A statement was posted on the CAFC website on Wednesday announcing that East Street Investments Ltd had been taken over by "a consortium led by businessman Paul Elliott."
The full statement can be seen here. The businessman Paul Elliott is not the former Charlton player.
CAST responded as follows:
"Like many Charlton fans we hope we can be forgiven for responding with some weariness and a good deal of caution to the news of the sale of East Street Investments Ltd to a consortium led by businessman Paul Elliott .
We are relieved that the ownership of the club by Tahnoon Nimer and Matt Southall has formally come to an end. During their ownership the club has been charged with misconduct by the EFL; failed to provide adequate proof of funding; been subject to a transfer embargo; squandered funds on extravagant expenditure and has dropped into the relegation places.
However, we know very little indeed about Mr Elliott nor about the make up of his consortium. More importantly we have not been given any clue about his motivation in taking on, in the middle of a pandemic, a struggling football club which has crippling liabilities to former owner Roland Duchatelet.
We have urgent questions about the consortium's short, medium and long-term plans; their ability to prove source and sufficiency of funds to the EFL and their position vis a vis Mr Duchatelet and the leases on The Valley and the training ground."
On Thursday Paul Elliott formally introduced himself via the CAFC website:
He set out his stall: "I would like to make clear that I got involved in this as a business venture. I’m not one of these people, which other clubs have experienced as well, who jump in, get hold of a club, draw money out, take salaries and cars etc. I can assure everyone that I will not be taking any money out of the club until it can afford to do so and is sustainable. We note with interest his comment that: “If someone wants to come along and put money into the club as an investment, then the door is open and we are willing to speak to people because it is what the club needs. If someone can do a better job, then I am happy to work with other people.”
CAST has written to Paul Elliott requesting a meeting as soon as possible to put questions to him on behalf of supporters.
Meanwhile, many Charlton fans have been keeping an eye on the developments of Peter Varney's plans to take over the club in conjunction with Andrew Barclay - grandson of Sir David Barclay. In an article in The Athletic on Thursday Jack Pitt-Brooke reported that Varney plans to meet the club's new owners this week in an attempt to finally bring the boardroom chaos of this season to an end. He quoted Varney as saying:
"We have kept a tight dialogue with Chris Farnell, who had been dealing with this thing. So all over the weekend I have been clear on what is going to happen. The next stage is we are about to enter into discussions with them - that's Andrew Barclay and myself - about where the club goes next. Until that meeting with Paul Elliott takes place we have an aspiration to buy the stadium, buy the training ground, sort out the ex-directors and give the club a clean slate"
He continued; "Paul is describing himself as a property financier - he has made his money in London and Manchester but as I sit here today I haven't had the benefit of sitting opposite him and listening to what his motives are. But they've been kind enough to keep me informed about the whole movement of it. Because they wish to have a conversation with Andrew about how we perhaps solve Charlton's issues and get back to talking about football, and not talking about boards of directors and owners, and everything else that goes with it"
CAST are aware of recent publicity about claims against CAFC and ESI for unpaid invoices plus threats of legal action. We will be addressing this issue in full in the near future.
We also as usual put a number of questions from supporters to club director Marian Mihail but he told us that, given the recent change of circumstances, he was not in a position to respond this week.
Meanwhile there is a football match to look forward to on June 20th and the club have announced how supporters can watch the remaining nine games of the season:
Over 1000 Charlton supporters have joined CAST in the last two months - no doubt motivated by the parlous state of affairs at our club. This has pushed our total membership towards 2500 making us one of the largest supporters' trusts in the country. Together we are stronger. You can join here:
If you are concerned about the future of our club sign up to the OUR CLUB campaign here: