firstname.lastname@example.org Lee Bowyer has voiced his frustration after a court ruled this week that Charlton Athletic cannot be sold until at least September 9.
Judge Richard Pearce had initially rejected Paul Elliott’s attempts to obtain an injunction preventing Panorama Magic, who own a controlling 65 per cent stake in the League One club through East Street Investments, from selling.
But there was a twist on Wednesday when QC Paul Chaisty, representing Elliott’s company Lex Dominus, was granted a short-term interim injunction.
They will now look to get a date at The Court of Appeal before 4pm on Wednesday to try and appeal Pearce’s decision not to enforce a longer injunction.
The trial between Lex Dominus and Panorama Magic is set to start on November 23. That would not prevent ESI selling the club to another bidder before that point – provided no court order was in place blocking it.
This week’s developments mean Bowyer will not be able to majorly strengthen his squad before the campaign starts at Crewe on September 12.
The Addicks have been under a transfer embargo since the start of January and that has been hardened by the EFL so that they can only replace players who leave.
The governing body has also limited the wages they can offer to £1,300 a week – £700 less than the salary cap which was recently voted in by clubs in the third tier.
“All that is going on behind the scenes is again making my job harder,” said Bowyer. “Myself and Steve [Gallen, director of football], we’ve got players lined up wanting to come through the door.
“All this delay is going to be doing is giving a chance for those players to go somewhere else. We’re going to lose out on players because of it, which is going to affect us and where we end up finishing the season.
“The problem we’ve got is they [their targets] all want to be at a club before the start of the season.
“Even on Wednesday I told one of them to wait around and that this [the takeover] should happen quite quickly. But then later that afternoon I got told it was getting put back again. These lads need to secure their futures.”
Chaisty used comments from Danish businessman Thomas Sandgaard – made to the South London Press – as part of his claim for an interim injunction.
He argued that a short holding order would not affect negotiations and put the club’s existence in peril.
Elliott claims he has put more than £500,000 into the SE7 outfit to keep it running but he failed to pass the EFL’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test. He has appealed that decision but is yet to be given a date to go back in front of them.
Sandgaard, 62, has made confident noises about completing a deal for the football club and flew to London last Saturday.
He attended the friendly at Crystal Palace and Tuesday’s EFL Trophy tie against Wimbledon at QPR’s Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Asked on Thursday morning if he was as determined to take control of the Addicks. He said: “One hundred per cent. A week ago, a couple of days ago or today – more or less it is the same situation. That doesn’t really bother me.
“ESI one or ESI two or whatever they call each other – sometimes they know each other well and sometimes they hate each other – we need to avoid administration. That means they need to sell the club – end of the situation.”
Elliott, in an open letter sent to our paper, said: “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 to simply bring success back to this great football club.
“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.
“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.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD AND PAUL EDWARDS
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