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SPORT EPL needs to pay up, says Crouch

New sports minister, Tracey Crouch, has called on the English Premier League (EPL) to increase its investment in grassroots football. Speaking at the recent

Sports Summit in London, Crouch said: “The EPL now generates an astonish- ing amount of money and I’d like to see the league contribute much more than it currently does towards grassroots football.” She added that while

the EPL has committed to investing £1bn outside the top fl ight of English football, only a part of the funds find their way to community football pitches and facilities. “The amount of money trickling down

Crouch said the Premier League must do more to support grassroots

from the last TV deal wasn’t enough. “That £1bn figure includes parachute

payments to relegated clubs, so only around a third ends up in the grassroots. That is then further divided in various ways so by the time you get down to talking about

all-weather pitches, it’s not much money at all. We lag behind many European coun- tries when it comes to grassroots facilities and we need to do something about that.” Asked what she would deem a satisfactory

level of investment, Crouch said she has yet to meet with EPL representatives but would look to do so “before the next deals are agreed on”. Details:

Chelsea FC plans £500m stadium rebuild

English Premier League (EPL) champions Chelsea FC will announce detailed plans to rebuild its Stamford Bridge stadium later this month. Despi te being one

of the most successful English clubs of the new mi l lennium,

the club’s

current home capacity of 41,000 is only the eighth largest in the EPL – and far lower than its closest rivals Manchester United (76,000), Arsenal (60,000) and Manchester City (55,000). Chelsea’s billionaire owner,

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Stamford Bridge has a capacity of 41,000, far lower than rival grounds

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, has for years been seeking a site to build a new stadium on, as part of eff orts to bring the club’s revenues in line with its rivals. Plans to build a new venue at Earl’s Court

and Battersea Powerstation, however, were deemed unfeasible. As the search for a new site has been unfruitful, the club will now undertake an ambitious rebuild of Stamford Bridge, which could cost up to £500m and expand capacity at the venue to 60,000. It is understood that Swiss-based architecture


fi rm Herzog & de Meuron is working on the plans in partnership with London-based practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Redeveloping the historic Stamford Bridge

could take up to three years to complete and result in the club relocating to another venue, such as Wembley or Twickenham. In October 2014, the Rugby Football Union – which owns Twickenham – said it had received an enquiry from Chelsea FC but “had not had any discussions of any substance.” Details:

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