Shareholders have had their say over Chelsea buying the freehold of Stamford Bridge from Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), with 61% of voters approving the offer, falling 14% shy of the amount needed to secure the deal.
Chelsea had put forward an offer to purchase the freehold from CPO, in the hope of moving to a new larger capacity stadium in the future.
Protest group ‘Say No Chelsea Pitch Owners’ had called for changes to the offer, including a clause saying Roman Abramovich had to be in charge of the club if they moved to another site, along with the date that the club could only move within three miles being changed from 2020 to 2030. They also wanted the CPO set-up to be transferred to the new stadium.
A bulk of shares had been purchased in the lead up to the vote, with £200,000 in shares bought within the last week – the amount was more than the total shares sold in the last seven years – but the yes vote wasn’t able to build the 75% required to get the proposal through.
Chelsea had hoped that they would be able to purchase the freehold as part of their plan to move to a new stadium, with the club insisting that time is running out on their ability to move within three miles of their current home.
Expanding Stamford Bridge has been ruled out as an option, with logistics sighted as the main justification, and after today’s vote was turned down, the club will need to return to the drawing board with Abramovich to work out the next step.