Chelsea FC lose fan vote on stadium

media captionChelsea Chairman Bruce Buck says the board will meet to decide where to go from here

Chelsea have lost a vote to buy back their own stadium from a group owned by their fans.

Only 61.5% of shareholders in Chelsea Pitch Owners voted in favour of selling the freehold for the club's Stamford Bridge stadium back to the club.

Approval of 75% of the shareholders was needed to pass the proposal.

CPO acquired the freehold to the stadium in 1997 to protect Stamford Bridge from developers should the club run into financial difficulties.

Chelsea had wanted to buy the stadium in order to facilitate a possible move to a new stadium and redevelopment of the site.

However, many fans opposed the move from the club's current location where it has been based for more than a century.

"Chelsea FC is naturally disappointed with the result. While we will remain as ambitious as ever, this decision could slow down our progress," the club said in a statement.

The club maintains no decision has been made on a move, even if the club does buy the stadium.

The club feels that Stamford Bridge's current capacity of 42,000 puts Chelsea at a financial disadvantage compared with rivals such as Arsenal whose new stadium holds 60,000.