Bolton Wanderers 1-5 Chelsea – Press Reaction, Goal Videos, Match Report

The press reports

The Guardian, Daniel Taylor: “Football can be brutal sometimes and, for Bolton Wanderers, the ordeal was harrowing, painfully embarrassing and accompanied by the soundtrack of loud, impassioned jeers. Chelsea took them apart in every department, piece by piece, from A to Z, displaying their title credentials while exposing the faults that leave Bolton entrenched at the bottom of the league.”

The Daily Telegraph, Jason Burt: “The Chelsea manager will have enjoyed this, at times, breathtaking display. It contained two superbly-crafted goals and a bravura display by Frank Lampard who collected a hat-trick – the fifth of his career at the club. But he will not have enjoyed the humiliation of Coyle.”

The Independent, Ian Herbert: “Lampard became the first Premier League midfielder to score three hat-tricks yesterday and the general role he played in Chelsea’s eighth consecutive win here was enough to challenge the idea that his two demotions to Andre Villas-Boas’ substitutes’ bench makes him yesterday’s man. “He has this sense of timing into the box. Today he found it to perfection. His numbers were always the most impressive part of his game,” Villas-Boas said of him last night, a more personal tribute than usual, though hardly effusive.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “It was drizzling in Lancashire as most of England was enjoying a mini heatwave but Chelsea’s attacking play lit up the day as far as our supporters were concerned, Frank Lampard hitting a hat-trick and Daniel Sturridge scoring twice.”

The goals

2′ Sturridge 0-1
15′ Lampard 0-2
25′ Sturridge 0-3
27′ Lampard 0-4
46′ Boyata 1-4
59′ Lampard 1-5

The build-up

The majority of fans I speak to are quietly pleased with our progress so far this term. The consensus view on Andre Villas-Boas is that he is doing unexpectedly well. What many thought might take him months to achieve he has done in weeks: introduced new tactics, with two or three different formations on view most matches; brought in good new players; instilled more intensity into our play; given the youngsters a few chances; and made some bold selections with stalwarts like Lampard, Drogba, JT, and Ashley all benched at one time or another.

Good ratings have accrued for Bosingwa (a revelation this season for some), Meireles and, above all, Juan Mata. Ramires is another favourite although his erratic shooting is a downside. About Torres I fear opinion is divided. The majority (me included) think he works hard for the team and is going to be a huge striker for us. But a significant minority think it too early to tell yet, believing that two goals in nine matches is not much of a return so far and that he might well have a jinx on him given his injuries and that red card against Swansea.

Turning to our results the opinions put to me seem far more diffuse. Some detect a revival of that Mourinhoesque resilience and bloody-minded win-mentality that enabled us to overcome Fulham with ten men with our first penalty shoot-out win in seven attempts, while others think we look too fragile at the back and make hard work of beating teams that look average at best. Like me they identify our wayward shooting and poor goal-conversion rate as the main factor here.

Strangely, hardly anyone I know believes our 3-1 loss to United is a cause for concern for many believe we would have won it were it not for Dowd, his linesmen, and the rub of the green. That might be going too far, for me, but I really do believe we might be at the start of something very, very good. An emphatic win will give some substance to that developing story.

The opposition

As soon as I wrote that final paragraph that hopeless, morbid, defeatist Chelsea fan in my head (the survivor of numerous cock-ups and heroic failures going back to 1967) squawked: ‘Bet you don’t beat Bolton today!’ and ‘Just like Chelsea to fuck-up against the bottom team!’ etc etc.

And, indeed, there may be grounds for concern. After their opening day 0-4 win away to QPR they have lost their last five matches. But four of those losses were to Liverpool, Arsenal, Man United and Citeh so that might be a statistical aberration.

On the other hand our record against Bolton is excellent. We have won our last six matches against them and (a record for the Premier League) we have won our last eight matches away at the Reebok stadium with the last a 4-0 win in January. Missing players are a problem for them too. Holden, Sean Davis, Alonso, Ricketts are all injured; Klasnic and Wheater are suspended, and their very fine Finnish keeper – Jaaskelainen – is a major doubt, while the on-loan Kakuta is ineligible for obvious reasons.

After losing their first four games Owen Coyle has changed their formation. Ominously for us it is now a 4-5-1 with Ngog left alone up front and I hear that they parked the bus at the Emirates with Arsenal unable to get a single shot on target in the first half although Bolton eventually lost 3-0. If they do the same at home I foresee problems for us if we retain our erratic shooting habits. Analysis shows that most of Bolton’s goals so far this season have come from set-pieces and we haven’t been defending against those too well in our matches so far. However, as I write, I hear that Coyle has brought back Kevin Davies alongside Ngog and has reverted to a 4-4-2. I would guess from that decision is that he is hoping Davies will bully our centre-backs into making mistakes; a job Davies is pre-eminently fitted to perform.

Even so bookies seem to see the result as a foregone conclusion. You can only get 4/11 on an away win, with 7/2 on the draw and a whopping 9/1 on a home win. Surely things can’t do wrong there says the fragile optimist in me?

Owen Coyle

It seems Owen Coyle is best mates with AVB after they did their UEFA Pro Licence badge together in Scotland four years ago:

‘He is an absolute gentleman… when you sit down with him you find he is a gem. He is somebody whose company you like. You could sit and chat with him all night about football, and any other topic, because he is a very intelligent man as well. And what a lot of people might not know about him is he has a very good sense of humour. He joined in with the banter, gave as good as he got, and we liked that about him. He didn’t take himself too seriously. If you give a bit of stick you have to take some as well. We all did that openly with a big smile on our face, and he was a big part of that.’

Sounds like a good bloke then.

The team

Torres is suspended although I suspect AVB might well have rotated the strikers today. With Mata and Sturridge selected on either side of Drogba. Lampard is retained after his solid performance against Valencia and Meireles is the holding midfielder role so Frank will partner Ramires in front of him in a 4-1-2-2-1 formation (or 4-3-3 if you prefer).

The Kalou haters amongst you will be pleased to learn that he has not even made the bench today after his penalty howler during the week.

Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Drogba, Sturridge

Substitutes: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Romeu, Mikel, Malouda, Lukaku, Anelka.

The first half

Oh it is good to be a Chelsea fan sometimes. In the first minute a superb 40-yard pass from Luiz sets Bosingwa away, whose cross is knocked behind for a corner. Lamps sends across an elusive one and Sturridge’s header bounces in. Dan doesn’t celebrate the goal out of respect for the Bolton fans. Classy that. Thirty seconds later from the restart Dan’s next attempt is just wide of the left upright.

We start playing our possession game with neat triangular passes upfield and pressing them hard when we lose it. But we do look a bit shaky when Bolton play long balls up behind the defence. Meireles is lucky not to be booked when he brings down Pratley just outside the penalty area. Davies moans that he should have received a yellow card on the grounds that his tackle was worse than Ngog’s on Luiz three minutes before, for which he got a card. And he has a point. But, in truth, Bolton do look very predictable given that their only two stratagems are to hit it long for Ngog to run onto, or for Davies to head on to Ngog.

After what seems a longish period in which we pass the ball around at the back between Cech and his defenders our first real attack since the goal puts us 0-2 up. Mata jinks it up and puts Sturridge through, who stops for a moment before passing it to Lamps, who sweeps it into the net. It was that quick and that easy. Awesome.

The camera switches to a shot of Frank Lampard senior sitting in the stands chatting away to, of all people, Paulo Ferreira. Weird.

We spend another ten minutes soaking up some pressure from Bolton with our defence looking fairly solid at their corner kicks and we go upfield and score again on 24 minutes. Luiz – him again – slots it through to Dan who tries a speculative shot from the far right of the penalty area. It really shouldn’t have gone in but their young Hungarian goalkeeper scoops it up with his arms and into the net.

And two minutes later we are four up and Luiz is again involved. No doubt he noticed the goalkeeper is having a bad day and he puts him under pressure with another long-range shot. Bogdan slaps at it and Lamps pushes home the rebound.

The mystery is that we haven’t, collectively, shown that much attacking prowess in terms of chances created. We have had five attempts on goal yet we are 0-4 up with just 26 minutes on the clock. That fact will do our conversion statistics a world of good. There is a stream of Bolton fans leaving their seats to go home while another section behind our goal are yelling abuse at Owen Coyle who looks like he’s swallowed a toad.

Understandably, the players take their foot off the pedal and start to play keep-ball with 67% of the possession up until the last 10 minutes or so. Bolton really aren’t up to the opportunity, however and the first half peters out.

Half-time: Bolton 0 Chelsea 4.

The second half

Bolton come out fighting and put us under pressure for 10 minutes with a goal inside a minute with Petrov’s in-swinging free-kick headed in by Boyata. Luiz should have cleared it but it is the kind of goal Bolton are good at with six big men tussling inside the penalty area for it. Bolton then go on to create three more good chances, which cues excited talk of another 4-4 from the ‘neutral’ commentators in the Sky commentary box. AVB hauls off first Bosingwa for Ivan and then brings on Mikel for Ramires. Not entirely sure why but it might be because Bolton keep getting up the left side of the pitch. At any rate it seems to work as, with one exception, when he gives the ball away to Davies in the box, whose looped shot is saved by Cech, John Obi looks solid. And Ivan goes back to doing what he is best at – playing at right-back. And shortly after those two come on we score again. The ball is played up to Drogs, who knocks it back to Lamps who plays him into the penalty area. Drogs passes it back and just as I think it is going too far behind for Frank to retrieve he stops, pirouettes, and passes it into the net. Beautiful play and possibly the pick of the goals. Frank has his hat-trick and our away support are going barmy.

By now it becomes apparent that AVB has changed the formation and it looks more like a diamond with Mikel at the back, Frank and Mereiles in front of him and Mata playing in the hole. Even so we aren’t creating much this half and AVB puts Anelka on for Mata. Juan has had a quiet game by his standards and his passing hasn’t been great but Nic doesn’t do much better. He keeps dropping deep to pick up the ball and perform some mazy runs but very few of them get anywhere.

To their credit Bolton haven’t given up and, with goal-line technology in place, they would have got it back to 5-2. They press up on the right as Ashley temporarily goes to sleep and Petrov’s cross is swept in by Davies. Ivan appears to clear but the replays show that the whole of the ball had in fact crossed the line. Seven minutes later Eagles forces his way through on the left and his cannonade is pushed onto the post by Cech. Bolton 3 Chelsea 5? Sounds like a score-line from the 1950s.

In between Sturridge wastes two perfectly good chances from our swift counter-attacks. He is put through by Drogs with a chance that was easier than his second goal but puts it into the side netting. A minute later he receives an almost identical opportunity but with a pass back to Lamps on offer he hits it out to the corner flag. Still not the finished article then.

