The current CPO situation is a strange one and is an issue that I am still not fully sure where I stand on, however, one thing is for sure – I am urging pitch owners to turn up next Thursday to vote against the CPO buy  out.
 
I have listened to the clubs reasons as to why we should sell our shares in the stadium and they make perfect sense, ‘the club wants continued success’, ‘The club needs to continue to compete’ but we should not let these points cloud the issue as there are no immediate plans to move, yet the club seem desperate to rush this vote through.  I seriously dislike the way the club have dealt with this issue and believe that Chelsea fans should not lightly relinquish what little hold we have left on our football club.
 
I believe that the way the club have arranged this vote is farcical and the decision of when to hold the vote was clearly made to limit the number voters and increase the chance of a ‘Yes’ vote – this is not right! We have had two home games this month which easily could have been chosen as days to vote, this would have given the average CPO a convenient time to turn up and vote at the same time as supporting the team. There is absolutely no other explanation why the club haven’t done this other than that they believe that allowing a greater number of people to vote will give them less chance of their desired outcome.
 
A point that has already been well made is that many hard core Chelsea fans and pitch owners will have been at Goodison Park the night before and will be up early to go to work to earn the money which allows them to follow Chelsea F.C. Why penalise these people and take away their ability to vote? A weekday morning is the least convenient time they could have possibly picked! This is underhanded and manipulative and is resonant of a corrupt government trying to sneak things through the back door, against the will and at the expense of the people they should be there to serve.
 
At a time when there couldn’t be more disparity between the fans and the people who run the club, we must ensure that we keep hold of this semblance of power that the CPO’s currently wield. I was disgusted to read of Ron Gourlay’s attitude at the recent club meeting, which was essentially that Chelsea’s 200 million fans abroad are the ones that he must look after and that real fans would want what was best for the club and sell our shares. I also think it is outrageous that they are only offering fans what they originally paid for their share over 15 years ago, but I won’t labour this point because that is not the real issue for Chelsea fans at all, money is not an issue whatsoever – the implications for the club and its identity weigh far heavier on our minds. After all, if money was an issue, we would have stopped following years ago!
 
Loyal Chelsea fans will still be here when, or if, we ever fall off our pedestal. Where will these 200 million fans abroad be when the foreign TV markets decide that they do not want to air Chelsea games when we no longer have the big players and aren’t involved in the big games? They will be exactly where were they were when our real fans were saving Stamford Bridge from extinction back when we were sh*t  – miles away and blissfully ignorant!
 
Ron Gourlay has no concept of what a football club means to supporters and speaks so unashamedly about the club as a business that it makes me feel sick when I read anything he has to say about Chelsea – The man is a disease on our club! I love the success Chelsea have had in recent seasons but it is not the be all and end all. After all, what does it mean to win trophies when the club you have followed all your life have nothing left of their identity from when you first fell in love. I don’t care about success if it comes at the expense of Chelsea football club, Chelsea football club being the passion and loyalty of fans, stretching back over years – not the business that Kenyon created and Ron Gourlay is expanding and milking! Anyway, I digress – Ron Gourlay rant over!
 
The main point to remember is that even if you are not sure whether you want to sell your shares, do not let your right to have a say taken away so lightly by the club! Once this vote is over and the club get their 75% ‘Yes’ vote, which I sadly believe they will, there is no going back – the club will be allowed to do as they wish and will not give a moments thought to the concerns of real fans. However, if we vote No to CPO, there is still time to change our mind once we have all come to a reasoned conclusion. It is this time to think and come to a conclusion that the club have tried to take away from us as they try to rush this ‘Yes’ vote through.
 
There are no immediate plans to move from Stamford Bridge and therefore there is no need to be rushing this vote through at the moment. If we all vote ‘No’ and then realise at a later date that selling our shares was the best thing to do, the door will still be wide open for us to do that ! However, if we vote ‘Yes’ and decide later on that we do not want to move away from the Bridge, the door will be well and truly shut and Gourlay and co. will be reminding us how well and truly insignificant our views are on the clubs future direction!
 
The club do not even need 75% of the Pitch owners on their side, they only need 75% of the votes on Thurday 27th October to be a ‘Yes’. I have a sinking feeling that the club will get their way but sincerely hope that this is not the case. I urge all of you who still have a rare treasure in today’s football world, that being a say in your clubs future, to use this and vote ‘No to CPO.’