An open letter to Bruce Buck (chairman of Chelsea FC) and Richard King (chairman of Chelsea Pitch Owners)
Dear Bruce and Richard,
You have both made serious misjudgements on the proposal to buy back Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) shares. So serious, that I feel neither of you have any credibility left in your respective roles and I call for both of you to resign … but more about that later.
Seeing as neither of you are prepared to answer emails or phone calls, I thought I’d outline my points here. But before I do, let’s get one thing clear … the majority of Chelsea Pitch Owners are not opposed in principle to a move away from Stamford bridge.
We are opposed to you calling an extraordinary general meeting on 27th Oct with the minimum legal notice to try and get us to sell out shares back. Why the sudden rush ?
Why not wait until you’ve found a definite site for a new stadium and then consult us on our views ? Why not recognise that Chelsea Pitch Owners represent the hard core support of Chelsea FC and offer us the chance to transfer our shares over to the new stadium ? We don’t want our names engraved on a brick in the new ground. Your offer to give us the right to buy a season ticket is insulting. And as for paying us back our original investment of £100 per share … did you come to that decision after a heavy bout of lunchtime drinking ? We never bought these shares as an investment. We bought them because we came very close to losing Stamford Bridge and ground sharing with Palace or QPR … either of which, still makes me come out in a cold sweat 20 years later.
In case you are unaware of what happened in the 80’s and early 90’s here’s a quick history lesson. David Mears and Lord Chelsea sold their shares in Chelsea FC to Marler Estates whose plans to turn Stamford Bridge into a housing estate were approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council in 1986. In 1989 Chelsea FC were officially served notice to leave Stamford Bridge and without the impending property crash it would have been game over. Cabra estates, who had since purchased Marler estates, filed for bankruptcy which enabled Ken Bates to a do a deal with their creditors and reunite the freehold of Stamford Bridge with our club. That’s when we, the fans, bought our shares … the perfect way of protecting Chelsea FC forever.
Until this news broke a few days ago, I’d never again looked at my CPO share. No need … timed have changed. Like most people, I’ve moved a few times over the last 18 years since I bought my CPO share and I’ve never updated my address details with them. This must apply to thousands of other CPO shareholders who have received no proposal or proxy voting forms from CPO. I’ve tried to contact CPO by email and phone, but no reply so as things stand I can’t vote. There’s a rumour that any votes not received will be taken as a yes vote … is this true?
Having total control of Chelsea FC in one man’s name is dangerous. What happens if Abramovich dies and his son hates football ? We could be back to the same situation in the late 80’s.
Now why of you both need to go.
Bruce … your interviews on radio and TV make me cringe … an American talking of his life long love for Chelsea FC … where were you when we were shit ? Your offer has insulted the hard core support of Chelsea FC and you have proved yourself out of touch with our feelings.
Richard … By condoning this deal with Chelsea FC you have undermined your responsibility to act in the best interest of CPO shareholders and as such there is no choice but for you to resign with immediate effect.