But by now we do look very tired, which explains why we have mostly played a containing game this half following that very hard match in Valencia on Wednesday. In that context a 5-1 away win looks even more creditable.

Full time: Bolton 1 Chelsea 5.

The player and management ratings

These aren’t ratings as such, just observations. In truth this was a wonderful team performance: engineered, managed and tinkered by Andre Villas-Boas. I am guessing that he told the players to put their stand-in goalkeeper under pressure and also that he briefed them to contain Bolton’s long-ball game by putting Luiz on Ngog and JT on Davies. I was especially impressed when he adjusted the team ten minutes into the second half just as Bolton looked they might get back to 4-2. I have a slight cavil in that he didn’t bring on Romeu or Lukaku when we were well ahead but I can understand why he might have wished to put safety first and given Drogs more playing time.

  • Cech. Seemed to be playing as an 11th outfield player at times, given the passes back he was receiving but, aside from that, he didn’t have much to do aside from his excellent save from Eagles late on.
  • Bosingwa. Thought he looked very good in the first half in combination with Luiz up the right in attack. Most of their opportunities at the end of the first half and early on in the second came on his watch so perhaps his defending is still suspect.
  • Luiz. If it weren’t for Frank he would be my Man of the Match. Instrumental in setting up three of our goals and played like an extra midfielder at times, which gave Frank the opportunity of getting forward still more. Preternaturally calm when moving with the ball out of defence. The one blot was still another yellow card.
  • JT. I really think we are getting our captain back. Had Kevin Davies in his pocket for most of this match.
  • Ashley. Didn’t get upfield much but that was because he had his work cut out keeping Petrov quiet. Which he mostly did.
  • Meireles. I like him more and more. Thought he was very good in the holding midfielder role and screened the back four well with several timely interventions. Looks to me like he might be making that position his own, good as John Obi is.
  • Ramires. Didn’t make any of those rampaging runs forward I have come to expect from him and, surprising for him, had no goal-scoring opportunities. I surmise from that that AVB told him off to play defensively today.
  • Lampard. As one might have predicted dropping Lamps from the team is a very dangerous (albeit, sometimes necessary) thing to do. A hat-trick today but that feat was less important than the fact that we was constantly driving the team forward (with almost no back passes!). We’ve got our Super Frank back at last. Man of the Match.
  • Mata. A quiet game by his extremely high standards although his pass to Sturridge for the second goal, like his pass to Torres for the first goal last Saturday, was what we paid £24 million for. But his passing seemed erratic today. Why?
  • Drogba. My Twitter stream streamed with complaints about his alleged ‘laziness’ but I didn’t see it that way. Thought he was very unselfish and battled all day long against their centre-halves. I admit he is a bit slow but, surely, that is because he is lacking fitness? And his set-up for Lamps’ hat-trick was sublime.
  • Sturridge. If you’d asked me my opinion at half-time I would have been drooling about his speed, shooting and general cleverness. But after watching his second-half performance I would argue that his final decisions in the penalty box still need some coaching. Still a superb prospect though.

The theme for today

My theme for today came to me while I was contemplating the half-time score-line which, I realized, was the same score-line against Bolton away last January. Then it struck me how often history repeats itself in football.

While I was pondering this fact I was reminded of Jorges Luis Borges’ ironic short story Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote. In it Borges relates the story of a writer, Pierre Menard, who left behind him at his death, the story of Don Quixote word-for-word as Cervantes wrote it in the original. Borges’ tongue-in-cheek ‘review’ of Menard’s ‘book’ offers no explanation why this was so but suggests that Menard is more ‘profound’ than Cervantes in that his book was written in 1939 rather than in 1602. Meaning that it carried a weight of historical allusion denied to Cervantes – the further conquest of America, the disappearance of the Conquistadors, the decline of the Inquisition and the Spanish Civil War. Meaning that a ‘Don Quixote’ written in the 1930s will carry far more ‘meaning’ than anything that poor Cervantes could manage. A fable, in short, which points to the many different meanings a story can have and the difficulties of interpretation.

So we win away to Bolton for the ninth successive time. And for the second time by a four-goal margin. Last January the ‘story’ was that we were back in the title race after three months without an away win. I leave it to you decide what the story is this time.

There are 183 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Good stuff Marco.

    I had a birds eye view of the match – well if you’re an ostrich.  I was in the front row which in fact was row D.  They obviously need to work a bit on the counting syllabus up here in Lancashire.

    Strangely they were selling tickets at the ground right up till kick-off, even the Chelsea end.  Didn’t think they were allowed to do that anymore? As with many away days most of the fun happened up the other end.

  2. PeteW

    Again, interesting to look at the strength of the bench: this with no Alex, Torres, McEachran or Kalou. 

    Subs: 22 Ross Turnbull, 2 Branislav Ivanovic, 6 Oriol Romeu, 12 John Mikel Obi, 15 Florent Malouda, 18 Romelu Lukaku, 39 Nicolas Anelka. 

    Remember that last season after a few injuries we had 16 year olds like Sala on the bench,along with a bunch of 18 year olds who have gone on to have some very disappointing loan periods all over Europe. Cannot possibly think the same will happen this year.So who was responsible for our dreadful transfer policy last summer, and the over-promotion of young players who clearly weren’t up to the mark? The fact Arnesen has moved on does suggest he was as much to blame for last season’s disappointment as Ancelotti.

  3. bluebayou

    Nice work Marco.

    Despite Bolton’s recent form and our good record of late, like many I still bear the scars of those league cuo exits and difficult times at Bolton. So it was a relief to see us play so well and Bolton so poorly in that first half.

    Of course when they scored there was a slight raggedness to the breathing briefly but Lampard’s hat trick goal soon calmed the nerves.

    Like a fussy tramp in a badly run doss house, we’re finding clean sheets hard to come by. It was a bit disappointing to concede. Should Cech be a yard or two off his line and go for that cross?

    While a couple of our goals were down to their keeper, the 2nd and 5th were just lovely football. Of course we stopped being a “power team” a long time ago, if we ever were and yesterday was reminiscent of some of the performances in Ancelotti’s first season, where we tore into teams.

    Like you Marco, I thought Luiz’s distribution was a key feature of the game. It makes me think that teams will really concentrate on pressing our back line to try and prevent this or committing numbers in mid field to cut down his options. I think the Everton game will provide a test of how much freedom he can expect to get as teams become aware of his effectiveness and how we work to create the room.

    All in all an enjoyable watch.

    As a service to any newcomers to Chelsea supporting , the current debate agenda amongst fans generally looks like this (the term “shite” means everything from actually being useless to injury constrained performance, loss of form etc. etc.) :

    Kalou – he’s had his chance he’s shite?
    Torres – no pace and shite?

    Off the agenda but back on at the first sign of trouble

    Lampard – he’s old and shite?

    Almost certainly on the agenda at the first sign of trouble and in some cases without any sign of trouble

    Drogba – he’s old and lazy?
    Malouda – he’s old and lazy and shite?
    Anelka – he’s old and lazy and shite
    Mikel – he’s lazy and shite?
    Bosingwa – he’s shite?
    Luiz – he’s shite but in an amusing way?
    Terry – he’s old and shite?
    Cech – he’s nervous about his head and shite?
    Mereiles – liverpool sold him so he must be shite?
    Cole – he’s injured, bugged by the missus and becoming shite?
    Sturridge – he’s too cocky needs to pass and is shite?

    But don’t get the wrong impresion, generally we’re supportive of anyone who pulls on a blue shirt.

    Pete, I tend to agree that decisions were taken last summer, which left us exposed when the injuries bit. Is there not also a suspicion that we did have particular transfer targets, failed to acquire them and had no plan B for aquisiitions, which left us depending on Arnesen’s babes?

  4. Anonymous

    Well, we seem to have come over all speculative, but perhaps today is not the one to indulge in Kremlinology even if Sue, Grabbit and Runneski are otherwise engaged:

    I saw a suggestion elsewhere that yesterday might be the last hurrah of old-school Lamps/Drog focussed Chelsea.

    There certainly seems to be some life in the old boys yet and the Street of Shame will clearly have there “Lamps Dropped Shock Horror” stories set up to alternate with “Lamps Back on Form” sequels to fill the gaps when they run out of imaginative January transfer-window speculation to publish.

    Thanks to BB too for the invaluable “shite” guide which we could perhaps set up with a tick-box list for most frequently disseminated.

    PS – FT link may not work despite being found via google – here the Indie on Sunday story I actually read:

  5. Anonymous

    Great read Marco. It’s very nice to have the bits written without the benefit of hindsight — captures the perpetual anxiety of the proper fan.

    Good point about the bench. You feel that could be a very significant factor later in the year. Add Essien to the list of Chelsea players not even on the bench yesterday but obviously featuring at some stage in the season.

    And I love Dr B’s summary of fan chat. All I can think of to add is the “next weekend” line, in this case to be applied most probably to Frank:

    — ‘told you he was shite’

  6. Cunningplan

    Excellent report Marco, I will add though I feel somewhat relaxed and comfortable when we play, just like we did under JM.
    Our bench is certainly very strong, and I think it’s far better than Utd’s, although they’re continuing to win, I have a feeling that a bad patch for them is just around the corner.
    When it does happen, we have to make sure we’re in a position to take advantage, and on current showing we will.

    As far as Citeh goes, I have another feeling that they might just implode, the Tevez thing could just be the tip of the iceberg.

    • Marco

      Have to agree CP. My reaction to that story was that Mancini is struggling to keep 24 highly-paid egos under control and that most of the Citeh players are on Tevez’s side rather than his. 

  7. PeteW

    A Chelsea fan made an interesting comment on one site along the lines of as somebody speaking with experience, the Tevez incident will kill Man City’s season, and the media will make sure of it.

    Had City down as champions before that, not sure now. Will hold judgment on United until they’ve been properly tested, but I do think we have a stronger squad. The experience of the managers could be the key…

  8. Anonymous

    Don’t know why I’ve only just remembered, but at the time Citeh signed Aguero, didn’t our illustrious KJII predict that trouble with Tevez were just round the corner?

    Anyone on here part of the CPO? Thoughts on what the clubs offer / proposal actually means?

    • bluebayou

      We’ve speculated in recent months about the staus of the CPO. (I’ve really got to find my share now).

      I’ve always worried about he 10 million loan and what effect it had on the CPO’s independence.

      I’d really like to hear from those with a legal/financial insight ino this.

      For some years I’ve wondered why they haven’t pushed harder to sell more
      shares. I’m their are some wealthy fans who’d have put more money in
      irresepctive of voting rights.

