Say No CPO
The freehold on which Stamford Bridge stands is owned by the fans. It is the only example of real fan power – unlike Liverpool’s fans’ talk of doing something, but eventually doing nothing – we did something.
The club now would like to buy back that freehold to potentially use in any financing of a move away from Stamford Bridge, should they wish to move to a larger stadium elsewhere. The arguments for moving to a larger stadium are understandable and not totally ridiculous. Really it is the emotional issues that are getting people, including myself carried away. But that is what being a fan is all about.
I was on the fence for the vote on the 27th until the clubs point blank refusal to instill the same setup with the freehold at any potential future site. Why would they not do that?
The value of the current freehold, due to it’s location, would surely be more than that of any new site (in my opinion), so it makes no sense why the same setup could not be done at any new site. Why would the club flatly oppose that? I cannot see how they would lose any value. Buying it back from us (the fans) for the value it was, back in the early 90s, and now selling it on an open market would constitute robbery in my book unless the same structure with the freehold is put in place at any new site.
I also don’t believe that we would consistently fill a 60,000+ stadium in future. My opinion is to rather increase our income through TV/Advertising and stay at The Bridge. Who knows what football viewing will be like in 10 years time.
I also don’t want us to become another Arsenal. Great stadium, but cannot fill it, has no atmosphere and the burden of paying it off hinders the growth on the pitch.
The main argument for the move is to put us on a level playing field with the top clubs. But we are already competing with top clubs. The only club that has given Barca a game over the last 5 years has been us. Domestically, Man Utd have had the start of all starts this season (seemingly) yet we are only 1 point behind them and had a linesman been able to do his job properly, we would be most likely, 2 points clear of them. Man City have just moved into a new stadium in the last couple of years and it is of similar size to our own.
I cannot see any reason why staying at The Bridge will put us behind anyone else. I am grateful, as I am sure all CFC fans are, that we have an owner who, unlike others we won’t mention, is a fan and loves our club. He appreciates our history and tradition – evident in his immediate reversing of some of the more unfavourable decisions during the Bates reign.
But the truth is that although Roman may not be here forever, CFC will. We, the fans must continue to possess the unique opportunity / structure that we have with our club to guard against any future threat like we had in the 80s. Look at what has happened in Liverpool and Manchester. None of us want that.
And one last thing – Osgood’s ashes are laid to rest at the Shed end penalty spot…What happens to those? I know it is a bit irrelevant to the whole economics of the debate, but we have great history and none better than that of the Bridge – how the fans dug deep to save it. No other club has a ground with the history like ours.
The commentator v West Ham last season said, that when Torres scored his first goal for us, he felt the whole stadium shake when that ball went in – such was the noise and euphoria of the celebrations. Welcome to The Bridge my friend. Anyone who has been there and felt The Bridge shake to it’s foundations knows that it is an awesome feeling and one that will not be replicated at any other ground.
On the 27th Oct, my vote will be NO.