Monday 17 December 2012

New board members at CPO

After the recent appointment of Sean Jones QC and Charles Rose to the board of CPO, we note, with some exasperation, the broadside issued by SayNoCPO.

"SAYNO notes CPO chairman S. Frankham has once again chosen to impose new directors of his choice on shareholders rather than allow a full, open democratic election with a variety of candidates – particularly given an AGM is now to be held just 7 weeks away on Wed 30th January!" they thunder.

A board is not compelled to hold democratic elections when selecting its members; the demonstration of shareholder opinion comes when the new appointees are ratified at the forthcoming AGM. As we understand it people submitted their credentials for consideration and the board, including SayNo's own fox in the coop, Gray Smith, made the selections. A board with a good range of skills is vital and Jones,  a vociferous critic of the club over the initial share buy-back we believe, is a renowned operator in his field and we welcome an alternative legal opinion to that of Smith on the board. The QC would seem to be anything other than a "yes man". Mr Rose has a background in fundraising which should be useful.

No doubt several SayNo individuals forwarded their own CVs for consideration and are unhappy with the choices but it seems extraordinary to us that they would expect a board, who have suffered some pretty outrageous accusations and abuse, to invite such people into their midst. One member on the board seems to us to be a fair representation of the group. Indeed, we would argue that they are over-represented and with the appointment of another, less "managed" legal mind, we wouldn't be terribly unhappy to see Smith's removal. 

With a growing sense that CFC are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to acquire a suitable site for a new stadium, it is disappointing that a few fans should continue to chuck mud and mischief around. Shareholders will have their chance to vote the new directors on or off the board in January and that is as it should be. The fact that the individuals concerned are not the favourites of the phalanx that is SayNo is irrelevant. Are they dedicated to achieving the best for the club? Are they bright, balanced and sensible? These are the judgements we should make when voting.

We say this in the context of a growing feeling among fans that CPO is becoming a pointless, toxic obstruction to club progress. The hysteria and misinformation spread about by fans during the buy-back vote, gleefully picked up and encouraged by a media pack we know to be pungently opposed to everything CFC, has left a lasting legacy. People doing business with the club at the two favoured sites are worried it will happen again. Perhaps this is the intention of SayNo in which case they have done a good job. The rest of us - the vast majority - should ensure those people get a clear and unqualified message; do business with the club and we will support it.


  1. Thank you for this comment. Whilst I do have experience of fundraising, I hope I bring more than just that to CPO. I used my law degree in Manufacturing and more recently in Construction and indeed Retail. I have also done quite a lot with regional as well as the National Chamber of Commerce and have media experience along side of this.
    My objective as I hinted at in the all too brief comment on the CPO website is to bring some calm and rational thought to CPO to regain some of the credibility lost during the last years meetings. As I stated at the last EGM this needs to be done through a proper well thought through strategy and decisive implementation. It will not be possible without the support of the very people who elect the board - the members of CPO, which is why our communication must get a lot better than it has recently.
    To that end I am grateful for the folks who have already posted on various sites along the lines of lets see what these new members are about. That is all that I can ask. If you wish to communicate more then you can find me on twitter @prettyfabguy . Best Wishes Charles Rose

  2. Thanks for your comment Charles. As a short manifesto, we will bring our readers' attention to it.

  3. I thought I would leave a comment and complete the set of new CPO Board Directors.

    I bought a share in 1995 because I felt that CPO represented a genuine opportunity for fans to be a part of securing Chelsea's long term future. Fractious though the last EGM was, to me it was CPO doing its job: subjecting to critical scrutiny a proposal potentially to move away from Stamford Bridge. Empowering those most passionate about the Club is, I believe, what makes CPO special.

    I want to see two things. First, I want to have CPO sell as many shares to as many different fans as it can. The more shareholders we have, the stronger, more diverse and more representative we become. Second, like Charles, I would like to find a way of working that involves more light than heat. We owe it to the fans we represent to make sure we are always focussed on what is best for Chelsea. We could not do that if we simply agreed unquestioningly to whatever the Club asks for. Nor, however, can we fulfill our responsibilities if we refuse ever to deal with the Club constructively.

    Personally, I would not want a director on the board whom I was not confident was independent of the Club and whom I did not feel could be trusted to prioritise Chelsea's long term best interests. I can understand, therefore, why people who don't know me would want to be sure I'm not, as you put it, a "yes man". I'm not. When I took the judicial oath I promised to do the right thing "without fear or favour". That's the approach I'll be taking to my role as director.

    Best wishes

    Sean Jones

  4. Thank's for posting Sean. We will, if you don't mind, draw attention to this so fans can get an idea of your views.