Chelsea face obstacle to stadium move

The group who thwarted Chelsea's Stamford Bridge freehold plans announced plans which could deal another blow to the club's hopes of moving to a new stadium.

Football News: Stamford Bridge, Chelsea

October saw the Blues fail to convince shareholders in Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) to sell them the land beneath their current home, something that would have given them the freedom to build a 60,000-seater ground elsewhere in west London.

A supporter-led group called 'Say No CPO' (SNCPO) spearheaded opposition to the club's plans, as well as heavily criticising the conduct of the three-strong CPO board in the build-up to the extraordinary general meeting at which the vote took place.

Chairman Richard King resigned in the wake of the EGM and SNCPO confirmed this afternoon they would encourage shareholders to vote for the removal of fellow directors Rick Glanvill and Bob Sewell at the CPO annual general meeting on Friday week.

King was succeeded by Steve Frankham, who increased the size of the board to five with the appointment of former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise and SNCPO sympathiser and leading corporate lawyer Gray Smith.

SNCPO are not seeking to block that trio's re-election but want four new directors added to what would be a seven-strong board entirely different to that in place at the October 27 vote.

SNCPO, who have offered to act as proxy to any CPO shareholder unable to attend the January 20 AGM, said in a statement: "We would encourage all shareholders to consider following this policy to enable a strong independent CPO to continue to protect Stamford Bridge and thereby Chelsea FC from a myriad of future risk.

"We are taking this stance due to what we see as the serious dereliction of duty of the previous CPO board leading up to the EGM on the 27th of October, including seconding inappropriate directors to the board, knowingly and massively overselling the authorised share allocation, allowing blatant vote manipulation by maintaining share sales after a formal offer, and negligent administration of shareholders' valid proxy votes."

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