Thursday, 2 October 2014

Council speaks out about Chelsea FC proposal

Richmond Council was surprised to hear Chelsea’s announcement regarding confirmation of its interest in temporarily relocating to Twickenham and expressed considerable concern.

Yesterday (Sunday 28 September), Chelsea confirmed its interest in temporarily relocating to Twickenham, should their own stadium be redeveloped. Whilst the RFU issued a statement confirming that an initial enquiry from the football club had been received, they acknowledged that the conversation is still very early days.

Cllr Gareth Elliott, Whitton Ward Councillor, said:

"Whitton is a town that lives in happy cohabitation with Twickenham Stadium and the sport of rugby. I am very worried at the prospect of Chelsea and football coming to Twickenham and how it would significantly alter this delicate balance."

"With the Rugby World Cup coming around the corner Whitton is already expecting to take on significant disruption. The prospect of a premiership football team coming to town is over and above what Whitton's residents would be happy put up with."

Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Deputy Leader of Richmond Council, is alarmed about the proposition. He said:

“I am not happy about these proposals and I don’t believe our local residents will be either.

“Twickenham Stadium plays host to a large number of rugby games and other events each year. Hosting Chelsea on a regular basis would put a huge amount of pressure on the local area and would raise a number of very serious issues, both to those living directly around the stadium, and indeed the wider borough. 

“Should this proposal move forward, the Council would want urgent discussions both with the RFU and local Police, regarding crowd control, traffic management, community safety and transport, and of course what measures would be put in place to mitigate the impact on the area. We will of course expect the RFU to consult with our local residents.”