Chelsea aim to be here next year

Chelsea aim to be here next year
Club’s Asia Pacific chief New says National Stadium ideal for the Blues.

Football fans here could well be singing the Blues, as there is a "huge possibility" that four-time English champions Chelsea will visit Singapore for the first time next year.

Speaking to The New Paper on the sidelines of the Sports Matters conference at Marina Bay Sands yesterday, Chelsea Football Club's Asia Pacific managing director Adrian New said: "It's a huge possibility. We already had some initial conversations.

"We've never been to Singapore because there's never been a stadium that was suitable for us to play in. The old National Stadium could have been, but it wasn't the greatest. But now, yeah, the new stadium, once the grass grows, it'll be fantastic."

With Jose Mourinho pulling the strings of a star-studded cast, Chelsea have won all four of their Premier League games this season and look like favourites for the title, even if it is early days.

And New added: "In 2013, we played in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. The stadium here wasn't ready. We don't really want to go back to the same three cities again.

"Our biggest fanbase is in South-east Asia, so yeah, if we play in Singapore, I'm sure a lot of our fans from Bangkok, KL and Jakarta will come over, just like how our supporters from Singapore went to KL last year."

Half of Chelsea's 500 million fans - up from just 25 million 10 years ago - come from Asia, and the Blues are keen to court the continent by bringing their best players here during "odd" years.

Said New: "When a major tournament comes along, we lose our first team, literally. In the last international break, Jose had three players for training, everyone else was playing.

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