Storrie on takeover process and summer transfer window

Raised view of The Valley

CEO Peter Storrie updated supporter group representatives on the latest with SE7 Partners' takeover of the club and the summer transfer window at the quarterly Fans’ Forum on Thursday.

A variety of additional topics were discussed, including CharltonTV, season ticket sales and the pitch at The Valley, and full meeting notes will be published next week. (Post-meeting update: full meeting notes can be found here.)

The below topline notes prioritise the key subjects selected by the club and fan representatives.

  • For the takeover to be completed the deal requires EFL clearance of the takeover of Charlton Athletic Football Club and FA clearance of the takeover of Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club
  • The club are close to submitting everything required from them by the EFL and FA but given the sheer amount of information required, the process may still take some time
  • Transfer plans haven’t changed from two months ago with the aim of a top six finish
  • Peter Storrie can’t comment on what the plans and budget will be be once the new owners are in as he doesn’t know
  • As part of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) the buying party are made aware of any large expenditure, such as signings, contract renewals. Storrie explained it is one extra hurdle for signing players but not one that is unmanageable
  • Dean Holden has the final decision on identifying players

Takeover process

PS said the process is led by the EFL and the FA, two separate bodies. The FA for Charlton Athletic Women’s Football Club and the EFL for Charlton Athletic Football Club.

He said the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) was signed and is specific in its detail that for both parties, the buyer and the seller, he is the one running the SPA.

He said he has a small team at the club which he utilises, including Club Secretary, Ron Dangerfield, who deals with the OADT (Owners' and Directors' Test) documents. He said he and the club's Finance Controller Jon Blythe deal with the FFI – the financial information that has to be submitted.

He said it is important to stress that it is not all down to the EFL and the FA. He said it is down to the club and the buyers to supply the information and it is then for the EFL and FA to ask the questions and move forwards.

He said his task is to make sure the documentation is done and goes into the various parties. He said, as of the day of the meeting, the OADT forms are with the EFL and on the women’s side they will follow shortly.

He said he expects the buyer’s share agreement will go to the EFL and FA on Monday. He said the FFI is a lot of work and documentation but the hope is that it will be ready next week to be submitted. He said once they are all submitted, he is hoping that the club will have sent everything that needs to be sent.

He said the EFL then have an independent review body that looks at the financial side and there is also the source of funds. He said that is something the club would not be involved in. He said that while the club would be aware, that element of the process would be done between the potential new owners and the EFL and the FA. He said he has no idea how long the process will take. He said everyone is doing things as quickly as they possibly can, the club and the buyers need to provide a significant amount of information. He said the process is progressing well.

He said it is important that everyone is aware that the club and the buyer have to keep matters highly confidential. He said through the process the EFL and FA monitor every single item that comes through and that is why both parties agreed he was the single point of contact.

He said the recent Huddersfield Town takeover was a relatively simple process, with one owner, which took close to two months to complete. He said this takeover is more complex with quite a few shareholders which suggests the process is likely to take some time.

He said the club continues to run in the same way in the meantime with him looking after the day-to-day management, under Thomas Sandgaard’s control but there is a wider financial control system as part of the SPA.

Simon Ludden (SL – East Kent Addicks) asked if the SPA meant each side was legally obliged to see the process through. PS confirmed that was the case. He said because of the submissions to the EFL and FA that there were two processes running and so two separate pieces of paperwork to be submitted. He said the only difference in the processes is that the FA normally just require one year’s worth of financial information, the EFL is one but can ask for a second year, so the club has to base the documents on the next two years for the EFL and then the EFL decide how they want to look at it.

Ian Wallis (IW – Bromley Addicks) asked if PS could confirm the names of those involved. He said he wasn’t allowed to as it is confidential.

IW asked if Thomas Sandgaard was retaining a percentage. PS confirmed Thomas Sandgaard wouldn’t retain a percentage in the deal.

David Wood (DW – West Country Addicks) asked how many people were in the ownership. PS said he wasn’t able to answer because of the confidentiality agreement. He said in due course it will all come out but at the moment everything is under the confidentiality agreement.

Heather Alderson (HA – Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust) said she appreciated the confidentiality agreement but explained the reason the Charlton fans were so keen to know was context of a difficult period with changes in ownerships. PS said when it gets to the stage where these things can be confirmed, it will be up to the new owners to release the information.