      I just feel it has suited the club not to get anywhee near paying off that debt.

      If there’s no move in the pipeline, why now?

      I can appreciate that they wouldn’t want to spend time and money on planning when not in control of the freehold, but that was how it was coming in.

      And while Roman may have the best interests of the club at heart, time and tide combined with the demographic changes in the Chelsea area means handing back the rights to the freehold (and the club name?) should be thought about deeply.

      Why the rush all of a sudden. 4 weeks is quite a short time to explore all the issues.

      • WorkingClassPost

        This from the Gonadian:-

        “The club will need to secure the support of 50% of those in attendance if their offer is to be accepted. “

        If a simple majority on the night is all that’s required, then a quick meeting may prevent any splinter groups from mobilizing to vote against.

        • Anonymous

          Did some PR guru with a sense of humour think it appropriate to release news of the offer to buy out CPO on the day Roman was in court in London accused of enforcing share sales back home – see link in my comment below?

  9. WorkingClassPost

    If there are any reporter’s awards going this season, then Marco gets my vote.

    The game was over for me, with just a couple of minutes on the clock, yet he’s made this report strangely interesting and thought provoking.

    For most of the match I felt a bit like DannyS – job done, but decidedly uncelebratory and I hope that Coyle gets his team sorted in time to take some points from a few of our rivals.

    Talking about the opposition…I wanted to stay for the HarryArse show but junior wanted home, so missed the fun. Watched Juve beat Milan later instead, probably a better game, but much less entertaining.

    And just what does ArseWhinger need to do before he gets committed?

  10. Nothin But The Blues

    Hello all,

    Blues supporter from Canada since GZ14 days. Just wanted to say: great blog and posters. Bluebayou – top post! Funny stuff. I’ll be following you regularly from now on. You lot are definitely not shite.

  11. Anonymous


    Have no idea from the seclusion of rural Norfolk, but it was the comment about a guarantee there will be no move of stadium until 2020, unless its within 3 miles. Not sure why, but the sceptic in me (I know, me being sceptical. Unreal…) thinks plans may be afoot. And yet there’s not really a suitable location to host a 55,000 (minimum) ground with the associated club bollocks that is mandatory these days that I can think of.

    Just a way of preparing for the inevitable in years to come I guess. Maybe nothing more sinister than that? As I say, what do I know?

  12. Ososdeoro

    Blueb – you forgot Ramires: runs faster than shite, or shoots like shite?

    As for the move, some speculation on another website about Battersea Power Station. If they make something in that style on the site (or utilize the structure if it can be saved) and ensure that the design makes for a loud and interesting game day experience (that keep 80K going there even if the opposition is League 2 FA Cup or Chelsea are gawdforbid mid-table), I don’t see why the club couldn’t just sell the idea to CPO without going through this exercise. I’ve only been to the Bridge once, and not for a game, but it’s still what made me a fan in the first place. I would hate for it to go by the wayside before I ever got a chance to see a game there. Still, one must keep up, and change CAN be good

  13. Machchan

    Nice report Marco, including the Borges-related denouement.  This demolition of Bolton superficially may be similar to the several previous demolitions but this one is more ‘profound’ as Borges would have said.  AVB being the key catalyst we’d agree.

    A few additional points:
    * Cech playing as a 11th outfielder – yes, have you noticed how much better his distribution has become?  In previous years he tended to punt any back-passes, in a bit of a panic, straight to the opposition or into touch.  Now his distribution is becoming almost Luiz-esque!

    * JT – yes he’s back and I’ll take back my earlier rant if he carries on like this for the rest of the season.

    * Sturridge – agreed that a magnificent, almost MOM level first half marred by a wasted second.  Was he coasting, thinking he’s done enough to earn a ‘shite’ 45 minutes?

  14. Anonymous

    Can’t link from my iPhone for some reason, but there’s a story on the *cough* Daily Mail *cough* about Sam Hutchinson.

    He retired himself last year because of his knee injury. Then I read he had a mentoring role at the club and was drafted into the reserves once to make up the numbers. He has played regularly, and skippered them on Monday against Villa. Nice that the club stood by him but equally nice to see that sort of determination. Because of the injury he had, he’s uninsurable, so risking pretty much everything by playing.

    Compare that to Carlos Twat-ez ans other assorted mercenaries and tell me who the role model is.

  15. bluebayou

    mmmm Clear all outstanding matters on the agenda!

    There’s only one game in town

    “let’s get a bigger ground ’cause this one’s shite?”

    Uncivil war is breaking out amongst the bretheren.

    • Anonymous

      But all the alternatives are just bigger sites in shite parts of London 😉

      Good luck hunting the CPO share certificate – having just dug mine out again I see it is quite a slight piece of paper: just under 11 inches by 6 inches in old money.

      Mine was signed by Janet Rainbow, I notice. Another name from the past.

  16. Cunningplan

    Interesting read on young Sam, the last bit of the story about training intensity, and a possible career, if Ledley King can manage it with his knees, then why not.

  17. bluebayou

    Re: The CPO situation, we should get a few articles together from a variety of viepoints perhaps.

    But for those who don’t know London or have no idea of distance here is a means to seeing what a 3 mile 3 mile radius from the Stamford Bridge Postcode looks like.

    Just key in SW6 1HS, choose blue as the fill colour for obvious reasons, hit the plot button and zoom in and Bob’s yer Uncle.

    It’s probably one of the few establishable facts you’ll get in the ensuing slugfest.

    It looks possible that Wimbledon could see Premiership football……………

  18. Anonymous

    Forgot to ask whether BlueBoyDave (along with all other Scots, Celts of other persuasions, French people and footy fans in the UK’s former colonies) felt a little surge of good cheer this morning as they heard that Alan Shearer wants to become manager of England?

    I’m curious to see how much strife there’ll be about the CPO buyback. I used to live more or less next door to the Bridge and I’ve been a regular for quite a while now but even I am not too sentimental about the place. I imagine there are quite a few Chelsea fans who look at what Arse did — impressive new stadium significantly funded by sale of existing property and built within club territory — and think, “something like that wouldn’t be so bad.” We all know the basic economics.

    Personally I think the Imperial Wharf site would be great but I gather it’s too small or something.

    It may be the people will dig their heels in if they feel the club doesn’t have a plan in place. No guarantees are worth anything at this stage, and the one thing that would really get hackles up is if they move the club miles away. The suits might do better to present a plan people can get excited about, rather than making vague noises about promising not to go more than three miles away or at least not for a decade or two.

    • Marco

      Like you, LTB, I’m not overly attached to the site. I did have fond memories of the pre-1973 stadium, particularly the Shed, prior to the building site Stamford Bridge became afterwards for many years. But the redevelopments have led to a loss of character for me (although this is no doubt true of nearly all Premiership grounds following on from the Hillsborough report).

      I would be happy with any of the Imperial Wharf, Earls Court or the Battersea Power station sites.

      I always get one of my headaches when my attention is drawn to the CPO agreement and, to this day, I still don’t know whether they can actually retain the name ‘Chelsea Football Club’ should there be a move away from Stamford Bridge (the CPO Agreement with the Club has never been published).

      According to some reports there is now a groundswell opposition to Roman”s proposals developing.

      Why? Would have thought a 55,000 seater stadium within Dr Bayou’s 3-mile radius a fairly attractive proposition. Might even bring down the price of a season-ticket.

    • Anonymous

      I missed the news that Shearer wants to be England manager.

      I can only say that I can think of few people more likely to reduce England to Scotland’s “non-qualifiers for tournament finals” status with consummate speed and ease 😉

      As for moving from The Bridge? Well it took me at least six months to get used to watching from the West Upper after nearly 30 years in the East Upper, before it felt anything like home. So I can’t see me easily contemplating an entirely new stadium at my age.

      Plus, in reasonable weather I can walk from home in about 40 minutes and avoid the public transport horrors.

      I don’t see that CPO has any real leverage to prevent the club moving if it wants to, however.

      @Marco – I don’t think 2 named CPO shareholders constitutes a “groundswell” yet, and do you seriously think season ticket prices would drop in a new stadium?

  19. Anonymous

    Moving is of concern to me.  If it’s south of the river then every week will feel like an away match.  Or it could be somehere hideous like White City.

    There is something appealing about the Kings Road every other Saturday.

  20. Ososdeoro

    What the club is doing does seem backwards. They need to provide a plan for the shareholders to vote on, not something nebulous like “if we don’t find something acceptable here by 2020 we’ll go elsewhere.”

  21. bluebayou

    A couple of quotes from club documents.

    Chelsea Football Club Supporters’ Consultative Forum, 2011/12 Season Draft Minutes, 1st Meeting

    From the section headed “Stadium”

    “There are no announcements to make on either relocation or increasing the stadium capacity. Amongst the board there is an awareness that it will get harder to compete with our current capacity but this is why the extra revenue from worldwide support will help. The fact that we are in a vibrant part of such a popular city is an appeal worldwide. We don’t rule out future development or a move if the right opportunity arises.”

    From the announcement about the CPO buyback on 4th October 2011

    ‘We continue to look at options for expanding the Bridge and I should be clear that we have not identified a site for a new stadium elsewhere.’ (Bruce Buck)

    So before we get into it all, the most basic question is why the haste to get this done by October 27th?

    This is surely not the way to move forward into what is a very emotive and difficult subject.

    And why cryptic statments like this

    “The club will enter into a legal commitment to CPO that no relocation will take place before 2020 unless it is within a three-mile radius of our current home.”

    Perhaps they’ve moved to explain the reason for 2020 since, but any reasoning should have been made explicit in the statement.

    If they buy back the freehold and buy out the shareholders, will CPO still exist? If it doesn’t what happens to the legal committment?

    And there is no mention here or indeed in the welter of speculation about site to the Premier League rules about moves that are in proximity to other clubs. (Rules out most options on the north side of the river except Nine Elms/Vauxhall it seems to me. And God forbid a transpontine option, we’re a Middlesex club. It matters!)

    I am aware that people are losing patience with those that are not girded and standing ready for the trip to the Promised Land, but we’ve had one trip through the desert and maybe want to have a think before we head out for the next.

    Mr Buck says the following:

    ‘Chelsea should always be grateful to those who invested in CPO. We know only too well how close the club came to losing our home prior to the formation of CPO, but that threat has now gone under Mr Abramovich’s ownership and with the CPO structure in place we cannot plan with certainty for the future. I hope all shareholders vote in favour of the proposal.’

    That gratitude does not appear to extend to giving a reasonable time for consultation or some idea of the options available to the club that require so short a timeframe for a decision on the freehold.

    And a thought that made me wonder. 15,000 £100 shares sold since 1993. And a minimum 55,000 seater in the offing.

