants out, they should recover what they paid. Legitimate income streams.

    I’d do all that and still try and sound out buyers by the start of the campaign, of I could do it before Jan perfect. Nov second accounts.

    Music to my ears.

    Thanks TA

  5. Tony,
    You simply restrained yourself from calling what is happening with CFC what it really is! The Sugar Daddy developing a serious case of cold feet due to these recent developments. Other EPL teams need to watch out for seeing that model as a route to the crown as champions. Long run? It may not work.

  6. Nothing is permanent in life, including sponsorship by Sugar Daddies, except death.

  7. Roman……you don’t see the value of UA discussing other team’s issues and situations? Try LeGrovel where they only deal with AFC and its pathetic views on our so-called ¨failings¨.

  8. Mike T……………….you should become a regular writer on UA:)! You are more objective and well-researched than the whiny,moronic aaa losers we get on here far too often! I know you are a chelsea supporter but so what……a little ecumenism would do no harm, right?

  9. The Guardian is trying to stir the pot at WHL by saying that Pochettino is being courted by Real Madrid. My innate Schadenfreude as concerns that lot up Seven Sisters is chuckling.

  10. # GoingGoingGooner
    01/06/2018 at 2:46 am

    Our new manager holds a Spanish passport and a winning reputation in Spain.

    The laugh could be on us!

  11. Omg

    Interesting you say that for despite this being an Arsenal site I actually quite enjoy most of the articles for my love of football runs far deeper than just my club. I don’t agree with a number of postiers views just no doubt as they don’t like mine but debate is healthy as are disagreements but when they revert to personal insults people really need to get a grip.
    Ironically yesterday morning and before this article was published I had started to pen an article around what I can’t help but feel is potentially a major breech of FIFA rules by the FA . I am not sure it would be published but I might just complete it and get it over Tony to see what he thinks
    You may well have guessed from my postings my beef is often not with what a rule says it’s more to do with adherence and equitable treatment. If the rule is wrong then change it but if it remains in place then don’t moan about those that use those rules to their advantage

  12. @coloario – Emery is Catalan so about as unlikely to be welcome at Real Madrid at I am.

  13. For those of you curious about the association between land ownership, offshore led property development in the Uk (you’re not allowed to things in the same way if you’re building a bungalow on Grand Canary, they have some standards…), and modern Football ownership in the U.K. (Please see the Fulham Wembley story and all the many others not forgetting Millwall etc.) I recommend:

    Tottenham’s Trojan Horse
    By Dr.Mark Panton
    Amanda Lillywhite (hehe!)
    ISBN: 780955281310

    The only way the construction site in Middlesex will be ready for September forget about August is with constant overtime, which might not happen now that the leader of the local council got the chop for some amusing reasons (see above).

    Are there still people out there insisting that Tottenham and Liverpool are spending less wonga then the Arsenal? If so then I have a bridge called London Bridge that I can sell you…it’s the real thing, as they say. At a special discount?

  14. All those ‘Roman’ bricks proposed for west london was the architect taking the berties. Entirely deserving of a hefty fee hahaha!

    Not Predictable. Not predicted on these pages or in the comments section. Or maybe it was.

  15. @
    01/06/2018 at 10:20 am

    ”@coloario – Emery is Catalan so about as unlikely to be welcome at Real Madrid at I am.”

    Not according to wiki.

    I checked his profile in wiki when I learnt that Emery was our new manager.

    If you google map his birth place you will see his place his next to the French boarder.
    His first language is probably Basque
    No problem for Real.

    Poch of spuds made his managerial name at Espanol in Catalonia.

  16. #goinggoinggoing
    Yes I smiled at your comment.

    I could not decide whether to write ‘red handed’ or ‘spudhand’ and opted for the latter but I now think ‘red handed’ is better 🙂

  17. Meanwhile on transfer week 4.194.614.986.

    So the noise is scrambled as usual but it’s sounding increasingly likely that Courtois will move in, Someone isn’t keen on losing Oblak at all, but if a deal can he done and he can get something back and a good performer between the sticks he’ll accept it, but he is actually looking to challenge the Duopoly and senses tired legs quote rightly.

    Having achieved both feats Arsenal were unable to surmount; namely a CLQ position in the league and an international Cup, it seems Diego is no fool and intends to try and take Me Liga by any means.

    At present their is a bit of a stalemate, trams have preferences as do players and others really would prefer nothing happened at all, something Diego, Josè and Barcelona have in common, all be it that Barcelona have more, monetary issues.

    And here we enter stage left, out pantomime villain, Roman. It would appear that he might fancy a slice of the GK pie and word being they too are after a GK make a lot of sense.

    With Liverpool clearly in need, Arsenal flattering to deceive in this department and Chelsea looking to make a buck and sort out an area where liabilities could creep in. The feeling is Jack Butland will end up at one of these 3 clubs.

    That said it appears that the limited funds ‘apparently’ available at the club will certainly affect purchases. This could well add veracity to the suggestion that Chelsea are moving for the Stoke man. This could be given greater credence with Arsenal admiring the Leno release clause it seems and Liverpool set on either going big or bigger, with the Reds linked to Allisson and Oblak. And arguably able to buy either.

    The luxury afforded Klopp by the emergence of Trent-Arnold. He still night want to fix the LB issue, Milner will do though. Liverpool will be stronger next season, but they will still miss the creativity of Coutinho, especially earlier in the campaign.

    With Keita arriving inmininently and Can leaving for Turin, the Reds midfield will be particularly interesting, with a three man system likely to include the new boy alongside the Captian and one other. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain may well reckon on his conduct and look to cement that position for which he was purchased and he and his father feel he was born to.

