Report of CARD meeting with EFL

Representatives of CARD met this week with the EFL as part of the EFL's review into the situation at Charlton Athletic. This meeting follows previous EFL meetings with (1) Roland Duchatelet, (2) CAST board members and (3) CAFC staff.

CARD have issued the following report:

CARD representatives have today met EFL officials in London at the league’s invitation as part of its ongoing review into the situation at Charlton Athletic. An amicable and wide-ranging discussion took place and the tone was positive.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey confirmed that he is still in contact with club owner Roland Duchatelet, including over the sale of the club.

The EFL is clear that Duchatelet wants to sell the club. Harvey said that a deal had been at an advanced stage in 2018 but the buyers - known as “the Australians” - had then been unable to provide additional information requested by the EFL (in line with its regulations) to allow the transaction to proceed. That information is still outstanding. Once it is provided, the league would look to progress matters. This can be done quickly.

The EFL confirmed that their review would include issues raised publicly by Duchatelet as well as their own lines of enquiry and that their findings would be shared with all participants in the review, including CARD, and hence come into the public domain. Harvey recognises the need to expedite the process but may also seek to meet the local press for their perspective before finalising it.

CARD pressed the EFL on the issue of the outstanding staff bonuses and expressed concern at the delay in resolving the situation. We were reassured to hear that the EFL’s involvement in it is ongoing and that Harvey plans to put a proposal to Duchatelet to resolve it in advance of the general review being concluded.

We spent some time discussing the EFL’s club charter and expressed concern that it did not cover the relationship between clubs and supporters.

We questioned the current governance of the club and the lack of day-to-day executive oversight. The EFL said that the club was meeting the requirements of its regulations but recognised the extent to which the football administration and crowd safety arrangements in particular are currently dependent on a small number of dedicated long-serving employees.

The EFL has asked us to record that it recognises that the fact no matchday protests are currently taking place does not mean that Charlton supporters are happy with the present situation.

The meeting was attended by Heather Alderson, Alan Davis and Rick Everitt for CARD and Shaun Harvey, John Nagle (head of policy) and Mark Rowan (communications director) for the EFL.