    Oh and I’ve found my share certificate.

  22. Anonymous

    Typical Supa Frank! It seems Chelsea’s Adidas boots have been doing very well at the Reebok. Maybe the new stadium is named the “Adidas Stadium” or even “Samsung Stadium”. It would be ideal if it can be built in Holland Park! 

  23. bluebayou

    In case anyone is unaware, the EGM for the CPO is at 11.30am in the morning on the 27th.

    Thoughtful planning as it gives plenty of time to phone in the sickie and still be there when the boss rings back to check on something and linger over a bowl of wheaties.

    Note to self: Disable any location device on work mobile or leave it under the duvet.

    I would have hated to give up an evening’s viewing of the Body Farm or some such for so paltry a matter.

    • Anonymous

      I know CPO meetings have generally been attended by two men [with or without their dog, Spot], but I imagine there will be rather more interest from a reasonable percentage of those estimated 12,000 people who are shareholders.

      The notice says the meeting is in the Harris Suite in the West Stand, so I thought I’d check out the capacity of this and from the website I see it is 350, as “theatre”, or 400 as “reception”.

      Should we come prepared to re-enact that famous Marx Bros. movie scene:

      Could be a fun morning?

  24. Anonymous

    I will happily sell my share. Club needs new stadium. I don’t even understand what is to consider here? 

  25. Der_Kaiser

    Blimey, I go away for a few days and it all happens.

    Not a huge surprise – some form of move on the CPO was always likely given how long the possibility of a new ground has been hanging in the air. Seems a little hasty in terms of the time involved, though. Club is obviously keeping all options open – always had the feeling they’d prefer to stay at the Bridge, but financially it seems to make less and less sense as time goes on given that expansion of the current capacity is fraught with previously diagnosed problems. How quickly it is happening suggests to me that there is a commercial window of opportunity in respect of one of the proposed sites that the club need to move on. Just a guess, though. The club’s offer does need to be clarified too – the undertakings strike me as a bit odd so a more definite representation from Buck and co. (in as far as they are able) would be good.

    Would imagine that any new ground has been financially picked apart by the bean counters – I tend to work on the basis of “if you build it, they will come…”. Might be a few empty seats on occasion, but making more cash per game will make a massive difference.

    In terms of the ‘doomsday’ scenarios – being optimistic, Roman hasn’t done anything detrimental to the long-term future of the club so far, so I don’t really see him starting now. Even if he wants out / his money back, there are surely easier ways of going about it?

    Personally, I would have mixed feelings but think a new ground would be good for the future of CFC, which is ultimately far more important than any one of us, as much as we are entitled to air our views. The Bridge for me has an air of Trigger’s broom about it (6 new handles, 14 new heads, but it’s still my old broom…); the place has changed immeasurably over the course of the last 30-40 years, as have the places we all drink before / after the game (in general) so while a move would be a big wrench it wouldn’t end the love affair for me as it evidently might for some. Weird situation given that the ground came before the club, though.

    I think that this scenario was always likely in the Roman era; the days of being happy with a the odd cup run, putting one over on the establishment clubs and maybe a final plus a little European jaunt every now and then are long gone – we’re looking to compete with the very best and that includes where we play too.

    Who knows – something as revolutionary and striking as the Allianz Arena in Munich just a couple of miles away? Could be fantastic for us.

    • bluebayou

      I think a lot of people wouldn’t disagree with much of what you say. But I think the initial issue revolves around lack of information.

      They have expilcitly stated that there is no current deal under consideration. I am prepared to accept their word for it. So why the hurry? I think if we are to give up whatever small leverage we have with the club there shoud be some broad brush figures covering two things, if you assume that Bates Motel is doomed.

      Will a new stadium be self-financing or will there be additional debt and how will it be structured?

      What is the basic pricing philosophy going to be. Will the increased capacity mean more of the same. Cheaper seating? Not nailed down figures but the general philosophy.

      And, stating the obvious, building and financing a new stadium is not as easy as falling off a log. There is risk.  Are we happy that the current board is up to it?

      I take your point about the current stadium and it’s not pretty from an architectural point of view. Whether you want to stay there come what may is a personal, emotional decision hence the rather entrenched view we see around the place. But the CPO is business and I think there are plenty of people who recognise that difficult decisions have to be made and just want to make it based on the best available information at the time. People may have bought shares due to the emotion of fandom but suddenly I think it’s a bit more serious. And as of now I don’t happen to think we have it

      I feel the judgement of history wieghing heavy on my shoulders. No I don’t I just want to do right by today’s fans and future fans as far as is possible. 

      And if we take the lovely Allianz as our model. Well who are we to share with?  What local authority is going to chuck in 150 million on infrastructure? And do we have to have a financial scandal over contract awards? 😉

      • Der_Kaiser

        Afternoon BB,

        I think you’re right re the general lack of information available at present; the club isn’t too bad in terms of communication with the fans, but this is one area where you would hope they would go the extra mile to get it right, given that it is a pretty emotive subject. Some kind of FAQ list on the subject covering the points you have raised, along with questions on whether the final avenues on expansion of the current site have been exhausted, the significance of the 2020 date and so forth might have been in order.

        In terms of financing a new ground, I would imagine we are possibly quite well placed – fag packet economics says value of current ground / site plus chunky naming rights deal on new one would go a fair way to covering the cost.

        I do fear that this is going to create a Grant / Mourinho style rift between fans on a grander scale, though – positions can get pretty entrenched quite quickly, and the general heat of debate on social media platforms leads to some fairly harsh words being exchanged, especially so given the subject matter.

        I imagine that there are already a few drawing up their ‘FC Chelsea’ blueprints, and there will be a number who fall firmly into the ‘Bridge or nowhere’ camp, but I think there is actually a reasonable concensus forming towards a new ground if we have to, subject to a number of questions being answered to the satisfaction of us folk who will undoubtedly be paying more for their season ticket if we do shift to a wizzy new 55,000 seated at [insert preferred location here].

        From a purely personal point of view, as the Roman era has worn on and we’ve taken it all for better or worse (thankfully mostly the former), at some point over the last 7-8 years I’ve subconciously accepted that we’d be moving lodgings at some point. Put in the context of what might have happened had Roman snapped Spurs up as he initially planned, there are far worse things that could have happened at sea than us ending up with the aforementioned new ground.

        • bluebayou

          I think I’ve been surprised by the general readiness to move. But it is also true that the Stadium has changed radically from the one we knew in the 70’s/80’s. It seems that has helped loosen the emotional ties for many. Added to that is the gentrification of shops, pubs and so on, in the surrounding area particularly east along the Fulham Rd, Kings Road etc.

          While is some ways it is a pleasant change from where many grounds are situated, particulalry if you want to pick up a few tins of Farrow and Ball for that long overdue touch up to the lounge and you have to have authentic Georgian decor, but increasingly perhaps, there is a sense of not belonging and not being wanted creeping in.

        • Anonymous

          Interesting stuff, caught the CPO news whilst in france tidying up for the winter. I think it’s inevitable we’ll move but despair over 2 things

          1.) FC Chelsea – seen the idea touted around the twitterverse. Ludicrous. If you’re going to form a new club you might just as well go and support QPR. FC Chelsea or whatever would NOT be the club I have supported over 40 years.

          2.) There is a divide in the twitterverse already on this issue. What is bad about that is the bullying culture from the #savethebridge campaign, who seem to be adopting a CFC fundamentalist mantra along the lines of ‘if you’re not with us then you’re the enemy’. I’m seeing normally rational balanced people turn into despotic ranters evangelising their own and seeming uniquely worthwhile point of view. 

          Personally, I believe if we want to compete and remain competing then we need to increase gate revenues by bringing more people in rather than moving to fleece the existing punter base. Not sure I can bear the idea of Liverpool and Spuds both flaunting their 65k seater mega-venues at us. I’m with the Good Lord Kaiser on this, the current ground whilst nice and compact, is most definitely Triggers Broom. Things change, places change, businesses (for that is what CFC is) change. Get over it.  

  26. WorkingClassPost

    The suddenness of this does seem odd and possibly sinister, but it might also indicate that another site is being negotiated and the CPO thing needs to be put to bed frst. An indication of what’s going on would help, but it could also be that any announcement would adversely affect the negotiations i.e. put the price up.

  27. bluebayou


    It is fitting that on the anniversary of the birth of Brian O’Nolan aka Flan O’Brien, one of Ireland’s greatest writers and humourists, faihful portrayer of the surreal and ridiculous, I should just have received an e-mail from Chelsea addressed to “all blues superfans”

    Here is the concept as they lay it out:

    Dear Donal (for that is moi)

    adidas and Chelsea need you!

    This season sees the launch of adidas and Chelsea’s biggest global online campaign to date, ‘all blues. all season’. The amazing story of the 2011/12 season as told by the people who count the fans.

    (At this juncture I’m not going to tell them that I have never been involved in fan counting or that they may have missed out a comma.)

    This campaign will bring together the passion of the world’s biggest Chelsea supporters, all in one place.

    And that’s where you come in.

    We’re looking to recruit 11 fans from across the globe to become official all blues ‘superfans’ and play a big part in this season’s journey. We’ll give you your very own state-of-the-art video camera to help document your passion throughout the season and showcase it on the site.

    To get into the final 11, all you have to do is show us how passionate a Chelsea fan you are. This could be in images, film, whatever – just submit your best content to by October 12th.

    I hope I win. I can then document thousands of people trying to crush into a room suitable only for 400, baying for blood and screaming “Save the Bridge”

    Seriously, there is a rich seam to be mined here, contrasting the the real, the hypereal and the virtual as experienced by fans in the modern game.

    The timing of this with it’s wish to portray fans’ “passion” as fellow Chelsea fans rip into each other in the twitterverse and elsewhere is just an irony pile up.

    Oh and we haven’t played a dozen games but they know it’s going to be an amazing season. Is this match fixing on a grand scale. Any proper football fan knows that any season is far more likely to be a bag o’ shite as opposed to amazing.

  28. bluebayou


    If I do win and they give me the camera will “it’s all right officer I’m a superfan and it’s for all blues. all season” suffice when I film police lines at away games?

    • Anonymous

      Oops, sack the picture editor time!

      What’s happened to The Good Old Days when all ex-players were treated like shite by the club and used to queue up to whinge to the press about it 😉

  29. Anonymous

    I wonder whether it isn’t more mercenary. In a way it was our own dear club that taught the rest of the English league a lesson which at the time seemed shocking but is now merely a banal fact: you *can* buy the league. Not only can you, but you have to.

    I’m simplifying. But remember the outrage when we won in 2005? I had a number of conversations with vfans of other London clubs in which they asked me whether “buying the league” really felt worthwhile: as if there was some pure way of doing it which had been tainted by the Abramovich-Mourinho method.

