There is still much to clarify about the precise composition of our new ownership consortium -Global Football Partners - not least the percentages of their various shareholdings. We hope to be able to establish a clearer picture soon.
In the meantime we are grateful to our friends at The Charlton Dossier for the research underpinning this article.
We have divided the information into two parts. The first is a bite-size edition for those who are interested in the names and brief background information. For those who wish to develop a deeper understanding the second part goes into a lot more detail. We recommend a pot of strong coffee unless you are the sort of person for whom phrases like “an event-driven hedge fund focused on value-oriented equities and high yield and distressed credit” slip off your tongue.
(NB. Next week we aim to publish an article about the CAFC board - including investor and Charlton fan Gavin Carter.)
PART 1 (bite-size)
GABRIEL BRENER & FAMILY – Major Shareholder
Gabriel Brener is Chief Executive of Brener International Group LLC - a Los Angeles-based private investment firm which "focuses its direct investments in businesses directed to U.S Hispanics, sports and entertainment, consumer products and real estate.” He was majority owner of Houston Dynamos FC from 2015-21 and is believed to still hold a minority shareholding.
We understand that there are three people in the Brener family shareholding group. The family comprises Gabriel, his wife Deborah and their daughter and three sons. There is very little evidence available of the public lives of Deborah and daughter Jennifer so it is likely that two of the three sons - Jay (aged 37), Nathaniel (27) and Philipe (26) - are the other shareholders.
JOSHUA FRIEDMAN & FAMILY – Major Shareholder
In 1990, after careers with Goldman Sachs and Drexel Burnham Lambert, Josh Friedman co-founded Canyon Partners. He is now Co-chairman and CEO of Canyon Partners which is based in Los Angeles and is one of the largest hedge funds in California. He holds multiple academic qualifications in physics, politics and economics, business and law. He is an active philanthropist but no evidence has been found of an on-going interest in sport.
We understand that there are five members of the Friedman family shareholding group. These are likely to be Joshua's wife Beth and their three sons Spencer (age 33), Wesley (30) and Oliver (25).
(Charlie Methven has confirmed that the Brener and Friedman families hold over 51% of the shares in Global Football Partners.)
WARREN ROSENFELD & FAMILY – Major or Minor Shareholder?
Warren Rosenfeld is the third generation to work in the family’s waste recycling business - Calbag Metals - based in Portland, Oregon but with offices in Japan, Korea, India, China and Taiwan. He is also involved in other related companies including Calbag Resources, which specializes in the demolition of power plants, dams, factories and industrial structures of all sizes. He and his wife Sheryl have two adult children - Will (aged 27) and Alie (25) - and we assume they are all involved in the family shareholding.
ACA FOOTBALL PARTNERS PTE. LTD (Singapore) – Minor Shareholder
ACAFP was founded by its Japanese director and CEO Hiroyuki Ono (known as Hiro) who has over fifteen years of experience in Private Equity and Investment Banking. He launched ACA Football Partners "with his passion to connect the European football scene and Asian fans, to further enhance the connection between the two regions."
In February 2022, ACAFP became the owner of Belgian second division club KMSK Deinze and in 2023 they took over the Spanish Group nine club Juventud Torremolinos Club de Fútbol.
Hiro Ono has been quoted as saying: "You may be sceptical abut who we are and what strategies we have. Over the past year we have focused on connecting Asia and Europe with football through the multi-club ownership model, but we are also aiming for releasing the value of sports and create a borderless community. Our door is always open, we want to learn a lot from England - the home of football - and also to expand Charlton's appeal more globally"
MARC BOYAN - Minor Shareholder
Marc Boyan is a London-based businessman who is founder and CEO at Miroma Group and Miroma Ventures. He is a passionate Chelsea fan who has directorships or significant control at many other companies including with Gary Neville, with whom he is a fellow director at Buzz 16 Productions Ltd.
Miroma Group is a media bartering firm which allows companies to pay for a percentage of their advertising with their own products or services. Boyan explained as an example: "I barter where possible. I once bartered flights worth £30,000 with an airline that wanted a Christmas party. I used my nightclubs (Bar Rumba and Maya) to give them a party of that value.”
In February 2023 he founded a new company - Miroma CAFC Holdings Ltd - presumably to explore bartering opportunities in football.
