Tuesday 24 July 2012


So another meeting of CPO shareholders causes upset and "controversy". We won't bore you with a full report but suffice to say it was fractious and, when the result was heard, a little distasteful too in our opinion. It really is time that people understood that CPO is a legal entity, bound by laws of the land. It is not a supporter's lobby group or fan club. And shareholders have a right to vote...

Of course, yesterday the result that caused upset was the rejection of the ten vote per shareholder limit. We are pleased that shares are back on sale.

The first thing to point out is that it would be a very one-dimensional assumption that those who beat away the resolution were all part of the much discussed "dodgy" share issue. They almost certainly were not since we have spoken to plenty of longterm shareholders on both sides of the argument who felt that it was wrong to withdraw their rights retrospectively. They would have preferred it to apply for future sales only. We are curious to know how some of those virulently in the "no" camp and who clearly control a great many shares, voted on this resolution. Nevertheless, we were keen for this resolution to pass, not so much because we felt it was "needed" in a practical sense but more because we believed it would help take the continuing heat out of the matter.

The reality is that the CPO board do not have to allow large purchases of shares and we feel it highly unlikely that there will be a renewed burst of purchases of 100 shares at a time. There will also likely be much tighter vetting. Indeed, and not a little ironically, the most likely course of events if a well known SayNo activist's tweets yesterday are anything to go by, is that there will be a concerted campaign of purchases by SayNo die hards in order to try to skew future votes. You couldn't make it up really.

It is vital that as many fans as possible are given the chance to become involved. Further, it is also critical that more of the current shareholders actually start to exercise their right to vote at EGMs. The turnout is pathetically low.

What is clear is that amidst all this hysterical conspiracy theorising, the real issues have actually been lost. Perhaps that is the intention? What is inescapable is the need for CFC to deal head on with the FFP regulations and it is in a bit of a pickle from the point of view of available options. The debate really does need to move on to just how this can be done. We wonder what might happen if all of the energies and emotions of those now attacking the CPO board and club was turned on LBHF, pressuring them to assist, say, a move to Earl's Court?

The continuing illogicality of their relationship with (and trust of) the council baffles us. These fans won't believe the evidence of the club regarding the expansion of Stamford Bridge but will unquestioningly lap up the unsubstantiated pronouncements of the council? If we all applied pressure and scrutiny to the council's continuing resistance, we might just get somewhere.

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