    Whereas now, five years on, everyone knows perfectly well that Man Citeh will eventually win the league by virtue of having more money than everyone else; Everton supporters’ groups are unashamedly explicit about hoping to find an Everton-loving billionaire so they have a chance of buying the league; and fans of Arsenal, that last bastion of imaginary footballing purity, chant “Spend some f***ing money” when they’re on a bad run, as if the equation between cash and success is not only uncontroversial but actually unarguable.

    What I’m saying is that a lot of Chelsea fans are probably thinking: our ground doesn’t generate enough revenue, and we’re going to fall behind and never catch up. And I suspect that ends up trumping whatever sentimental attachment they may have.

    As long as we don’t end up moving to a totally different part of London, I find myself reasonably mellow about the whole thing.

    I’m not even fussed about crossing the river. But then I was born in Earls Court, brought up in Hammersmith and now live in Putney, so personal experience assures me that the Surrey station isn’t a dreadful as it’s made out to be. (My mother, however, totally flipped out when she found out I was planning to decamp to the “wrong” side of the Thames.)

  30. Cunningplan

    Well my rather simplistic view of it all is, I would be more than happy to see us build a shiny new stadium.
    I will also add, being a country bumkin, to me London is London, and I don’t differentiate between the said areas within. I do know locals can be territorial, but it’s something I’ve never been, so a move to Milton Keynes looks likely then, MK Pensioners sounds good. 😉

  31. Anonymous

    According to club executives 1 million quid has been spent on finding out a way to extend SB. Nothing came out of it. Infrastructure around stadium do not allow such luxury.  Brompton Cemetery and railway tracks from one side and only one tube station close to the stadium were crucial factors, which club couldn’t overcome. We have to move there is nothing left. In order to keep the pace with others we must have 60K seater.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Buck is also on record as stating that the current capacity might be sufficient. Crystal ball stuff, ultimately. I’m behind the idea of a new ground, but not at any cost – has to be right for the club in the long term.

      • Anonymous

        Hopefully we shall know more after that meeting. Of course it must be something that suits club and supporters!

  32. Anonymous

    Not against the new ground in principle have to say.

    I have doubts as to whether some of the promises made by Buck etc. would ever be fully enforced by a Court. What would happen if they sited the new stadium 3.2 miles away and it was completed in November 2019? Would a Court seriously grant an injunction to prevent the development in those circumstances?

    What would happen if the building started in 2018 but was scheduled for completion Mid 2020?

    Seems all a bit smoke and mirrors to me.

    My guess is they have something viable on the table but can’t say anything more for confidentiality reasons. The timimg is distinctly odd otherwise.

  33. Anonymous

    Re Cunningplan’s view that London is London so let’s build a shiny new stadium wherever, we need to be careful what we wish for.  During the last few seasons I’ve increasingly travelled to away games and a lot of stadiums are new builds, such as Stoke, Middlesbrough, Wigan and, just last weekend, Bolton.  When I say Bolton, it’s not really Bolton, but a retail park in the outskirts with the same old chain shops and the equally rubbish restaurants (better description would be reheating stations).  

    All the new build stadiums are the same, lots of piped steel work clad in steel sheeting located in the middle of nowhere, so you either stay somewhere miles away pre-match and try and arrive just on time, or you go to the stadium and use the facilities in a steel container below the away stand.  The only decent new build is the Emirates, which in fact is far better than Wembley, but it’s not in a part of town that I know particularly well.

    I’m all for progress but I’d like to avoid building a soulless steel container on a brownfield site with a McDonalds drive through being the most exciting local amenity.

    We’re Chelsea, from one of the swankiest places in the world, not just London.  Remember our history.  Let those northern bastards continue to travel to our streets paved with gold and, because of their jealousy, accuse us of being rent boys.

    Personally I’d like to expand into the adjoining cemetery.  I’m sure none of the residents will complain and it’s in the dead centre.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Think your penultimate paragraph sums it up.  If we are going to move, let’s keep it as local as possible and have a stadium that will put the collective jaw of the football world on the floor – something genuinely awe-inspiring, not just the usual identikit steel and glass eyesore that too many clubs settle for.

      Build on the cemetery?  Have you not seen ‘Poltergeist’? 

        • Der_Kaiser

          Arf arf…

          From what little I know about the proposed sites, Earls Court wasn’t ideal because of the depth you need under a football pitch which would be difficult because of the tube line (a surveyor type chap likened it to the Monaco pitch which is apparently a bloody nightmare to play on and notorious for injuries etc. as there is a car park 6 feet underneath it).  And isn’t there some huge residential development plan ongoing now?  Would seem an unlikely destination if so.

          Nine Elms looks good and in terms of ‘presence’, a genuinely unique stadium would look excellent on the waterfront and be a real landmark for the club and London too; BB’s point about exactly where it would go in amidst all of the other proposed developments is a good one.  Vauxhall station / tube nearby would cover the transport element.  Seems to be liked by the fans if we can’t shift to Earls Court.

          Battersea Power Station always comes up but the fact that numerous developers have tried and failed (at great expense) to get anything built there so whether we’d succeed or not is another matter.

          Presumably QPR would kick off (literally) if we shifted over to White City – aren’t there Premier League rules about moving grounds near to other clubs?  Other than that, Old Oak Common just looks too far away.

          Might be that the club are playing various sites / developers off against each other in search of the best deal; you would imagine that none of the sites that seem to be in the running would still be available if we left it until 2020?

          Hyde Park, anyone?

          • bluebayou

            Unless I’ve misunderstood it or perhaps Treasury Holdings can’t raise the finance, the Power Station is off the agenda as they have planning for a develeopment based on the structure and surrounding areas.

    • Anonymous

      The problem first appeared to be a railway , so the idea was to make tunnel under the rails, however because of cemetery the tunnels must be very long, which collides with health and safety regulations. The other problem is of course  infrastructure around (tube stations (luck of it), narrow streets and soon.  They talk a lot about Earls Court, for me it could have been a good choice.

  34. bluebayou

    Just a thought re the Nine Elms idea, which seems to be one of those sites seen as a possible home.
    At one end near Vauxhall they’re going to build the new American Embassy as part of an envisioned Embassy Quarter, at the other end is Battersea Power Station and Treasury Holdings have been given planning for redevelopment there involving residential, retail, leisure (is that eating and the like?) etc. In between are a number of sites owned by the likes of Ballymore (residential), the Royal Mail, New Covent Garden and others.
    Does anyone know which part of the site is seen as suitable for the (insert sponsor here) Stadium and thousands of attendant football herbets?
    Has a developer hit investment problems and looking for a way to keep it all rolling?

  35. bluebayou

    Blue Mikel

    I’m not sure that we will know much after the meeting and I think that is one of the issues that some people are finding irksome.
    The meeting, as I understand it is to change the objects of the CPO such that it can then sanction the sale of CSL currently owned by CPO and which owns the freehold, back to the club and finally change the articles of association. Those are the basic actions to be voted on. Nothing more. It’s a straight yes or no that becomes legally binding. As it currently stands there is no prospect of fans retaining the current arrangement or anything like it at any new site (should there be one). So this is a one shot deal.
    The club has said there is no immediate plan on the table, they want control of the freehold so that they are better able to negotiate should they wish to.
    In the agreement they have made certain undertakings re: size of stadium if a move takes place etc. and if you vote yes you move from having a sod in the ground to a being a named brick in a wall or some such.
    So unless forced in some way procedurally (better minds than mine know about these things), I don’t think we will hear very much more from them. The meeting is for the CPO. This is not a Chelsea club forum.
    Basically CPO shareholders are being asked to make a judgement on whether they think it is right and sensible to cede back the element of ownership they acquired based on the available information as laid out in the documents that can be viewed here.,,10268,00.html
    Now some are happy to do this, like yourself, others implacably opposed and many I would speculate who while willing to think the best of the current owner would like to make their decision on more hard information, both in relation to the viability of the existing stadium and how a new one would be acquired and financed.
    Some of the bad feeling, and certainly my unease, springs from the way that this decision is being framed. The club’s approach seems to on the line that this is a procedural tidying up requiring a simple vote. I think they have misjudged a situation that had it been handled differently, and while it would never satisfy some, would have created a lot less friction. The way it stands this is not a vote about anything other than whether CPO shareholders want to retain the freehold and put themselves in opposition to the wishes of the leaseholder. To my mind they are backing people into a corner and it is not necessary to do so.
    It is worth bearing in mind that, as Tony says, Chelsea is a business. There are a lot of people involved in running this business and they want to keep their jobs and even climb the greasy pole. One of the problems in any organisation is that there is a bias towards giving people what you think they want and tell them what you think they want to hear. Forecasts, assessments, budgets are usually not neutral. The same can be said of consultants you employ. Few briefs are ever blue sky.
    Plenty of businesses fail due to over-optimism and mis-judging the market. I believe certain research suggests that those who rise to the top are not always the most skilfull and best suited but are usually given to over-optimism. We need to bear in mind the herd instinct is powerful. ABN-Ambro take over? Seemingly successful and well run ventures fail. Lehman Brothers? Chelsea like any other club or organization makes mistakes. We’ve seen the current and previous regimes do that on the footballing side. These people aren’t infallible.
    Because the club can’t or won’t enter into any sort of detailed discussion with the owners of the freehold, we’re left with speculation most of which revolves around matters that are not on the agenda for the 27th, however much we’d like them to be.

    • Anonymous

      Dear bluebayou (I mean it), 
      Unfortunately I know there is politics everywhere, I have enough of shit at the place where I work. However, I don’t want to think about it, when it comes to football and the club I love. I don’t want to think about politics, when it comes to Chelsea, although sometimes I have to, when some fraud become our manager. The Club needs my help and will do it, probably that is all for me.   

  36. Anonymous

    The more I think about Battersea Power Station the more I like it.

    1. Per Der_kaiser’s point on Nine Elms, Battersea would make a dramatic waterfront
    2. The Power Station is iconic; be miles better than the Wembley Arch
    3. Stadium sponsored by Duracell – welcome to the Duracell Power Station
    4. Instead of the regular blimp we’ll have a pig, replicating the Pink Floyd Album cover – Imagine the shots from that, our Power Station, the glistening water reflecting the waterside lights, with Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and London Eye in the background. You won’t get that view at Old Trafford
    5. Build a new walk bridge (named Stamford Bridge, obviously) over the Thames for quick access to the north, such as Sloane Square tube
    6. Add extra trains so that the line running through Imperial Warf swings round to Battersea Park
    7. It’s as near to Chelsea as Stamford Bridge

    Let’s start packing …

  37. Anonymous

    The pitch would fit within the Power Station.  This image shows the pitch cut from google maps at the same zoom level.  If we’re allowed to just keep the chimneys and demolish everything else it’ll be perfect.

