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.
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