MUNIR RUPEN JAVERI – Minor Shareholder
Munir Javeri is founder and managing partner of Sahana Capital, based in Greenwich, Connecticut which provides "investment advisory services to privately offered pooled investment vehicles, typically pursuant to an investment management agreement or similar document”.
His career has been in investment and asset management - mainly in New York, but including three years in London with Gandhara Capital. He is said to be a close friend of Rishi Sunak.
CHARLES METHVEN – Minor shareholder
Charlie Methven is the public face of Global Football Partners. He is a life-long supporter of Oxford United and was a founding committee member of the club's supporters' trust. In 2014 he launched an attempt to buy the club with subsequent business partner Stewart Donald, but was outbid. He is a vocal supporter of the need for an Independent Regulator for football.
He made a career change from journalism to public relations and in 2016 he founded Dragon PR Holdings Ltd (now called Naga Advisory Ltd). The following year he was listed by SpearIndex in their top ten reputational managers list, largely for the work his company did for two “Leave” campaigns at the time of the UK’s EU Membership Referendum in 2016.
In 2018, with Stuart Donald and Juan Sartori, he founded Madrox Partners Ltd and took over Sunderland AFC. He held a minor shareholding in the club and became CEO. He resigned his Sunderland directorships and withdrew from active involvement at the club in December 2019, citing “family and work-related reasons”, but he retained a minority shareholding until June 2022. There are many conflicting views about his time at Sunderland and some fans are very critical (see Part 2 below) but, in an interview with The Charlton Dossier in May this year, he was keen to stress:
"You can argue the whys and wherefores the ins and outs etcetera. I think generally speaking ownership should be judged on where the club was before they got there compared to where it was after they left. And I think our record at Sunderland you know, leaving the club debt free, operationally breakeven, with the men’s and women’s teams having been promoted and the Academy under 18 team being the national champions. I think that is a good record."
In the same interview he described his role at CAFC as "probably the person from TopCo, who is expected by the other investors in TopCo to be able to tell them what’s going on, sort of link between the chairman and the technical director and the investors because the investors are mostly pretty big players with much busier lives than me."
He also described as one of his strengths: "I think I am naturally suited to making money. I do bring in money, not just investors, but squad sponsors and advertisers and all that type of stuff."
The full interview:
PART 2 (heavyweight; red text denotes links)
BRENER FAMILY – California, with connections to Texas & Mexico – Major Shareholder
A native of Mexico, with business connections both there and in California where he now lives, Gabriel Brener also has deep roots in Houston, Texas. His attachment developed as a child when he and his family would visit his grandmother regularly. He and his wife Deborah were married there. Brener and his wife have four children – sons Philipe, Nathaniel and Jay, and daughter Jennifer – and he has two sisters, Susana and Lili, who each live in Houston.
A football (soccer) fan since boyhood, he has held shares in Houston Dynamos FC since 2008, the year he founded Brener Sports And Entertainment, LLC (Delaware, US) He became Dynamos’ majority owner 2015-2021, and is believed still to have a minority shareholding. His ownership met with mixed reviews, with some Houston fans claiming on social media that Brener lost interest when his investment into the team did not bring the success he expected. We hope his expectations at Charlton are realistic.
Gabriel Brener graduated from Woodbury University, Burbank, California, with a degree in Business Administration. He has headed various business organizations since the late 80s. In 1987 he began managing family investments for the Brener International Group, LLC, and is now the Chief Executive Officer of Brener International Group, LLC, “a Los Angeles-based private investment firm and family office with global business and investment interests. The Group’s current investments comprise holdings in private companies, publicly traded companies, and other ventures. The Group acquires and builds ownership stakes in established, well-managed companies with solid market positions and strong growth potential. The Brener Group focuses its direct investments in businesses directed to U.S Hispanics, sports and entertainment, consumer products and real estate.” And speaking of real estate, Brener has owned a succession of multi-million dollar estates near Los Angeles, most recently in Beverley Hills .
There are rumoured to be a total of 3 persons in the Brener family shareholding group. There is very little public information about the public lives of Gabriel's wife Barbara or their daughter Jennifer so we assume that the investors are Gabriel Brener and 2 of his sons, here is a little information about each of them.
Jay Brener Harris (aka Jay Brener) is the oldest, born c.1987. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management by Woodbury University, Burbank, California, in 2011, since when he has held positions in three high-end real estate companies in Beverly Hills.
