Charlton Athletic’s future has been plunged into further doubt after two Court of Appeal judges ruled that an injunction should be put in place to prevent the football club being sold.
The decision of Lord Justice Lewison and Lord Justice Males means that Panorama Magic, who own a controlling 65 per cent stake in the Addicks, are not able to sell the club until the case – brought by Lex Dominus – is heard in a Manchester court on November 23.
Lex Dominus is owned by Paul Elliott, who claims to have injected £500,000 into the SE7 club for running costs and wages during the summer. Elliott had been looking to take control of the Addicks but was rejected by the EFL under their Owners’ And Directors’ Test (OADT).
Panorama Magic have been in advanced talks with Danish businessman Thomas Sandgaard over selling Charlton, who were relegated from the Championship in July.
Initially Judge Richard Pearce, sitting in a Manchester court on September 1, refused to grant an injunction to Elliott. But the following morning he allowed an interim one to be put in place so that Lex Dominus, represented by OC Paul Chaisty, could launch an appeal.
Lewison, passing judgement, said: “But it seems to me the judge muddled the hypothesis on the basis of which Mr Mihail predicted dire consequences. And the hypothesis that he was obliged to consider in deciding whether Panorama could be adequately compensated in damages.
“That is not a question of discretion or indeed the evaluation of evidence. It is a question of legal analysis. In my judgement the judge’s analysis was wrong.
“As the judge was wrong, in my judgement, that damages would not be an adequate remedy for Panorama, the issue of balance of convenience does not arise.
“For those reasons I am going to allow the appeal. There will be an injunction until trial – or further order – prohibiting the disposal of Panorama’s shares in East Street Investments. The cross undertaking will include a personal undertaking by Mr Elliott to pay any damages up to a limit of £50,000 in the event that the cross undertaking is enforced.”
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