We’ve heard directly or indirectly from two of the leading bidders for Chelsea Football Club over the weekend, with the Telegraph running a big profile on Todd Boehly and Goal getting the inside info from Saudi Media. We also got news of Sir Martin Broughton potentially joining, either with his own bid or someone else’s — or perhaps just as a representative of the government to help oversee a smooth and legal transition. Other players remain in the game as well, possibly as many as 20, with at least a handful of serious ones in what is expected to be a deal around £2-2.5b.
One of those seems to be Chelsea fan and property developer Nick Candy, who, like Sir Broughton, might end up joining someone else’s group rather than lead his own effort. But should he end up in a position power, he claims that he would not only lead a stadium redevelopment effort (a common promise among all the candidates) but would “advocate for” better fan representation at the upper levels of the club.
“Mr Candy cares hugely about the future of the club and believes that the fans and the community are central to its continued success. Should his bid be successful, Mr Candy would advocate for a fan representative to join the board so supporters become part of the decision-making process.”
-Nick Candy spokesperson; source: Sky
The idea of a “golden share” for fans has started to gain a bit of momentum over the past year, thanks in part to the failed (for now) European Super League and the subsequent efforts of MP Tracey Crouch. Essentially, it would give fans the power to help decide or veto certain decisions made by the club, such as moving the club, changing badges or colors, even appointing directors in some cases, and so on — things related mostly to club history and heritage more so than the day-to-day operations.
It’s fan “involvement” rather than (majority) fan “ownership”, but it’s official and meaningful, not just a token gesture or infrequent consultation.
Chelsea Supporters’ Trust have been actively calling on anyone who’d listen to implement a golden share. This time of uncertainty and transition is certainly as good a time as any to let us fans reclaim a bit more actual ownership of our club.