Chelsea in Search of £500m Loan to Help Fund Stamford Bridge Works Without Bankrupting Abramovich
Chelsea are drawing up plans to fund their Stamford Bridge renovation with loans worth £500m, according to the Times newspaper.
The reigning Premier League champions have reportedly held talks with a number of investment banks over the possibility of taking out sizeable loans to help carry out work on overhauling their stadium in the heart of west London.
Current Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has spent over £1bn since he took charge of the Blues in 2003, and the club are reluctant to ask the Russian oligarch to fork out even more cash in redeveloping Stamford Bridge - even though Abramovich has stated he is happy to pay for it.
Chelsea were granted planning permission by Hammersmith and Fulham Council to begin work on making their home ground sleeker, and more in keeping with the modern era, back in January - plans which were also ratified by the Mayor of London in March.
The proposals set out by the Blues include increasing the ground's current capacity from 41,000 to 60,000, as well as installing a walkway from the nearby District Line station for greater acces to the stadium.
The design of the new stadium was drawn up by architects Herzog and De Meuron, and has already drawn comparisons with the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium that was built for the 2016 Beijing Olympics in China.
The work on Stamford Bridge could take up to three years to complete, and the club have already mulled over options of a temporary switch away to allow the extensive renovation to be carried out as quickly as possible.
National stadium Wembley was one option but, with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur moving in for the 2017/18 campaign as they redesign White Hart Lane, those plans have been shelved.
Another plausible option is Twickenham, while Chelsea have also considered staying at Stamford Bridge while construction is carried out in three or four phases - a plan which would prove to be an expensive one for the club to commit to.