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Jun 7, 2012

Chelsea fail in Battersea bid

Chelsea's hopes of developing a new stadium at Battersea Power Station have been dashed after their bid for the Thames-side site was rejected by administrators.

The Champions League winners announced last month that they had submitted an application to move to the 39-acre south-west London site, which has been the subject of a string of failed regeneration schemes since the 1980s.

They had proposed to develop a stadium encompassing the restoration of the Grade II listed 1930s power station with its four landmark chimneys.

However, administrators revealed that a £400 million joint bid by the Malaysian companies SP Setia and Sime Darby had been chosen instead.

A statement from Ernst & Young said: "Following an extensive global marketing campaign, the joint administrators are pleased to announce that they [have] 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 are considering a move from their Stamford Bridge home because its 42,000 capacity means they cannot generate the sort of revenue enjoyed by the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United, who have much bigger stadiums.

The club had hoped that a switch to Battersea would result in the creation of "one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world." The proposed ground would have had a 60,000 capacity.

The site came on the market after a £5.5 billion plan by the Irish developers Treasury Holdings collapsed as a result of the worldwide financial crisis.

A Chelsea statement at the time said: "As well as a new home for our club, the development would include a town centre with substantial street-level retail shops, affordable housing and offices - all of which would benefit Wandsworth and bring a significant number of permanent jobs to the area."

Officials said they had definitely not committed themselves to leaving Stamford Bridge, although they also claimed it was not economically viable to redevelop their current home.

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