On receiving my CPO voting form, I have spoken to many other Chelsea fans who bought shares way back 15 years ago. At that time none of the present existing board at Chelsea Football Club had anything to do with our club whatsoever.
The situation now has stark similarities to the situation all those years ago, when Ken Bates was forced to fight for the right for Chelsea to remain at the Bridge. And not for it to be turned into a housing estate.
We are all aware of the future and the need for the club to be able to compete.
But the reason that we all bought shares was to ensure that our ground could not be sold from under our feet and that we would have a say in the clubs future.
The club need 75% of the vote on the day of the meeting on the 27th October and NOT 75% of all the votes of the 14000 share holders. The meeting is being held on the morning of Thursday 27th October, when everyone is either working, or still waking up from the trip to Everton away the previous night. Very convenient, why not on a Saturday, prior to the next home match ?
I understand, at this moment, that members of the football clubs committee have 100s of votes, therefore if only 50 CPO voters turn up on the day, 13950 potential voters views will be null and void. By simply not turning up is NOT a NO vote.
By the club winning the vote effectively we would be agreeing to the club, after 2020, to be able to sell Stamford Bridge and relocate anywhere they wished and we would have no say whatsoever.
Prior to 2020 the club have stated that a potential new stadium would be within a 3 mile radius, that in its self is very worrying. 3 miles in London is a long way. There are only 2 or 3 sites that are available at present, so why not go and secure one now. A big enough site won`t suddenly appear out of nowhere after 2020 within the borough.
The answer is surely, if all possibilities of redeveloping the Bridge are exhausted, the club should then identify a location, Earls Court or Battersea power station, whatever it would be. Then ask the CPO shareholders to ratify it. After all it would only take 3 weeks, because that is only what we have been given to make a very important, speculative decision now. Why the sudden rush ?
All CPO members bought a share to protect the well being and the future of the club. This could be taken away from us if voters do not turn up to the meeting or issue the right for another, to present their proxy vote in person, on the day.
For half the price of what was paid for Fernando Torres, we could have bought 4 or 5 houses on the Fulham Road, which would then give us sufficient egress from the stadium, therefore being able to increase capacity. This is only one of the suggestions mooted. Have all options really been thoroughly looked at, regarding the expansion of the Bridge?
Or is it that the club would prefer to wait until 2020 to relocate outside the 3 mile radius, (as after 2020, the club will have no restrictions) therefore purchasing land at a cheaper price than it would be in the West end. Then by selling Stamford Bridge, it would easily finance the new development completely. This would then enable the club to obtain naming rights on the new stadia, (which we can`t seem to get on Stamford Bridge), it all makes financial sense.
But is that what we want ? As I said earlier, we all realize the need for our club to be able to compete in the future and we don’t want to hold the club back, BUT we must not be forced to relinquish our wishes without understanding all the facts.
Attend the meeting, apply your votes, or get someone else to do it for you if you can`t attend in person, but do not ignore it. Your club needs you, just as it did 15 years ago.