An open letter from Paul Elliott to Charlton Athletic supporters

To the Charlton Athletic family,

These have been troubling times and it is with great sadness that I must write to you today but, I feel I must attempt to talk to you directly.

Lots has been written online and, for some reason, it is clear a section of ‘supporters’ appear to have believed the vast majority of unfair, and inaccurate issues, spoken about me and others, and my ambitions for Charlton Athletic Football Club.

I have kept quiet until now, because it become apparent that until the EFL had approved my acquisition of this great club, it would not be appropriate to do so.

Indeed, I understand there was some objection to an article published on the club website in June, in which I confirmed I would be injecting monies into the club – which I did immediately – and would consider working with other investors in the future.

Since the publication of that article, it was sad to learn that the EFL choose not to approve my initial application under the Owners’ And Directors’ Test. This was, in my opinion, due to an administrative issue and an immediate appeal was lodged.

I have not commented on this out of respect for the EFL and the OADT process.

I certainly would not wish to appear arrogant enough to have prejudged or pre-empted that process but given the decision of the High Court on Tuesday I feel I must now speak up.

Let me be very clear.

I wanted, and still want, to complete my acquisition of Charlton Athletic Football Club.

Not to asset strip, not to take money out, not to do any of the ridiculous things I have been accused of, but simply to try to bring success back to this great football club.

I want to buy Charlton Athletic because I believe it is a great club with an incredible history, a fantastic fanbase and an exciting future.

Even in the face of such vocal opposition from some supporters, I remain committed to the cause.

Yes, I am a businessman and I have always said I would welcome further investment from interested parties but my interest is clear – I want to make Charlton Athletic great again.

I want to improve the terrific community program, to invest in the facilities and, most importantly, support the manager in building a team that can compete and succeed on the pitch.

My first commitment to Charlton Athletic was to invest a large sum of my own money into the club when the original deal was struck.

Be in no doubt. Were it not for this investment, and excellent legal support under difficult circumstances, Charlton Athletic would have gone insolvent.

For the record, this sum of monies invested by me was more than £500,000.

The funds ensured the playing staff and employees at the club have been paid, that bills were paid. They kept the club alive and allowed the manager to prepare for the new season.

No-one else has committed any monies to Charlton Athletic Football Club.

Now it appears those people, who invested nothing, who originally sold the club to me and then sat back and allowed me to invest monies into the club, think it is now acceptable to instead sell to another party. That cannot be right.

There has been an awful lot of talking, but I remain the only person who has actually put his hand in his pocket and committed money to keep Charlton Athletic alive.

It is my argument, and that of the barrister that drafted it, that we have a legally binding agreement that only permits my company, Lex Dominus, to acquire Charlton Athletic Football Club from ESI.

I sought an injunction, to prevent the club being sold to any other party.

The Judge, His Honour Richard Pearce, accepted my legal team’s argument that we have a case and a subsequent trial will ultimately decide the issue.

In the meantime, he decided, it might be damaging for the club to uphold the injunction and whilst I respect his decision, I clearly do not agree.

It is for that reason that I appealed that decision. It is with great sadness that his Honour Judge Pearce refused that appeal, and we now must go to the Court of Appeal.

I wish no harm to Charlton Athletic Football Club. The exact opposite is true and again, I stress, that is why I invested my own monies earlier this summer.

I seek merely to protect my own position, and therefore the future of the club.

I should say at this point, I am of course aware of Thomas Sandgaard’s recent interest in acquiring Charlton Athletic, and I would welcome dialogue with him. If it proves to be in the best interest of the club, I would naturally consider his ideas and potential investment.

I don’t know what the future will hold. I understand from the media coverage that it is being claimed another party hopes to conclude a deal to acquire Charlton Athletic Football Club within the week.

That cannot be right and it is a decision I will contest.

I am sorry this is being played out in public, it is not right that such a great club as Charlton Athletic should be dragged through the mire.

All I want, is what is right. The rule of law should be respected. And we should be focusing on making Charlton Athletic a footballing force once again.