Nathaniel Brener was born c.1996. He was awarded a Bachelor's degree Business Administration and Management by Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2020, and then joined his father at Brener International Group, Greater Los Angeles Area, as a Partner.
Philipe Brener is the youngest, born c.1997. He was awarded a Bachelor's degree in Management (Major), and Finance (Minor) by Suffolk University - Sawyer Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, in 2019. He also joined his father at Brener International Group, Greater Los Angeles Area, as a Partner. As can be seen from his photo, he is a Dynamos fan.
FRIEDMAN FAMILY – California and Texas – Major Shareholder
Joshua Stephan Friedman (aka Josh) was born in 1956 and grew up near Boston, Massachusetts. There is no doubting his academic prowess in a wide field of studies. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1976, where he studied physics. In 1978 he went to the University of Oxford on a Marshall Scholarship where he received a master's degree in politics and economics, graduating with honours. He then returned to Harvard as a Baker Scholar, earning an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1980. He also graduated magna cum laude magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was the recipient of the 1982 Sears Prize.
After his first degree, Friedman was employed at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he worked in their M&A group until moving to study in the UK. In 1983 Friedman joined Drexel Burnham Lambert and later became director of capital markets for high yield and private placements Drexel Burnham Lambert was an American multinational investment bank that was forced into bankruptcy in 1990 due to its involvement in illegal activities in the junk bond market.
In 1990, Friedman and Mitchell Julis, who had been his room-mate at Harvard, co-founded Canyon Partners, an employee-owned alternative asset management company that is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. He is currently Co-founder, Co-chairman and CEO of Canyon Partners, which is one of the largest hedge funds in California.
Friedman has owned residential property in New York since the 1970s, first in Brooklyn and more recently in Manhatten, but for many years the main family home was a multi-million dollar estate in Beverley Hills, then Monticito, Santa Barbara, within commuting distance of Canyon’s offices in Los Angeles. However, in 2021 Friedman moved the HQ of Canyon Partners to Dallas, Texas, to have room for expansion, and he and wife Beth bought themselves another mansion in Highland Park, Texas.
Friedman is an active philanthropist, but no evidence has been found of an on-going interest in sport. It is rumoured there are 5 persons in the Friedman family shareholding group; presumably Joshua, Beth and their three sons, as shown below:
Spencer Marc Friedman born c.1990, graduated from Harvard University in 2012 with an AB degree in Government & Economics, and was also a member of the university wrestling team. He then went to New York University, where he was awarded a M.A. in Real Estate.
Spencer worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs, before becoming Vice President at Gates Capital Management, “an event-driven hedge fund focused on value-oriented equities and high yield and distressed credit”. He is now Chief Investment Officer of Pumada LLC, a private investment company of which his father is manager and trustee , and which shares its name with the family’s Californian mansion, La Pumada.
Wesley Alan Friedman was born c.1993. He graduated from Harvard College in 2016 with an AB History & Science, Cum Laude, since when he has been a member of Harvard Alumni in Healthcare. This is “a virtual network connecting Harvard alumni to one another and reconnecting them to Harvard. The platform allows for an easy exchange ideas and resources within medicine, science, and healthcare. Its goal is to spark discussions around topical issues, connect researchers working towards shared goals, and provide job boards linking students, residents, and scientists-in-training with established experts in a variety of fields around the globe”. He is currently Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors.
From 2017 to 2019, Wesley worked for Celmatix In the greater New York area, first as an Operations Associative, and then as Senior Associate, in Business Strategy & Operations. Since then he has worked for 8VC in the San Francisco Bay area, first in the investment team and now as Principal.
Oliver Bennett Friedman was born c. 1998. He graduated from Stanford University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, since when he has worked in New York as a Real Estate Acquisitions Analyst at Starwood Capital Group, a private investment firm which was founded in 1991.
ROSENFELD FAMILY – Portland, Oregon – Major or Minor Shareholder?
Warren James Rosenfeld was born in 1955, and is the third generation to work in the family’s waste recycling business, Calbag Metals. This now has three sites in Portland, Oregon, which specialise in non-ferrous materials, and a relatively new (2008) facility in Tacoma, Washington for recycling steel. Its products are sold internationally. Calbag has representative offices in Tokyo; Seoul, Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Bombay, India; Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou and Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The company prides itself on its green credentials, in an industry where these have often been neglected to the detriment of the local environment. For example, all materials are dealt with under cover to minimise the risk of polluting run-off when it rains.
