It has been heartening to see various commentators in the property and national press come out strongly in favour of Chelsea's plan for Battersea. The growing incredulity at the comments of individuals in the Mayor of London's office has been good to see and we have to surmise that there is some concern at the seriousness of Chelsea's offer. As we told you a good while ago, Greenhalgh of LBHF is off to Boris's team to work alongside Lister on crime. His presence over there is a bit of a concern since there is little love lost between he and CFC but we think that a planning decision on an eventual stadium will have to be a pragmatic one....
Nevertheless we firmly believe that whilst a very complex financial and political game is about to ensue, Roman Abramovich is deadly serious about his plans. We say this with the caveat that we also believe Earl's Court is not a dead duck just yet. The next few months are likely to be a very exciting time but whatever happens, we are extremely pleased to see Chelsea taking the bull by the horns and determining their own future aggressively. Obfuscation, disinformation and delay by LBHF must no longer dominate proceedings.
Rumours about the design being proposed for Battersea circulate constantly but whatever version you hear about, the one persistent refrain is just how amazing it looks. Like all Chelsea fans, we can't wait to see it. Fingers crossed for the bid - it will be a long road.
Discussions are now turning to what sort of offer the club may eventually make for CPO shares and the form it will take. Financially, we feel there is absolutely no situation that would, or should, see anything but a straight £100 per share offer. It seems likely that the club will only ask for the shares once something concrete is on the cards. That should allay most people's fears about ending up "anywhere" (never a credible claim in any case). We notice that "conditional sale" is raising its head again but obviously, were the club to set out the actual plan and location, that would also be dealt with. The transfer of something akin to CPO to a new stadium is a more vexed issue. We do not believe it is necessary and can understand why the club will think so too. It is simply illogical to suggest that at some point in the future (remembering no other club has such a strange construct) that a speculator would buy a club worth several hundred million, wipe a stadium that cost close to a billion off the face of the earth and build flats in its place.
It occurred to us that the club may take a leaf from the book of those claiming extraordinary theoretical values for the existing CPO shares and put a similar value on any future shares in a transfer of CPO-like rights. Given the attacks on the club regarding the Stamford Bridge values, one might not blame them if they suggested a share price of "£70,000" each share. It works both ways. If fans conveniently forget what CPO was about in the first place and use supposed share values to throw mud at the club then surely it is right for the club to themselves place a value on any future investment? We don't think for a moment they will and it is something of a nonsensical idea but but it is an interesting thought because by reversing the scenario, it helps put into context the ridiculous arguments we continue to hear on this matter.