Villas-Boas backs Chelsea ground move Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has joined John Terry in speaking out in favour of the club’s proposed repurchasing of the Stamford Bridge freehold.Blues owner Roman Abramovich wants shareholders of Chelsea Pitch Owners to approve the buy-back plan, which would pave the way for a new stadium to be built in the west London area.Opposition to the idea appears to be growing, but captain Terry – who is president of CPO – on Wednesday came out in support of the move, and Villas-Boas has followed suit.AdChoices广告The Portuguese said: “The most important thing for us it to position ourselves regarding the future. The club has made a wise decision in that sense.”Recalling his former club Porto’s success after moving to a new stadium eight years ago, he added: “If you go back to Porto now, not one single person remembers the old stadium.“Everybody is in love with the new stadium. It’s a beautiful stadium and everybody is happy with the move.“It took us into the future, brought us more revenue and made us play in a magnificent stadium. That’s my experience of the past.”CPO bought the Bridge freehold in 1993 after being set up to safeguard the club’s financial security and avoid ownership of the ground falling into the hands of property developers.Should CPO’s shareholders sell their 15,000 shares to the club for the £10m they collectively paid for them, Abramovich would own a highly valuable piece of land, the sale of which would provide a significant amount towards the building of a new stadium elsewhere.Many fans are sceptical and Trizia Fiorellino, chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group, recently told West London Sport she believed CPO’s 12,000 shareholders would almost exclusively vote ‘no’ to selling their ownership of the ground – and are going as far as to seek legal action to stop the Russian billionaire getting his way.Several supporters’ groups have united to try to convince shareholders of CPO to vote against the proposal.The ‘Say No CPO’ campaign are planning to distribute 10,000 leaflets before this weekend’s match against Everton.In return for the shares, Abramovich has offered incentives at any new stadium including exclusivity on season tickets, plus a guarantee that Chelseawould only relocate within a three-mile radius of the Bridge if they move before 2020.It is rumoured that the club have sought information on a number of possible sites, including Earls Court and Battersea Nine Elms.They have also been linked with a potentially viable plot of land in White City near the Loftus Road home of QPR, whose wealthy owners are also interested in the site.That appears to have prompted Chelsea’s board to act, which Terry alluded to when throwing his weight behind the buy-back proposal.The England defender said: “It’s not hidden that other clubs throughout Europe have gone out and bought sites for big stadiums. And we are not the only club with a rich owner. There are others, including QPR locally, who are going to look to expand in west London as well.“For us to go further, we might need to move, and we have to trust our owner. He has been amazing since he bought the club, along with our fans as well. No-one is saying it is going to be an immediate change but we need to be looking.“We have to remember that London is a hotspot, west London especially, and big development companies can build substantial flats and penthouses here, and if we’re not putting our name in the hat for these sites, then without a doubt they’ll be snapped up by developers.”last_img

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