Buck - No stadium decision
Bruce Buck insists no decision has been made by Chelsea whether to leave their traditional Stamford Bridge home.
Last Updated: 06/10/11 7:02pm
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck insists no decision has been made by the club whether to leave their traditional Stamford Bridge home.
Speculation has increased this week after The Blues offered to buy out the 15,000 shares owned by fans in a group called the Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO), a non-profit organisation that owns both the freehold of the Stamford Bridge stadium and the naming rights of Chelsea football club.
The number of sites have been earmarked as possible venues should Chelsea decide to up sticks and move to a venue that could accommodate a much bigger ground than Stamford Bridge, thus increasing yearly revenue.
The likes of Earls Court, White City and Nine Elms have all been mooted and while Buck says the club are keeping their options open, they have held initial discussions with potential developers.
Letters have been dispatched to CPO shareholders and Buck is eager and willing to answer any questions they might have before voting whether to sell their shares back to the club.
The rumours persist in Chelsea moving away from their long-term home, however, Buck has categorically stated the club's hierarchy has not made a final decision.
"We don't know necessarily that Chelsea has to move," he told Sky Sports News. "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.
"The responses that I get by email or people who stop me on the street are generally positive. There are people that are looking for clarification like 'why don't you consider tearing down the hotel or whatever'.
"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.
"Of the sites that have been mentioned in the newspapers several developers, and in certain cases, several sets of developers with the respect to the same site have come and talked to us and to the extent that a group of developers we view as bonafide we've listened to them because we feel we have an obligation to listen and learn and keep an open mind about anything and everything. Nothing, nothing has turned into really substantive discussion."