    • SweetDairyAir

      I’ve always loved the idea of redeveloping the power station and keeping the iconic chimneys. I can’t think of another stadium that would be as eyecatching and architecturally outstanding as that. As mentioned previously most new stadia look much of a muchness, with curved glass and metallic exteriors, in an oval shape. The proposed Tottenham one looks like Arsenal’s, which looks like Wembley, minus the arch. We should get Herzog and de Meuron to do it as well – they redeveloped the Tate Modern, and also did the Allianz. Perfect pedigree!

    • bluebayou

      Terry Farrell, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, our boy gave you one hell of a beating………

      Can’t think why people ponce about for 7 years training to be an Architect

      • Der_Kaiser

        Could go for a Zaha Hadid designed stadium on the river – if we’re going to move, let’s have the most iconic sports venue on earth.  Failing that, Mark’s design looks like a runner…

        Mrs. D worked for Richard – or Lord, to give him his correct title – Rogers some years back.  Went to his house (well, 2 houses knocked into one) on Royal Hospital Road once.  It was, to use the football parlance, a bit special.

    • Anonymous

      Last time I went past Battersea power station on the train in daylight much of the building seems to have crumbled already and the towers look a distinct elf’n’safety risk too, several with scaffolding around them.

      At lunchtime I heard on BBC a bit of an interview with Bruce Buck, not talking about AVB staying 15 years as reported this morning [yeh, right!] but about Roman, the business side and Financial Fair Play. If you have 10 minutes it’s the “Leaders in Football conference” item available as a podcast or just to listen on the website here:

      The Buck interview starts about 25 minutes in and lasts 10 minutes.

      Moving stadiums is the undiscussed elephant in the room, but the bit that made my heart sink is near the beginning where he says Roman is basically a football fan and far more interested in that side, rather than the business aspects where he leaves the detail to Buck, a lawyer he trusts implicitly, and the other directors. Need I say more?

  38. Cunningplan

    These locations that you’re talking about, may as well be in another language, so excuse my ignorance guys, but I take it Battersea Power Station/Nine Elms is within a 3 mile radius?
    And where is it in relation to our current home, North/South etc?

    • Anonymous

      East of us and on the South side of the river.

      As the crow flies Battersea is well within but Nine Elms is right on the edge – try playing with Bluebayou’s tool.  The fact it is on the edge may be significant as to the club quoting 3 miles.  I mean, why pick 3?

      By road/foot Battersea is just over 3 miles and Nine Elms about 4.

      • Cunningplan

        I was kicked out of the cubs/scouts so never got to grips with map reading, so don’t be cruel. 😉

  39. bluebayou

    “Could go for a Zaha Hadid designed stadium on the river ” – Good luck trying to find anyone to build it. A £75m Pool (admittedly the nonsense figure in the Bid) coming in at £283m. They had enormous problems sub contracting the roof installation for instance. Nightmare.

    If we want to get something built to time and budget, bland HKO designed (or whatever they are now) built by Sir Robert Mc Alpine’s fusiliers or maybe Laing O’Rourke (they did the Millenium and were going to do Liverpools before it was kyboshed) will give us half a chance of surviving the project.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Wouldn’t be Chelsea if we didn’t near bankrupt ourselves in the process of putting up a new ground.

      I just don’t want some dull identikit ground indistinguishable from the Riverside / Reebok / wherever if we’re going to be uprooted.  Would be such a disappointment.

  40. Cunningplan

    I don’t think you could go far wrong if Laing were involved, the Millenium Stadium is certainly one of the nicest, and atmospheric stadiums around.

  41. bluebayou

    Blue Mikel

    No problem. We can have different views.

    In case you or anyone is unsure, as I understand it you need to be there or have completed a proxy. Some are saying the votes not cast go to the Chairman but I believe that is not correct. If there is no vote or proxy it is not counted. The vote is determined by the percentage of votes cast not of total shareholders and I believe 75% of votes cast are required for the changes.

        • Anonymous

          Particularly if one builds Quidditch stadium 🙂 , but jokes aside stadium with chimneys might be iconic!!!

          • Der_Kaiser

            Think there is a huge opportunity to build something truly iconic, whether around chimneys or whatever.  When you think about how many football stadia around the globe are instantly recognisable, it isn’t that many (there’s an exercise for a slow Friday), so if we could build something as visually stunning as the Allianz Arena on the Thames at either BPS or NE which would become part of the London skyline, it would be a huge coup for the club.

  42. Anonymous

    Agree about the Millenium, far better than Wembley from a spectator perspective.  Closer to the pitch and much better atmosphere.

    The Tannoy was incomprehensible but that could have been the accent.

  43. Anonymous

    note to Nick – I didn’t attach the picture again to my last post!

    or this post – what’s going on …

  44. bluebayou

    The Chimnneys would surely lend themselves to this alternative to a bridge crossing

    Though strictly for corporates and high end season ticket holders (and CPO sharehholders who vote yes perhaps?).

    For the riff raff more like this I’m thinking ’cause we can’t throw monet around with the FFP rules on the way and what have you.

    Perhaps a revenue share with tfl?

    • DayTripper

      Just read the article that you linked to and, yes, he is quite a funny bloke. I go back quite a lot further than him and remember the old East Stand, the peculiar structure just to the right of it, and even what is now the West Stand as pure terracing. If I have any sentimental feelings about Stamford Bridge, it is for that ground because that was part of my youth. That stadium disappeared long ago and the current incarnation bears no relation to it other than geographical location. I certainly have no sentimental attachment to getting on the District line at Victoria and changing at Earl’s Court. I think we need to move. We need to have a 65,000 capacity state of the art stadium (along the lines of the Emirates, I suppose) in order to boost our match day revenues. These ‘fair play’ rules will not go away. And I think our football would benefit from having a slightly larger pitch, but that is another matter.

  45. John

    I’m with Day Tripper in remembering the old Bridge. Fond memories of the old west stand going up mid-sixties – sitting with my Grandad in what much later became the benches with a building site behind us, to see us beat Roma 4-1. I actually quite like the fact that we’re still at the same location albeit a completely different ground. I think (admittedly now on special occasions only like a European knock out night) we get a good atmosphere going precisely because it’s the old ground and the pitch is a bit more hemmed in than at new stadiums; places like the Emirates and Wembley always seem to lack something in that respect for me because the noise seems to get dissipated up and out rather than being contained. But all that said I’m with what appears to be the majority view and think a move is a bit of a must. I hope we break the mould and get something that’s a bit retro so we keep a proper atmosphere. As a south Londoner I suppose it’s too much to hope we’ll pick up the Trigger theme and land in Peckham…..

  46. Anonymous

    I used to sit in the rickety old North Stand, with a perfect view of the touchline in front of the old East Stand.  

    The structure would vibrate violently as everyone stamped their feet when we had a corner.  Also, whenever I smell cigar smoke it brings back memories.  Even as a non-smoker I quite like an occasional waft and back in the old days, before political correctness was invented, loads of the old boys would be puffing away.

    Had a short spell on the West Stand benches during the East Stand development.

    But the real question is, who is the oldest poster on this blog?  My first game was in 1961 or 1962(ish) – can’t remember exactly.

    • Marco

      My first game was a 2-0 win at home to Manchester City in 1968 which I watched from The Shed.

      The North Stand – too cold and windy for me, particularly if you were sat high up at the back and there was a low attendance (i.e. games against the likes of Wrexham or Oldham).

    • Anonymous

      I know that “can’t remember exactly” feeling well, but my first game is easy because it was the week I moved to London at the beginning of the long, hot summer month of August 76 [the same month as Giles Smith’s v Carlisle I learned this week].

      It was a pre-season friendly v Fulham which ended 0-0 in front of a princely 12,001.

      I owe that last snippet to my trusty Ron Hockings book, which also tells me it was in something called “The Anglo-Scottish Cup” in which we bizarrely seem to have played only Fulham, Norwich and Orient.

      Go figure?

      You get my bravery/foolhardy award for ever venturing in the Old North Stand, too – certainly looked a deathtrap by ’76.

    • Austin Solari

      You must be just a few years older than I, Mark!  My first game was a 3-1 win in ’65. As I recall it used to cost me 6d. to get in ………… that’s a tanner to you young’uns LOL Ooooooooooops, you don’t know what they are either?  Ok, two and a half new pence!!!
      I was also stood behind the goal when Peter Lorimer burst the net with his free kick in ’67 @ Villa Park. No idea who the ref was but the jolly good fellow made him take it again cos he wasn’t ready LOLOL
      Tony Hateley’s goal took us through to Wembley against the horrid Spuds.

      • Marco

        Was intrigued by your post and looked up a match report for that semi-final.

        The ref was Ken Burns and the theory was that he kept giving decisions against the Yorkshires during that match because he and his mates in the Refereeing Association were constantly pissed off by Don Revie telling off Bremner, Giles, Hunter and Charlton et al to chase them all over the pitch whenever the whistle blew against them.

        Which might explain why we got away with it at Old Trafford in the 1970 Cup Final replay. In any other match Chopper would have been sent off for crippling Eddie Gray early on while Macreadie would also have gone for his studs up on Bremner’s head in the second half (richly deserved as that was).

        • Anonymous

          I’d forgotten just how quaint and decorous TV coverage was in the 60s/early 70s: nearly 40 seconds to produce an “action replay” of the shot at goal and absolutely no repetition of the dodgy tackle at all, let alone from 6 different angles in super slow motion accompanied by “he should be off” commentary 😉

  47. Anonymous

    We are a bunch of old people. I say it because this discussion “Who is the oldest Chelsea supporter” we have every season (I am for 4 or 5 years on this blog). 

    • Anonymous

      Clealry you’re not as old as you think otherwise you wouldn’t be able to remember we have had this discussion for the last 4 or 5 years.

      I can’t remember anything about last season.  Pardon?

      • Der_Kaiser

        Some bloke called Bates bought us and stopped us going skint – reckons he’s going to sell the pitch to the fans or something.  Sounds like a scam to me.

        • Anonymous

          .. but you know we can trust the Mears family to do the right thing by us….

          Meanwhile, the latest episode in the story that looks like giving us a treasure trove of quotes for another 2 months apparently:

          I particularly like this one from today:

          “If he wants to convince somebody personally he may serve them so well.
          And you trust him so much that you really believe he is sincere”

          Who was the wise one who first said “if you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made”, again?

