Chelsea have reportedly been holding talks with a rival Premier League club over a potential four-year ground share while they redevelop Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are considering building a stadium that could cost up to £2billion and may mean they have to play their home fixtures at either Twickenham, Wembley, or at Craven Cottage, the home of London rivals Fulham.
Todd Boehly, Chelsea’s American billionaire owner, is determined to have one of the best sporting venues in the world by 2030 although it remains to be seen whether that would involve demolishing Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home since 1905, and building a new ground from scratch, building on a different site completely, or just developing the current stadium.
But, according to the Daily Mail, the project would likely result in Chelsea being forced to play their home games elsewhere for at least four seasons.
It is thought that one possible arrangement would see them play the majority of league games at Craven Cottage, but Champions League and category A Premier League fixtures would be played at either Wembley or Twickenham.
The report states that Boehly has “informally approached fellow American billionaire Shahid Khan, the Fulham owner, about using his club’s ground” during that period.
Chelsea are believed to also have approached the Rugby Football Union, who are keen to boost revenues and expand the number of non-rugby events held at Twickenham.
During the 2017/18 season, Tottenham Hotspur played all their home fixtures at Wembley following the rebuilding of White Hart Lane so it is possible Chelsea could follow in the footsteps of another of their fierce London rivals.
Fulham are no strangers to the concept of ground-sharing, following their temporary move to Queens Park Rangers’ Loftus Road while their ground was refitted in 2002.
However, an issue may well arise over the smaller capacity of Craven Cottage compared to Stamford Bridge.
While the Blues’ home can hold just over 40,000 fans, Fulham’s ground, after completion of development work this summer, will have a capacity of just 29,600.
There would be no such problem, however, at Wembley or Twickenham. The former can host up to 90,000 while the latter can hold a maximum of 82,000.