Chelsea FC stadium project stalls due to Russian owner’s investor visa troubles

Oligarch Roman Abramovich declares the UK an "unfavorable investment climate”

(Credit from left: Mark Freeman via Wikipedia; inkiboo via Flickr)
(Credit from left: Mark Freeman via Wikipedia; inkiboo via Flickr)

The “jewel in London’s sporting crown”–as the mayor Sadiq Khan has described Chelsea’s plans for a bigger stadium–has lost some of its luster.

The football club was supposed to get a renovated 60,000-seat stadium, but now that the team’s owner, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, has withdrawn his application for a renewed investor visa, building plans have been put on hold indefinitely, according to the Financial Times.

The club announced the change of plans on Thursday last week explaining that it was due to the UK’s “current unfavorable investment climate.” Sources told the Times that Abramovich was unwilling to commit funds to the £500 million project when his visa status was up in the air.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Abramovich’s giving up on renewing his investor visa comes as Britain has introduced new measures to check applicants’ source of wealth as a condition for granting such visas.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond, Abramovich scooped up a fourth townhouse on East 75th Street last year, reportedly with the intention of combining some of the properties. [FT]Erin Hudson