CHELSEA’S £2bn stadium revamp has been put on hold after old soldiers declared war on the plan which could leave them homeless.
Club bosses must buy a £50million property next to the stadium to develop and expand the Stamford Bridge site.
But the country also includes Sir Oswald Stoll’s historic mansions, home to around 100 military veterans and war widows – and many are fighting to stay in their place.
Angry vets have now sought an injunction to stop the trustees of the Stoll Charity, who run the block, from selling it.
Documents seen by The Sun said the sale “will weaken the local community and harm residents, many of whom are vulnerable and all of whom have served their country.”
Stoll resident Geoffrey Reed applied to Wandsworth County Court for an injunction to remain in force until the trustees have proven they have “duly discharged their duties”.
The legal block is a major blow to American tycoon Todd Boehly’s ambitious plans to transform the Blues’ west London home.
Military pensioners living at the 1.2-hectare site in Fulham said they would refuse to leave the site if given marching orders.
One of the youngest army veterans, Matthew Bignell, 36, said: “People here won’t leave. They need to be taken to court and given eviction notices.”
“I’m in a situation where I can physically and financially afford to move out, but I’m unlikely to show support for the other tenants.”
The two-hectare site borders Stamford Bridge and the deal would pave the way for a major redevelopment of the site, increasing capacity from 42,000 to 55,000.
The Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation was established to support veterans returning from the First World War and provides a home for former military personnel and their spouses.
Most tenants are over 60 years old, and some say they are physically unable to move out.
Colin Tiso, 57, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the first Gulf War so severe that he cannot leave his one-bed apartment.
He previously told The Sun: “Due to my post-traumatic stress disorder I find it difficult to leave my home and I am being treated for it. My fear is overwhelming. Whenever I get the newsletters with information about the plans, I completely shut myself off Army Veteran, I’m scared.
“Leaving the apartment scares me. If I can’t leave the apartment, the move will be traumatic.”
The veterans’ planning block is causing another headache for the tycoon after the club’s stadium move to Battersea was rejected with a red card by angry fans.
The news comes after owner Todd Boehly submitted plans to the council to erect two giant lion sculptures in front of Stamford Bridge.
His proposal would cost around £2 million, with the lions replicating those featured on the club’s crest.
It is understood Chelsea would rather renovate Stamford Bridge than move to a new location.
Read more at the Scottish Sun
On the pitch, Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa yesterday meant it was their worst start to a league season since the 1978/79 season.
The sputtering Blues have failed to score in 13 Premier League games since the start of 2023 – a record for a calendar year.