Thursday 19 July 2012


We were pleased to see the statement from the CPO board confirming the need to sell shares. The apparent change of view from Gray Smith during the recent fan cast needed clarification because we cannot have information going out on EGM papers that is then seemingly contradicted by one of those who had put his name to the advice.

We continue to say that as many fans as possible should be given an opportunity to have their say in this process, whatever the eventual proposals. And they should be given as many "easy-pay" opportunities as is practicable. A small rump of an already small minority of Chelsea fans cannot continue to obstruct, divert and bring an unpleasantly toxic tone to this whole process.

An exchange on Twitter last night gave quite an enlightening insight into quite how "personal" the matter has become. In answer to a comment that shares should go on sale to as many as possible, one tweeter responded that to do so now would "only benefit the club". This was further explained with "for club, read BB/RG". Really? This is all just a battle with two men? This is only about giving two executives at CFC a bloody nose? They represent the "club"? We don't like either of them so the "club" can go hang?

There seems no sensible reason why the constituency of CPO should not be increased. Well, there is one but we are not being fooled otherwise by people who simply appear determined to keep the process as contained and "winnable" as possible. With every day, this becomes clearer and clearer.

The suggestion that CPO should tear up the legal process and do whatever is asked of them is absurd. To propose that the club should be charged rent in order that the loan they hold the ticket on is repaid is nonsense. Suddenly, because a minority doesn't like what the majority may vote for, it wants to change the basis for the entire company, curtail the rights of other shareholders and to compress the constituency as much as possible. And they talk about "gerrymandering"? It is desperate, chaotic thinking of the most narrow-minded kind and we find it deeply unpleasant. It says that other fans, now that there is a real prospect of the club considering a move, should not in any circumstances have a right to contribute to that process. We are told that we should countenance such a thing because there are "dodgy" shares. Limiting the voting rights of all, including those "dodgy" shares has made no difference.

Because it isn't really about those shares.
It is about preventing the potential for a wave of other Chelsea fans, seduced and excited by the prospect of a new stadium, getting in on the act.

Why would the club NOT take a more hardline view of this now? They have been attacked, abused, assailed by endless accusations (none of which even nod respectfully in the direction of logic) that are more fancifully embroidered with every passing day. Land values trip off a myriad tongues, each seemingly eager to outdo their compliant interlocutors for outlandishness. "Gangsterism" and "criminality" are words flung about with abandon. Would any of us be surprised if the club decided to take every action necessary to disband Chelsea Pitch Owners in a trice? Would an owner, a billion pounds lighter in the pocket as his price for the joy we have all experienced in recent years, but now being accused of all manner of betrayal, malice and barefaced avarice, be harshly judged if he decided he'd had enough of it?

As sad an outcome as that would be, he wouldn't find himself condemned on these pages.

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