Home Stadium of Chelsea FC, Stamford Bridge was opened in 1877 and in its early years was used primarily by the London Athletic Club. However, in 1904 the ground was purchased by the London building contractor Gus Mears, who together with his brother, envisaged building at the ground the country's finest sporting stadium and attracting an already-establish team to play there. Fulham were originally considered as the first tenants, but when approached the Fulham chairman thought the rent too high and elected to remain at Craven Cottage.

With Fulham's refusal to use the ground, Mears considered accepting an offer made to him by the Great Western Railway to buy the land and turn it into a coal yard. However, a friend of Mears eventually persuaded the owner to form his own side rather than sell to the railway. Their first act in establishing the new club was to commission the building of Stamford Bridge's East Stand, while terracing the remainder of the ground with clay and soil excavated from the recent construction of London's underground "subway" system.