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Chelsea CPO Shares – Some Issues To Address

A supporters view on yesterday’s Pitch Owners statement……

……After Chelsea’s surprise announcement about the CPO yesterday, I have jotted down a few bullet points as issues have occurred to me.  This isn’t exhaustive but may provide food for thought and kick off further ideas in others.

The Proposal Itself

•  Where is the proof that Stamford Bridge can’t be expanded?  Undoubtedly many fans would prefer to stay, and I suspect loss of hotels/restaurants would not be a major concern for many. 
•  The idea of building a walkway at SB has been raised by Cliff Auger of the CSG on a number of occasions and surely would be the best way of dealing with the access issue.  Has a detailed feasibility study ever been carried out on this?
• What is the realistic capacity that would be needed for expanded SB or a new ground? How often do the club think 55,000 seats would be needed?
• Have the club already received any offer on the SB land which is acceptable to them?
• What happens after 2020. In theory we could move to a Greenfield site off the M25?
• The ‘Old Oak Common’ rumour resurfaced for the umpteenth time yesterday. Hopefully this is a dead duck, but the story won’t go away.
• By offering £100 per share, shareholders who sold would only get their money back, with no account of inflation since 1993.  They are worth £150+ now.
• The ‘walk of honour’ proposal is risible and insulting. Given that any new ground would be bigger, the ‘priority season ticket’ offer is surely nebulous as well, as well as morally reprehensible.

The Timing

• This is all being done at very short notice (17 working days), and the morning after a midweek away game, which could be interpreted by cynics as a deliberate move.
• Why such a sudden hurry, and such energy, on such a huge and clearly emotive issue? If the club have got nothing to hide why not wait until a site is identified so an informed choice can be made.

The Process

• Is the CPO address list up to date? How will members who have moved be made aware of the issue, especially as the next home game isn’t until 15th October and many shareholders probably don’t look at the website very often.
• It would be interesting to know how many shares were sold in the last year – has there been a covert attempt to build the ‘Yes’ vote?
• Given the club’s obsession with the Far East market, why has no real attempt been made to sell CPO shares internationally?  Given the alleged Chelsea global fan base, 15,000 shares sold in 18 years is not exactly a success story.

The Campaign

Fans – groups and individuals. 

• How do we get the disparate groups together and formulate an action plan?
• One big problem is that many of those who feel strongly about this are not CPO shareholders and will not be able to influence the result except through external protest.
• A meeting to agree a way forward is needed very quickly, but the next home game (Everton) is only 12 days before the CPO meeting.
• How do we get the shareholders list & can we write to them? If we do, it will presumably cost several thousand pounds (Can’t see the club funding a letter from the ‘No’ campaign). How do we fund this or do we not try to?
• Ideally, there should be a single forum on this issue, rather than myriad groups. To me, the CSG seems to be the logical focus.

Media

• We clearly have plenty of contacts across our fan base but how do we get a consistent message out there, keep them appraised of updates etc.

Next Steps

• Prepare for 27/10 meeting – try and optimise turnout, optimise CPO members actually able to vote, agree strategy and have proper debate
• Try and get answers in advance of 27/10 meeting to above questions
• Push for fan input into any redevelopment / new ground

Posted by Tim Rolls

Discussion

Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. The whole thing stinks! 3 miles radius, my ar*se!

    CSG has my full backing.

    “COME BACK PETER KENYON”

    If you’re that gullible then you’re not a real Chelsea fan.

    All the points in the CSG email & front page of this website need to be answered.

    Hang your heads in shame Buck and Gourlay.

    ps: i’d use stronger language but there may be small children and religious types reading!!

    Posted by Nutty 4 b | October 4, 2011, 7:43 pm
  2. Posted by Stand Up Against CFC For CPO | October 4, 2011, 8:08 pm
  3. you have my full support gourlay is only intersted in money its fans can go to hell as far as gourlay and buck are consered very worring times for me also very sad that the people running are great club clearly cant be trusted

    Posted by jim | October 4, 2011, 8:56 pm
  4. A lot of people didn’t like Ken Bates but this kind of thing is exactly what he was protecting us against when he set up the CPO. There is no reason to give up the freehold now, it can be done when a site is secured and plans passed by the local authority. Why does Buck thinks he needs to get the ground under Abramovic’s control first (and within 24 days!), he can get a commitment at any point with 21 days notice of a CPO EGM.
    I will be there on 27 October and I will cast my two votes against this plan and I hope every other CPO shareholder does the same.

