European champions Chelsea will not be making the Battersea Power Station the site of their new stadium. The Blues were outbid for the land by another company. The club were looking to acquire the plot, owned by Alan Boom and Alan Hudson of Ernst & Young and located on the southern bank of the River Thames, in order to build a stadium with increased capacity.
However, there were as many as 15 rival bids for the 15 hectare plot and it was finally bought by Malaysian firms SP Setia and Sime Darby for £400mn.
"The joint administrators are pleased to announce that they entered into an exclusivity agreement with SP Setia and Sime Darby and are working towards a timely exchange and completion of the site and associated land," read a statement from Ernst & Young, according to The Sun. The two Malaysian companies, who plan to redevelop the site into residential and commercial properties, officially signed a deal with the property owners on Thursday.
Although the Blues have been forced to look for another plot for their new stadium, they have dropped hints they will rebid, if the Malaysian companies decided to back off for whatever reason.
"We will all be able to speak with more confidence about the site's future once the exclusivity period is over and the preferred bidder has been able to assimilate their risks properly and confirm the bid," said Chelsea in a statement, adding, "We are disappointed not to be selected as the preferred bidder for Battersea Power Station, as we believe we can create an iconic and architecturally significant stadium on the site in a scheme which is commercially viable and of great benefit to the Wandsworth community and London generally."
"We have been clear throughout this process that Battersea is one of a limited number of options the club is considering," the club further clarified.
The Blues were planning a 60,000-seater stadium on the site, which came into the market following Irish developers Treasury Holdings collapsing due to a worldwide financial crisis. The club will now turn their attention to alternative sites, including plots at Earls Court and Shepherd's Bush. On the other hand, the Blues could remain at Stamford Bridge if they are able to successfully upgrade the stadium.