Stamford Bridge
Chelsea have the ninth biggest ground in the country but want to increase its capacity to compete financially with rivalsGetty

Chelsea have taken a step towards redeveloping Stamford Bridge after the club confirmed that plans for a major upgrade of the ground and the surrounding area will be presented to local residents and supporters.

The Blues hope to expand the Bridge, their home since 1905, from 41,798 to 60,000 to ensure they continue to adhere to domestic and European Financial Fair Play rules and enhance their competitiveness in the transfer market.

Jose Mourinho has recently been forced to offset his major signings with significant sales, including the £50m ($77.5m) departure of David Luiz, but that could become a thing of the past should Chelsea go ahead with their expansion plans.

Owner Roman Abramovich ordered a study into the potential areas for improvement from Fulham Broadway to Stamford Bridge last year and those results will be shown to "local stakeholders, neighbours, season ticket holders and club members".

"Mr Abramovich has appointed a professional team to assess, in more detail, the feasibility of expanding the existing stadium capacity at Stamford Bridge Grounds," a club statement added.

"The process now enters a further local consultation phase. This will include an explanation of the rationale for expansion, driven by spectator demand for more seats and the need to increase stadium revenue to remain competitive with our major rivals, this revenue being especially important under Financial Fair Play rules.

"Technical solutions for stadium capacity expansion are being investigated initially."

The Premier League champions will use the feedback to formulate the next stage of their plans as they attempt to press ahead with an improvement to Stamford Bridge, which is the ninth biggest football stadium in England.

A redevelopment of Fulham Road and improvement to transport links to the area to deal with the increased capacity are among the upgrades which supporters and locals will be asked to judge.

Though Chelsea may get the green light to press ahead with their plans, they remain some way from beginning work on Stamford Bridge, with planning permission and bypassing objections to a potential compulsory purchase order required before they can start the reconstruction.

The hurdles which have faced Tottenham Hotspur in beginning work on their new stadium have seen the club forced to delay their move by a whole season and means the club will have to look for a temporary home for the 2017-18 campaign.

In 2011, Chelsea fans won a vote against the club to keep control of the stadium amid plans to move however those ideas have since been shelved in favour of upgrading their current facilities.