The deed is done and Stamford Bridge is resigned to history – surely the 20 plus purchasers of 100 voting shares in the last few days are no friends of Stamford Bridge?
That’s right. 20 or so wealthy individuals have each paid £10,000 to buy 100 shares in recent days according to the CPO share register – how many supporters in the Shed End can afford that? £200,000 to buy 2,000 votes –these highly motivated blue citizens are not your average fan surely?
So will those 2000 new votes tip the balance of the vote tomorrow? Well around 17,500 shares have now been sold in total, 3,000 more than in June 2010. So if it has been a cynical orchestrated attempt to simply ‘buy’ the vote then chances are it will – after all £200,000 would be a small price to pay to ensure you get £700m worth of prime real estate for £10m.
The only possible thing that can save Stamford Bridge now is one man and his dog spot!
There are around 30% of ordinary shareholders with just one or two shares who can’t be traced – if they were to suddenly re-appear (filled with outrage having read this very article and turn up tomorrow complete with share certificate and photo ID) the situation would change.
If the couple of thousand of ‘small’ shareholders reputed to be ‘Yes’ voters were similarly to read these outrageous facts and charge down to the venue on mass, inform the Electoral Reform Group they wish to withdraw their proxy and vote ‘NO’ in person – then again, the old girl could be saved.
But the sad reality is she is probably lost … because in the world we live in it is perfectly just and proper for 20 very wealthy individuals opinions to count for more than 1,999 other individuals.
But if you ever bump into the directors of CPO – Richard King, Richard Glanvill or Robert Sewell over the next 20 years, please feel free to ask them one of the following questions recently circulated by ‘SAY NO’ campaigners:
TEN QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED BY THE CPO BOARD
1. To what extent did the Board negotiate with the Club to modify the proposal now put before the General Meeting?
2. Why did the CPO Board give shareholders the minimum legally required notice period for this General Meeting despite it being the most crucial vote in the context of 106 years of club history at Stamford Bridge ?
3. On what basis did the CPO directors consider it to be in the best interests of CPO shareholders to issue £200,000 of new shares in the last week or so particularly given that it has no inherent need for additional cash ?
4. As a percentage – can the Board advise how many of those subscribing for these new shares voted “yes”?
5. Have the board seen and endorsed the evidence the club claim conclusively rules out further redevelopment of Stamford Bridge ?
6. Could the Board confirm that if the resolutions are passed at the General Meeting:
A. The Club will be able to move anywhere after 8 years?
B. A new owner of the Club could sell the ground at any point in the future and make the team homeless
7. Can the board confirm that, despite Mr Buck’s confidence in the future of the team, if the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League for a few years in a row, the club’s value would fall and it would become more vulnerable to asset strippers again?
8. Would the Board agree that it is unusual to sell a property worth several hundred million pounds for a fraction of that amount, particularly without fully enshrining the on-going protections which CPO affords to any new ground?
9. Why do two CPO directors feel it is acceptable to be in the employ of CFC whilst the original CPO proposal and company’s Articles imply such a scenario would invalidate CPO’s crucial independence from the club ?
10. How can disclosure details of “Yes” voters by the Club for the purposes of giving the rewards offered, be completed without being in breach of the Data Protection Act?