    Posted by Ranners | October 4, 2011, 9:11 pm
  5. Barcelona have had 3 homes , Real Madrid 4 . Two of biggest 3 clubs in the world . Utd being the other . the future of chelsea is for our children and their children . Let’s wait to hear firm plans the club have

    Posted by Alan Collis | October 4, 2011, 11:06 pm
  6. I am a CPO shareholder and I am very confused as to what to do. I only want what’s best for the club which was why I bought the share in the first place. I knew back then my £100 was not going to make much of a difference but I wanted to do my bit. Please share your thoughts so I can make an informed vote when the time comes

    Posted by Gary Rutherford | October 4, 2011, 11:27 pm
  7. I’m a CPO. I have read the document and a few things jump out at me:-
    1. 3 miles radius until 2020. We found a place and are prepared to wait.
    2. A brick with my name on it. ha ha.
    3. A loan of £10m which never needs to be repaid. they need to live with it.
    4. £100. ha ha but see below.
    6. Fist option on season ticket. Free ST until 2020 will do.

    I’m no mug. They are trying to bribe me. Crass. I feel as if someone is trying to rush me into a decision. A decision made in haste is repented at your leisure.

    The freehold and the naming rights are two separate assets. They want that name.

    I agree that for the club in its present format to be as self-sufficient as possible then a new stadium is required. Battersea looks a real possibility but I would prefer SB. Of course a move could scare the crap out of the council so that they give the club the planning permission that it needs.

    First thought if there is a YES vote: CPO with no debt; a lot of rights (with regard to the new stadium for example) and, in particular, eternally cheap tickets for fans aged 11-21. The CPO with a huge pot of cash as a result of selling the naming rights to Chelsea FC.

    A new club called whatever run for the fans by fans like FC United of Manchester or AFC Wimbledon preferably at Stamford Bridge but unlikley as they will want to sell SB to finance the new stadium. Chelsea AFC could take at least twenty years to get back into the top flight. Is this our opportunity?

    Posted by shedhead | October 5, 2011, 8:04 am
  8. I will be voting NO. Remember it is the name chelsea football club we are losing control of as well as the ground.

    Posted by Andrew | October 5, 2011, 8:53 am
  9. Just found my certificate, never thought I would have any need to!

    1. I do not object to moving to a new ground in principle, providing I am satisfied that ‘SB’ can not be redeveloped to provide the additional seating the club say is required (which is a moot point with me as I think we are running at max supporters prepared to pay the present prices as it is. The last CL group game was far from a sell out if I recall correctly).

    Anyway, where is the evidence that redevelopment is an insurmountable obstacle?

    Please show it to us rather than just take the club’s word for it.

    2. I do not wish us to move if it is to a ‘souless’ new ground. Real thought and ingenuity needs to go in to the design of the new stadium to try and get atmosphere back rather than just an off the table new build.

    The German grounds appear to create a lot more atmosphere viewed from a television perspective. Why?

    I need reassurance on this point as otherwise it seems pointless to move to new ground masquerading as a ‘library’.

    3. Why is a decision needed now with such due haste? I suspect there is more to this than meets the eye.

    Why can this issue not be bought up as and when a new site is identified?

    4. I suspect that most shareholders will have no objection to a move to a new ground within a reasonable radius of SB.

    The ‘3 mile’ stipulation worries me and is probably the one major concern of most supporters?

    Conclusion

    I will vote ‘no’, not because I object to moving to a new ground but because I do not understand why this decision has to be taken now, ‘apparently’ with no developments in the offing if you are to believe the club!

    A ‘yes’ vote now is a vote for nothing other than relinquishing our control of ensuring the club cannot be sold down the river which was the whole reason the CPO was formed in the first place.

    I would vote ‘yes’ as and when a site has been identified and my concern about the design of any stadium is satisfied.

    I would like to think Roman is ‘blue’ at heart but show me some detail when available and if reasonable then I will back you all the way.

    Surely if Roman has the club’s best interests at heart he will understand the concern of supporters such as myself and would respect this view rather than see it as a negative.

    As an aside, I see the suggestion of a ‘roll/wall of honour’ or whatever it is called as nothing more than a bribe/incentive for my vote!

