Friday 21 October 2016

Chelsea make four-year bid to land Wembley - damaging Spurs' chances of playing there

Matt Law

Published 16/10/2015 | 10:49

Spurs and Chelsea want to play at Wembley whilst their new stadiums are built
Spurs and Chelsea want to play at Wembley whilst their new stadiums are built

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has revealed that Chelsea have made a four-year bid to land Wembley as their temporary home at a meeting with Spurs supporters.

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That will only further damage the chances of Tottenham playing at Wembley for a season, with Chelsea insistent they are not interested in a groundshare and effectively offering four times the amount Spurs would pay for a single campaign.

While the ‘per season’ bids of Spurs and Chelsea for Wembley are thought to be at a similar level around the £15million mark, the Blues’ overall offer is potentially worth £60m to Wembley over the course of four years.

Chelsea have acknowledged that they will need a temporary home for at least three years while a £500m reconstruction of Stamford Bridge takes place. But it seems the club also need the protection of being able to play at Wembley for a fourth season if there are any unforeseen problems or delays in the build.

Speaking to the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Levy claimed that Chelsea’s four-year offer had changed the stance of the FA over Wembley with the governing body previously saying they were not interested in a Premier League club playing at the national stadium.

Levy also stressed the FA are aware of the need to treat clubs equally and are currently looking into the practicalities of a groundshare before further discussions can take place.

Tottenham need a ground to play in for the 2017/18 season while their new £400m stadium is built and are further along in the process than Chelsea, having already started work on the basement foundations and put the contract for the main construction out for tender.

Chelsea are confident they will be in a position to formally apply for planning permission for the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge before the end of the year and are equally sure they will be ready to start work in 2017.

While Tottenham are open to the idea of a groundshare for one year, Chelsea are not interested in the idea because they must sell Wembley as a more long-term proposition to their fans.

Furthermore, the idea of carving up a Premier League and European fixture list with rivals Spurs for a season is not attractive to Chelsea.

Levy told the Tottenham Supporters’ Trust that Wembley is the only neutral venue on the club’s radar, which may force them to Stadium mk in Milton Keynes if they miss out on the national stadium to Chelsea.

West Ham have the right of veto to keep Spurs out of the Olympic Stadium and the club’s vice-chair Karen Brady has already suggested the Hammers would take that course of action to stop Tottenham sharing for a season.

Milton Keynes would be a hugely unpopular move with Tottenham’s fans, who reiterated their pro-London position to Levy during the Supporters’ Trust meeting.

But Levy and Spurs may be faced with no choice if the FA do not intervene to inform Chelsea that the only way they can play at Wembley is to share it for one season.

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