Chelsea's stadium bid rejected

2012-06-07 14:15

London - Chelsea have failed in their attempt to build a new 60 000-seater stadium at London's Battersea Power Station, it was announced on Friday.

Last month the European champions said they wanted to buy the 39-acre (15.8-hectare) site, whose centrepiece is the giant red-brick power station and four giant chimney stacks that were depicted on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album "Animals".

Chelsea are keen to move from their Stamford Bridge home in west London as its capacity of 42 000 means they lose matchday revenue in comparison to the likes of Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, who have far bigger grounds.

However, administrators said Thursday a joint bid by two Malaysian companies - SP Setia and Sime Darby - for a "multi-use real estate regeneration project" had been chosen instead for the power station site.

A statement from Ernst and Young said: "Following an extensive global marketing campaign, undertaken by Ernst & Young Real Estate Corporate Finance and Knight Frank LLP, the Joint Administrators are pleased to announce that on Wednesday 6 June 2012 they entered into an exclusivity agreement with SP Setia and Sime Darby and are working towards a timely exchange and completion of the site and associated land."

Chelsea, in a statement issued later Thursday, said in response: "We are disappointed not to be selected as the preferred bidder for Battersea Power Station, as we believe we can create an iconic and architecturally significant stadium on the site in a scheme which is commercially viable and of great benefit to the Wandsworth community and London generally.

"We have been clear throughout this process that Battersea is one of a limited number of options the club is considering."

Battersea Power Station, the largest brick building in Europe, ceased to provide electricity in 1983 but is now a protected or 'listed' building.

Various plans to redevelop the site over the years have stalled.