Rosenfeld is involved with several companies which are related to Calbag Metals, including Calbag Resources, which specializes in the demolition of power plants, dams, factories and industrial structures of all sizes. He is an officer of Brock Development Co, WJR Llc., WJR II Llc , and WJR Tacoma Llc , all based in Portland – the details of these four companies are yet to be researched.
He and his wife Sheryl have two adult children, Will J. Rosenfeld (born c.1996) and Alie Rosenfeld (born c.1998), who are presumably involved in this family investment group. As teenagers, Will enjoyed basketball and Alie was an enthusiastic tennis player. Sheryl is Community Volunteer and Co-Chair of the Robert W. Franz Cancer Leadership Cabinet, a local charity. Warren Rosenfeld is a regular donor to election campaigns for the Democratic party.
ACA FOOTBALL PARTNERS PTE. LTD. (202124786D) – Singapore – Minor Shareholder
ACA-FOOTBALL-PARTNERS-PTE-LTD- (ACAFP) is a Singapore private company limited by shares, which was incorporated on 15 Jul 2021. Its registered office is Suntec Tower Three, 8 Temasek Boulevard, #34-02, Postal 038988, which is used as a post-box by at least 100 companies.
In February 2022, ACAFP became an owner of KMSK Deinze, a Belgium second division club, and in 2023 they took over the Spanish club Juventud Torremolinos Club de Fútbol based in Torremolinos, Málaga, which plays in Tercera División – Group 9.
Jim Rodwell has described the involvement of ACAFP as “strategic”. This has been interpreted two ways by Charlton fans; either to do with development of Academy players across ACAFP’s international network, or – as is being done at Deinze – using IT to increase the fanbase, including foreign fans, and to explore ways of monetising this additional interest. Time will tell whether fans’ guesses have been correct.
ACAFP was founded by its Japanese director and CEO Hiroyuki (aka Hiro) Ono, who has over 15 years of experience in Private Equity and Investment Banking, with expertise in deal origination and fundraising. In ACA Group, he launched several new initiatives for the firm, including fundraising and investing. Hiro Ono launched ACA Football Partners with his passion to connect the European football scene and Asian fans, to further enhance the connection between the two regions.
Hiro Ono has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Commerce Accounting from Keio University and is bilingual in Japanese and English. In recent years he has attended courses at Said Business School, University of Oxford, the Johan Cruyff Institute and Sports Human Capital, the J-League certified business school. He has been quoted as saying, ”A lot of people think clubs either struggle and need help from big corporates, or is a plaything for rich people. I want to prove that football can also be a business. One of the ways is to show its potential from different angles.”
MARC JASON BOYAN – London – Minor Shareholder
Marc Boyan is a London-based businessman, Founder and CEO at Miroma Group and at Miroma Ventures, and holds directorships or significant control at multiple other companies, many of which have their registered office address at Elsley Court, 20-22 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 8BE.
Boyan spotted an opportunity to use barter in all areas of modern commerce and in 2002 set up corporate barter company, Miroma International. He grew the business into one of the leading corporate barter companies in Europe with Miroma International’s growth trajectory recognized in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 report on UK businesses for four years in a row between 2008 and 2011.
In 2009 it was reported: “Media bartering firm Miroma allows companies to pay for a percentage of their advertising with their own products or services. With the recession leaving many firms with unsold inventory and depleted marketing spend, the fledgling media bartering industry is booming where traditional ad revenues have plummeted. Turnover at Miroma, which made the Sunday Times Fast Track this year, has jumped from £9m to £20.2m, and Boyan is expecting to bring home £50m in 2010.”
In 2012 Boyan gave the following example of bartering in practice: “I barter where possible. I once bartered flights worth £30,000 with an airline that wanted a Christmas party. I used my nightclubs (Bar Rumba and Maya) to give them a party of that value.” It will be interesting to see whether he can apply this principle to the world of League 1 football, and boost CAFC’s income. This is presumably why he founded a new company Miroma CAFC Holdings Ltd , incorporated on 2 February 2023.
