Chelsea place Stamford Bridge redevelopment on hold, what does it mean for Roman Abramovich and the club's future?

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Everything you need to know about the Stamford Bridge redevelo...

Chelsea Football Club will move to a big new stadium, here's the latest on what's happening. There's still no move date yet on the project.

Posted by Nizaar Kinsella on Monday, 1 January 2018
The Blues were set to expand to a 60,000-seater stadium, but have now shelved those plans for the immediate future

Chelsea have delayed their stadium redevelopment plan due to an "unfavourable investment climate" but the decision should not have a major effect on the club's transfer plans or Roman Abramovich's interest in the team.

The official announcement was only three paragraphs long but it is understood that every aspect of the plans have been delayed, which included the search for a temporary stadium and the purchase of land to expand to a 60,000-seater stadium.

Delays and unforeseen short-term expenses had seen the costs slowly rise, but Abramovich was keen to avoid footing the whole bill himself and the inability to attract enough investment from external sources has proved decisive in slowing the ambitious project.

Chelsea's stadium was also initially expected to cost around £500 million, but external factors, including Brexit, had seen those costs predicted to rise up to £1bn, leaving the oligarch in need of extra funding.

The FA Cup winners had been backed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan before the plans were shelved. The leading architect firm Herzog and de Meuron had produced a Gothic design for Abramovich's personal project, which would have seen Stamford Bridge match Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham for their stadium size.

The announcement may raise concerns whether the development will ever be completed, with further costs likely to be incurred. However, the statement claims that it is only a delay to the project.

Abramovich is also going through problems of his own as the United Kingdom delays his tier-1 visa application while diplomatic tensions increase between Russia and the UK.

Abramovich has since moved to Tel Aviv after being granted Israeli citizenship, which allows him to visit the UK for six month periods without a visa. Reports in Israel have suggested that Abramovich may withdraw his visa request and investment in the UK which could affect Chelsea.

Chelsea are thought to be operating as normal, despite Abramovich's visa concerns. Chelsea's finances remain healthy after they announced a record turnover in January, but it will be slightly impacted upon by their absence from the Champions League next season, as Antonio Conte's first team squad finished fifth in the Premier League.

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The halting of the stadium isn't going to increase the funds available to whoever is managing Chelsea next season. This has always been separated from the day-to-day running of the west London side.

Abramovich is famous for putting significant investment into Chelsea since buying them in 2003, which has seen him write off over £1bn in loans to the club. The club has won the highest number of major honours in England's top flight since his takeover.

The UK Home Office said that it refuses to comment on individual cases when asked about Abramovich's visa withdrawal by Goal.

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