    Posted by Philip | October 5, 2011, 9:57 am
  10. Typical small minded bleating – whats in it for me? – I want a free ticket – I dont think their bribes are enough — me, me,me.

    Andrew who is the “we” you are referring to? Why should you have control of the name in this day and age?

    30,000 season ticket holders, many many more members, a further 10k attending each match, 98% capacity average over last few years, many more would like the opportunity to buy tickets who cannot.

    Exactly by what justification do a handful of CPO shareholdeas say they are protecting the club?

    I cannot get to the meeting but I shall be sending in my proxy for a yes vote. In my mind it all comes down to if you trust Roman or not. In 8 years he has done nothing to give even an inkling to fans that he should not be trusted.

    I have posted elsewhere – If you plonked my late grandfather down on the centre circle he would have no idea he was at Stamford Bridge. The ground is so different from what it was when he went. A bit like Trigger’s broom. Every bit of the ground is different from my first visit in 1963. The only thing thats the same is the map reference. I have never had affinity to any map reference.

    Posted by Stan Streason | October 5, 2011, 10:15 am
    • Stan … the justification for CPO shareholders saying they are protecting the club is very simple: That is the only reason we bought our shares in the first place. To remove forever the possibility that someone could cash in on Chelsea FC and sell its assets. Remember the Mears family ? A lot happens over 10 or 20 years and the only way of safeguarding Chelsea FC forever is by way of the CPO. Any other club would be proud of the CPO.

      Posted by Ian Wood | October 9, 2011, 3:15 pm
  11. I bought my 2 x CPO shares in order to safeguard Chelsea Football Club on the Fulham Road. I am not opposed to change and progression. If re-locating was seen as the right thing to do and for the right reasons, then I would not stand in the way, but…. I question the reason/s in rushing this through without measured consultation. £100 per share back in 1993 was and still is a considerable sum of money to some of us. This was money spent through love of OUR football club, to keep it out of the hand of bankers and property spivs.
    Today I have become a member of CSG and thank them for highlighting this to me and others. I fully agree that the questions CSG ask the management of both CPO and Chelsea FC need to be answered. I/We bought the shares in good faith with no expectation of monetry gain. There would have been no club for RA to buy if it were not for us.
    Treat us with respect!!.. Not much to ask.

    Posted by Dave Rees | October 5, 2011, 12:42 pm
  12. Stan, lets not make this personal – everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    My belief is that we are lucky in this day and age as fans of the club to be able to ensure its safe future. Im certain the fans of Wimbledon wish they were able to stop their club moving to Milton Keynes and changing its name. Do you not think that is important ? You don’t care for map references but surely you care that Chelsea FC remains Chelsea FC and doesn’t become Samsung Guildford Blues ?

    There will be nothing that can stop Roman ( or more importantly whoever comes after Roman ) moving us a long long way from SW6 or even taking the name away. If there is ANY chance it could happen then I will do all I can to ensure it doesn’t. If you do not believe it can happen ask those loyal Wimbledon fans. It is no different.

    I appreciate all Roman has done but can you be 100% certain he wont sell up and move miles away, change the name or even worse sell to someone who can then just come in to make millions from the huge lump of land in Chelsea? That is what the CPO is for – to ensure it cant happen unless we are 100% happy. Roman is not going to be here forever.

    If the club wishes to move then why not present the CPO with the concrete plans and guarantees, give the CPO suitable time to discuss it then we can vote. Why do it with minimum notice and the very scary “only 3 miles BEFORE 2020” line ? A lot can happen in 10 years.

    Posted by Andrew | October 5, 2011, 1:09 pm
  13. Stop being so short sighted and think of the bigger picture.

    Imagine a 60k stadium on the bank of the Thames at nine elms, next to battersea power station, dominating the London skyline.

    Of course we need assurances, but let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot by closing our eyes and ears just Clair isnt our beloved bridge.

    Nine Elms is the best option, so let’s go for the best !!

    Posted by Dave | October 5, 2011, 2:18 pm
    • 60K stadium. A p!$$ and a pint @ half time is a challenge with things as they are at the moment. Imagine another 20K fans waiting “patiently” in front of you. I joined CPO just to vote NO. Its about LOYAL FANS, not 60,000 hot-dogs or visits to a mega store. Struggled, but managed to get a ticket for the ARSEnel game, couldn’t believe the number of ‘tourists’ into SB that day,even having photos in FB tube station under the sign and arrow to the stadium!!

