Most of this week's events have revolved around Companies House.
On Thursday July 9th CAST wrote to the directors of East Street Investments (ESI) requesting arrangements be made so that we could fulfil our right (under the Companies Act 2006) to inspect the Register of Members and The Register of Persons with Significant Control - both of which have to be maintained at the company's registered office (The Valley). This was because we wanted to establish whether control of ESI had passed to Paul Elliott and his consortium or not.
On Saturday morning we learned that the registered office of ESI had been changed on Friday 9th from The Valley to 62-66 Deansgate, Manchester.
On Monday we learned that Tahnoon Nimer, Radiu Florica, Marian Mihail, Andrei Mihail and Chris Farnell's appointments as directors of ESI had been terminated on Saturday 11th July
Marian Mihail informed Sky Sports News:
"I was very surprised yesterday evening to find out that the registered office of East Street Investments has changed, despite the fact that there had been no board meeting and no authorisation to notify the Companies House. I was even more surprised this morning, when I found out that the authentication codes for the Companies House have been - in my opinion, fraudulently - changed, and that further changes regarding East Street Investments have been updated to Companies House. The directors of ESI have instructed lawyers to file for an injunction if these unauthorised alterations to the company's public records will not be retracted by Monday, end of business day.
As we have all been made aware, there is a clear agreement with a clear schedule set in place for the sale of the club done by Panorama Magic to sell the entire shares of ESI. This agreement has now reached its final stage, the approval of the English Football League, so I cannot understand why Mr Southall is now making public statements on behalf of the entire ESI ownership since he does not have authority"
This statement served to confirm the belief that the sale of ESI to Paul Elliott and his consortium was contingent on the consortium gaining EFL approval but it didn't explain why Elliott was not open about this in his answers to CAST questions two weeks ago.
Claudiu Florica followed up on Monday:
"Following the events that took place over the weekend, we can now announce that we have obtained a court order that forces Mr Southall to revert all of the unauthorised changes in Companies House records and to abstain from further similar actions. While we are satisfied with the outcome, we still consider these attempts to intimidate us as criminal and we reserve our position for possible legal actions against him. Out of respect for the manager and his squad, we will not issue any further statements until the end of the last league game"
On Tuesday the registered office was changed back to The Valley and on Wednesday the five directors were re-instated.
In the High Court of Manchester a hearing was held today (Friday 17th) to decide whether the court order obtained by ESI against Southall should continue. The outcome was that the injunction preventing him from amending ESI's page on the Companies House website continues for twelve months. He was ordered to pay ESI's costs of the injunction in the sum of £21,000.
Our belief that the sale of ESI to Paul Elliott's consortium was contingent on EFL approval was confirmed during the hearing and we are writing to the club to request that they amend the misleading statement issued on June 10th which informed us that:
"East Street Investments, the company that owns Charlton Athletic, has been taken over by a consortium led by businessman Paul Elliott."
In the CAST annual season ticket intentions and attitudes survey conducted last week 81% of respondents said that ESI's top priority should be open and honest dialogue between club owners and fans. Furthermore, 76% said that being proud to say they support Charlton Athletic was very important to them. The events of this week do little to enhance either.
The full outcome of the survey can be seen here:
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 over 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: