The latest Chelsea Pitch Owners AGM proved one thing. Barring a loss of concentration by the fans, no resolution of substance requiring a 75% ‘Yes’ vote will get through.
And the small shareholders of the CPO, who despite thousands of lost addresses and the inevitable inertia surrounding shares sold over 25 years ago, show no sign of missing a beat. Following the purchase of large blocks of shares by people closely associated with the club, the numerous individual holders came together to block the sale of more shares and made it clear that this was unlikely to change in the near future.
So where now? The AGM has generated more unfortunate publicity for the club, and the atmosphere at times was unpleasant despite Dennis Wise’s attempts to bring calm. Barring a change of tactics, this is likely to continue for years to come.
Yet at their heart, all shareholders in the CPO have the same aim: to pursue the best for Chelsea FC. The vast majority would be happy to move to a new stadium if the case was clearly made that Stamford Bridge could not meet the needs of the club in the future.
So is it time for compromise? For the club to sit down with a balanced group of CPO shareholders (and the broader fan base) to come to an outline agreement that gives the club flexibility while protecting the long term future from the inevitable property speculators that might threaten us once Mr Abramovich has gone? I think so.