Chelsea and tottenham will find progress has a price at capital grounds _ daniel taylor _ football _ the guardian

It isn’t always easy remembering what Stamford Bridge used to be like before the money arrived. How to lay flagstone patio Suffice to say, though, it was nothing like the shiny, photogenic ground Chelsea call home now. Garden city community college Stamford Bridge had soul. Free indoor basketball courts nyc But it was hard-faced, too, and a little eccentric bearing in mind it was the only ground in the country where there was enough space for drivers to park round the edge of the pitch, meaning games would take place with a forecourt-style display of motors – including a sky-blue Robin Reliant if memory serves right – behind one goal. Timber merchants near me Handy for a quick getaway – but not without risks, given the number of occasions a stray shot would thud against someone’s near-side panel, followed by an unsympathetic cheer from the Shed.


If that sounds like an American drive-in movie theatre, in reality it was never quite that glamorous. Peach aviation Away fans in those days would be steered up some steps to a rough, crumbling terrace that is now the Matthew Harding stand. Close out bats The facilities were basic, to say the least. Free indoor basketball courts near me There was often a sense of danger and Brian Clough described the away dressing room as a pigsty after one visit, otherwise notable for a smoke bomb being set off, with his Nottingham Forest side in 1977. Softball drills for 8u The publicity was so embarrassing for Chelsea that one of their supporters, a painter and decorator, wrote to the club offering to spruce up the place free of charge.

It is all very different now, of course. Football positions Stamford Bridge has a hotel, executive lounges, Michelin-starred chefs and all the trimmings that might be expected when your owner is a Russian oligarch. Lattice definition You might still encounter a few headhunters on the walk back to Fulham Broadway – but these days that might be someone called Hugo carrying a briefcase and working in recruitment. Softball nsw And presumably when the new stadium takes shape, with seating for 60,000 people and all sorts of newly acquired supporters, it will veer even more that way.

Sunday’s is the first game at Stamford Bridge, now approaching its 140th birthday, since everything was effectively formalised for a new £500m stadium to replace the existing structure and planning permission was approved for the kind of upgrade that will probably be essential if Chelsea really want to be thought of as one of Europe’s genuine superpowers.

Until now, there has always been something holding them back. Uga softball schedule “Chelsea is a very nice, beautiful club, but something is missing,” Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, one of their own players, explained in 2002. Cobblestone bread “Only small things need to be done to make this a top, top, top European club. Pitch music It is a top club, but not a top, top, top club.” And 15 years on, even though Chelsea have won multiple trophies and in that time have become the only London club to win the Champions League, the point still remains.

As it stands, Chelsea have a smaller ground than Bordeaux, Saint-Étienne and Real Betis. Mizzou softball schedule 2016 Stamford Bridge’s capacity, 41,841, puts it 79th in Europe in terms of size and, Wembley included, only the ninth largest in England. Fastpitch softball pitching drills Indeed, you could take every seat out of Stamford Bridge and they would barely fill half the stands of the Bernabéu, San Siro or the Westfalenstadion – and considerably less than half of the Camp Nou. Spring training arizona 2016 Nobody can be in any doubt why Chelsea needed something bigger and better. Jacksons fencing Or that the new stadium – designed by Herzog & de Meuron, architects of the Bird’s Nest, Beijing’s 2008 Olympics stadium – will not be a better fit for a club with their ambitions.

At least Chelsea, like Tottenham, are keeping their present site and not subjecting their supporters to the kind of ordeal that Arsenal’s followers had to endure during their 2006 relocation from Highbury and, latterly, those of West Ham have had with their separation from Upton Park.

At the same time, it will be a shame to lose another of our old grounds – or at least Stamford Bridge as we know it – so quickly after White Hart Lane and it is difficult to think of any other time when the landscape of London football has changed so dramatically.

Spurs have only eight more league fixtures before they turn off the lights for the final time and their home for the past 117 years is turned into rubble – at least, until the replacement stadium comes into view. Where to buy fabric near me West Ham are five months into their new existence and, by 2021, all four of the capital’s main clubs will have either upped sticks, or upgraded, in a 15-year period. Sprinkler irrigation system layout So, incidentally, will Brentford, QPR and AFC Wimbledon if everything goes according to plan. Landscape forms bench Indeed, Crystal Palace and Fulham seem almost old‑fashioned preferring instead to expand their current grounds.

It is just a pity, perhaps, that Chelsea and Spurs could not do the same because it won’t be easy to encapsulate the same kind of history inside two stadiums that are being built from scratch and will be completely unrecognisable from what was there before.

