“After extensive discussions with Hammersmith and Fulham Council over the last few weeks, it has become very clear that the council do not want Chelsea Football Club to leave the borough and have been surprised at the media reports recently, in regards to the club exploring the possibility of moving to Battersea power station, as an alternative to redeveloping Stamford Bridge.
You might recall that the club previously stated that they had `explored every avenue possible in redeveloping Stamford Bridge`. This has now been confirmed by Hammersmith and Fulham council to be a lie.
NO PLANNING APPLICATION WHATSOEVER HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM COUNCIL REGARDING THE POSSIBLE EXPANSION OR PARTIAL REDEVELOPMENT OF STAMFORD BRIDGE IN THE LAST 7 YEARS.
The council are quite willing to sit down with the club and explore every opportunity of redevelopment if the club so wish. Many suggestions have been put forward to the club from different supporters groups about how Stamford Bridge could be expanded, to accommodate between 55 and 60 thousand supporters. But the club have continually ignored these suggestions.
We as supporters don`t wish to hold our club back. We have to expand and to be able to compete with other clubs without the benefit of a wealthy benefactor. We all know that.
But increasing the capacity of Stamford Bridge has got to be the priority, which would enable the club to stay in its ancestral home since 1905.
If the capacity can`t be increased and we have no alternative but to move, then so be it. and as sad as that might be, we will no doubt all understand.
The time has come for all supporters young and old to submit any suggestions they might have, in possible expansion of part, or all of Stamford Bridge to reach the desired capacity. PLEASE EMAIL YOUR SUGGESTION BY 18th JANUARY 2012 TO email@example.com
Once all suggestions have been received, we will present them to Hammersmith and Fulham council to discuss their feasibility, before forwarding them onto the club.
If the club then refuse to entertain pursuing any sensible planning solution, we will then understand that the clubs sole intention is to wrestle the CPO shares away from the shareholders and to either float the club on the stock market for financial gain, or redevelop the land themselves by relocating the club and benefiting from an enormous financial return.
We hope this is not the case, but by presenting the club with serious solutions of redevelopment, the response and decision will be with the club, with all to see.
We must not forget that the present board are only passing through and any decisions that they wish to make, have to be in the sole interests of the club and not individuals.”
Given the club’s repeated assertion that they’ve fully explored possibilities of an expansion, this is certainly an important development, and clarifies that what shareholders in CPO and our supporters should be saying “no” to is a land grab. Remember that the club’s proposals only extended as far as consulting CPO until 2020 – now a mere eight years away. After that, Chelsea FC could end up playing their home matches anywhere. Ask yourself this – do you want Chelsea to become the Milton Keynes Dons of the 21st Century?
Get your thinking caps on. If you’ve got a suggestion to make about ground expansion, this is the time to put it forward. Our supporters now have an unrivalled opportunity to materially affect the future of the club in a positive way. Don’t let us become Franchise FC. Keep Chelsea in or as near to SW6 as possible.
There’ll be further updates ahead of the AGM on 20th January. In the meantime e-mail the firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions on expansion, follow the @saynocpo account on Twitter and follow me @BlueBaby67.