The air is blue in Twickenham, as South London football giants Chelsea have asked the RFU to move to Twickenham Stadium for a season while Stamford Bridge is being expanded. Chelsea are planning to expand their 41,800 capacity to 60,000 capacity. Chelsea believes the expansion would boost match day revenue and help Chelsea meet UEFA’s financial fairplay guidelines.  Blues owner Roman Abramovich had initially considered seeking a permanent home but there were very few suitable sites in London.  Chelsea’s bid to turn Battersea Power Station into a new stadium was rejected in favour of a reported £400m offer for the 39 acre site from a Malaysian company.

Chelsea announced in June the possible expansion to the Bridge- but the club has set no date for the work to begin.

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed it has been in contact with the Premier League club but talks are at a very early stage. The RFU stated, “We have had an enquiry from Chelsea FC but have not had any discussions of any substance.”  Twickenham is the Home of England Rugby and the 82,000 capacity stadium has never hosted a football game. Any possible move could not take place before the 2016-17 season as Twickenham is the main venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

This alleged move has caused controversy with the local people. Vince Cable the Liberal Democrat local MP is the leader of the opposition against Chelsea’s plans. Cable tweeted, “'I have written today to RFU about Twickenham Stadium and possible use for a year by Chelsea FC. V serious concerns and need for facts ASAP.” Other local councillors have expressed their concerns.  Alexander Ehmann delivered letters to all members of the RFU board on behalf of the St Margaret’s and North Twickenham councillors expressing local people’s views. Richmond Council Deputy Leader Councillor Geoffrey Samuel described the approach as “alarming.”

Councillor Ehmann said: "While we have nothing against Chelsea Football Club or their fans, the public announcement of Chelsea's interest in relocating to Twickenham is brazen and unwanted by local people.  Over 19 football games would need to be held at Twickenham stadium should the move go ahead and the impacts on traffic, road access and the requirements for more extensive levels of policing would be catastrophic.”

However there is some support for the move. Local Chelsea fan Chris Ttouli described the alleged move as “brilliant” as it is easier for him to watch his favourite football team.

The debate for the move will continue and watch this space for the final decision.

Reported by Tom Stitson St Mark's Catholic School