John Terry has made an emotional plea for Chelsea fans to back the club's bid to repurchase the freehold of Stamford Bridge, insisting billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was acting in their best interests.
Blues captain Terry - who is also a lifelong supporter - spoke out amid what appeared to be growing opposition to the proposal to buy out Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), a plan that is being seen as a precursor to a move to a new 60,000-seater stadium.
Terry, who is also president of CPO, told the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "Obviously, I have great memories of Stamford Bridge. But what excites me is the thought of my kids, who are Chelsea through and through, being able to grow up watching the team play in a big stadium."
He added: "We're talking about the next generation of kids beyond that as well. It excites me because I know for sure that we can grow.
"It's not hidden that other clubs throughout Europe have gone out and bought sites for big stadiums. And we are not the only club with a rich owner. There are others, including QPR locally, who are going to look to expand in west London as well.
"For us to go further, we might need to move, and we have to trust our owner. He has been amazing since he bought the club, along with our fans as well. No one is saying it is going to be an immediate change but we need to be looking.
"We have to remember that London is a hotspot, west London especially, and big development companies can build substantial flats and penthouses here, and if we're not putting our name in the hat for these sites, then without a doubt they'll be snapped up by developers."
Terry continued: "I wouldn't be coming out, speaking publicly and backing the club if I didn't believe in it.
"I could quite easily say nothing and let the club do their thing but I've been here for so long and I've spoken to the owner on numerous occasions. He is Chelsea mad and wants us to be in with the Barcelonas, the Man Uniteds, and we know that doesn't happen overnight.
"All the fans who bought shares in Chelsea Pitch Owners have played a very important part in the history of the club. I am the president of CPO so I understand what it is about. If the club does decide to move then there are some sites in west London that spring to mind that are not too far and I don't believe Roman ever wants to take us too far away."