Chelsea forced to spend thousands on expanding away dressing room after Liverpool and Brighton complain

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Chelsea's dressing room - GETTY IMAGES
Chelsea's dressing room - GETTY IMAGES

Chelsea have been forced to spend thousands of pounds to expand the away dressing rooms at their ageing Stamford Bridge ground following coronavirus complaints from Liverpool and Brighton.

The hasty renovation was done in time for Sunday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur after the Premier League acted quickly on the dissatisfaction of Liverpool and Brighton, who both visited Stamford Bridge over the Christmas period.

Liverpool and Brighton are understood to have complained that the cramped conditions inside the away dressing room made it difficult to adhere to coronavirus protocols that are currently in place.

Manager Jurgen Klopp missed the trip to Chelsea after testing positive for coronavirus and another Liverpool staff member was struck down on the day of the game.

Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders, who took charge of the team at Stamford Bridge, tested positive three days after the Chelsea game and Liverpool had the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal postponed due to what transpired to be a number of false positives.

Liverpool’s complaint followed one made by Brighton and their manager Graham Potter, who had been the visitors to Stamford Bridge a few days earlier.

On the demand of the Premier League, Chelsea agreed to expand the away dressing room during the two weeks after they faced Chesterfield in the FA Cup, as the team completed a run of three successive away games.

Due to a lack of space at the club’s old-fashioned stadium, Chelsea were forced to knock through into the adjacent media room to make extra space for visiting teams. The renovation means the club can no longer provide working desks or even power to domestic and overseas press.

This is not the first time Chelsea have fielded complaints from visiting teams about their facilities, as the club came under fire for the temporary away changing rooms during the height of the coronavirus restrictions, when clubs were unhappy with how far they were from the pitch.

The extra space created by the European champions, who are now the only Champions League club without a media room fit for purpose, did not do Tottenham any favours on Sunday as Chelsea ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s plans to build a new stadium remain shelved and the club have fallen behind their rivals in terms of the facilities they can offer and the working environment for their own staff, as well as the world’s media.

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