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Chelsea Do Not Intend To Make CPO Proposal In 2012

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The Chelsea Pitch Owners have announced an extraordinary general meeting for June 25th, 2012, but unlike the last EGM there will be no vote on whether or not to sell the rights to the Stamford Bridge freehold back to the club. The CPO have posted an email from Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck that claims that the Blues will not be making another move for the freehold in 2012:

As we said in our statement to fans on Friday 4 May, while the prospect of developing a new stadium at Battersea Power Station could be very attractive for the club, we are at a very preliminary stage of what could be a drawn out process.

There are many other parties interested in purchasing the Battersea site and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in our efforts.

We also recognised in our statement to our fans that we have a number of hurdles to jump if we are to proceed with a stadium in Battersea, "including winning the support of our fans, the CPO shareholders and local Wandsworth residents, as well as securing the approval of Wandsworth Council, the Greater London Authority and heritage authorities."

We will therefore not be making any proposals to the CPO at its EGM in June nor do we currently intend to make any proposals before the end of this year.

This is a difficult situation for Chelsea to balance - they cannot reasonably go ahead with the Battersea purchase without being pretty comfortable that the CPO would allow them to move, but the CPO may not be likely to authorise a sale unless the club show that they're serious with Battersea. Ultimately, I think that the expectation is that Chelsea believe that the CPO will return the freehold if the Blues manage to secure a new, reasonable site. Hopefully the club doesn't misjudge the situation as badly as they did last time!