We have a new round of comments from Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck about the attempted CPO buyout. Apparently Chelsea totally haven't made a decision about moving and are simply trying to make sure they can consider moving opportunities 'rationally'. Check out Mr. Buck's quotes after the jump...
We don't know necessarily that Chelsea has to move. We haven't made a decision on moving. We're just trying to be open to the options if we make a decision that it is the best thing for Chelsea football club. But that decision has clearly not been made. My message to the CPO shareholders is that we would like them to consider the letter that I wrote and the documents we sent them and have a proper dialogue and ask me questions. I'm happy to clarify anything then vote for what they think is best for Chelsea football club.
I try to go in some detail to everyone how we've looked at Stamford Bridge and that it's very difficult to expend. If we did expand it would only be by a few thousand. I've also tried to explain to people that we've made no decision whatsoever. There's no conspiracy here. We've made no decision whatsoever that Chelsea is going to move. That's the truth. We're just trying to be good business people here. If an opportunity comes along that makes sense for Chelsea and by that mean the fans, the club and the players we want to be in a position to be able to consider it rationally.
-Source: Sky Sports News.
So, let me get this straight. Chelsea have no plans for a move. They have no plans to make plans for a move. The reason they're making an offer to the CPO shareholders is so that they can rationally consider having plans.
On the one hand, that sounds like a whole bunch of nonsense.
Why risk annoying the CPO if there wasn't some sort of trigger? Why have Chelsea been called to action on this now? Why can they not rationally consider a move with the CPO in place? Sure, they couldn't move on with a plan without the CPO's consent, but if the plan was good it'd be much easier to run it past the CPO than this complete lack of a plan. Buck is saying that there's no plan to move, but Chelsea would only do this if there were, in fact, plans to move*, because it's sparked off a rather major PR war that the club should have anticipated.
*Which, as pointed out in comments earlier, would be very difficult to go public with anyway.
However, there's another perspective here, and that's the simple fact that the club can pursue a move more easily if they don't have a CPO-sized roadblock in front of every potential plan they might make. Having the CPO out of the way means that Chelsea can move quickly if Battersea or Earl's Court becomes a possibility. And if they can get a 'yes' vote - it's unclear whether the 'no' camp is an actual majority or merely a very loud minority - hey, they get to do whatever they want. At the expense of the big PR hit, of course.
So yeah. Clever (re: manouevring for a yes vote to quickly implement current semi-plans), dishonest (re: plans) or crazy (they have no plan and are doing this anyway). I have no idea what to think.