The brilliant Ben Rumsby of the Telegraph has shared some massive news regarding the European Super League this afternoon, pertaining to the rights the Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC (CPO) hold over the club.
Rumsby reports that a meeting is set for Thursday between board members of the CPO after Chelsea’s decision to join the heavily criticised European Super League.
The CPO own the freehold to Stamford Bridge stadium, as well as the naming rights to the side’s home, per the Telegraph, whilst it’s also noted further down that they own the naming rights of the club itself.
Chelsea faced the threat of eviction from 1984 until the CPO was founded in 1992, when the freehold was bought back from property developers to whom it was earlier sold to fund renovations.
Rumsby states that the CPO are ‘re-examining’ the 199-year lease that they hold, perhaps searching for a legal right that could force the Blues’ plans to participate in the Super League to be shattered.
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It’s almost a decade, of course, since CPO delivered arguably the club’s – and Roman Abramovich’s – most chastening defeat.
— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) April 20, 2021
The Star add that 13,000 fans of the club hold 23,000 individual shares in the non-profit organisation set up to protect the club’s history, whilst the body’s president is none other than legend John Terry.
It’s added that the CPO also own the license to the club’s name, which Chelsea can only keep as long as they play home matches at Stamford Bridge or receive 75% of shareholder votes.
As Rumsby notes, the CPO have already dealt Roman Abramovich and the club’s most ‘chastening’ defeat in the past, as they thwarted attempts for the side to be moved to a new stadium.
We can only hope that the CPO have the power to at least threaten the plans for the Blues to participate in the Super League, though it may be tricky.
All that we know so far is that the freehold and naming rights are owned, but the controversial decision to sign up to the new competition may not be enough to break the lease. We’ll have to wait and see…