Undisclosed fee for Charlton Athletic
Undisclosed fee for Charlton Athletic

It has become a standing joke with Charlton fans that the fee involved in a transfer deal – buying or selling – ‎is ‘undisclosed’.

The practice started when Roland Duchatelet took control at The Valley and to be fair, it is now prevalent throughout the game.

The idea is to stop clubs trying to inflate fees for players who are wanted by clubs who have recently sold a player for a hefty fee.

But the Addicks have taken the practice a stage further now: at his weekly question and answer session with the Supporters Trust, Marian Mihail said the new owner of ESI was undisclosed. 

When asked about the new owner’s identity, Mihail replied:

‎”I’m afraid I’m not in a position to do that. I wouldn’t be allowed to say anything anyway but I’m in the same position as you, in that I don’t know the identity of the third party.”

Mihail was then asked to explain the process for the sale of ESI.

“Panorama Magic (which holds 65% of the shares in ESI) has received an offer from a third party to purchase the entirety of its shareholding, and has required Mr Southall (the holder of the remaining 35% of ESI shares) to accept the same offer in respect of his shares.

This comes from Article 15 in the ESI agreement which also requires Panorama Magic to give notice of its intention to sell to Mr. Southall. This notice has been given.

“The sale cannot now complete, in accordance with that article, until at least ten business days have passed since notice was given. The notice was given on Friday, May 22nd 2020, meaning that the earliest date on which the sale could complete is Monday, June 8th 2020, though it could also be later than this.

Mihail also explained that Southall HAS to sell is shares (as detailed above) he has no option:

“Mr Southall’s consent to the process I have outlined above is not required. As long as the price being paid by the third party purchaser to Mr Southall for his shares is not less than the price being paid to Panorama Magic for its shares. 

“Mr Southall is obliged to sell his shareholding in ESI. In that sense, he is selling his shares, although the process is not taking place at his instigation.”

So it seems the pantomime of Nimer and Southall’s ownership is coming to an end, though there is a while to go yet.

As Mihail explained, it will be week commencing 8 June before the company can change hands.

The have been several parties showing an interest in acquiring the club, but it is widely believed that former Swansea chairman, Huw Jenkins, is in pole position to clinch the deal.