Chelsea have put their proposed redevelopment of Stamford Bridge on hold indefinitely due to an “unfavourable investment climate”.
The Blues were looking to redevelop their home ground into a new 60,000-seater stadium and aimed to take up residency in 2021.
But the Premier League club announced on Thursday that the proposal has been put on ice – with no time frame given for the plans to move forwards again.
Chelsea would not expand on a brief club statement, amid reports the delayed renewal of Russian Roman Abramovich’s visa may have been linked to the decision not to push ahead with the redevelopment at this time.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “Chelsea Football Club announces today that it has put its new stadium project on hold. No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur.
“The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision. The decision was made due to the current unfavourable investment climate.”
After plans to relocate failed to materialise, it appeared Chelsea were set to remain at Stamford Bridge, albeit with a vastly improved facility.
Planning approval had been received from Hammersmith and Fulham Council while potential snags, including compensation for local properties, had all been put in place.
Suggestions of a short-term move to Wembley while the work was carried out came under question when Fulham owner Shahid Khan revealed his plans to buy the stadium from the Football Association.
Twickenham, the home of England Rugby, proved not to be a viable option but such issues no longer require immediate attention as the Blues look set to remain put for the foreseeable future.
With a capacity of just over 41,000, Stamford Bridge is the eighth-largest Premier League stadium and is dwarfed in the capital by Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, the London Stadium – which is occupied by West Ham – and the new Tottenham ground that is set to open later this year.
On the pitch, it remains to be seen whether Antonio Conte will be at the helm to lead the team into the 2018/2019 campaign.
The Italian celebrated beating Manchester United to lift the FA Cup at Wembley on May 19, but with the Blues having failed to qualify for the Champions League, it has been widely reported Chelsea will make another managerial change this summer.
Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has been linked with the job should it become available.