      Posted by Yorkie Blue | October 30, 2011, 8:55 pm
  14. There are only 2 viable options here..nine elms battersea and earls court..but these should not even be considered until it has been proved that expanding the bridge is impossible..another point,is it really sensible to be taking all this on during a recession? The last time the club did that was in the 70’s and we all know what happened then..you may or may not trust Abramovich but it is very unwise to rely on one mans fortune just propping up the club with no assurances..vote no

    Posted by Peter James | October 5, 2011, 3:58 pm
  15. Dave, some people may agree with you about Nine Elms being a good option but if we just roll over without assurances we could very well see Chelsea based at Heathrow and re-named London Utd.

    We are talking about buisness people. First and foremost they are around to make money.

    Let`s see all the facts. Let`s have the truth and let us help them create something that will suit everyone. If they can first prove that the capacity for Stamford Bridge can not be increased then we move on to the next step.
    If it was right for the future of Chelsea and I had guarantees and felt they were also working in the interest of supporters, they can have my CPO shares.
    I felt pride when I purchased them back in 1993. I knew I was doing the right thing then and I want to do the right thing now. Nothing has changed in that respect.

    Posted by Dave the Bridge | October 5, 2011, 4:01 pm
    • I think most CPO shareholders would like to understand the issues better. I for one will vote no until we have strong undertakings to protect our club. bought my share in 1993 not looking for a financial gain but to protect the club. As shareholders we should be reminding the Directors of their duty and responsibilities towards CPO.

      Posted by offworld | October 7, 2011, 11:18 am
  16. There are many good articles about this matter. Please read:

    http://www.bluetinted.com/Site/Articles/Articles.aspx?articleid=62

    and our web site which contains a copy of the original prospectus.

    http://www.wembleycarpark.co.uk/chelsea

    Only mugs and plants would vote yes. Buck has 100 shares. Who knows how many cronies they have.

    Posted by Paul Todd | October 6, 2011, 9:26 am
  17. I agree with most of the points raised above.

    What I ask myself is ‘why the sudden interest in CPO’?

    I have given this a lot of thought. The ONLY reason I can see for this sudden interest, with apparently no firm poposal for a ground move, is that RA wants to sell the club.

    It would be much easier to sell without CPO in the way, and probably for a lot more money.

    Any guarantees given by RA if CPO sell out are just that – guarantees given by RA. If the club is sold, I find it doubtful whether the new owners would be bound by the same guarantees.

    I don’t want to stand in the way of progress and would be happy to give up my CPO share if I have a solid, enforceable guarantee that my club will continue to exist and play somehwere near SW6 in a stadium fit to grace the champions league.

    Chelsea have not given me that.

    Posted by Marcus | October 7, 2011, 12:49 pm
  18. On the other hand.

    Perhaps Chelsea have identified an unattractive site in Harlesden that is to receive government funding for a mixed residential/commercial development and that will have crossrail running through it, that will take beyond 2020 to complete.

    Perhaps someone in the inner circle has let the cat out of the bag.

    Nice to sell that Stamford Bridge and plan to develop it…?

    Posted by Paul Todd | October 7, 2011, 2:06 pm
  19. Whilst Mr Abramovich has treated the club very well, he may get run over by a bus, he may fall out with Putin, his businesses may fail. He won’t be there forever. Can you see his widow or a Russian company subsidising the club?
    The answer is for CPO to agree now with Chelsea that in the event of moving to a new stadium, CPO will at that time release Stamford Bridge from any interest, in exchange for CPO taking an identical interest in the new replacement pitch and stadium.
    This will leave CPO and Chelsea fans in much the same position as at present, and protect the future of the club.

    Posted by Stephen Hayes | October 7, 2011, 5:57 pm
  20. If all were as above board as the “YES” camp blinkardly believe your suggestion would have been part of the proposal by the club instead of this rush to catch shareholders of balance and grab control. Vote “NO” and get rid of the club trolls who recommended this corporate misfeasance.

    Posted by Paul Todd | October 8, 2011, 2:51 am
  21. I brought my shares to safegaurd Chelsea Football Club however I am not totally against a new bigger ground within the area. However I have too many doubts to be able to vote yes and am concerned about the haste of this whole thing when, if is true, there are no plans to move at the moment.

    Posted by Bob Johnson | October 16, 2011, 1:13 pm

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