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Oct 12, 2011

Terry supporting ground move

John Terry has called on the Chelsea supporters to back a potential move away from Stamford Bridge as Roman Abramovich looks to establish a club to compete with "the Barcelonas, the Man Uniteds".

• Chelsea eye possible stadium move
• Buck: No decision on move
• Blues accelerate cost-cutting plans

Chelsea are bidding to repurchase the freehold of Stamford Bridge from Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) and, although chairman Bruce Buck has said they are merely exploring possibilities at present, there has been opposition to the plans from Blues fans.

CPO bought the land in 1997, when the club was facing financial threat, to avert the possibility that it could be taken over by property developers.

However, with Chelsea's financial position now greatly improved, Blues captain and CPO president Terry believes it would be in the club's best interests to leave the 41,800-seater Stamford Bridge in favour of a new 60,000-seater ground.

"Obviously, I have great memories of Stamford Bridge, but what excites me is the thought of my kids, who are Chelsea through and through, being able to grow up watching the team play in a big stadium," Terry told the club's official website.

"We're talking about the next generation of kids beyond that as well. It excites me because I know for sure that we can grow. 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."

He added: "I wouldn't be coming out, speaking publicly and backing the club, if I didn't believe in it. I could quite easily say nothing and let the club do their thing but I've been here for so long and I've spoken to the owner on numerous occasions.

"He is Chelsea mad and wants us to be in with the Barcelonas, the Man Uniteds, and we know that doesn't happen overnight. All the fans who bought shares in Chelsea Pitch Owners have played a very important part in the history of the club. I am the president of CPO so I understand what it is about.

"If the club does decide to move then there are some sites in West London that spring to mind that are not too far and I don't believe Roman ever wants to take us too far away."

Supporters' groups are set to distribute 10,000 leaflets before this weekend's game against Everton to promote the 'Say No CPO' campaign as they attempt to persuade shareholders to vote against the club's proposal. It appears that there are no plans to disrupt the game, however.

A spokesperson said: "There's no rally, there's no protest - we're just trying to get our point of view across to as many shareholders as possible.

"A lot of them haven't received the literature or documentation from CPO, so we just want them to be aware of the vote, our website and the argument we have for them to vote no."

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