Boyan, himself a passionate Chelsea fan, has business connections with ex-footballer Gary Neville, who is a fellow director at Buzz 16 Productions Ltd (10518938) and at The Overlap Ltd (12994855) In February 2023 Neville sold the controlling stake in his production company Buzz16 to Miroma Group. The global independent marketing business first invested in Buzz 16 in 2021 but has now become the majority shareholder. Buzz16 produces live sport, documentaries, podcasts and branded content for clients including Warner Bros, Discovery, Sky Bet, Eurosport and BT Sport. Its programmes include The Overlap which is shown on YouTube. The company was co-founded by Gary Neville in 2016 and also works with Amazon Prime, Sky Sports and the Premier League.
MUNIR RUPEN JAVERI – Greenwich, Connecticut – Minor Shareholder
Munir Javeri’s degree is a BSC in Electrical Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but his working life has been in the investment sector, mainly with companies based in New York. However, from 2006 to 2009 he was a partner and portfolio manager at the London hedge fund company Gandhara Capital, which closed in 2009 after a run of redemptions.
Javeri is said to be a good friend of Rishi Sunak, and it is possible they met while Javeri was in London, because this coincided with the period when Sunak was a partner at the London hedge fund management firm The Children's Investment Fund Management, before moving to California.
Javeri returned to New York, and from 2011 to 2020 he was a partner at 3G Capital, a global investment firm and private partnership. In 2020 Javeri became Founder and Managing Partner of Sahana Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut, but has seemingly retained links with 3G Capital, because 3G Capital Partners Ltd are indirect majority owners of Javeri’s Sahana Capital.
Sahana Capital Management LP is an investment advisory firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut. The firm was founded by Munir Javeri and provides investment “advisory services to privately offered pooled investment vehicles, typically pursuant to an investment management agreement or similar document”. As of December 31, 2022, Sahana managed approximately $729 million of client regulatory assets under management. The clients of Sahana are funds organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands and Delaware, generally organized in a master-feeder structure. The feeder funds invest substantially all of their assets in a master fund. The managed funds include Sahana Fund LP, Sahana Onshore Fund LP, Sahana Offshore Fund LP, SLF LP, SLF Onshore Fund LP, and SLF Offshore Fund LP. The Limited Partners to the Onshore and Offshore Funds are collectively referred to as the Investors. Sahana operates under basic policies and principles applicable to the conduct of its investment advisory business, based upon general concepts of fiduciary duty, the specific requirements of the Advisers Act, the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and its internal policies.
|CRD No. - 307187||Latest Filing - 13 Apr 2023||SEC No. - 801-118085|
|Form of Organization - Limited Partnership||Legal Domicile - DE, United States||Registration - SEC|
|5 Greenwich Office Park, 3rd Floor, Greenwich- 06831, Connecticut, United States|
|Direct Owners||BALABAN, Eric, Ross = Chief Compliance Officer (less than 5%)|
|JAVERI, Munir, Rupin = Managing Partner (> 50% but < 75%)|
|John SMITH = Managing Director (More than 10% but less than 25%)|
|Indirect Owners||3G CAPITAL PARTNERS Ltd = Owner (75% or more)|
CHARLES HARRY FINLAYSON METHVEN – Oxfordshire – Minor shareholder
Charlie Methven was born June 1976, son of an insurance broker. His mother came from a large Oxfordshire farming family, and he became a fan of Oxford United as a boy through being taken to matches by his maternal uncles. He attended Eton, and was awarded a Theology degree in 1998 by Exeter College, Oxford.
He initially worked as a journalist, writing for The Telegraph and The Spectator, and in 2005 was one of a consortium who founded The Sportsman, a horseracing and gambling newspaper. He was Editor-in-chief when it folded the following year. He has retained his interest in racing and is currently joint owner of a flat-racing filly, She’s Hot.
Methven made a career change from Journalism to Public Relations, and from 2007 to 2011 was a director of New Century Media Ltd, “an international corporate, financial and political communications consultancy representing a broad range of clients including national governments, global corporations, private individuals and families. We advise clients on achieving their strategic or business objectives and provide high-level counsel to devise and implement campaigns that promote, defend and enhance our clients’ reputation.”
In 2011 Methven founded his own PR company, Dragon Associates Ltd , followed in 2013 by Dragon PR Ltd and Dragon Financial Associates Ltd (since 2021 called The Chilterns Fox Ltd, and appears to be named after a pub he owns in High Wycombe). In 2016 he founded Dragon PR Holdings Ltd (now called Naga Advisory Limited) and Drake Financial Advisory Ltd. In 2017 the SpearIndex listed him in their top ten reputational managers, largely for the work his company did for two “Leave” campaigns at the time of the UK’s EU Membership Referendum in 2016, including the “Economists for Brexit” campaign. By 2019 he was deeply involved in political consultancy, supporting Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party in their General Election campaign. In 2021 he and his wife became directors of a new hospitality company called Zorro Y Toro Ltd; “Zorro” is presumably the Chiltern Fox, but “Toro” is as yet unidentified – there are many hostelries with “Bull” in their name.
