Chelsea fans reject board invite

BY foxsports • November 8, 2011

The group of fans spearheaded the successful revolt against Roman Abramovich's bid to buy the freehold of Stamford Bridge. New Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) chairman Steve Frankham invited a representative of the 'Say No CPO' (SNCPO) campaign to become a fourth director of the supporter-led organisation. But SNCPO declined the offer and now look likely to pursue their agenda of changing the make-up of the current board at next month's CPO annual general meeting. SNCPO said in a statement on Tuesday: "The 'Say No' campaign group has today declined an offer from CPO chairman Steve Frankham to put one director on the board of CPO. "The group felt that having just one token director on a board of four exposed that director to excessive risk in the light of recent and current activities of CPO, and did not address the issue that the board had not acted in the best interests of CPO, and did not reflect the views of long-standing shareholders." SNCPO on Monday confirmed solicitors working for them had written to the Takeover Panel expressing concern at the volume of shares issued by CPO after the club went public with its offer to buy back the Stamford Bridge freehold. Around £200,000 worth of new shares were purchased after Chelsea announced their plans on October 3, three and a half weeks before CPO voted on their proposal at an extraordinary general meeting. The club needed to secure support of those holding 75% of the shares who voted either in person or by proxy but managed only 61.6%. SNCPO have claimed that figure would have been even less had trading been suspended on October 3. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the club, who have consistently distanced themselves from suggestions they were aware of the identity of those who purchased the shares in bulk. Chelsea sold the freehold of Stamford Bridge to CPO in the 1990s to prevent property developers making them homeless. They want to buy it back in order to ensure they can sell the land beneath the stadium should they decide to move to a new 60,000-seater arena. Frankham last week returned as CPO chairman following the resignation of Richard King, who was blamed by some shareholders for not acting to prevent the bulk buying of shares.

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