Chelsea Pitch Owners ‘AGM’ – CSG Committee Thoughts

After the emotion and drama of the CPO EGM we are less than a week away from the AGM and it’s all been a bit….well….quiet.

Since the EGM, Richard King has resigned, Steve Frankham was parachuted into the Chairman’s position and he in turn has invited former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise and SNCPO’s Gray Smith onto the board.

There have been accusations from various quarters regarding some unusual share purchases leading up to the EGM which, it has been claimed were bought for the sole purpose of swinging the buy back resolution – this has been an issue which has continued to cast a dark cloud of suspicion over all the aspects of the CPO subject.

The SNCPO group has diversified with many stepping away since the no vote was returned – the CSG chose to step away as the mandate given to us by our members took us only this far. We have kept an interest in the group just as we have kept an interest in all factions associated to this topic, and remain on good terms with the new steering committee. That said, we felt that its latest statement was unnecessarily aggressive and would have liked to have seen a more conciliatory tone and a more transparent campaign in the lead up to the AGM.

Indeed the CSG has waited patiently for all those directly involved – primarily those now standing for re-election (re-election? From our reckoning, only two were democratically elected in the first place) to publicly outline their aims for CPO – where they stood on the various contributing issues and what they hoped to achieve in the long run. We have been disappointed that no such manifestos have been forthcoming from anyone. The CPO website page has not even been updated with the resolutions being put forward, never mind any actual mission statements and the SNCPO have been equally as scant with new information.

How are any CPO shareholders meant to decide whether those putting themselves up before us, asking for our vote, have the same long-term aims that we do?

We have been asked by many of our members on which way to vote on the various resolutions in the up and coming AGM. We can only try and give you as many facts as we can to try and help you into making your own decisions. All five individuals currently on the board have asked to be re-elected – I am sure that all have the best intentions and wish to serve CPO well – but what exactly are their intentions? We don’t know! So the question you have to ask yourself is, are you willing to entrust the immediate future of the CPO to these individuals, who have not seen fit to speak to the shareholders of what they intend to do with their authority if they are returned to office?

We believe Dennis Wise being an ex-Chelsea captain is not enough reason to vote for him – just as Gray Smith bamboozling Bruce Buck at the EGM shouldn’t automatically earn votes, nor the fact that Rick Glanville is a really good bloke – we need them all to tell us WHY we should vote them back in.

And what about the other resolutions we are being asked to put through. Increasing the board to seven – we believe that this is a good idea – but we do not want to see another member of SNCPO, or another of Frankham’s mates – we want to see some of those people who spoke so passionately at the EGM – or one of the one’s who didn’t get the chance to speak. We want everyone who wishes to put themselves forward for a board position to get the opportunity to put their credentials to the shareholders, so that they in turn can then make the most informed decision possible. That is not too much to ask.

The last two resolutions are again a decision that individuals need to make based on what little information we have and what we believe to be the pros and cons of a yes or no vote.

Should Hannaways continue to be the CPO auditors? This all depends on whether you believe that they have carried out their duties diligently and honestly in the past. Should Hannaways have flagged that the CPO issued over 1500 shares beyond the authority granted by CPO shareholders? Is that even an issue you find important?

It is obviously connected directly with resolution 9 which is to authorise further share sales. The positive side of this resolution would mean, that should the market be there, we could sell more shares in a shorter space of time and so pay the loan back quicker. The flip side is, that should there be an unscrupulous individual with a lot of money and lots of friends/family members/employees willing to put themselves forward, it would make it much simpler to rig future voting on any resolution.

One thing that we must not lose sight of, which was buried in the emotion that surrounded the EGM vote, is that most, if not all of those involved in this issue, no matter which way they see things, how they voted, which “faction” they belong to only have what is best for Chelsea Football Club at heart. We must not forget, that we are first and foremost connected by our love of this club and that the passion evoked is because we care so much and understand the importance and long term impact for Chelsea by what is decided now.

So the only thing that we can advise at the CSG is that you think very carefully about how you vote, what facts do you actually know, do not waste your vote and make sure you view is represented. The CSG remains open to discussions with all parties including the club, and look forward to an open and honest debate with, hopefully, more information released as to both the future of the CPO and Chelsea Football Club itself.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and if needed, members of the CSG committee will be available on the day at the AGM or can act as proxies (whichever way you want to vote) if you can’t make it.

