Main developments from today’s EGM:-
- Wise and Sewell in no-show
- Plea for early vote on Resolution 3 denied
- Board promises to “vet” future share applications
- Row over debt repayment rumbles on
- Pledges to investigate fund-raising options
Today’s hotly-anticipated Chelsea Pitch Owners EGM ended in uproar after many believed Steve Frankham used the chair’s proxy vote to sink Resolution 3, which called for voting rights to be limited to a maximum of 10 per shareholder. (Ed’s note: This point has since been clarified by Steve Frankham – click here for his statement).
With Resolutions 1 and 2 passed, giving the Board authority to recommence sales of shares immediately, the defeat of Resolution 3 means that attempts to head off the influence of the so-called “Concert Party” shares owned by shareholders believed to have an affinity with Chelsea Football Club (also known as “the dodgy shares”) have been severely impacted.
Beleaguered Company Secretary, Bob Sewell, and former Blues’ captain Dennis Wise, failed to appear with their fellow board members. Steve Frankham advised that Wise was absent on business, but in response to a point of order from the floor enquiring as to Sewell’s absence, Frankham bluntly stated that he was “unable to make it”.
Issues surrounding the repayment of the debt on the freehold and loss of revenue streams were the subject of considerable dispute, with the board appealing for shareholders to submit ideas for fund-raising.
The chair rejected an application from the floor to vote on Resolution 3 prior to the other resolutions being voted on. Had Resolution 3 been voted on at this stage and passed, with voting rights being restricted to the first 10 votes per shareholder, this may have resulted in Resolutions 1 and 2 being defeated.
Today’s meeting is not the first time that the chair has used the proxy to vote down a resolution. At January’s AGM, the Chair’s discretionary proxy votes led to the rejection of a proposal to extend the board of CPO from five to seven. Today, with realisation dawning on the shareholders in attendance that the Chair had in fact authorised the concert party shares to “Carry On Fixing”, demands were made for Mr Frankham to explain himself. However, having declared today’s meeting closed almost as soon as the results of the vote was announced, with no opportunity to discuss the chair’s use of proxies to defeat a key resolution, the Harris Suite erupted in anger, with one incandescent shareholder denouncing Mr Frankham as a “liar” .
TheChels.Net will be back later in the week with a full report and opinion on today’s proceedings.