Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur could yet commit to ground-sharing Wembley Stadium despite there being a significant disparity between the fee both clubs are willing to pay for the temporary lease. Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn is hopeful the Premier League duo could agree to co-exist at the home of the England senior team as their club grounds undergo radical improvements.
The current Premier League champions are looking to renovate their existing home at Stamford Bridge in time for 2020. Spurs meanwhile are expected to begin life in their new 60,000-seater stadium from the 2018-19 campaign. Both teams are therefore looking for temporary homes in the intervening years, with Wembley having emerged as the most viable option.
The Guardian understands that Chelsea are prepare to offer the FA £60m for the privilege of playing in the ground exclusively over a four-year period. Tottenham, meanwhile, have offered just £15m, which sees them outbid heavily by their London rivals. But despite the difference in the amounts both sides are willing to pay, the FA are open to a dual lease of the stadium
"Building in London is a nightmare and they both have ambitious plans – the question is what they do in the interim," FA CEO Martin Glenn told Talksport of Chelsea and Tottenham's intentions to use the ground. "Both would prefer sole status somewhere but it's difficult.
"We are looking at whether we could get a ground share but there's still work that needs to be done. There are other obligations at Wembley with other sporting events, so there is some work to say is it theoretically possible but we are here to try to be as helpful as we can."
Minutes from a recent Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust meeting revealed how the FA reconsidered the prospect of a Premier League side taking up residence at Wembley after Chelsea submitted a hefty offer. "[Tottenham chairman] Daniel Levy said the FA's stance for some time has been that is was a national stadium and they were not interested in any Premier League club playing at Wembley. So, despite offers from THFC, there has been no willingness from the FA to progress discussions.
"Chelsea's offer of a four-year deal, which would deliver a substantial sum of money, had changed this position and the FA would now consider a PL team. A four-year deal was thought to be far more attractive to Wembley than a one-year deal, although Daniel Levy stressed the 'per season' income to Wembley was unlikely to be materially different from either club.
"Levy also felt that the FA acknowledged the need to treat clubs equally. The FA has now said it will go away and consider the practicalities of a ground share. Until that is decided, no further discussions can take place."