Charlton Athletic supporters occupy conference hall to protest property | Football News

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A group of Charlton supporters said they would not be leaving The Valley conference hall as they protested over the club’s ownership issues

A group of Charlton fans have taken an occupation in The Valley conference room to protest the EFL’s rules on club ownership.

The League One club are at the center of a legal battle between rival parties who want control.

Despite the failure of the EFL owners and directors test, potential new owner Paul Elliott seeks a court injunction to try to prevent the club from being sold to a rival bid led by the businessman Danish-American Thomas Sandgaard.

Charlton was bought by East Street Investments from Roland Duchatelet for £ 1 in January, and fans gathered at The Valley on Saturday to protest the rules that allow this to happen.

With warring parties claiming ownership of Charlton, the group of fans who have occupied the conference room promise not to leave until the club’s legal owners formally request in person to vacate the premises.

About 500 supporters gathered outside the League One club’s pitch around noon on Saturday and a small group was seen singing in the conference hall, posting a message on the window saying: ‘Our book is bigger and better. than yours, #ESIOUT ”.

During the peaceful protest, some Addicks fans displayed £ 1 coins, in reference to Duchatelet’s sale of the club earlier this year.

The Fans4Fans group released a statement saying that some Charlton supporters “won’t leave [the boardroom] until the current owners of Charlton Athletic Football Club formally request, in person, that we vacate the premises with immediate effect.

“We are also asking for a detailed update on why Paul Elliott was able to formally file an injunction preventing the sale of Charlton Athletic Football Club and when this matter should be heard.

“Also, how can a man who has failed the Owners and Directors test appeal the sale of a business that he cannot control or fund enough?

“If this direct action does not bring change for the football clubs, we have no choice but to go to the headquarters of the English Football League and its sponsors and in turn take direct action against them. . ”

The statement added: “The actions you have witnessed today are a direct consequence of the failings of the governing bodies which represent all the football clubs in the English football pyramid.

“It has become evident that the processes and systems currently in place, deemed acceptable by the governing bodies, are far from being acceptable with a large majority of football fans.

“Football fans will no longer stand by and allow their beloved clubs to deal with uncertainties such as administration and potential expulsion from their league.

“What you have already seen happen with the occupation of the IPS LAW offices in Manchester was the start of direct action to force change with the EFL.

17:31
Ben Ransom catches up with potential new Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard on why he’s so interested in taking over the club.

Ben Ransom catches up with potential new Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard on why he’s so interested in taking over the club.

“The flaws in the owner and manager test {OADT} are visible and we demand immediate change on this. We suggest that: No football club should be sold for £ 1, funds should be proven and placed in an account assigned to the EFL club prior to finalizing the purchase of a football club

“Minimum cost coverage which is decided by the EFL. Based on a club-by-club scenario. This should be kept in an account for a period of 24 months to allow this club to function sufficiently for an extended period.

“This will be managed by the clubs but audited by the EFL on a quarterly basis, to ensure that funds held in the club account are for the day-to-day management operations of the football club. ”

“So the OADT should then be undertaken and not the other way around. ”

The EFL told Sky Sports News it will not comment directly on Saturday’s Charlton protest, but on accusations surrounding the testing of League owners and managers, the League said discussions were underway on short and long term changes and a review. in the appointment system.

Sky Sports News has contacted Charlton for comment.

Meanwhile, American businessman Sandgaard said Sky Sports News that he hopes to reach an agreement in principle to buy the club by the end of this week.

“It might be realistic that we could have a tentative agreement in place this week,” he said, “that’s what I hope.

“Maybe we should expect a few little surprises just before the finish line, so (the whole thing might take) a few more weeks, but hopefully we have a deal this week. ”

The protest group spoke to Sandgaard from inside the conference room by phone.

On the call, Sandgaard told the group that he was “so honored to have at least one opportunity (to buy Charlton) and I hope with the skills I have learned over the past decades , I should be able to conclude before too long. . ”

Lee Bowyer’s side were relegated to Ligue 1 in 2019/20, only passing one campaign to second tier after a three-year absence.

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