Billionaire Abramovich Puts New Chelsea Stadium Project on Hold

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Earlier, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich withdrew documents for a British visa after receiving Israeli citizenship.

Meanwhile the "Jerusalem Post" reported that sources close to Abramovich say he has withdrawn his request for a United Kingdom visa.

That delay prompted plans for the development of Stamford Bridge to be put on hold, meaning the future of the club's home is also unsure. "No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur", a statement issued on the club's official website read.

However, the club announced on Thursday that the plan had been put on hold, citing "the current unfavourable investment climate" and saying that it "does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision".

However, no decision is expected to be made over the new arrival until director Marina Granovskaia returns from a holiday next week.

The announcement comes after it emerged the Russian billionaire was yet to have his British visa renewed amid a crackdown by authorities on associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "He has spent many years in the United Kingdom and is a legitimate businessman".

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According to Forbes, Abramovich has business interests in Israel, which he controls in Millhouse and Ervington companies.

Chelsea had been planning an extensive redevelopment of their Stamford Bridge stadium, including increasing the capacity to 60,000.

The delay in renewing Mr Abramovich's investor visa came to light at a time of increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow, in the wake of the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

Abramovich previously attempted to buy Battersea Power Station with a view to redeveloping the site into a new stadium and had looked at Earls Court as a potential place to home Chelsea.

Chelsea ended a disappointing season on a high by winning the FA Cup.

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