CAFC have announced that an Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) has been signed with SE7 Partners. This will now be submitted to the EFL along with applications under the Owners and Directors Test for key members of the consortium.
SE7 Partners will need to demonstrate source and sufficiency of funds to the EFL. This process is now much more rigorous to avoid what happened when ESI walked through the doors at The Valley for £1 and then failed to submit the required proof, plunging our club into chaos and leaving a legacy of the football club separated from the assets of The Valley and training ground. It is not presently possible for a club to submit such paperwork to the EFL ahead of a signed SPA. We understand the process is likely to take several weeks due to EFL resources and the need to ensure checks are robust.
So, in the meantime Thomas Sandgaard remains the owner of the club and Peter Storrie the CEO. It is obviously a crucial period in terms of transfer market activity and preparation for next season. Storrie has assured fans that plans are in place and we understand that a budget and approach has been agreed by all parties. We will need to rely on all to respect this and to act in the best interests of the football club during this phase. It is going to be difficult but fans will simply have to be patient (to quote former manager Russell Slade) while the EFL process runs its course.
CAST have previously been in contact with Jim Rodwell, who was interim COO at The Valley for several weeks in December/ January when SE7 Partners had a first period of exclusivity to negotiate with Sandgaard. Assuming the takeover completes, Rodwell would be installed as Chair and lead the day to day running of the club. The other known key investors are Joshua Friedman, his son Spencer and Gabriel Brener. We have been assured that they are” bona fide and enthusiastic” and will be able to meet the EFL requirements. There may be other investors within the consortium whose names are not yet in the public domain. Charlie Methven will have a small stake in the club. Rodwell advised CAST that Methven will be on the holding company board and will not have a day to day executive role. Fans of Sunderland and other clubs have cautioned Addicks to be on their guard concerning Methven who has a reputation for causing disunity.
Thomas Sandgaard arrived at Charlton in mid 2020 in a blaze of glory, lauded as saving the club from the clutches of wrong'uns and chancers. We hoped this would mark a change in fortunes both on and off the pitch but the Sandgaard era has only resulted in disappointment and inability to compete towards the top of League One. Sandgaard did not install an experienced CEO at The Valley until very recently and this lack of football nous has been all too evident. Over the past ten years, Charlton have suffered under a succession of poor owners. Fans have become increasingly sceptical regarding promises and fine words at the outset that do not translate into action. At CAST we will maintain such a position and scrutinise not only what SE7 Partners say but also what they do – providing this deal concludes successfully.
As a basis for how the club is run we have - in conjunction with other fan groups - developed The Addicks Charter
and this will underpin our engagement with the new owners. We are pleased that Dean Holden has already endorsed it.