WHEN your father is, quite literally, part of the fabric of Stamford Bridge, that is a real commitment.
And it is the debt he owes to his dad that is firing Nick Candy’s bid to take over Chelsea.
Nick Candy (right) has revealed his dad’s (centre) ashes were scattered on the Stamford Bridge pitchCredit: Getty
The Brit businessman and property developer has an emotional attachment to the club, and the memories to back it up.
He has the vision, too.
And if Candy and his consortium do win the fight to win Roman Abramovich’s shares, they have vowed to ensure the WHOLE club is brought into the new world of football.
But it is that private bond with the club he was first taken to watch by his father at the age of four that makes this bid one with something deeper at its heart than just the desire to own a Prem giant.
Candy told SunSport: “I’ve been going since my dad first took me.
“He said I was four although I can remember going to games when I was seven or eight – and that it was quite scary then with fans standing up around me.
“I watched it through the years from Ruud Gullit and Luca Vialli and others.
“Dad died in 2013 and we had his memorial service at Brompton Oratory with the actual party afterwards in the South Stand at Stamford Bridge.
“I asked Roman for permission for us to use the pitch and he let us have a marching band singing Chelsea songs and then we scattered half my dad’s ashes on the Stamford Bridge pitch.
“My dad was a massive fan and of course a massive part of my life if before and now and hopefully he is looking down on me.
“I just love Chelsea. I don’t go to every single away game but when I am in the country and can go to games I go to as many as possible.
“In some ways it will be easier not to buy the club for me because I could get on with my day job.
“But I was super close to dad. These things come up every 20 years if you’re lucky. It could be 50 years. Roman has had it for 20.
“If you’d asked me four weeks ago if I was going to bid for Chelsea, I would have said you were mad.
“But the opportunity has arisen. We have the chance to really set the new benchmark of how things are done, the standards.”
That includes taking the Bridge apart and rebuilding it from scratch, no matter the cost.
And while he is dyed in the wool Chelsea, Candy says the club must look to copy Spurs – off the pitch at least.
He added: “Stamford Bridge is not fit for purpose in the 21st century. It’s just not.
“The issue at Chelsea is complicated because it is a very tight footprint to build a 60,000 capacity ground.
“You have to dig down a long way to get that number in but it needs to be done.
“That will mean relocating for a period of time, something like five years probably, to Wembley like Tottenham did.
“Spurs have the best stadium in the world, mind-blowingly brilliant. They have a hotel on the training ground for the players to stay in after a European game as well, so we need to look to do that as well.
“We are way behind on the facilities of a club like Tottenham – although Spurs are way behind us on the pitch.
“This is not about high-end real estate but about developing a state-of-the-art stadium which is not just used for football matches that has other utilities, like Tottenham have done with their stadium.
“If you build a stadium for £1.5billion pounds and only use it once a week that’s not a very good utility.”
Chelsea fans, more than anything, want an owner who can continue to take the club forward.
Candy, with his personal interest, says he and his team will provide that.
He said: “It’s like a poison chalice inheriting Chelsea on the pitch because they’ve done so well.
“But I still think we can continue to do very well because we had an amazing squad.
“Everyone needs to do it quickly.
“Whether it’s me who buys this or somebody else with their consortium, whoever buys it, all we care about as Chelsea fans is that the club is in safe hands.”
Candy has made a £2billion-plus offer to buy Chelseaa off of Roman AbramovichCredit: Rex
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.