Friday, 7 January 2011

Charlton owners 'mystery'

The following item appeared in The Guardian this morning:

'Charlton Athletic fans are wondering whether Kevin Cash, a super-wealthy property developer, has funded the club's recent takeover [we had this story earlier in the week].

The Addicks' newly installed chairman, Michael Slater, is an 11% shareholder and the chairman of Reflex Vehicle Solutions, a car-rental firm of which Cash's Rose Property Holdings owns pretty much all of the remaining 89%. Charlton are obliged under Football League rules to announce all backers who own more than 10% of the club, and they have declared only Slater and Tony Jimenez as the major shareholders. A spokesman for the pair confirmed yesterday: "The majority owners of the club are Tony and Michael; there are several minority shareholders who each have less than 10%in the holding company."

There is obviously no reason to disbelieve the spokesman but neither is there any way of independently checking – not even for the Football League. As revealed here on Tuesday, Charlton's parent company, CAFC Holdings, is registered in the British Virgin Islands, where shareholders and directors need not be disclosed.'

Am I bothered? Not really. The fact that the company is registered in the British Virgin Islands suggests that there might be some serious money involved. Welcome to the 21st century.


Anonymous said...

We may be in the 21st Century, but doesn't the possibility of deliberate deception bother you? It does me.

Anonymous said...

Having been someone who lost quite a lot of money in Charlton PLC, it annoys me no end when we cannot see any tranparency in ownership. Ken Bates was a past master of this.

Wyn Grant said...

I'm not sure that someone wanting to keep their affairs private is deliberate deception, although obviously offshore tax havens are extensively used in tax avoidance, even tax evasion. As far as the shares are concerned, once they announced they were talking them off the market I could see the writing on the wall and sold them. My underlying point is that football is now part of global big business at the higher levels. Many people don't like that there and there are still community run clubs at non-league level.

Anonymous said...

I don’t object to someone keeping their private affairs private though in this context I do find it a little odd. However, I’d be less impressed by the integrity of someone who says that X/Y are the owners when they are not. That WOULD be a deliberate deception. Even in the Munto Finance [Notts County] fiasco it was “open” that there were mystery backers.

Actually, I’m a simple chap and my interpretation is that Slater/Jimenez are the owners, i.e. there is no pot of Gold behind the sale. This is a worry.

My expectation is that Jimenez will “speculate to accumulate” and hence this January could be fun. However, if NEXT January the Club is mid-table in Division One with little prospect of promotion it’s anybody’s guess what would happen next. There is a least a risk [and that’s putting it mildly] that Jimenez will have neither the money nor the stomach to keep burning his “hard-earned” cash. That could be a nasty scenario.

The Club needs promotion this season or a great start next. I think you should “care”!!!