Chelsea in freehold row with fans

Club refuses to negotiate with supporters who want assurances over move away from Bridge

Chelsea have refused to negotiate with the supporters' groups who want a new set of assurances over a possible move away from Stamford Bridge – including giving fans ownership of the freehold at any potential new stadium. The counter-proposal was put to Chelsea by the "Say No CPO" (SNCPO) campaign, which opposes the sale of the freehold of the current stadium back to the club by its present owners, Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), made up of around 12,000 fans who bought the £100-each shares.



CPO is due to vote on the sale of the Stamford Bridge freehold to Chelsea on 27 October, with the club saying that being permitted to reacquire ownership is crucial to any potential move in the future. In its three-point plan, released yesterday, SNCPO said it would agree to the sale of the freehold by CPO – which encompasses the four stands and pitch at Stamford Bridge – in return for being given the freehold at any new stadium. Chelsea have made clear that condition is unacceptable to them.

Last night CPO shareholders who own significant holdings attended an invitation-only meeting with the Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, and captain, John Terry, at Stamford Bridge aimed at convincing shareholders to vote in favour of selling the freehold back to the club.

The SNCPO campaign has also promised to back any stadium move within three miles of the Bridge up to 2030 on the basis that owner Roman Abramovich is still in charge of the club. The club have pledged to CPO shareholders that in the event of them buying back the freehold they would not move more than three miles away should they leave Stamford Bridge before 2020.

Abramovich has pumped around £800m into Chelsea since he bought the club in 2003 and while fans are broadly grateful for the Russian's support – they have won three League titles under him – they would like assurances about the plans of the multibillionaire.

Chelsea believe that any potential new stadium would, along with land acquisition, cost £550m to £600m, and would require significant investment from Abramovich. They have said that alone would show his commitment to the club and he would not need to give supporters the freehold. The sale of the Stamford Bridge site would also be crucial in funding a new stadium, the club say, and they cannot go ahead with redevelopment without owning the freehold. SNCPO also want "ongoing consultation, and transparency of information" from the club over a new stadium. However, the club are sticking to their original offer that fans will be recompensed at £100 a share for the 15,000 shares in existence and those voting 'Yes' will have perks such as a choice of season ticket at a new stadium and their name on a "roll of honour".

There are disagreements between SNCPO and the club on the valuation of the Stamford Bridge site, which occupies 12 to 13 acres of prime west London land. Some believe it could be worth as much as £750m once the club also have the freehold. Buck has indicated the club value it at much less than that.

The club need 75 per cent of CPO voters and proxies at the meeting a week on Thursday to vote "Yes" to selling the freehold. The likes of Terry and the former Chelsea left-back Graeme Le Saux have come out in favour of the "Yes" campaign. A Chelsea spokesman said the club had already put a "reasonable" proposal to CPO shareholders and would continue to discuss it with fans.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas