Chelsea take next step towards Stamford Bridge redevelopment as major decision announced


Chelsea have continued their mass turnover of staff from top-to-bottom of the club under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital axis. Less than five months after appointing a new chief executive officer, Chris Jurasek, an operating officer at Clearlake with Chelsea co-owners Behdad Eghbali and Jose E Feliciano, there are more additions.

Having torn out the foundations of the club at directorial level, seeing Marina Granovskaia, Bruce Buck and Petr Cech all leave in the first summer, the US-based businessmen have taken their next steps in revolutionising the club. The Daily Mail report that underneath Jurasek, appointed in May, a trio of new figures has been announced.

As well as confirming the departure of president of business Tom Glick, who was in place for just over 12 months, Jurasek also revealed three new directors. Jurasek himself was recruited by Clearlake in 2014 having been in a private equity firm backed by the Santa Monica based group.

Now, with the goal of increasing revenue across the board in order to transform the club into a modern institution, Jurasek has appointed Jason Gannon. With previous experience as a managing director for the SoFi Stadium - home to Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke's NFL side LA Rams - he is expected to head up the plans to develop Stamford Bridge.

Gannon will be the chief operating officer, it is said, whilst former San Francisco financial services company Stash employee Adriel Lares will be the chief financial officer. Joining them is ex-Manchester United sponsorship director Casper Stylsvig. He is currently at AC Milan but will be the new chief revenue officer from next month.

It fronts up a new wave of intent for Chelsea as they look to expand into a more sustainable model backed up by a new sponsorship deal with Infinite Athlete as well as the wider BlueCo multi-club model. Central to this is the great Stamford Bridge conundrum.

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Chelsea are held back in their revenues by a stadium that has just the eighth largest capacity in the league and hasn't had major work done to it in nearly 20 years. Compared to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Emirates Stadium and newly expanded Etihad Stadium and Anfield, Chelsea's historic home is unable to compete on a money-making scale.

Although ticket sales are just a small part of that and even enhanced prices with an extra 15,000 seats per week wouldn't make enough difference to subsidise the major transfer spending and expenses of the new ownership, the lack of facilities is hindering the progress.

Unlike its rivals, Stamford Bridge does not host external events outside of sport and is not as attractive in the modern game. There is no simple answer to what happens next though.

Penned in by veteran charity housing site Stoll behind the West Stand and the underground line, Chelsea do not have the land available currently to properly or logistically expand. It is a set of issues that put the stoppers on Roman Abramovich's attempts but is not going to be the be-all-and-end-all for Boehly-Clearlake.

They have already turned to architect of the Dodger Stadium - which plays host to Boehly's MLB franchise LA Dodgers in America - Janet Marie Smith. Adding Gannon to this team exploring and investigating potential options is a big step. The Blues are still open to moving away from the current site, it is believed, but would face obstacles from the Chelsea Pitch Owners if they were to go down that route.

The other choice is to remain on site and rebuild entirely, but that would need a lot of work, even more money spent on an already cash-spinning potential expenditure and also a temporary home to be found in the years of development. The task of bypassing these obstacles is a big one and Chelsea have certainly taken their next steps to do their best to get through it.

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