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Chelsea give plans for 60,000-seat ground

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Chelsea players celebrate Willian's opener in their 4-0 rout of Maccabi Tel Aviv in their UCL opener. PHOTO/AFP

Chelsea players celebrate Willian’s opener in their 4-0 rout of Maccabi Tel Aviv in their UCL opener. PHOTO/AFP

LONDON, December 1- Chelsea have submitted a planning application to build a new 60,000-seat stadium on the site of their Stamford Bridge ground, the Premier League champions announced on Tuesday.

“A planning application for a new stadium at Stamford Bridge with an expanded seating capacity has been submitted,” the club said in a statement.

“This follows a successful consultation process during which we received very helpful feedback.”

The plans involve the demolition of the current stadium at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea have played since 1905, and the construction of a new arena featuring a club shop and museum, plus restaurants and cafes.

Stamford Bridge, in west London, last underwent major renovation in the late 1990s when the stadium’s West Stand was rebuilt.

The ground’s current 41,798 capacity restricts Chelsea’s ability to maximise match-day revenues.

According to the most recent figures compiled by financial analysts Deloitte, Chelsea generated 85 million euros ($90.1 million) in match-day revenue in the 2013-14 season.

In comparison, London rivals Arsenal, whose Emirates Stadium holds 60,260, raised 120 million euros, while Manchester United, who can fit 75,653 people into Old Trafford, generated 129 million euros.

Chelsea have been looking to expand their capacity for several years.

Ambitious plans to transform Battersea Power Station, on the south bank of the River Thames, into a new stadium were rebuffed in June 2012 when a Malaysian company was chosen as the preferred bidder for the site.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) revealed last year that Chelsea had enquired about the possibility of playing at Twickenham, home of the England rugby team, while Stamford Bridge was redeveloped.

On the pitch, Chelsea are struggling badly this season, having fallen to 15th place in the league table after losing seven of their first 14 matches. They have also been eliminated from the League Cup.

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