At the CAS Trust Q & A session with the Charlton senior management team on April 30th Katrien Meire was asked by a CAS Trust member why her salary was not declared under directors' emoluments in the club's 2015/2016 accounts in line with conventional practice. Katrien Meire replied that her salary was included under general staff costs.
CAS Trust followed this up by writing to the club directors on May 11th to bring their attention to the fact that UK law on this matter is laid out in a statutory instrument which requires declaration of “the aggregate amount of remuneration paid to or receivable by directors in respect of qualifying services”
We pointed out that qualifying services are defined as "services as a director of the company and services while director of the company either as director of any of its subsidiary undertakings or otherwise in connection with the management of the affairs of the company or any of its subsidiary undertakings."
Given this definition we were surprised that the club accounts (and the accounts of Baton 2010) included the note that "during the year no director received any emoluments in respect of their services as a director" and we wrote to the directors for their comment on the apparent inconsistency.
We received a reply from David Joyes (Chief Financial Officer) on 22nd June in which he merely reiterated that "none of the directors of CAFC are remunerated for their services as a Director". He did not address the question we had raised about how this complied with the legal definition of qualifying services as being "in connection with the management of the affairs of the company". He did note that "our auditors have confirmed this disclosure as being appropriate before they signed the audit report".
CAS Trust will continue to pursue this matter because, as part of the wider supporters trust movement, we believe that football clubs should operate within the law and should provide their supporters with the maximum transparency possible in terms of club financial matters. There will always be debate about the extent to which clubs should be expected to share information which is commercially sensitive but we believe this matter is purely one of compliance with the law and financial convention..
The letters of 11th May and 22nd June are reproduced here: