Chelsea stadium could be UNDERWATER in 30 years with club one of three in Premier League threatened by climate change

FOOTBALL is seriously threatened by global warming.

A quarter of professional football clubs in England and Wales face annual stadium flooding this decade – and they could even be totally OVERWHELMED by 2050.


Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge could be submerged by 2050Credit: Reuters
The world faces a climate crisis


The world faces a climate crisisCredit: Alamy

Sunday night’s explosive Sky Sports documentary on climate change details the dangers facing the beautiful game in the 21st century.

In the schedule, West Ham, Chelsea and Fulham are all warned that their stadiums will not be able to cope with the increased rainfall expected over the next few years.

And the FA admitted: “The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

“At its current rate, climate change will have a huge impact on all of us.

“In football, we are already seeing matches affected due to extreme weather conditions, especially in our grassroots communities.”

David Goldblatt, a leading climate change scholar, has calculated that a quarter of teams in the top four leagues will soon struggle to hold regular games due to rising sea levels.

And over the next 28 years, he believes several Prem stadiums will be submerged as the impact of global warming changes the country’s landscape forever.

Speaking on Football’s Toughest Opponent, Goldblatt said: “Extreme weather conditions lead to extreme flooding.


“It’s the climate crisis. We’re not talking about a few puddles on the pitch, we’re talking about 1.5 meters of water – which means no football.

“In England, it’s really serious. My calculations are that around a quarter of professional stadiums in the top four leagues are at risk of annual flooding or being underwater by 2050.”

Goldblatt cites figures that were published in his Rapid Transition Alliance paper which looked at the future of global sport in a changing climate.

Sheffield Wednesday fans will certainly remember the 2007 floods when the Hillsborough ground was submerged after the River Don burst its banks.

Brunton Park in Carlisle was also hit by flooding when Storm Desmond decimated Cumbria nearly seven years ago.

The documentary also claims that a third of ‘vulnerable’ grassroots football pitches in England lose around six weeks each season due to flooding and inadequate drainage.

Brunton Park suffered heavy flooding


Brunton Park suffered heavy floodingCredit: AFP-Getty

Goldblatt said: “When we talk about threatened coastal stadiums, Southampton’s St Mary’s is very close to the water and very low.

“Grimsby’s Blundell Park and Scunthorpe’s Glanford Park are in trouble.

“And then inland, it’s more extreme rain, more extreme storms and systems that can’t cope with the volume of water coming in.

“It will affect very big clubs. West Ham at the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge at Chelsea.

“Fulham’s Craven Cottage is really struggling – their store was flooded earlier this year. There’s more of that to come.

Liam Scully, chief executive of League One Lincoln, said: “In my 4½ years at the football club, we have had quite significant flooding on two occasions.

“You look at the revenue perspective and the cost of mitigation and the cost of putting things back together.

“Football clubs are pillars of the community. Football clubs are more than just a venue for Saturday games at 3 p.m. We are also losing these activities outside of game days.

It’s not just heavy rain, of course.

Football teams will have to deal with rising temperatures, especially as the UK hit a record high of 40.3C in July.

And playing in bad air pollution will have a major effect on player performance.

As someone who has a bit of a profile, I’ll try to use it to help in some way

Ben Mee

However, football clubs are fighting back and doing their best to save the planet.

There are various green initiatives in place and many actors themselves are well aware that they can make a difference.

Brentford defender Ben Mee, 33, says he made efforts after his free transfer from Burnley in the summer to offset the carbon he produced while driving on the M6 ​​and M1 motorways.

Mee said: “I donated to a charity that plants trees and does climate work in the environment.

“Ideally it would have been a totally carbon neutral transfer for us. But logistics and transfers are done quickly, it’s always difficult.

“I’ve looked into this over the past few years and become more environmentally conscious.

“As someone who has a bit of a profile, I’ll try to use that to help out in some way.”

Watch Football’s Toughest Adversary on Sunday at 7.30pm and 9pm on Sky Sports Premier League.