Kind Regards,

Paul Elliott


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8 thoughts on “An open letter from Paul Elliott to Charlton Athletic supporters

  • 3 September 2020 at 4:28 pm
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    Dear Paul,

    On behalf of everyone at Charlton, get lost

    Regards

    Everyone who supports Charlton

    Reply
  • 3 September 2020 at 4:36 pm
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    But we don’t want you as our owner. We want Thomas Sandgaard. He has agreed to refund to you all the money you have put into the club with some extra to compensate and that should be enough for you.

    Now please leave us alone. Wigan need a buyer and they’re far closer to you in location than we are so buy them instead if you really want to buy a football club.

    Reply
  • 3 September 2020 at 4:45 pm
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    If all you want is what is right for the club, then do the right thing. Invoice with evidence for the money you say you injected and walk away. These ‘supporters’ as you’ve put it, were before you and will be here long after you’ve gone.

    You are not welcome, you never were, neither was your friend Mr Farnell, or the individuals who started this mess.

    Reply
  • 3 September 2020 at 4:54 pm
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    There is an opinion amongst Charlton supporters that your desperation to validate ownership is to allow you to “participate in the process” of the onward sale of the company, as your Barrister so eloquently stated at the Injunction hearing on Tuesday. Your ownership (which was originally rejected by Judge Pearce in July) could have allowed you the opportunity to make demands for substantial sums from any subsequent sale to genuinely wealthy and clearly enthusiastic purchasers. The more cynical amongst us supporters might have foreseen this when your appearance was originally announced in June, given your history in business dealings and your relationship with Chris Farnell inspired no doubt by his intent to thwart Matt Southall. Those same cynics might view the above ‘open letter’ peppered as it is with ‘Matt Southall’ type footballing platitudes as an attempt to gain some traction amongst supporters and to deflect the personal abuse that you must be receiving from our less enlightened fan base.
    It might be that I have misinterpreted some of your comments and if that’s the case I must apologise. If however you wish nothing other than to ‘focus on making Charlton Athletic a footballing force once again’ then please stand aside, withdraw the temporary injunction, take the compensation and allow Thomas Sandgaard to proceed with his purchases of Charlton Athletic. This will allow our Manager to strengthen the first team squad and give us the best chance of returning to the Championship next season.

    Reply
  • 3 September 2020 at 5:00 pm
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    He cares so much h about the club that he’s continuing to fight a losing legal battle that means he has delayed acquisition by an infinitely wealthier and more credible buyer. His selfish action mean the club remains under a transfer embargo and that we will likely miss the opportunity to adequately rebuild our squad for the season which starts in nine days time. Despite what he says, he is fighting for the right to leverage a sale to someone else. Hopefully his appeal for an appeal will fail like everything else these people have touched.

    Reply
  • 3 September 2020 at 5:39 pm
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    There it is, as someone once said to me “Follow the money”

    Reply
  • 3 September 2020 at 6:17 pm
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    This is a blatant attempt to hi-jack the club by Mr Elliott whom does not have the slightest experience of owning and running a football club in the proper manner other than acquiring it for his own selfish arrogant interests, not in the interests of Charlton Athletic Football Club and all that are connected with it.

    Say what you like in a statement, we can all see through you for who and what you are. A two timing ducking and diving suited and booted villain without an ounce of credibility.

    Have you ever played the game at a good amateur level?

    Ever been involved in running a club at grass roots level with all that goes along with it with signing players and having limited financial assets and remaining solvent to maintain league acceptance.

    All this comes into play at a much higher level of course where is all your transparent, true history in this regard, in other words publish your CV to the club, then we can judge whether you are the ideal candidate to step over Mr Thomas Sandgaard who has had his day represented by Lauren Kreamer last Tuesday in court in which you were blown out and your claim rejected.

    Why would wish to try again, it is blatantly obvious you are not wanted at our club, it would be tenable for you as much as wish to buy it the fans would make your life absolute hell as they did Mr Roland Duchatelet.

    Do yourself a big favour and walk away and save yourself a few bob, otherwise you will be rinsed on the costs and expenses involved and made to look a complete fool as you will only lose your appeal hands down!

    Reply
  • 5 September 2020 at 1:26 am
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    Do you want us to feel sorry for you that you didn’t have a correct agreement in place?

    Have you met a charlton fan since all the facts came out about the ownership issues that wants you to continue as an owner?

    You’re messing with more than a business. This is a club loved and followed by thousands for many years, before and after you.

    Reply

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