    This position will have freedom but he will be asked to link the midfield and front 3 which looks unlikely to change for the near season.

    Liverpool are going to want some cover, all over the place. Probably harder players to find than starters for some clubs.

    Expect Mignolet to leave and Karius to become number 2, but he’s not bad, has something to make up for now. It’s all very interesting at Liverpool, but with that status and little actual achievement, it will be interesting to see Klopp evolve the team and go that step further, because that’s a pretty big ask.

    Hazard seems just a matter of time, the price is more set by the available funds to negotiate with. I cannot see him staying, with Antoine set to move and Barcelona slowly swelling their ranks with talent we see as synonymous with the club, Real will respond. Because the prospect of Suarez, Greizman, Messi & Coutinho baring down on you has got to be terrifying.

    Just half a team to go then, if Barcelona do a deal on Osumane, we have to nip in, because if I was holding him, he’d be going nowhere.

    At Real things are a little more stagnant, Ronaldo is Real and well he retires their or goes to get more money. That back line just needs reinforcing with a quality development, but as Ramos proved markedly, they can handle it. What Real need is quality and to get in on the World class talent. PSG already bought half the European elite. Hazard it has to be and De Gea is just sensible money. With Isco, Modric, Navas pretty much being the assets you wouldn’t keep. It’s about a togetherness and some pride over 38 games.

    I think Hazard helps the dynamic, taking LAMF he makes Ronaldo 9 and answers that question of his position and that of the first choice CR7. On the right he proves Asensio is the best option and Caesemiro starts every time for me, with Kroos which sorts selection and leaves GK to be addressed.
    I’d put Bale behind CR7 and well that’s two very top loaded Spanish teams with a few things to address defensively but isn’t that the way of most top teams?

    Juventus will be weighing up their options with quick a few €25 – €35 million players to offload they are nice. And set to challenge in the CL again. More legs in defence and Midfield but with RB and DM/CM being sorted already, with Szczesny making the step up likely, they are a dark horse.

    Inter could be interested in a deal for Icardi with Morata sparking interest in Milan, Turin and Rome.

    PSG are having that 70% an inflated price sale. It sounds as if Pastors, Cavani, Verratti, Karzawa and Maria could be all for the chop. Personally I’d sell all of them, and I like Marco but he looks far from committed in the Parc.

    The Qatar Group have also heard about the GK hype and are interested in this super keeper thing with the inflated fees they command. Courtois is linked here too.

    S lot is going to come down to who buys Tibault, with the player potentially preferring Real, who prefer De Gea, and can’t buy Oblak and quite like Allison or Keep, both of whom I enjoy and think suit well given the way the team plays, the stops aren’t freakquent but can be decisive. Another decisive factor will be what Real can get for Navas, they won’t fancy waiting only for Barcelona to decide that they can go cheap on defensive options so they can afford the United stopper.

    I wouldn’t blink.

    City have again gone early and decisively, Pep has said Mahrez (I like his taste entirely I must say, Laporte, and 3 wonderful prospects already) and a suppliment for Fernandiho with the rest covered. He has to buy English after that and or use developent squad.

    Make no mistake that is the most complete squad going. How they lost to Liverpool, oh tight donkey linesman I forgot.

    Say what you know the draw, Roma v who? Do you know who the match officials will be too?

    Finally the beast may stop consuming for a while, expect fewer but more quality.

    SPURS, still tying down the hamster on a 100,000pcw contract for 8 years, they won’t be up to much, Poch aimed to beat the rush, but will want his £100m plus sales return. What does he add, a CB, LB a CF LW. Stagnating in football is bad. If they go backwards from last season, the mood will change. Big ask improving on last season. It’s about the limit without a Bale or some other direct Catalyst, Xaha would suit but he takes Son out. Arguably their best other player.

    Watch out for Everton, if they get Zaha people are in trouble going there. It’s a good top 6 team in need of guidance, I think Silva is a good appointment

    Whilst Chelsea steal from the hotel room and replace items with Cheap Poundland gear, which according to some bosses is the pits when it comes to chocolate, which simply isn’t true. UNITED will be feeling the full force of the Portuguese cursory tones as Josè tries to work out what to sell and what to buy.

    Martial is done with him, he failed the stress test, Mata must know that the gaffer is allergic to Umpa Lumpa’s

    The consensus seems to be that Felaini will go elsewhere now and the likes of Blind and Shaw aren’t mentioned in debate, too obscure for note. The old faithful are near mute on the topic of Sanchez and Pigba is a should he stay, should he go footnote. Whilst De Gea is a touchy subject, but what is accepted is that Josè has a collection of assorted talents but nothing close to a team.

    United fans really are keen on Bale and the arguement is whwre and both myself and acquaintance frim Beijing agreed he is a 10 now and has been for a while. Real should keep him, United would love him and Alexis is weighting the United attack too much. Well I could have told yo6 that

    Meanwhile the state if affairs at Arsenal make it likely they are set to lose A Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, both senior Goalkeepers and both Ozil and Lacazette.

    With new 6 year improved contracts being readied for Monreal, Xhaka and Mustarfi.

    It also appears time is up at the Emriares for the stuttering Nketiah, the far from impressive Iwobi and a struggling quintet of Chambers, Holding, Ballerin, Maitland Niles and Nelson.

    Sven is apparently preparing a dtealthy lighting raid for the free agent John Terry .

    The Sun are reporting that the Mirror are reporting that the Sun, are reporting that the times, said that the Mail on Sunday, but the weekly one, told the EXPRESS, that they heard the Telegraph telling the Guardian that Emery is set to trigger the release clause in Oblak and Griezmans contract before the start of the World Cup, once the friendlies are completed.

    Exciting times at the Emirates bowbthat they have a manager rather than a visionary.


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