So the club have pulled a massive power station sized rabbit out of the hat. The site that so many fans say would swing it for them (it is even possible that many would prefer BPS to Earl's Court because of its iconic status) is now a real possibility.
However, as we predicted in our earlier blog today, there are many who are now facing the possibility of a move away from SB and the sound of heels digging in is loud and clear. Bluffs have been called and it doesn't seem to be going down too well with some. The fantasy of a redevelopment of SB with the wild hope that the duplicitous soon-to-get-100 mill LBHF will ride to the rescue persists.
What people have to understand is this; Hammersmith and Fulham wanted to achieve one thing, which was keep CFC the hell out of the EC development and say whatever it took to stop CPO shares transferring. We know that CapCo had contacted the club, that CapCo were ready to bring CFC into the project. When the vote was lost, everything changed. LBHF knew that there was something afoot but also knew that CapCo were winners whatever happened. If only they could stir up enough CPO shareholders to keep it at bay....and it worked and despite a huge number of residents at West Ken rejecting the sale, LBHF will go ahead regardless. So Chelsea have now moved on and now of course, if Chelsea leave, the borough loses many millions per annum of additional visitor spend. LBHF wanted their cake and eat it. If the EGM had produced a win for the club, we would almost certainly be discussing a new Earl's Court project. Some have asked why the freehold was asked for back in October; because CFC were going for Earl's Court, that is why. Anybody who saw the clubs objection and submission to the Seagrave Road development could see that. It is mindlessly bloody obvious. LBHF's insistence that a development is possible is based purely on one thing - PR. Time to drop the fantasies. Now they have their money in effect, they would go back to their old intransigent selves.
Battersea is a huge and significant move by the club. It is not a "ruse". It is real and it is almost certain that the club's bid stands a very good chance. It is, in short, a momentous move and the mouth waters at the possibilities at the new stadium.
As we suggested would happen, talk today has been about share values, about distance, about transfer of shares, as if a billion pound stadium can be bought and demolished by a future developer. Share transfer is not necessary. Time to enter the real world and embrace the club's boldness.
If the bid fails then no doubt it will be seen as a worthless gesture. We shall soon know when the value of the bid is known. And maybe then we will face the scenario we have discussed elsewhere; a smaller, cramped and hideously expensive redevelopment of Stamford Bridge.
We suggest fans and shareholders get fully behind the club's efforts to create something very special indeed at BPS.
The bid we suspect will progress well for the time being. The 21st century arrived 12 years ago and it is high time Chelsea and Chelsea fans caught up.