Chelsea’s stars of tomorrow will once again be playing regular football at Aldershot’s Recreation Ground after the troubled non-league club announced a two-year agreement on Thursday morning.
A statement on the Shots’ official website regarding a change of ownership included details of their new affiliation with the Blues:
The club also confirms a two-year agreement with Chelsea Football Club whereby a significant number of Chelsea’s academy and reserve matches will be played at the Recreation Ground. The revenue generated from Chelsea for staging these fixtures will help fund creditors pursuant to the CVA as well as contributing towards general working capital for the club.
In addition to playing games in Hampshire, Chelsea have also persuaded Adidas to provide Aldershot with brand new home and away kits free of charge. Having faced an uncertain future due to financial instability this summer, they are now out of administration and are able to focus on the new season.
Chelsea have previously revealed that they will also be playing youth and Under-21 matches at Stamford Bridge, the Cobham training ground and Brentford’s Griffin Park this coming season as the demands of the Under-21 League, the NextGen Series and the UEFA Youth League require logistical flexibility. The playing surface at Brentford has been a source of concern for the club in recent years, to the extent that they made a considerable contribution towards a new pitch, but the arrangement to feature some games at Aldershot should benefit everybody.
The Recreation Ground was a long-time home to previous generations of Chelsea academy teams before making way for Brentford in 2007. A NextGen Series clash against Ajax was hosted there last season, and the opening match of the new Under-21 campaign against Tottenham Hotspur kicks off the new agreement on Friday August 9th.