Thursday 17 September 2020

Appeal allowed, injunction until November

The appeal has been allowed and an injunction granted until November.  The case will be heard on November 23rd.

This is no surprise to me given the evidence put forward and the interventions by the judges.   This is a dispute between two parties and the well-being of the club and its fans have little or no standing in legal terms.

I doubt whether the EFL will move to expel Charlton given the collapse of Macclesfield and problems at Southend, but the transfer embargo is likely to continue and there may be other sanctions.

Fanzine editor Rick Everitt has commented: 'The very widely circulated idea that this hearing doesn't matter because Thomas Sandgaard has a workaround to acquire Charlton will now be put to the test.'

Later he expressed some skepticism, stating: 'Pretty clear already there is no oven-ready workaround to buy Charlton and we’re still stuck in the same bind as a result of today’s court hearing. Marian Mihail is hopelessly out of his depth, which considering who appointed him is perhaps no surprise.

Everitt adds: 'Judge paid tribute to Lauren Kreamer's efforts in his judgement - I think he was acknowledging that she did the best she could against an experienced QC with very inadequate evidence from Marian Mihail and Panorama Magic. No reflection on her.'

Richard Cawley of the South London Press has tweeted: 'If this doesn't get resolved somehow - and very quickly - the player deals Charlton have lined up are gone. There were four ready to go, in terms of incomings. But that pales into insignificance if club goes into administration.'

Court states that Judge was right to conclude that if injunction refused LD will have lost opportunity to buy unique asset. Ownership brings intangible benefits that cannot be compensated in damages. Appeals turns on whether Panorama could be adequately compensated by damages. Rick Everitt comments, 'At first sight, judge's conclusion is counter-intuitive.'

LJ Lewison finds judge's view that it would lose opportunity to sell difficult to understand. Panorama has provided no evidence of impending sale or its terms. Nearest is saying that it is committed to finding a buyer, who would also have to pass EFL tests. "Panorama must live with its decision to remain silent".

Lewison: What impressed previous judge was evidence of Mihail about potential consequences for the club itself. [But my interpretation these are not material to the case].

ESI that has not shown it was not able to finance the club sustainably. Quite unclear how grant or refusal of injunction would affect EFL sanctions. Mihail's evidence depends on scenario that Elliott wins at trial and can't operate club. Should look at what happens if LD fails at trial. Difficult to see how Elliott can fall into relevant person category in that situation.

Hard to see how grant of injunction would put the club at further risk. Embargoes in place before the SPA signed and arose out of ESI, not LD. Mihail does not explain what continuation of embargo caused by injunction. We also know club has begun season.

No explanation of how embargoes would be lifted if the injunction is refused. Gallen's evidence is that would affect transfer windows, but no ability of club's ability to pay for any players if the injunction is lifted.

Gallen gave evidence that performance and income would improve but no evidence that this would happen. Unsafe to assume that loss of income translates pound for pound into share value.

Mihail does not give any evidence about how the issues could be resolved in the time between now and the trial in November. Would be a "bold move" to expel the club while Elliott's OADT its under appeal. Pearce supplied the wrong legal hypothesis.

Interim costs of £25k were granted.

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