Members' Blogs

THE PUNK AND THE GODFATHER


In the wake of CFC’s recent, unsuccessful, attempt to secure the support required to initiate a transfer of the freehold of Stamford Bridge from the CPO, for me, the recent news that the club were re-examining the merits of the Battersea Power Station site as a suitable venue for a new stadium curiously served to pour oil on waters that had become troubled by the controversy associated with the club’s unscrupulous approach to the whole buy-back process.

I recall back in 2003, when Mr Abramovich arrived in SW6, Battersea, along with Earls Court, was soon being touted as a possible site for a new stadium. In 2006, Peter Kenyon boldly outlined CFC’s plans to become the Number 1 club in the world by 2014 – at the same time the BPS site was dismissed as being “too small”. Five years on, with Kenyon long gone, the grand plan for world domination is somewhat behind schedule although Mr Kenyon’s unpopular apprentice Ronald Gourlay, now tasked with running “the business” and developing “the brand” would claim otherwise. As for Battersea Power Station, with a firm of developers and architects now looking at the feasibility of moving to the iconic site – Blues fans have once more been ruminating over what the future might hold – a welcome distraction from debates about the whys and wherefores of the football team’s abject run of form in recent weeks.

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FIGHT THE REAL ENEMY


Whichever side of the memory of Ken Bates' electric fence you stand on in respect of Chelsea's ambition to relocate to a site where a larger stadium could be built, even the staunchest advocate of 'Gourlay's Dream' would have begrudgingly applauded the outstanding success of the well coordinated 'Say No CPO' campaign. Despite £200,000-plus worth of shares being suspiciously purchased once the Club’s ‘offer’ had been made public on October 3rd, SNCPO managed to obtain enough support for its initiatives to prevent the Business from securing 75% of the shares it required through the EGM vote on the 27th in order to hustle through a proposal to buy-back the freehold of Stamford Bridge.

For many, myself included, showing support for the SNCPO campaign wasn’t about being in disagreement with the oft repeated mantra that Chelsea need to play in a bigger stadium if they are to compete with the elite of Europe, it was about fair play, consultation, egalitarianism and letting supporters have a say in the way the Football Club administers itself, now and in the future.

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The Day After Tomorrow


Chelsea FCs recent proposal to buy back the freehold land on which Stamford Bridge sits has ignited a tinderbox of frustration amongst the match-going Blues fraternity which has been smoking away since the end of last season when rumours of a move from our ancestral home coupled with hikes in season ticket prices and the unceremonious sacking of Carlo Ancelotti contributed much to a summer of discontent.

The intriguing and thus-far successful appointment of Andre Villas Boas initially deflected attention away from discussions about the basic economics involved for most of us mere mortals regularly, or perhaps that should read habitually, attending matches at Stamford Bridge, but that soon changed when the controversial pricing policy for Champions League games was announced by the Club.

I have no axe to grind with our munificent owner Mr Abramovich; far from it … Were it not for him, Jesper Gronkjaer, Matthew Harding, Clive Walker and a certain Kenneth William Bates I have no doubt that Chelsea Football Club would have gone to rack and ruin around about the time that Pates went up to lift the Members Cup.

Countless articles have been written lambasting successive regimes at Stamford Bridge for their willful neglect and brazen ignorance in all matters related to pricing, and now, with talk of a move to a new stadium, the question on many True Blue lips is, “at what cost to us?” Well, unless there is a volte-face, the answer is disproportionately more than what could be considered to be equitable and fair … reason being, the myopic mandarins responsible for this year-in-year-out financial treachery are, like the players, in basic salary terms, not living in the real world.

So what is going on in the real world? A financial crisis of epic proportions … that’s what.

Tune into the BBC news channel at any given hour of the day and the chances are that within a few minutes the screen will be dominated by the beady-eyed, raven-like persona of ‘business editor’ Robert Peston. In a nasal whine reminiscent of Carry On star Kenneth Williams, Peston regularly explains in finite detail the economic machinations of the markets in a ‘glass-half-empty’ manner that leaves the viewer believing we are doomed to a life of penury.

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