Methven, a life-long supporter of Oxford United, became a founding committee member of Oxford's supporters' trust, OxVox. In 2011, he became a Trustee of OUFC's Youth and Community Trust, Oxford United In The Community. He founded supporters group the Yellow Army and also gave marketing and PR advice to the club's then owner Ian Lenagan, until Lenagan sold Oxford in 2014. Methven then launched an attempt to buy the club with subsequent business partner Stewart Donald, another life-long Oxford fan, but was outbid. The following year, Donald bought a 10% share in the club.
In 2018, Methven, Donald, and Juan Sartori founded Madrox Partners Ltd and took over Sunderland AFC, a club which had suffered two successive relegations from the Premier League to League 1, and now had financial commitments far exceeding its income. Of course, parachute payments were designed to cushion this effect of relegation, but fans’ group WiseMenSay later claimed they were used by Madrox in a leveraged purchase of the club. Methven, who now had a minor shareholding in the club, became CEO and set about balancing the books.
Nobody could deny there were PL-legacy luxuries which could well be axed, and non-playing staff numbers were immediately reduced. Many fans felt the sale of players, especially young prospects from their academy, went too far and robbed them of the team strength needed for a promotion campaign the following season. Their highly rated young Team Captain, George Honeywell, was sold to Championship side Hull in August 2019, and some fans felt this was a crucial mistake which cost them any chance of promotion in 2020. Some of this was played out in front of cameras which were filming the Netflix series “Sunderland ‘til I Die”. Methven resigned his Sunderland directorships and withdrew from active involvement at the club in December 2019, citing “family and work-related reasons”, but retained a minority share-holding until June 2022. Madrox Ltd is still active, and Methven, Donald and Sartori are still directors.
Sunderland had a disappointing start to the 2019-20 season which was then badly disrupted by Covid-19, and remained in League 1 for 2020-21. In February 2021, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus purchased a controlling stake in the club, but Sunderland again fell short of promotion. The next season (2021-22) they finally achieved promotion back to the Championship, and Dreyfus became majority owner.
Many Sunderland fans felt disrespected by Methven. Controversially, he unilaterally changed their traditional “Dance of the Knights” run-out music to something he deemed more suitable. Methven also claimed Northern fans “don’t understand business” when they questioned a multi-million pound loan agreed with FPP Sunderland.
In September 2022 Methven wrote a [paywalled] Spectator Article “Why Football Needs a Regulator”, a sentiment with which he will find common ground with many at Charlton. He gave 2 main reasons, “Partly because football clubs are social institutions, not just private businesses. When their financial stability is risked in pursuit of short-term success it’s not just the investors who suffer. Football clubs going bust create angst and long-term social damage that goes far beyond their small business status.” His second reason, which he explained at length, concerned the importance of the pyramid and the need to share TV income more fairly, to promote fair competition.
In retrospect, his final choice of example looks far from accidental: “In 1999, Manchester City were struggling in the third division; Charlton Athletic an established force in the Premier League. The reversal of fortunes in the intervening two decades – far from atypical – has long been part of English football’s charm and commercial success. Other foreign leagues simply aren’t as fluid. If the big clubs, however, now mostly owned by American private equity tycoons, are allowed to pull the drawbridge up and strangle our national sport, it will not be the triumph for the free market that Downing Street might fondly imagine.”
The following month Methven was seen at the Charlton v. Ipswich match, and in December 2022 he and Ed Warrick founded SE7 Partners Ltd., the intended take-over vehicle for Charlton Athletic. Methven and Warrick both had significant control, each with:
Ownership of shares – More than 25% but not more than 50%
Ownership of voting rights - More than 25% but not more than 50%
Right to appoint and remove directors
This was unchanged until 3 June 2023, when Methven and Warrick (who remain directors of SE7 Partners) ceased to have significant control, and were replaced by the Cayman Islands registered company, Global Football Partners Ltd, which has Ownership of shares – 75% or more.