Please note – proxies have to be in before the 18th January

Posted by the CSG Committee.

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11 thoughts on “Chelsea Pitch Owners ‘AGM’ – CSG Committee Thoughts

  • Bluebrain

    Excellent article, well-balanced well thought out. I’m not, however, convinced that everyone involved has the best interests of CFC at heart. Is there no one in a position of responsibility within the club seeking to regain control of the ground for short term financial gain – either directly or indirectly? If I could believe that all the board cared more for the LONG TERM future of the club than for short term gain I’d be ecstatic. To safeguard CFC our first stance must be cynicism until they convince us

  • Dianne

    Mostly very well written, but some big holes in your criticism of the SAYNOCPO people surely !
    I happen to know Gray Smith WAS one of those that spoke passionately from the floor, and he was unknown to their group then. Infact that is exactly what unites them as a group – individuals with a common passion for CPO surely ? (Which used to include yourselves !)
    You unfairly state they have been as untransparent as CPO, and yet go on to quote from one of the 3 statements added to thier website since xmas – which only states facts as far as i can read !
    By all means take the middle ground CSG, but come on – do it properly !

  • Totally agree about lack of information – especially from Frankham. As chairman (who chose him btw and why>) he should have come out and stated clearly what his vision is as far as CPO is concerned. Strikes me he doesn’t want to come out with anything now that he may be held to which I find suspicious

  • Tony P

    Before any sort of vote we should be given full information about all those “dodgy shares” – if they are indeed a concert party then no vote from now on in will be fair surely? Shouldn’t everything CPO related be suspended before we know once and for all whether those votes are legal?

  • Steve L

    A google search of the word cryptome and chelsea gave me some insight into the shares.It appears very unlikely that anyone voting against those whose position relies on the dodgy share vote will win the day on Friday.I wonder if Frankham Consultancy Group’s clients would be happy to know that Mr Frankham is chairman of an organisation controlled by virtue of shares bought in those circumstances?

  • Celia M

    Is there an opportunity for resolution proposals from the floor at the AGM.
    Reverting back to the 1 vote only per shareholder (i.e. doesn’t matter how many shares you have).
    This would have the dual benefit of ensuring that only those that have a genuine interest in the club’s wellbeing stump up for mutliple shares and would prevent ‘concert parties’ being formed to subvert any future votes.

    • I think such a decision would need 75% of the shareholders and that is not part of the plan of those who invested in October last year. They have a different agenda.

      • Norwich exile but still blue

        It is my opinion that most of the shares bought after the announcement were in fact bought by people wanting to vote no – no problem with that after all both sides were campaigning for people to buy and I pestered my friends to do so to get a no vote

        I have as much evidence for that btw as you do for saying they were used to vote yes – ie none

        What does really concern me though is the revelation that sayno attempted to put forward three candidates for placement on the board, without having made this plain to people they were asking to send them their proxy votes much earlier

        I voted no originally, but I am afraid the actions of sayno since have not been those I would have expected from people with the clubs true interest at heart, I am deeply disappointed disillusioned and now not sure I did the right thing originally

    • Trizia

      How would this work for all the people that have already bought 100 shares? Buy back? Would not be popular – although I agree with you – or perhaps permitted to buy and have up to 10 shares/votes?

  • The Sun has an interesting story today.

    I wonder what the significance is of the man who works for KPT. I wonder if KPTm who have an enviable worldwide name, have assisted Chelsea in lobbying the local council to accept that Stamford Bridge cannot be re-developed.

    It seems odd that such a firm have not responded to The Sun either by way of a reply from their London Office or the New York office and that Chelsea have not respoded either.

    Probably all perfectly innocent. I wonder if they have details on other shareholders?

  • Norwich exile but still blue

    The Sun newspaper is not a friend of our club, never has been never will be

    I voted no, I quite clearly recall that sayno were actively campaigning to get people to buy shares prior to the vote, which is all this rag is accusing the club of doing, I myself was asking friends to get involved and buy so they could vote no too

    I’m afraid sayno are losing lots of friends by adopting this aggressive attitude and it has become quite clear to me at least their collusion with members of the Chelsea phobic fourth estate

    Lets get back to constructive dialogue, we fans arn’t interested in muck raking and conspiracy theories we want what’s best for our club and lets keep it in house and civilised the club are not the enemy

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