Nottingham photographer Chris Olley has spent two years taking pictures of all 92 Football League grounds in England.

Olley took the black and white photographs on days when there were no matches taking place as he wanted to convey their starkness.

He said: “When football stadiums aren’t being used they have this redundant feeling about them. They sit there like an old ship.

“It was gruelling. I did seventy-five percent of it on a 250cc [motorbike].”

Living in Nottingham, in the centre of the country, had its advantages for Olley who regularly got up at the crack of dawn to travel to the grounds.

I [did] them in black and white because I didn’t want the team’s colours obscuring the stadiums
Photographer Chris Olley

He said: “I only stayed overnight in Reading, at my aunty’s in Blackpool and a Travelodge in South Wales. The rest of it I came home for.”

Chris is influenced by the German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, who are best known for their images of industrial buildings.

Their work and ideas are evident in Olley’s football ground work.

“[Their work] shows us things in life which appear to be mundane and it can show us that we can take things for granted,” he explained.

“I wanted to bring that into the photographs of the stadiums and try and exclude people, movement and colour.


Chelsea Football Club are in talks to quit their 105-year old home at Stamford Bridge and build a ground on the site of the soon- to-be-demolished Earls Court Exhibition Centre to hold at least 60,000 spectators, the Guardian has learned.

“There have been discussions about it and the club is clearly considering its next step,” confirmed a source close to Chelsea, who added that negotiations are at an early stage and no deal has been signed.

The club has met the site’s owner, Capital and Counties, in recent months and Chelsea and its advisers are holding “a series of key meetings to decide whether to pursue a bid or not”, according to a source close to the talks.

A new stadium would not be ready until 2015 because Earls Court is scheduled to host the 2012 Olympic volleyball competition before the exhibition centre is demolished.

Tonight [Chelsea chairman Bruce] Buck said it was “very difficult for us to make the philosophical decision that we are going to move on”, but conceded that the lack of capacity at Stamford Bridge left it out of pocket compared with other clubs.

“Certainly we wouldn’t leave west London or thereabouts and there are very few sites available,” he said. “We have to do things with our other commercial activities to make up the deficit that is created by the fact we don’t have a 60,000 seat stadium. We can’t say that we will never move or have a new stadium but at the moment, it’s not at the front of our agenda.”

However, Chelsea insiders said Buck is keen to boost matchday takings because Uefa is introducing rules limiting the ability of super-rich owners to bankroll clubs without squaring spending with revenues. (The Guardian)

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