          • bluebayou

            According to Mr Berezovsky (about Roman)

            “He is happy to spend days just socialising with important or powerful people if that is what is needed so he can get closer to them.”

            If that is the case I assume we will be seeing him at the Chelsea Pitch Owners Annual Dinner and Dance (main course? why “Surf ‘n Turf of course).

          • Cunningplan

            With regard the case, surely it should be thrown out now.
            If he claims RA is so clever and “intimidated” him to sell his shares, surely he would have “intimidated” him not to take him on in court.
            I rest my case M’Lud

      • Anonymous

        Mark, I am not going to argue, you right. I was born some years after you went to watch your first Chelsea game. 

  48. PeteW

    I’ve been away so missed most of this kicking off, but am very sceptical about the benefits of the move and feel rather depressed that after so many people worked so long and hard to keep the ground out of the hands of developers in the 1980s we should then flog it to them a few years later to make a few bob. The idea of our home turned into luxury flats actually makes me feel rather sick, and I think we would live to regret it.

    Because I am very skeptical about the value of a move in any way you choose to measure it. The Emirates may be a good looking ground that ‘increases match-day revenue’ blah blah blah, but it has none of the charisma of Highbury and Arsenal do not appear to have benefited in any psychological or material way from the move, as far as I can tell. It’s got even less atmosphere than Highbury and the resulting drain on results has meant that making all that extra money doesn’t seem to have done them much good – in fact, it’s just sucked more goodwill from the fanbase and increased their general reluctance to get behind the club. 

    Every other club that has moved has traded history and tradition for cash, and none of them seem to have come that well out of the deal. Bolton have done okay; City would be no better off without the Sheikh. Sunderland are no better, nor are Boro, nor are Southampton, nor or Millwall. They are all at pretty much exactly the same place they were before they moved. 

    So I’m not convinced at all by the argument that a move to a bigger ground is an immediate improvement on what you leave behind.

    But the main thing is leaving SW6. Chelsea’s location is absolutely crucial to who we are as a club, so much of the club’s attitude stems from the neigbourhood and the mix of swaggering Sloaney snootiness and the working-class areas around Wandsworth, Fulham and Battersea. We are a uniquely situated club, with a location that is rightly the envy of every other club in the capital, the closest club to Central London and that is a major part of our attraction. Any move would inevitably involve giving that up and it is not something I would willingly sign up to unless we know exactly where we are moving to. Would Abramovich have looked at us twice were we not located where we are? Who is to say we won’t need our location to attract investors again some time in the future? Moving three miles away from SW6? Well, that’s just too far for me.I could just about hack Battersea, but that’s as far as it goes with the options so far being debated.

    I couldn’t give a monkeys what the ground actually looks like, for me it’s the location that is absolutely vital. Stay in the area, and I’m still a fan; move into an area I don’t identify with, and I’d probably call it a day with Chelsea.

  49. Ososdeoro

    Pete, I rather agree with most of your sentiments, but if a move is to be made I believe the design of the new  stadium is absolutely critical. The stadium should be able to sell tickets by itself, regardless of the quality of the team. And by that I don’t mean scads of childrens’ play zones and lots of room to walk around. I think every element of the design ought to have “support of the team” in mind, and where that’s irrelevant, architectural interest. 

  50. PeteW

    Yes, I do kind of agree but I guess my point is that if we move to Wormwood Scrubs or North Kensington you couldn’t get me into the ground if it looked like the Taj Mahal. I simply would not be interested. But if we stay in the right area, I’d be happy to trot along to a ground that looked liked Steptoe’s scrapyard. It’s not as important to me as location – and given the example of the Emirates, even a decent ground in a decent location clearly won’t be the answer to everybody’s prayers.

  51. Anonymous

    I’m not sure the Emirates is the cause of the Arse’s relative decline.

    I rather agree with Pete on the architectural issues. A spectacular venue would be great but it seems so unlikely that extra money would be spent in that direction — unless Abramovich himself got excited about the design in which case it would presumably end up looking like a gigantic luxury hotel bathroom.

    But I do think the basic economics are unarguable, and I don’t think the issue of indebtedness (aka ‘financial fair play’, har har) is going to go away.

    I suppose it depends on what one considers the natural range of the club. White City for me would feel wrong. Battersea seems just about acceptable. Earls Court or Sands End ideal. But that stuff is about as subjective as something can be.

  52. PeteW

    The Emirates is not the sole cause of the decline, but it is contributory and it certainly hasn’t done much to help, as far as I can tell. 

  53. bluebayou

    To turn the Triggers Broom analogy on its head. The owners, players, managers, supporters even the stands come and go (Brompton is a reminder of our ultimate fate) so what stays the same if not the location itself?

    What is Chelsea Football Club if not the location? To one person it may be their memories and we can share our collective memories and document them. But once we are gone, if the location that gave rise to that common experience is gone then there is a lot less for those who come after to share.

    It’s like the Pyramids v The Library of Alexandria One is still a tangible place one is moving into the realms of myth.

    The key for Arsenal is that you could throw a stone from the old to the new (while we’re on the subject of libraries).

    For some this may not be important in the here and now, for others it trumps all.

    On a different tack, have they not felt financially constrained for a few years while the financing unwinds? I haven’t looked into it really. Everyone assumes it’s just Wenger wanting to play kids.

  54. Austin Solari

    Why did you all SIT in the North Stand???  I used to be one of the little herberts stood underneath it

  55. John

    Pleased I’m not the oldest – my first game was the opener for 1962-3, a 5-0 home win against Charlton. As I got older I stood in the Shed mainly through the late 60s and 70s and into the early 80s, but my foremost rose-tinted memory is being able to watch from behind whichever end we were attacking, and walking under the old east stand at half-time to swap. I remember doing this as late as 1970 I think. I don’t miss the cold, the aching feet and the sheer tiredness from standing up (sometimes for a total of about 4 hours for the bigger games when an early arrival was needed to get in!) but I do miss being able to move when finding myself near a twat….

    Back to the new ground – as I’ve said above I’m not anti though I do appreciate the reasoned and properly emotional points made by others who are. One point no one has raised is our ability to fill a 50,000+ venue every week. I’m not sure we have the fanbase to do it. 

  56. Dylbo Baggins

    I have only been supporting Chelsea since i naively wondered into Chelsea to start my working holiday as a 19 year old bar tender. That was back in 2001. I don’t feel like i have enough of  claim on the club to make a definitive comment either way on the ‘to move or not to move’ debate but i think it’s important to consider what makes a club (as mentioned above). 

    I think that the ground is the last thing keeping us from being completely prostituted to the marketing world. The history behind the name ‘stamford bridge’ is a far better tale than a ground named after a running shoe. Just being titles Stamford bridge gives it that sense that it’s still for the fans- not the tv audience. I would love to sit down with an Arsenal supporter and listen to their experiences with changing grounds. Obviously everyone has different emotional claims to the club but i still think we could learn from that arsenal mob.

  57. Jonty 1

    My first game at the bridge was v Man U in August 1961 when we won 2-0 .I think Bobby Tambling and Barry Bridges scored although not certain about that.Unfortunately it all went downhill from then and we were relegated that season.Saw a few games in div 2 the following season including being part of a 66,000 crowd when Stan Matthews and Stoke City came to town for a crucial promotion battle.We lost 0-1 but I was also  there for our 7-0 promotion victory against Portsmouth.Interestingly(in view of the debate about whether we can fill a larger stadium ) I was at the bridge the folllowing season as part of an even bigger crowd of70000  who saw us beat the mighty(at that time )Spurs 2-0inthe  FA Cup.However it was hell of a lot  cheaper(comparatively speaking)to watch games in those days.

  58. WorkingClassPost

    Pete’s got an interesting perspective. 

    Not sure that a move would bother me that much. I don’t get to many matches these days anyway, but as the kids get older, that may come, and transport links might be improved somewhere else, but Stamford Bridge is home, when all’s said and done.

    60,000 may seem like a nice number, but we’ve still got to find that many supporters who can afford the time/money to attend regularly, in this era of televised sport. Does anyone know what limit has been put on SB by the planners, would 46 or 48 be possible, or even 50K?

    Given the recession-induced relaxation of planning regulations, could we not put in another application, and maybe get Roman to do a little intimidating. or whatever it is that he’s such a genius at.

  59. Cunningplan

    My first game was 1906 against, ooh I forget now, but I think we won. If anyone else can remember who it was, there might be a reward.

    • WorkingClassPost

      Well my first game was long before that, at ye olde Stamfordde Bridge grounde.

      There aren’t many records of those days because pens hadn’t been invented, but we played Marchestre Rovers United – I think their manager was called Sir Alexe of Fergy or something.

      Can’t remember much about him, but he’d already been in charge for quite a few years, as I recall..

  60. PeteW

    Having given this some further thought, I reckon we would be moving to stand still. The money from a new ground would allow us to maintain our current lifestyle. Not sure if people quite realise that, or whether they think it is worth flogging the family silver for.

  61. Abhishek Srinivasan

    This moving business has me really nervous. I have been watching Chelsea on the telly for 15 years and am yet to visit The Bridge. The panic attack has ensured I plan a trip to London around Christmas and would love it if somebody could help me with a nice itinerary that would include as many Chelsea matches from the 23rd to the 31st Dec. It would mean a great deal it if I could squeeze in one game at St. Mary’s as well.

  62. bluebayou

    I listened to the interview with Bruce Buck that Blueboy Dave posted the other day.

    Mr Buck sounds like a reasonable fellow. I was reminded of those lines from Julius Caesar “For Bruce (err shouldn’t that be Brutus – all the best Bill ) is an honorable man; So are they all, all honorable men”.

    Then I thought about all the assurances Peter Kenyon made through the noughties about when Chelsea would be self-financing.

    Just because they are directors of a company doesn’t make people right. They have access to information and resources that we don’t. Many have a track record in business. But they can still be wrong.

    That’s why even if they don’t have a site in mind, we should still be seeing how the club intends to finance Chelsea in the future. We should have a chance to see the numbers and strategy on which they are predicating the wisdom of a move.

    Printing a list of European stadium capacities without telling us what income an 78,000 seater Stadium in Moscow generates is just meaningless (see brochure).

    Making this statement in their latest information in the Q&A’s :
    “CPO was never intended to hinder the club by restricting its ability to maximise its income.”
    is not only cheap, it’s untrue at this moment in time unless at some previous time they have taken action we are unaware of.

    It would be a pity to go through all the pain and end up looking back and seeing that all these promises of a bright future coming from both club and fellow fans amounted to the same as Peter Kenyon’s vision of financial self sufficiency.

    (Literary note: Bill Shankley and Bill Shakespeare have the same initials. What were the chances of that?)

