Relief rather than Jubilation as Charlton Athletic Takeover Completes
Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust (CAST) is relieved that the takeover of the club by Global Football Partners via SE7 Partners is now officially concluded. Previous owner Thomas Sandgaard was no longer committed to the Addicks. The club has been in a virtual state of limbo since January while negotiations played out and then approvals were sought from the EFL (regarding the men’s team) and FA (regarding the women’s team).
Supporters are pleased that the process is finally complete, enabling us to look forward as a club. The feeling is more of relief rather than jubilation as Addicks have been through the mill of poor and incompetent owners for over ten years now. Previous regimes began their tenure with fine words and claimed intentions so we will yet again wait to see whether these are backed up by good actions.
CAST’s initial engagement with James Rodwell, now announced as Managing Director of the FC, has been constructive and we hope this will form the foundation for a positive relationship. He has read and welcomes the Addicks’ Charter, formed from extensive fan consultation and encapsulating what fans hold dear about the club. We look forward to discussing this in more detail with him and the new FC board.
We note that the new ownership comprises a large consortium of individuals and family trusts within Global Football Partners which owns SE7 Partners. The consortium promises that this will offer stability as we are not at the mercy of individual whims. In CAST’s opinion, success will depend on a clear and coherent strategy, well-executed by those on the FC board, as well as excellent communications all round, including managing the expectations of the investors. This being football, it will almost certainly rely on a slice of luck too. Global Football Partners is registered in the Cayman Islands so we will have to trust that the EFL and FA have undertaken robust scrutiny to ensure that all of the owners are indeed “bona fide”, as we have been assured by Jim Rodwell. We welcome the listing of investors with over 5%.
Under the new ownership CAST welcomes professional and experienced management on and off the pitch and a commitment to backing both men’s team manager Dean Holden and women’s manager Karen Hills. Recent signings look promising in strengthening both squads while we are particularly pleased that many talented Academy prospects have been secured on professional contracts. These are the kind of actions that back-up the fine words of the new consortium.
CAST Chair, Heather McKinlay commented: “What fans want to see more than anything is Charlton competing at the right end of the division and in the thick of a promotion battle. Short term success is the immediate focus and in that respect our goals are aligned with those of the new owners. As for everything else, time will tell!”