So, the votes are counted, the results are in, and the initial proposal from CFC to buy out the CPO failed to pass by the required majority of 75%. About this I am happy, as I voted NO, for what I feel are very good reasons, motivated by a love of Chelsea and a desire to see the best for the club.
Yet barely had the result hit the street than the acrimony began: Many fans, seemingly united by a lack of understanding of the implications of a yes, or the motivations behind the NO, started coming out with recriminations about how the shareholders had consigned the club to a fate of mediocrity and financial inadequacy, and had sent a message to Roman that we had no faith or trust in him.
Herein lies the biggest irony of the whole affair: THOSE WHO VOTED NO HAVE MORE TRUST IN ROMAN THAN THOSE LEVELLING THESE CRITICISMS AGAINST US!
It seems that these critics would paint Roman as an insecure petulant child, ready to take his ball and go home because the nasty CPO won’t play by his rules; that he’ll withdraw his support for the club because we won’t sell him the freehold under the current proposal. That this reclusive and mysterious benefactor is ruled by a mercurial temperament that would see him jack in his labour of love for these past 8 years because of some perceived slight in the outcome of a business deal. That despite believing a new stadium is imperative for the club’s progression, he is going to abandon his plans and sit in his box in a huff. This shows a total lack of trust in the man and his character!
I trust Roman. As he is one of the youngest billionaires on the planet I trust him as a businessman, and with his conduct these past 8 years I trust him as a Chelsea fan. This initial proposal makes me trust his business acumen even more; if you want the cow you don’t go straight out and offer the farm, you offer the ‘magic’ beans first and see if Jack is enough of a rube to accept. The problem with the initial proposal is that we had Buck and Gourlay swearing up and down that they weren’t just beans, and we turned out to not be that naïve!
I trust Roman not to take personal affront that the CPO turned out not to be rubes, and I trust that he really wants what is best for Chelsea, that he believes this involves a new stadium away from Stamford Bridge, and that he is willing to do more than initially offered to make sure it happens.
I trust Roman Abramovich and I voted NO.
Swapping The Freehold
According to some commenters, the proposal that Chelsea ‘swap’ the freehold of Stamford Bridge is “ludicrous”, “ridiculous”, “outrageous”! Why on earth would CFC want to own a building on land which they did not own?! One can only assume that none of these people have ever bought a flat!
The only situations where the CPO owning the freehold of any new stadium would become an issue to the club would be if another relocation was on the cards, or they needed to raise capital like back in 1984.
Surely everyone would agree that the CPO would have a vital role to play in either circumstance!