Tuesday 16 January 2018

Chelsea bids for NAMA’s Battersea Power Station

Treasury Holdings co-owner Johnny Ronan
Treasury Holdings co-owner Richard Barrett
Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich

Independent.ie and Press Association reporters

CHELSEA football club has submitted a bid to acquire the Battersea Power Station site – which is partly controlled by the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) - for the construction of a 60,000 seat stadium

The Blues announced that it and property development partner Almacantar were hoping to acquire the 39 acres of land they could redevelop if they decide to relocate from Stamford Bridge.

It is understood that representatives of NAMA, the agency designed to purge the banks of developer loans, and Lloyds Bank held discussions with Chelsea’s billionaire owner Roman Abramovich at the end of last year with a bid submitted today.

Nama and Lloyds Bank took control of the site in December after accountancy firm Ernst Young was appointed administrator by the British high court to subsidiaries of Battersea Power Station Shareholder Vehicle.

The landmark site was formerly 54pc controlled by Real Estate Opportunities, whose biggest shareholder is the Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett-owned Treasury Holdings.

Chelsea said in a statement: "Battersea Power Station is one of London's most famous buildings and has the potential to become one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world.

"Our joint bid was submitted in accordance with the sales process established by the joint administrators for the site. The process could run for a number of months. We are not the only interested parties and there is no certainty that we will be successful."

Chelsea cannot move from Stamford Bridge unless they can convince fan-led group Chelsea Pitch Owners, who own the land beneath Stamford Bridge, to sell them back the freehold. That was something they failed to do at an extraordinary general meeting of CPO back in October.

The statement added: "We also appreciate that we have many significant hurdles to address if we are to build a new stadium on the site, including winning the support of our fans, the CPO shareholders and local Wandsworth residents, as well as securing the approval of Wandsworth Council, the Greater London Authority and heritage authorities.

"We must also stress that making an offer for the Battersea Power Station site does not mean the club has made a definitive decision to leave Stamford Bridge. Working with architects and planning experts, we have developed a plan to preserve all the significant aspects of Battersea Power Station.

"Following feedback from fans, our initial plans include a 15,000 all-seated one-tier stand behind the south goal, likely to be the biggest one-tier stand in football. Also as suggested by many fans, the stadium proposed is rectangular in shape with four separate stands. The design includes a bigger family area and more room for disabled supporters.

"We will keep our fans updated as the process develops."

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