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Stamford Bridge expansion: FA set to reduce music calendar to pave the way for Chelsea and Spurs moves

The FA have agreed to strip the number of non-essential events at Wembley Stadium to allow Chelsea and Tottenham to share the stadium for one season

Harry Engels - The FA/The FA via Getty Images
The home of football: Wembley Stadium could soon play host to Chelsea

The FA have reportedly laid out plans to strip Wembley of all non-essential events so Chelsea and Spurs can both use the national stadium for the 2017-18 season.

Plans are being set in motion to limit the stadium's music calendar to a brief summer window while Rugby Union will disappear from the venue's schedule.

However, the FA plan to honour their long term contracts with the England national side, the Football League, the FA Cup, the rugby league and the NFL, but the FA Vase and FA Trophy finals would be relocated.

Chelsea have already agreed to use Wembley as their home stadium for three years starting in 2017-18 in a deal which is set to cost them £20 million-per-year.

Initially, Chelsea wanted an agreement stating they would be the only tenants but Wembley are currently in talks with Spurs to negotiate an agreement for the 2017-18 season when they have to vacate White Hart Lane.

Wembley before and after in pictures:

Chelsea are looking to redevelop their SW6 home by increasing its capacity to around 60,000 and putting them on a level playing field with Europe’s elite stadia.

Plans were submitted to Hammersmith and Fulham Council at the start of December.

The planning process is expected to last beyond the end of the season, and is expected to be just one of a number of steps towards full consent for the stadium development to go ahead.

Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have been commissioned by Blues owner Abramovich to transform the west London ground.

Estimates have priced the expansion works at £500 million and will feature a three-tiered stack of terraces and is inspired by the design of Westminster Abbey.

Meanwhile, Earls Court developer Capital & Counties has raised concerns about how much construction traffic will be generated by the scheme.

Herzog & de Meuron/Chelsea FC
Drawings: Designers have taken inspiration from Westminster Abbey

Herzog & de Meuron/Chelsea FC
Dream: Chelsea's vision for the new Stamford Bridge

Herzog & de Meuron/Chelsea FC
Big ambition: Chelsea's new home aims to put them on a level playing field with Europe's elite stadiums

In a letter to Hammersmith & Fulham council last month, the developer's planning consultant on Earls Court, DP9, raised a number of issues with the proposal.

In its letter, DP9 says Capco is worried by the football club’s “lack of detail associated with the assessment of the demolition/construction stage. The planning application is very high level and broad-brush in this respect.”

It added: “No information is provided on construction logistics or construction vehicle numbers and only a basic summary of excavation and associated traffic assumptions is included.

"We consider that a lot more detail is required in order for a robust assessment to be achieved prior to any determination being made.”

Read more: Why £500million is good value for Abramovich's vision.


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