Written by IainB
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Topics: Chelsea FC, O2 Arena

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

image for O2 buy the Centre Circle of Stamford Bridge
Artists impression of Stamford Bridge with the centre circle mast just cropped off

Chelsea football club have made the unusual step of selling the centre circle on the pitch of Stamford Bridge to the mobile phone giant, O2.

"We're not sure what we will do with the newly acquired land," said O2 property manager, Ray Diao. "Initially, we may just put an advert there."

O2 are looking into getting planning permission for a mobile phone mast or O2 shop.

"With the large number of people who visit Stamford Bridge on a fairly regular basis," said Diao, "we feel that extra capacity afforded by a new mast would be most beneficial. Additionally, any of those people could be tempted by a small kiosk sized O2 shop."

Any shop that O2 build in the centre circle would be confined by the size of the circle, which has a radius of a mere ten yards.

"Car parking would be a problem," admitted Diao. "What with the land immediately surrounding the circle being unavailable currently. Should it become available we would be definitely looking at a shop with car parking."

Should either penalty area be put up for sale, O2 could use this area as a car park for a centre circle shop. Diao doesn't believe many cars could be fit into it though.

"We got a referee at Stamford Bridge to measure out ten yards," said Diao. "It's not as far as we thought. Perhaps a yard is different on a football pitch. We'd only get six or so cars into an eighteen yard box. Even with clever car park design."

Until planning permission for the mast is granted, O2 will be putting a small number two in the top corner of the circle, with some writing inside the circle about latest deals.

"I'm not looking forward to a mast in the centre circle," said long term Chelsea fan (and in particular, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard), Sepp Blatter. "I can't help but feel that it would get in the way."

Diao believes this to be a case of Not In My Back Yard.

"Blatter's a NIMBY all right," he said. "Yes the masts are obtrusive, but if people want a modern lifestyle, sacrifices must be made. Does anybody know where the top corner of a circle is?"

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