CAST explains Charlton’s shenanigans to Prince William

CAST was invited yesterday to share Charlton’s ownership case study with The Duke of Cambridge as part of the Fan-Led Review of Football.

In his role as President of the FA, HRH Prince William takes a keen interest in football. In fact he is a genuine fan of the beautiful game. He wanted to hear more about Tracey Crouch’s Fan-Led Review

so a meeting was arranged at Dulwich Hamlet FC. The Duke spent time with the host club - which is another which recently faced extinction due to the actions of malevolent ownership -  before sitting down with a wider group of fan representatives.

Heather McKinlay, Chair of CAST, can be seen on the far right of the photo above taking on the challenge of summarising the Duchatelet and ESI eras in a few sentences. Prince William listened attentively to the tale of neglect and disregard for fans under the absentee Duchatelet regime before the rapid descent into chaos, court and the brink of administration under ESI 1 and 2.

“It was a privilege to be asked to share our story" said Heather. "The Duke was clearly shocked and concerned by what had happened at Charlton - how a club could so quickly be crippled by the conflicts between football regulations and company law and the ease with which club money could be wasted on luxuries such as Range Rovers and Thameside flats. He sought reassurance that the club now had a more secure future. I was delighted to confirm that it is now stable thanks to Thomas Sandgaard - albeit we could do with improving our league position.”

Other fans present included Blyth Spartans supporter Kevin Miles of the FSA, Chris Paouros of Proud Lilywhites and Anwar Uddin, former professional footballer and Fans for Diversity Campaigns Manager at the FSA. The key messages from the supporters centred on:

- The need for an independent regulator to oversee football governance
- Strengthening of the tests for owners and directors
- Fairer distribution of finance throughout  the game
- Recognition that football clubs are cultural and community assets that must be protected
- The importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We also touched on the heartache of being on the wrong end of penalty shootout results. The future monarch felt this keenly, not only having seen England lose the Euro final but also witnessing first hand Chelsea knocking Aston Villa, his team, out of the Carabao Cup, on the previous evening.

Earlier this week, CAST board member Lauren Kreamer participated in an FSA-led Zoom call with Nadine Dorries - the new minister at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Dorries gave strong reassurance that the Government are committed to implementing the recommendations from the Fan Led Review.

Tracey Crouch’s full report will be published later this autumn.


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