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Stadiums

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Chelsea stadium project delayed

Chelsea are planning to stay at Stamford Bridge until the end of the 2019-20 season because of delays to the start of structural work at their new stadium.  They are confident of being able to return in three years and open their new 60,000 seater stadium in the summer of 2023.   However, there is a possibility, given the scale of the project, that building work could take four years rather than three.

Chelsea hold ground share talks with West Ham

Chelsea have held renewed talks with West Ham over a potential ground share at the London Stadium during the redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.  The club's preference is still to play games at Wembley during the three years the redevelopment will take, but it is making contingency plans in case it cannot reach agreement with the FA.

The London Stadium has emerged as the only credible alternative.   A possible move to Twickenham has been ruled out because of opposition from the Rugby Football Union and local residents.

Spurs get stadium funding

Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium redevelopment is a significant step closer after the club agreed a £350 million funding package with three investment banks.

HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch will provide almost half of the money required to complete the £750 million rebuilding of White Hart Lane. The rest of the funding will come from advanced ticket sales, a ten-year ground rental arrangement with the NFL and a possible naming-rights deal.

Progress on new stadium for Bees

Work is underway on Brentford's new ground project at Lionel Road South.  Temporary hoardings have been put up and initial site preparation work has been carried out, including the start of essential demolition work.

The Bees plan to build a 20,000 capacity stadium by 2019 and believe it will help secure the long-term sustainability of the club.  The new stadium is situated next to Kew Bridge station, less than a mile away from the club's current home at Griffin Park.

It will also be home to the London Irish professional rugby team..

Spurs hesitate over Wembley move

Tottenham Hotspur have asked the FA for more time to confirm their intention to play at Wembley next season.  Brent Council gave them permission to host 27 matches at the stadium this week.  The present deadline is 31 March.

The club's hesitation arises from possibility to delays to the building work on their new stadium.  Delays on major building projects seem almost inevitable.  The club doesn't want to enter into a contract with the FA prematurely.   The FA has indicated that it is willing to be flexible.

Sky Blues mediation offer

At the instigation of sports minister Tracey Crouch, Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris has offered to act as a mediator in the Coventry City saga.   He is an assistant government whip.

There is no shortage of offers of mediation.   Sitting in Coventry Cathedral for the mayoral hustings on Wednesday evening, I heard Conservative Candidate Andy Street offer his services.  The question is whether the various parties will come to the table for talks.

Sky Blues could have had to play behind closed doors

Coventry City might have had to play in an empty stadium after two pitch invasions by fans protesting against owners Sisu.  The City Council wrote to demand improvements in matchday security.  They considered the possibility of issuing a 'prohibition notice' which would have meant the club would have had to play behind closed doors.

Mayor approves Chelsea's 'blue jewel'

The Mayor of London has approved Chelsea's plans to buid a £500m stadium on the site of Stamford Bridge.  Sadiq Khan said that the planned 60,000 stadium would be 'the jewel in London's sporting crown'.  Capacity at the ground will be boosted by 18,500.

The club still needs permission from Chelsea Pitch Owners, a fan group that owns the freehold of the stadium's pitch and stands, to temporarily leave Stamford Bridge.

Blackpool's woes help AFC Fylde's success

David Haythornthwaite grew up as a Blackpool fan.   Having succeeded with his business Tangerine Holdings, which makes farming and veterinary products, he made unsuccessful attempts to buy the club from the Oystons in 1998 and 2005.

Spurs and Chelsea have different stadium naming strategies

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London rivals seek to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.