That’s right, history. Stardock fences alternative Stamford Bridge, whatever you might have heard, has plenty of it and if you want to argue the point just consider where they used to play the FA Cup final before it moved to Wembley in 1923. What does pitch mean in music Chelsea boasted the highest average attendance in England in 10 different seasons from 1908 to 1955, the year they won their first league championship. Baseball teams by state Stamford Bridge was the first ground to average crowds of more than 40,000 in one season and, contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t true to think all its success came in the modern era. Baseball games in a season “Liverpool fans can continue to chant ‘no history’ at us, but we continue to make it,” José Mourinho once said, in his first spell at the club. Timber merchants glasgow Stamford Bridge, he might have added, housed a European trophy, the 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup, before Anfield got any of theirs.

The problem for Spurs is of a different variety, bearing in mind Chelsea’s fans like to taunt them with a song about winning the league “in black and white” (but never since). Pinch hitter 2 passwords The team from White Hart Lane have accumulated a lifetime of memories within those four stands. Garden city utah There is a soul here, created over 100 years, that cannot just be recreated when the keys arrive for the new place.

As for the new 61,000-capacity stadium, it is probably a measure of the way football is heading that for a £15,000 joining fee – as long as there are two or more people joining – there will be access to one lounge where, at half-time, you can be ushered into the stadium’s own fromagerie.

Other supporters can watch from just behind the manager’s technical area, at £339 a match. Cobblestone callouts Alternatively, there is the glass-walled Tunnel Club allowing members to get a behind‑the‑scenes view as the players enter or leave the pitch. Baseball fields near me Spurs will have an in-house bakery, a microbrewery, the longest bar in the country, measuring 86.8 metres, and heated seats, with USB ports, in case anyone wants to get out their laptops. Fantasy baseball mock draft 2016 Which wasn’t a regular occurrence, it has to be said, for the old boys on the Shelf.

Spurs will have the largest single‑tier stand in the country with space for 17,000 spectators – making the Kop at Anfield, with 12,390, seem relatively small in comparison. Fantasy basketball draft guide The idea apparently is to create an end comparable to the südtribüne at Borussia Dortmund. Football games today Yet part of the beauty with the Westfalenstadion’s “Yellow Wall” is that the fans who generally generate the noise are not priced out and it remains to be seen how much Spurs charge for admission – and what, presumably, Chelsea might add on top when their own place is ready a little further down the line.

It is a theme of change and nobody can argue there are not compelling reasons for both clubs to take residency of gleaming new stadiums with the best facilities anywhere in the sport. Mlb scores from yesterday It is tempting, however, to think sometimes that football is losing some of its soul.

Is anybody else getting the impression that Marco van Basten is worth keeping an eye on now he has popped up in a Fifa blazer with a piece of paper in the top pocket letting us know that, if he gets his way, football might never be the same again?

Van Basten certainly isn’t just easing himself into his new role as Fifa’s technical director when, four months in, he is advocating the type of rule changes that, if you are anything like me, makes you long for the days when superstar footballers did not try to reinvent themselves in roles that can leave them with barely a fig leaf of credibility.

Do we smile nervously and hope this is just one of those awkward phases when someone is in a new role and perhaps a little eager to impress? Or should we be startled that Van Basten – someone most of us would probably want to like – is now in one of the most prominent roles in world football and making the kind of suggestions that would be laughed out of any barroom debate?

It certainly feels disconcerting if you can imagine what the reaction might be, in any serious football discussion, if you were to raise your hand and propose a new set of rules where there is no offside and the players should be able to take up whatever positions they want on the pitch.

Is he actually being serious? Does he not comprehend how attackers would spend the entire match in the opposition goalmouth, defences would be forced back and midfield would become a no man’s land? And no offence, Marco, but have you paused to think why we have made it to 2017 and nobody else has beaten you to it?

“The offside law is like the bunker shot in golf,” Danny Blanchflower used to say. Football schedule today “It causes an interesting and infuriating hazard in the course of play, and certain healthy arguments about the game.”

It is, as Arsène Wenger says, a matter of football intelligence. Cbs sports fantasy football podcast It takes skill, both to implement and to get around it. Opening day baseball And, without it, games would lose any kind of structure.

Just consider the decisive moment in Lincoln City’s FA Cup victory against Ipswich Town and the effect of one beautifully weighted pass combined with an offisde-beating run. Garden ideas Then try to imagine the chaos if football didn’t have such a rule and the 90-minute congestion inside the six-yard areas.

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