Work stops on venue underneath Chelsea FC’s stadium after cleaners cause flood

Work on Roman Abramovich’s £20m secret nightclub underneath Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge football stadium may be delayed after cleaners inadvertently drenched the venue’s high-tech stage and sound system, writes Michael Glackin.

It is understood the nightclub’s £500,000 speaker system and hydraulic stage were flooded by water that leaked into the venue from the stadium during weekend cleaning of the football club’s east stand.

Sources close to the project said cleaners used jet-powered hoses to wash down the seating area in the stand directly above the club’s stage and toilet area.

It is understood water from the jet hoses accumulated on the concrete floor of the stand during cleaning and then seeped through the club’s ceiling. Heavy-duty industrial heaters were brought into the venue to dry it out on Monday morning.

A source told Building: “You could argue water seeping in through the ceiling is very much in keeping with the overall gritty industrial design motif the designers are trying to achieve here. It also matches the waterfall.

“There are discussions going on about how best to prevent any future water ingress, but basically the strategy at the moment is to use a mop and bucket when they’re
cleaning the stand in future, rather than jet-powered hoses.”

Work on the club, which includes a 4m high waterfall as well as the hydraulically operated stage, was scheduled to be completed in late November but sources said the finish date is now likely to slip into late December, although it should be open for Christmas.

Initial tests appeared to indicate that damage to the equipment was likely to be minimal, but the leak could delay further electrical work while engineers check the wiring and take measures to ensure the venue is watertight.

Chelsea FC plc, the Abramovich company that owns the football club as well as hotels, a health club, and a convention centre at the team’s home ground at Stamford Bridge, was unavailable for comment.