The Blues are trying to redevelop their ground as success continues on the pitch but their project manager couldn’t help having a dig at their rivals
The director of Chelsea’s stadium project team has had a cheeky dig at Tottenham as the clubs both prepare to upgrade their venues in the coming years.
Hugh Rosen is leading the development on behalf of Roman Abramovich as the west London outfit look to match rivals Tottenham and Arsenal by building a 60,000-seater stadium in the UK’s capital city.
In a rare question and answer session, which took place at an event honouring Eddie McCreadie, Rosen told ex-Chelsea player Jason Cundy about the club’s plans and.
“To be fair to Tottenham, they are not just looking for football,” Rosen said. “They are looking for American Football, looking at rugby and as far as I am concerned if they can’t win at football they are welcome to try any other sport they like.
“For us, Roman [Abramovich] gave us one brief, the whole stadium, the billion pounds or whatever it is going to cost, is about winning football matches. There is nothing else. There are no pop concerts, no boxing, no American Football and no other team, just our home priority.
“Everything was designed around the existing centre spot, it doesn’t move and everything revolves around that. Here we are, 112 years into our history trying to rebuild our stadium for the fifth time on our own site, around our own pitch.
“There are 13 London clubs, this is the only one that has never moved home ground and never will move home ground.”
A date for the completion of the project has yet to be set, but Rosen gave an update on why the club is being patient as they look likely to play their football temporarily at Wembley Stadium. He also gave an update on the architecture of the stadium which has been based upon London’s iconic Westminster Abbey.
“We are not in a position yet to start and therefore not in the right position to know yet when we are going to finish,” he explained. “In the end it doesn’t really matter. When history is written in 100 years’ time no one is going to care if it was 2022, 2021, 2020.
“What matters most to us, and as the owner also said, it is about getting the timing right. So as soon as we know we will let you know. There is no date yet. It will be the finest stadium in Stamford Bridge since the last one, the one before that and the one we all grew up in.
“It’s all about Chelsea and building the best stadium we can for ourselves. It is about continuity. Our badge, our crest is a lion, it looks like a lollipop stick but in fact it is a shepherd’s crook in the paws of the lion.
“When the club was founded in the Rising Sun in 1905 the group of friends that founded it included the Abbot of Westminster and his device is the shepherd’s crook of Westminster Abbey.
“We found that to connect the club to the building, where everyone recognises it as a London building, it has been there to stand the test of time, people congregate there once a week and sing a little.
“This for us was a good exemplar of what Stamford Bridge should look like. So when you see the stadium, it is a 21st century homage to Westminster Abbey.
“That’s why it is very deliberately done for Chelsea to symbolise our home. Jimmy Greaves said this was the best part of London.”