Give us MORE space! Chelsea are forced to increase the size of the away dressing room at Stamford Bridge amid fears it is not Covid secure after complaints from Liverpool and Brighton over size, ventilation and accessibility to the pitch
- Chelsea have been ordered to increase the size of their away dressing room
- They received complaints from visiting teams including Liverpool and Brighton
- Liverpool made their point to the Premier League after their game on January 2
- The Reds were concerned about the size and ventilation for the coaching team
- Liverpool were bemused there was no separate changing room for female staff
- Graham Potter had made similar complaints about the size of the dressing rooms
Chelsea have been ordered to increase the size of the away dressing room at Stamford Bridge after complaints from visiting teams including Liverpool and Brighton.
Liverpool made their point to the Premier League after their game at the Bridge on January 2, when they were already in the midst of a Covid outbreak, with one member of staff testing positive on the day of the game before they reached the stadium.
Jurgen Klopp was also in isolation following a positive test and his assistant Pep Lijnders, who took charge for the 2-2 draw at Chelsea, tested positive soon after returning to Merseyside.
Chelsea have been ordered to increase the size of the away dressing room at Stamford Bridge (pictured: Liverpool’s squad using the dressing room prior to a match in March 2020)
This was the trigger for Liverpool’s decision to undergo an extra round of testing, which produced a set of results that Klopp mistakenly called ‘false positives’, causing confusion and delaying the Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal by one week.
The complaints out of Anfield about facilities at Chelsea included concerns about the size and ventilation of room set aside for the coaching team and the absence of a separate changing area and shower for Liverpool’s female staff members.
Brighton boss Graham Potter had made similar complaints about the size of the dressing rooms following a 1-1 draw on December 29.
Liverpool made their point to the Premier League after their game at the Bridge on January 2
There were fears from Liverpool that the dressing room (pictured) was not Covid compliant
The tight confines beneath the East Stand, where the dressing rooms are located at Stamford Bridge, have made it difficult to expand the changing areas to meet new regulations imposed during the pandemic.
The stand was built in the 1970s and there is little scope to extend because of a railway line running tight behind it.
When the Premier League returned to complete the 2019-20 campaign behind closed doors after the initial lockdown, Chelsea provided a larger changing space for the visiting teams in a health club behind the Matthew Harding Stand.
Graham Potter also complained about the dressing rooms following a 1-1 draw on December 29
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl as complained because it was so far from the pitch
This also proved unpopular because it was so far from the pitch. Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl made his feelings clear when his half-time interval was curtailed.
‘We lose nearly three minutes,’ grumbled Hasenhuttl at the time. ‘Down the stairs, up the stairs, I don’t know where. You want to coach, you want to reorganise the team. You have this time and they are struggling to go in this quick.’
It is also more complicated with more than 40,000 spectators inside the stadium.
The Premier League decided to uphold the recent complaints from Liverpool and Brighton, and ordered Chelsea to extend the away dressing room, which they achieved in time for Sunday’s game against Tottenham by carving out a large section of the Stamford Bridge media room.
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