Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich who is a billionaire from Russia has stayed the club’s stadium plan after the postponement of the renewal of his UK visa.
A rough calculation of the value of a new 60,000 seat Stamford Bridge has increased to one billion pounds after the postponement, which included a conflict with a local family.
Abramovich is not willing to invest in a major project in a country where he is not allowed to work.
The UK investor, 51 years old’s, visa expired a few weeks ago.
But it can be implied that Abramovich’s decision will have no effect on the continuity of the football team.
The postponement of issuing him a new visa comes in the middle of the increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow after the envenoming of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
The UK government has refused to comment on his individual case.
Chelsea issued a statement saying the club had postponed the work on Stamford Bridge because of “the current unfavourable investment climate”.
It added: “No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur. The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision.”
Plans were in question to shift the Chelsea matches to Wembley stadium for the four years it would take to restore Stamford Bridge.
Although the future of Wembley is uncertain after Fulham owner Shahid Khan paid six-hundred million pounds to buy the stadium from the Football Association, it is not thought to be a factor in Chelsea’s decision.
Christian Purslow, who left his role as managing director last year after three seasons at the club, said: “It’s been a very difficult project. Costs have skyrocketed.”
“I have thought for some time it’s a project that would not get off the ground. It was always an extremely marginal project financially and a very difficult project practically. I think it’s a really sensible decision to put this on hold.”