Charlton fans occupy The Valley in protest against EFL and owners ESI
Charlton supporters have taken up occupation of their boardroom in protest at EFL rules over club ownership.
The League One outfit is currently the subject of a legal battle between two frustrated parties.
Prospective new owner Paul Elliott is currently attempting to get a court injunction to try to stop US-Danish businessman Thomas Sandgaard from buying the club, despite Elliott himself failing the EFL's Owners' and Directors' Test.
East Street Investments had purchased Charlton from Roland Duchatelet for £1 in January, and the fans begun their protest against the EFL rules that allowed it to happen – prompting a visit from police.
Hundreds of supporters decided to gather outside the ground on Saturday, with one sign reading: “Our pound is bigger and better than yours, #ESIOUT.”
A statement from the group Fans4Fans, stated that the attenders: "will not be leaving until the current owners of Charlton Athletic Football Club formally request, in person, that we vacate the premises with immediate effect.
"We also request an extensive update on why Paul Elliott has been able to formally lodge an injunction preventing the sale of Charlton Athletic Football Club and when this case is to be heard.
"In addition, how can a man who has failed the owners and directors test, appeal the sale of a business he will not be able to sufficiently control or finance?
"If this direct action does not bring about change for football clubs then we are left with no choice to attend the English Football League Headquarters and its sponsors offices and in turn take direct action against them."
Before adding: "The actions you have witnessed today are a direct consequence of the failings of the governing bodies that represent all football clubs throughout the English football pyramid.
"It has become apparent that the current processes and systems in place, deemed acceptable to the governing bodies, are far from acceptable with a large majority of football fans.
"Football fans will no longer stand impassively and allow their beloved clubs to face uncertainties such as administration and potential expulsion from their league.
"What you have seen take place already with the occupation of IPS LAW offices in Manchester was the beginning of direct action to force change with the EFL.
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"The flaws in the Owners and Directors Test are visible and we require immediate change in this. We are suggesting that: No Football club should be sold for £1, Funds should be proven and placed into an EFL club allocated account prior to completion of the purchase of a football club
"A minimum cover of costings that is decided by the EFL. Based on a club by club scenario. This should be held in an account for a period of 24 months to enable that club to run sufficiently for an extended period.
"This will be managed by the clubs but audited by the EFL quarterly, to ensure that the funds held in the club account are for the day to day operations of running the football club.
"Then the OADT should then be undertaken not the other way around."
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