John Terry urges Chelsea fans to support new stadium

John Terry has told Chelsea fans the club could win even more silverware if they moved to a bigger stadium.

Blues captain Terry last night urged supporters to back the board's bid to repurchase the freehold of Stamford Bridge.

The England defender spoke out amid what appeared to be growing opposition to owner Roman Abramovich's attempt to buy the land the club sold to Chelsea Pitch Owners - who are made up mostly of fans - in the 1990s.

That plan has been seen as a precursor to a move to a new 60,000-seater stadium and although Terry loves Stamford Bridge, he believes relocation would be in the Blues' best interests both on and off the field.

He told the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "For us to have a bigger pitch would be a big benefit.

"We have suffered from this at the Bridge in the last few years when clubs come and 'park the bus', as we often say.

"We find it a little difficult to break them down at times but with a bigger stadium and a bigger pitch, with the quality we have in the squad and the quality we are aiming to have in the future, that would certainly serve us well.

"Looking at Arsenal and Man United, they are getting a lot more income due to their capacity than us without an owner dipping into his own pocket, like Roman has done consistently year after year."

Terry, who is also CPO president, declared fans had no reason to doubt Abramovich's motives, insisting the billionaire had always put the club first since rescuing it from financial turmoil eight years ago.

He said: "We have to put our trust in Roman.

"He is Chelsea through and through and he certainly wouldn't have put the money in and shown the attention to detail that he has done over the last eight years, only to suddenly now stop doing what he believes is best for the club.

"He realises that, without the fans, Chelsea is nothing.

"I am one of them, my kids are too, and I want to be part of that for the next 40 to 50 years.

"When Roman says that if we do move, he wants it to be within a three-mile radius, we have to trust him, and the people underneath him.

"Knowing the board as I do, I am sure they will answer questions fans have as honestly as they can."

Chelsea have already responded to many supporters' concerns with a Q&A on their own website, while chairman Bruce Buck was expected to meet with fan representatives for a second time today.

Several supporters groups have united to form a campaign called 'Say No CPO' and plan to hand out 10,000 leaflets before Saturday's Barclays Premier League game with Everton urging a no vote at the October 27 extraordinary general meeting which will see CPO determine their own fate.

The club need 75% of those attending or voting by proxy to agree to sell the land beneath Stamford Bridge to the club, something Chelsea, who have yet to decide whether to move, insist must happen if they are ever to do so.

Many of those who plan to vote no say they are not against relocation but believe they need more time to consider all the options.

PA

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