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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 12, 2006

Chelsea still considering leaving the Bridge

Chelsea insist they are still exploring all realistic avenues regarding ground development and have not ruled out a move from Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea moved to counter a report in the London Evening Standard which suggested the club had given up on their search for a new stadium site and would look to increase the ground capacity to 55,000 instead.

But a statement from the club said: 'The club's position regarding ground redevelopment has remained unchanged for many months and it has not changed now.

'Chelsea have always maintained they would ideally like to expand the capacity at Stamford Bridge to a figure approaching 55,000 but that expansion is difficult because of the well-documented constraints on the site.

'All possible options regarding expansion are being examined and these are yet to be exhausted. No decision has been made.

'Only if these options are exhausted and any expansion plan is deemed unfeasible will the club be prepared to debate the possibilities of moving.

'However, Chelsea would not consider moving outside their 'spiritual home' of west London, which has led to speculation linking us with a whole variety of sites in the surrounding area.'

Chelsea have been linked with a number of possible stadium sites, from Earls Court and Olympia to White City and Kenyon told the Evening Standard: 'If we got everything we wanted, we could get to 55,000. I think we have got to live in the confines of what we have got.'

Despite the club being close to clinching back-to-back Premiership titles, Kenyon added the large number of televised matches and the fact so many games were no longer played on Saturdays meant anything over their target attendance of 55,000 was unrealistic.

Meanwhile Chelsea's Italian 'keeper Carlo Cudicini admits he is not taking a place in their FA Cup semi-final line-up for granted.

Cudicini has been ever-present in Jose Mourinho's FA Cup side this season and is hoping to play a part in helping the club lift their first league and cup double.

Cudicini was destined to play in the Carling Cup final against Liverpool last term until he was sent off against Newcastle in the fifth round of FA Cup the week before the showpiece event at the Millennium stadium, Cardiff.

His one previous experience of an FA Cup final at the Wales venue also brought him disappointment as Chelsea lost to Arsenal in 2002.

'The FA Cup is different and because we lost an FA Cup at Cardiff, eventually winning it will be the revenge, not for me the Carling Cup,' said Cudicini.

'That is what I feel, but we have the semi-final to play first.'

A place in Chelsea's FA Cup final line-up, should they overcome Liverpool in the semis, would give Cudicini the chance to play a major part in landing the club's first league and cup double.

The Italian insists the squad are not buckling under the weight of expectation as the season reaches its climax.

'The chance to win the double is not a pressure,' says Cudicini. 'The players we have, we know that we can win both. It is something that very few teams have done so this is really important for the club.

'At the same time, because we won the championship last season doesn't make winning it less important. To do it two in a row would be special - and we are in a great position.'