Say No CPO

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Say No CPO (SNCPO) is a Chelsea supporters campaign group that formed in October 2011. It formed specifically to oppose a proposal from Chelsea Football Club which would result in the club purchasing the freehold to Stamford Bridge from Chelsea Pitch Owners. The proposal was ostensibly in order that the club be in a position to enter serious negotiations for potential sites for a new stadium in the surrounding area. While not necessarily opposed to moving to a larger stadium, members of the campaign were unhappy with both aspects of the proposal and the handling of the matter by the club. Supporters handed out leaflets to gather support from CPO shareholders prior to a home match against Everton on 15 October 2011, with a vote on the proposal to follow on 27 October.

10 questions

Prior to a vote on the club's proposal, SNCPO published 10 questions directed at the CPO Board:

1. To what extent did the Board negotiate with the Club to modify the proposal now put before the General Meeting?

2. Why did the CPO Board give shareholders the minimum legally required notice period for this General Meeting despite it being the most crucial vote in the context of 106 years of club history at Stamford Bridge ?

3. On what basis did the CPO directors consider it to be in the best interests of CPO shareholders to issue £200,000 of new shares in the last week or so particularly given that it has no inherent need for additional cash ?

4. As a percentage – can the Board advise how many of those subscribing for these new shares voted “yes”?

5. Have the board seen and endorsed the evidence the club claim conclusively rules out further redevelopment of Stamford Bridge ?

6. Could the Board confirm that if the resolutions are passed at the General Meeting:

  • The Club will be able to move anywhere after eight years?
  • A new owner of the Club could sell the ground at any point in the future and make the team homeless?

7. Can the board confirm that, despite Mr Buck’s confidence in the future of the team, if the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League for a few years in a row, the club’s value would fall and it would become more vulnerable to asset strippers again?

8. Would the Board agree that it is unusual to sell a property worth several hundred million pounds for a fraction of that amount, particularly without fully enshrining the on-going protections which CPO affords to any new ground ?

9. Why do two CPO directors feel it is acceptable to be in the employ of CFC whilst the original CPO proposal and company’s Articles imply such a scenario would invalidate CPO’s crucial independence from the club ?

10. How can disclosure details of “Yes” voters by the Club for the purposes of giving the rewards offered, be completed without being in breach of the Data Protection Act?

CPO vote

At an extraordinary general meeting and vote held at Stamford Bridge on 27 October 2011, Chelsea failed to secure backing for their proposal from holders of over 75% of the shares in CPO; the percentage required to agree to the sale. 61.6% of the vote (3,569 votes) supported the club's proposal. The defeat meant that the freehold remained the property of CPO. [1]

Following the announcement of the result, a SNCPO statement stressed that negotiations would continue:

"We are pleased with the outcome of today's meeting. We hope this is a prelude to a process of negotiation between the club and shareholders to reach a naturally acceptable outcome." [2]

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