Chelsea FC have lost out in their bid to take over Battersea Power Station as Malaysia’s SP Setia and Sime Darby won the right to redevelop the 15-hectare site.
About 15 bidders including Chelsea, owned by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, submitted plans last month to buy the protected London landmark on the south bank of the river Thames. Chelsea had planned to build a new football stadium at the location as part of their bid to increase football income and compete with the likes of Manchester United without needing significant owner investment to cover player wages and transfer fees.
The Malaysian property companies have inked an exclusivity agreement with Alan Bloom and Alan Hudson of Ernst & Young, the joint administrators and receivers, to acquire the site for £400m.
This represents a setback for Chelsea’s plans to expand their revenue base and with an expansion of Stamford Bridge already out of the question, it’ll be interesting to see the next step Chelsea take to find a new site for their proposed new stadium.
It’s also worth asking how come Roman Abramovich was outbid for a site that he had personally shown an interest in acquiring for Chelsea FC – and that the funds required to purchase the site would surely have been within Chelsea’s reach. As it is, Battersea was presented as the ideal new location for Chelsea’s next stadium and the club will now have to backtrack and find a reasonable alternative solution.