SBD/November 8, 2011/Facilities

Chelsea CEO Confident Of Naming-Rights Deal At Stamford Bridge Before Next Season

Gourlay is confident Chelsea will secure naming rights in next six to eight months
Chelsea CEO Ron Gourlay said that he is “confident that the club will secure a naming-rights deal for its Stamford Bridge stadium before the start of next season, to help in its ‘challenge’ to break even and qualify within UEFA's ‘financial fair play’ rules,” according to David Conn of the GUARDIAN. Gourlay said, "Active conversations are going on with blue chip partners and I am confident we will have naming rights at Stamford Bridge within the next six to eight months. The aim is to have it in place before the start of next season" (GUARDIAN, 11/8). Meanwhile, in London, Dominic Fifield reports the Takeover Panel, an independent body which “supervises and regulates takeovers and administers the City code on takeovers and mergers,” is considering “an investigation into the sudden rush in sales of shares in Chelsea Pitch Owners PLC since Chelsea Football Club indicated a desire to repurchase from the company the freehold to the land upon which Stamford Bridge is built.” The solicitors “expressed concern at the sheer volume of shares that were purchased once Chelsea's offer had been made public at the beginning of October and whether those purchases, sanctioned by CPO, had unfairly influenced the vote.” There are also “fears within the group that shares were undervalued at [US$161] each, and that a decision agreed at last year's CPO annual general meeting that only [US$161,000] of shares would be sold in 2011 appears to have been ignored by the three-man CPO board” (GUARDIAN, 11/8).
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