DW asked if the takeover will definitely happen. PS said you can’t really use the word “definitely” in a process like this. He said the documentation is all signed but it has to be cleared by the EFL and the FA, which means it is a question he can’t answer. He said if the EFL or FA don’t clear it, then it won’t happen.

HA asked if one member of the group fail the OADT, does the takeover fall through? PS said that wasn’t the case. He said from their internal agreement, that lists the shareholders, that the key ones have been put through. He said the EFL and FA will look at it and decide if any of the smaller shareholders need to go through the OADT. He said it is entirely a decision of the EFL and the FA. He said if any of the smaller shareholders are on the board then they will go through an OADT which could happen later on. He said it wouldn’t stop the process. He said the EFL will decide who they want OADTs from.

DW asked if The Valley and training ground were part of the deal. PS said the lease agreement is part of the deal. IW asked if a new leasing agreement was needed. PS said the current lease agreement would carry on.

John Perkins (JP – Valley Away) asked what happened if members of the consortium fall out in six months time. PS said that would be a question for them rather than him. He said once the club is sold, they will be in charge and will run the club how they see fit.

SL asked if PS would be leaving on completion of the deal. PS joked his few weeks has extended on quite a while. SL said that under PS there seems to be an air of professionalism around the club which there hasn’t been for a while. PS said that he’d said to his wife that after the restructuring since he arrived and what he is doing working closely with Dean Holden, he would have loved to have stayed and tried to get the club promoted this season. He said he would have agreed to stay on for the whole season to have a go. He said it is disappointing as he has loved his time at the club. He said he’s got on well with the fans and the staff, who all seem to like the changes he has made, and it would have been great to stay but new owners come in to football clubs and have their own people. He said he hasn’t had any discussions along those lines but he assumes that once the takeover happens he’ll move on. He said he’ll always now be looking at Charlton’s results. He said he hopes the club does get promoted as it deserves to be back in the Championship.


AP (Ad Poot – Dutch Addicks) asked what the plans were to achieve that top six finish with the takeover process ongoing.

PS said the plans haven’t changed. He said him and Dean Holden are working on bringing in players. He said that stays the same but the process is a little bit longer while the takeover process is ongoing but the work continues. He said he’d had discussions about two-three players on the day of the meeting and that will continue.

IW asked if there is more money available than last year, so the club can get in better players. He asked that as it appears the takeover will still be ongoing much of the summer will signings happen or will that be on hold until the takeover is done.

PS said if we put everything on hold until the takeover is done we may not have any new players for the start of the season, so the business will continue. He said him and Dean Holden are looking at the same type of players as before the deal was agreed. IW asked if they were working on budgets that had been agreed. PS said that was the case, he said he couldn’t speak for what new owners may choose to do but he said at the moment the club are working on the same basis as they were before the deal was agreed.

HA asked for clarity on the process in signing a player. PS said the main basis is the same as prior to the takeover being agreed – himself and Dean Holden to Thomas Sandgaard. He said that under the SPA agreement the buying party are made aware of any expenditure over a certain level. He said that it is an extra hurdle but not one that it is unmanageable. He said this was the case for both men’s and women’s team players. HA asked if that meant the new owners would be approving the player or the finance. PS said they would be made aware of whatever the club put to them – which would include the money committed and who it is committed to.

HA asked about Martin Sandgaard (MS). PS said MS is still at the club on the analysis side. He said he (PS) sits as the controlling name in the SPA. HA asked if MS was still identifying players. PS said he was still involved and his role is in analysis of players rather than who the player is. He said the identification of the players is Dean Holden – he said Dean Holden decides which players he wants to bring in to the club and then it goes through the process.

SL asked about the motivation of Thomas Sandgaard. PS said from day one of his arrival (in February) they have been working on the basis of a top six finish next season and Thomas has been 100% supportive of that.

BR (Barnie Razzell – City Addicks) asked if Dean Holden was the main decision maker in January. PS said that was before his time so he couldn’t comment.

HA said Andy Scott was around in January but hasn’t been around since. She asked what the structure is. PS said Steve Gallen in his role as Director of Recruiting, leads the scouting and works with Dean Holden and PS on the player recruitment side. PS said he didn’t know what the structure would be once new owners were in.

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