Greenwich’s Conservative councillors have called on the Government to step in and guarantee the future of Charlton Athletic FC in the borough, as the club stares down the barrel of expulsion from the English Football League.

Cllr Charlie Davis, the deputy leader of Greenwich Council’s Opposition, revealed on Thursday the party had written to sport minister Nigel Huddleston asking him to intervene to save the proud club.

It comes after a long-running, bitter and murky ownership wrangle which could see them punted from the league.

Positivity at the start of the year when East Street Investments (ESI) took over from long-time owner Roland Duchatelet soon gave way to concern as fears grew over whether the new owners had the neccessary funds to guarantee their position in the league.

ESI is now under the process of being taken over by a consortium led by Manchester-based businessman Paul Elliott, who announced in June he would take over as chairman.

But that plan too was thrown into dissaray when the ESL last week rejected the approach because three individuals involved in the constortium, including Mr Elliott, had failed the Owners and Directors’ Test and were “subject to a disqualifying condition.”

This Is Local London: Sports minister Nigel Huddleston.Sports minister Nigel Huddleston.

According to the BBC, the precise reason for the decision is not known, although concerns remain over funding arrangements from ESI.

The decision is currently under appeal.

Councillor Davis, who doubles as the Greenwich Conservatives’ spokesperson for sport, said it was “inconceivable” to think the area could lose its local football team.

His letter, which is co-signed Greenwich Conservatives leader Nigel Fletcher, urged Mr Huddleston to act on the “imminent threat” facing the club.

“The situation has caused great concern, not just to fans of the club but to many residents living in our community in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Charlton Athletic play an important role in the local community, not least through the work of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT),” he said

“We are therefore extremely concerned that Charlton’s future as a Football League club is under imminent threat.

“This concern is amplified by the fact that our community would not be the first to suffer as a result of the poor management and governance of the EFL in the last twelve months.”

The community of Bury have lost their club due to the failures of the Football League, whilst Bolton Wanderers narrowly held onto theirs. How many more clubs need to be in this situation before genuine reform and change happens?”

Cllr Davis said afterward the club “remains at the heart of our community”.

“It is inconceivable to think that we could be facing the loss of our local football team, with all the good work it does,” he said.


“Charlton fans have shown over the years how formidable they can be in defending the club, and they have swung into action again. We are backing them 100 per cent to ensure that Charlton Athletic remains at the heart of our community, and we’re calling on the government to do the same.”

It’s the latest local political move to save the club from suffering a similar fate to Bury FC, who were kicked out of the league last year after their owner couldn’t prove the club could meet their financial commitments.

Council leader Dan Thorpe last month told south-east London news website 853 the authority would fully oppose any action to move the club out of the borough, while Eltham MP Clive Efford and Greenwich and Woolwich MP Matt Pennycook have both written to the EFL in support of the club.