Manchester businessman Paul Elliott issued the following statement on Thursday:
The club's legal department have been issued with a notice to order Thomas Sandgaard to ‘leave the club’. Lex Dominus, the company owned by Paul Elliott, has been granted ownership of ESI which was the holding company for Charlton.
Elliott says-The former directors of East Street Investments, had no authority to sell anything to anyone, not least agree the sale of Charlton Athletic Football Club to Mr Thomas Sandgaard,” “Put simply, it was not their asset to sell. “We have written to the club lawyers asking them to inform Mr Sandgaard immediately, and the English Football League. We never wanted to get to this position, and we certainly do not wish to cause further distress or disruption to Charlton Athletic or its supporters. We always argued that we had a legal agreement to purchase the club and that has now been justified by the making of the court order. Mr Sandgaard has been given notice to leave the club immediately. We, as always, remain willing to talk, but we also reserve the right to assert our legal ownership of the club."
CAST is conscious that fans may be worried about this. We want to clarify a few things. Short version: we're not worried.
Lex Dominus's statement amounts to nothing more than that they have sent a letter to the club asking Thomas Sandgaard to leave. It is not a "notice" or anything with legal status, nor does asking him to "leave the club" have any legal meaning. It is just a letter.
We believe that Panorama Magic ceased to engage lawyers some time ago, and the underlying claim (for the transfer of shares in ESI to Lex Dominus) has subsequently been determined in LD's favour. It is our understanding that it is correct that Lex Dominus have therefore obtained an order which states that they are entitled to have the shareholding in ESI transferred to them.
Remember, though, that ESI no longer owns anything, as far as we are aware. The shares in CAFC were sold by ESI to Thomas Sandgaard's company. LD being entitled to have the shares in ESI transferred to it means that it holds the shares in ESI, and not the shares in CAFC.
It is our view that the final sentence in Elliott's statement gets to the crux of the matter. It is an attempt by the infamous cast of characters to continue to treat our football club as their plaything, and to try to pressure Thomas Sandgaard into a payout. If they issue a claim, we have no doubt that he will defend it vigorously.
For now, we know what we would do with their letter, but other suggestions welcome!