LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Supporters are seen outside Stamford Bridge before the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on October 15, 2011 in London, England. Chelsea has made an offer to buy back the parts of Stamford Bridge sold to supporters in the 1990s in what has been seen as a precursor to a move to a new 60,000-seater ground. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
The CPO suspended sales of shares after large blocks were being bought up by people who were thought to be sympathetic to the club and their effort to move away from Stamford Bridge. From a legal standpoint, sales had to resume at some point as the CPO is a publicly traded company. This morning we had further confirmation of this, with Dane Levene sharing the results of the vote as it happened:
The outcome of CPO meeting: shares must go back on sale; there will be no new limit on number of voting shares. ie. 100 remains the max.— Dan Levene (@BluesChronicle) July 23, 2012
This would seem to be good news for anyone hoping to see Chelsea move away from Stamford Bridge to a much larger and more profitable home. It's pretty much the worst possible move for those hoping to force Chelsea to simply make whatever upgrades they can to their current home and forget thoughts of a new stadium. While shares were always going to have to go back on sale, the "say no" faction was certainly hoping that the resolution to limit shareholders to a maximum of 10 votes regardless of the number of shares they held would pass. It did not, and the limit remains the 100 that was in place at the time sales were suspended.
A new stadium is still a very long way away, but the results of today's vote are a very important step in that direction. It's entirely possible that we would have seen Chelsea be a bit more aggressive in the Battersea bid without the CPO potentially standing in their way, but unfortunately that ship has sailed at this point. This certainly doesn't make a quick move away from Stamford Bridge any more likely, but this situation will certainly bear watching going forward.