It has been another normal week of fantastically weird goings on at the Bridge. We ought to be used to it by now.
Our interest is, however, mightily piqued by two particular issues that should they end up being true and/or successful would put the management departures and arrivals into the shade. The first we have alluded to in our previous blog; the issue of talks with the Malaysians who own Battersea Power Station.
It is certain, according to our various sources, that the club are engaged in trying to reach an agreement with Setia over the development of the power station itself, a toxic and expensive problem for the owners. Individuals within the owning organisation have conflicting opinions on whether CFC are the answer but the biggest doubt appears to be over the ability of CFC to offer Stamford Bridge as part of a contra arrangement. Our last blog addressed this very matter and knowing it to be true now only strengthens the view that something should be done to ensure we all make our feelings known. We were quite good at that on Sunday....
The other issue to interest us is the persistent rumour that Roman Abramovich is showing an interest in buying, lock stock and barrel, CapCo, owners of Earls Court. The implications of doing so are clear and it would not surprise us in the least if the rumour was true. Indeed, the stories in the press are well sourced (and logical) and we ourselves have heard similar suggestions from people linked to the political establishment in the areas. CapCo are having trouble at EC, with High Court hearings pending and almost universal condemnation of the master plan from residents, designers, the exhibition industry etc. Not to mention the issue of money. The sharp rise in CapCo shares suggests the market is keeping a wary eye on things too. RBKC gave approval to their part of the scheme recently and this was to be fully expected - there was never any doubt that they would. But the problems persist.
There remains, at both sites, the question of planning permission and political will but owning something gives the club a bit more leverage to say the least. And money talks - especially now.
If the club are indeed taking an aggressive and acquisitive approach to both sites, we would be very pleased. In fact, we think it highly likely that this is the case and one expects they have finally reached the conclusion that working with, and trying to gently negotiate, the political self interest and duplicity surrounding both sites has produced little. A decision to confront it head on with cash and determination is to be heartily welcomed by Chelsea fans.