Saturday was a key day for the Say No to CPO campaign, with volunteers taking to the streets and pubs of SW6 to hand out leaflets and discuss issues with supporters face to face.
It was a hugely positive experience. Many fans, even those in favour of the “yes” proposal, wanted to have a chat about what the campaign means and its objectives. Many of those I spoke to had relatives/friends who owned shares, but hadn’t received the proposal pack from CPO.
Whilst I strolled up and down the Fulham Road outside the shopping centre exhorting passers-by to “visit our website, find out the facts and then say no CPO!”, many people approached me for a leaflet. Sometimes I found myself having to scramble in my bag, having been left empty-handed as people grabbed a flyer in passing.
My route took me from The Imperial in the Kings Road, to the Goose in North End Road, followed by the White Horse in Parsons Green. Then it was back to the Fulham Road (by tube this time rather than the Shanks’ Pony of the outward route) and a stop at the CIU before I hit the shopping centre an hour before kick off. Whilst we had promised we wouldn’t distribute flyers in the ground, I took an A3 version down to the front of the West Stand before kick off and stood before the cameras. Rather to my surprise, I wasn’t approached by any steward asking me to desist (not the case at the White Horse where we were requested politely but firmly to cease leafleting).
The team were blessed with extremely clement weather – I don’t expect to be wearing a t-shirt to a game again pretty much till next April – and a fine win, albeit disappointment with a sloppy goal conceded, added up to an exceptionally enjoyable day. Love and congratulations to everyone in the “Say No” team who worked so hard on Saturday to bring the campaign and its aims to the match-going fans.
Whilst Saturday’s leaflet campaign has been the focus of everyone’s attention, discussions have continued and on Monday the Say No CPO group sent an e-mail to Bruce Buck, Chairman of the football club, with the following counter-proposal:-
To: Bruce Buck
Following our meeting last week and subsequent telephone conversation we would like to propose an alternative way forward, as follows:
1. The club to have total freedom to move to a larger new stadium anywhere within three miles of Stamford Bridge at any time before 2030 so long as Roman Abramovich is still in control of Chelsea.
2. Chelsea to save £1.5m by leaving Chelsea Pitch Owners in place. The CPO will sell the freehold at SB to the club in exchange for the freehold at the new ground on the same terms as currently in place.
3. The club to agree to ongoing consultation, and transparency of information, with the fans regarding any new stadium.
We await with interest your response and we are happy to meet at any time to discuss this further.
Regrettably, Chelsea FC subsequently issued their own statement dismissing the counter-proposal.
From the outset, SNCPO have made it clear that if the board of Chelsea FC could find some middle ground with us, then the “no” could become a “yes”.
“Say No CPO” simply means “no”
• without proper consultation with fans (not just CPO shareholders)
• without safeguarding CPO
• without protecting Chelsea FC from property vultures in years to come
SNCPO will continue to press for further discussions and meetings with the club, and we will keep readers informed.
Visit the website: www.saynocpo.org
Follow me: @BlueBaby67 on Twitter