    • Der_Kaiser

      I can’t imagine that any financial projections for the next 5-10 years for CFC, given the (potentially) unpredictable nature of football and its potential income streams didn’t include either a) expanding the Bridge in some way or b) upping sticks and shifting to a bigger ground.

      I’ve certainly worked for a fair few company directors who have rarely been right about any projection, forecast or other such piece of crystal ball gazing that is working out what the business will be doing in 5 years time.  But I’d make Pete right with his comment about moving to stand still; given the nature of some of the bigger fish that have arrived in our pond (both domestically and in Europe) by one route or another in recent years, we’re going to have a job on our hands staying in the race given the restrictions that financial fair play is apparently placing upon us.

      Arsenal are a good case in point; Wenger chose to ignore Roman as a rich hobbyist with no staying power and stuck to his guns, the board went with him and they have paid the price – he appears to have done the same with City and those season-on-season CL riches that presumably helped fund the Emirates are starting to look doubtful.  With key players departing, things could get very tricky sooner rather than later.At our end, the debate is already pretty polarised at the more vocal edges – those for / against the move at any cost – but I think the vast majority are somewhere in the middle; probably ambivalent to moving but could be persuaded if everything was ‘right’ for them (all very subjective of course).  I’m not a CPO, but based on the current proposal I’d probably vote no as it just isn’t clear enough; some more honesty about the process and I’d be happier to vote in the affirmative.  I’m pleased that the club have spelt out why an increase in capacity at the Bridge isn’t possible – we’ve known that to be the case for some time, but the question has obviously come back in recent weeks.

      No idea where all this will end – from a purely speculative point of view, I imagine that discussions with potential sites and financiers are imminent and we can’t go any further until the club has the guarantee that they can sell up / use the name etc.  Very difficult – we’ve celebrated the rise in our fortunes under Roman, and if the next stage is a 55,000 capacity Samsung Arena in Battersea, I suppose you could say it’s the price we’ve had to pay.  Whether it’s too high a cost remains to be seen – another one for the crystal ball gazers.

      • Cunningplan

        I take it JD that you’ll tell him that you’re the only real fan, and will become his best friend. 😉

      • WorkingClassPost

        So all those jibes about needing to win the lottery to buy a Chelsea season ticket were actually astute observations.

        Taken from their site’s blurb :-

        “Nine Elms has an area of 350 acres, with over 200 acres having 
            development potential…”

        With only 20 or so acres required by us, there must be plenty of scope for relocation across the river, but we would need to be part of a bigger development plan, and that could be why the club are being so cagey, or I might just be overly optimistic.

  63. Ososdeoro

    I don’t really see how they can afford to go to Portugal for their wedding if they’re buying a season ticket. 

    Anyhoo, speaking of moving, there’s the ongoing drama across town, and they’re starting all over again with the Olympic Stadium. It seems that the only definite plan is that the track will stay in. That’s fine for athletics, but I don’t understand the attraction this place would then have for Tottenham and, to a lesser extent, LO and WH. I DO understand that WHL is too small, but nothing kills atmosphere more effectively than a track (which is probably why Spurs initial offer was to do away with it). For game-goers, the seats are too far away, and for TV viewers it usually seems like no one is at the game. Much of the attraction that EPL has for TV viewers is stadium atmosphere. Of all the teams without a significant international brand, Tottenham is probably the team best in a position of obtaining one (okay, ManCity may not have an international brand yet either, but let’s pretend for the moment that they do). It is my belief that they would be abdicating that chance by moving to Olympic Stadium. One could argue that doubling attendance is worth more than slowly building up an international brand (such as where a trip to, for example, Kuala Lumpur yields 30,000 fans for a practice session), but if we’re worried about Chelsea drawing 60K to a brand new football-only stadium within three miles of SB, where is the guarantee that Tottenham would be able to draw the same amount to a crappy stadium nine miles away from its present home?

    Leyton Orient are probably smart to advocate a 25K seater, which is also a nice size for a track stadium. And its a good chance for the club to move up. And for them it’s basically across the street, although…again regarding the risk to atmosphere…their current stadium could nearly fit on just the field of the Olympic Stadium.

  64. Anonymous

    Meanwhile, I see Rooney has decided to write directly to UEFA in the hope of minimising his international suspension.

    I wonder if the ghostwriter will get a credit? Failing that, does Google Translate have an algorithm to deal with Scouse?

    • Cunningplan

      I managed to get hold of a copy of said letter LTB.

      Dear UEFA,
      I don’t know who will read this, but my name is Wayne Rooney and I am 25 years old. I play football for Manchester United, the best team in the whole world, and England, which is also a team in the world. I have nice hair. The reason I am writing u this letter is because I was shown a red card in England’s match against Montecarlo and I really really really really really don’t want u to ban me for more than one match because of it.

      After hearing what the newspapers said and seeing how angry everyone was on Twitter, I now know that kicking that other player was wrong. If I could go back in time to that moment, I would not kick him. Maybe I would shove him into a massive fire or karate chopped his neck instead because he was a turd and he deserved it, but I would not kick him. But I can’t go back in time because I am not Marty McFly. I did recently buy a pair of his shoes though for a lot of money that went to charity. They look cool but they don’t lace themselves like in the film. What a rip off.

      Anyways, I want to tell u that I am very very very very sorry. That’s four verys. Usually when I apologize to my wife Coleen for stuff, I only use three verys and she still accepts my apologies every time and u should too. So, again, I’m very x 4 sorry, I really really really really really want to play as many matches as I can in ur Euro 2012 tournament and my Marty McFly shoes don’t lace themselves. Isn’t that punishment enough?

      Thank u and u’re welcome for my time.
      Wayne Mark Nice Kindness Rooney Junior III

      P.S. My dad wants to know if u can tell him who will win Euro 2012 before it happens. So please do that too. He said there’s a fiver in it for u if u do.

      • Anonymous

        Wow, paragraphs and rhetorical questions and everything!

        That Wayne Rooney is cleverer than he looks. (Not hard, admittedly.)

      • WorkingClassPost

        And just how did you ‘get hold of a copy’ eh?

        I think we’ve discovered who the ghostwriter is.

        PS. There’s also no truth in the rumour that some really ugly scouse bloke put a bet on young wayne getting sent off in the 73rd minute.

    • Anonymous

      spot on, I had the same feeling today.  after they f…d everything around they decided to get to football.

    • WorkingClassPost

      Just read that beeb article and this bit had me rolling about:-

      “The Government identified three “immediate priorities” for action: a complete restructuring of the FA Board; the implementation of an FA-administered licensing system for the professional game; and significant changes to the make-up and processes of “football’s parliament”, the FA Council.”

      How come it’s so easy to threaten to legislate an ‘industry’ that they have little or nothing to do with and owes them nothing, yet they can do sod all with the banks, which they (we), mostly saved from collapse and own huge chunks of?

      We don’t they take that paragraph and apply it to the self de-regulating banking sector?

  65. Machchan

    So the business chaps in charge of CFC want to stop the CPO becoming an encumbrance to any potential move.  But why do this CPO deal now when CFC hasn’t even publicly committed to a move?  Correct me if I’m wrong but the club is still talking in terms of “…acknowledging the club’s need to be able to secure a site quickly should the decision be made to build a new stadium” source:,,10268~2480092,00.html  (thanks for the link, limetreebower).  No decision made, yet CPO’s hand is being forced.  At the very least this is poor PR.  

    See also this news about Bruce Buck buying up 100 shares (maximum allowable) in the CPO six months ago:

    The proper sequence of events should have been:
    1.  Formal decision to move based on proper analysis and justification;
    2. Communication of that decision to the supporters with a summary presentation of the analysis and justification; and
    3. Then this process of taking back pitch ownership rights from CPO (thereby avoiding a potential revolt).

    Talking of step 1, it is interesting to note comparing Arsenal’s last two annual reports (FY2010, FY2011), Arsenal’s rosy financial picture came from flat sales at Highbury which were worth £156.9m in FY2010 and dropped to £30.3m in FY2011 and have now petered out.  The resulting pre-tax profit has dropped from a healthy £56m to a perilous £14.8m and likely to be negative in FY2012 unless they find other ways to balance the books…  oh yes, sell the odd Cesc.


    • Anonymous

      If Chelsea want to negotiate for a new site then they want to be free to negotiate and negotiate in private.

      If they do the CPO thing after finding a site then they’ve got to go public on the transaction and then anything can happen.  Just look at West Ham as an example of how not to do a deal in public.

      The CPO original transaction was a mistake.  Ownership of the ground should not have passed from Chelsea but was forced on the club due to previous mismanagement.  The fact that the CPO helped in our darkest hour is appreciated but it’s now time to move on and hand the shares back.

      • Der_Kaiser

        I think that’s pretty much spot on, Mark; CPO and those who invested should be thanked, but the scheme was established in very different times and doesn’t have a huge amount of relevance to our current situation, as much as anyone insists there are parallels.

        I do appreciate CPO’s concerns – I don’t think the club’s position is entirely transparent and leaves them too much room to shift somewhere that most of us would deem too far away, but the worry is that the whole thing is being hijacked by the ‘no to any move’ brigade who are becoming a little short-sighted and paranoid for my liking.  I saw a tweet last night from CFCNet (I think) – deeply suspicious that Bruce Buck bought 100 CPO shares earlier this year, why would he do that etc.?  Plainly obvious why, but the fact that if you trade shares openly then you have to be prepared for someone with different motives from your own to buy them seemed lost on them – that’s life, I’m afraid.

        The West Ham thing does bring things into sharp focus – any transaction would be better confirmed in private (in as far as is possible); we all know how unseemly some of our transfer / manager sagas have been when conducted in the public gaze, so let’s not do the same with something as big as a possible ground move.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Interesting article.  Surprised to see that we picked up the biggest chunk of TV money from the Champions League last season, despite only making the quarters.

  66. Cunningplan

    It will be good to have normal footballing services resumed tomorrow. I think we owe Everton a beating, they’ve been a bit of a thorn in our side in recent games.

  67. Anonymous

    4 of December last year, when we played this fixture at Stamford Bridge I remember very well.  I had a ticket  for the game, but instead of going to see the game I spent the whole day in delivery room welcoming my daughter to the world. Chelsea drew the game 1:1 . I truly hope this time we do better!!!!  

  68. bluebayou

    Nice to get back to feetballs. Bayou Mark II will be accompanying me. So far he’s been to 3 live football games. Us against Villa 3 all, the 7-0 win over Ipswich and his aunts whisked him down the Spurs to see them beat Stoke 3-2. (he has a liking for Stoke and Bolton that I can’t explain).

    So that’s 18 goals in 3 games. I dunno how he’ll cope if it’s 0-0


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