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Sport

Thomas Sandgaard claims victory in Charlton takeover battle

(Reuters) - Danish-American businessman Thomas Sandgaard has completed the acquisition of Charlton Athletic from East Street Investments (ESI) Limited, the League One club announced on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Championship - Charlton Athletic v Middlesbrough - The Valley, London, Britain - March 7, 2020 Fans outside the stadium before the match Action Images/Tony O'Brien

Sandgaard completed a deal to buy 100% of the third-tier club after clearing the English Football League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

“I am humbled by your support and honoured to officially become part of the Charlton family. The Charlton community is one of a kind,” Sandgaard wrote in an open letter to the Charlton fans.

The deal has been complicated because Manchester-based businessman Paul Elliott had also been looking to take control of the League One side, having agreed a deal with ESI.

But Elliot failed the EFL’s owners’ and directors’ test in August, preventing him from being involved in the running of the club.

Elliott then sought a court injunction to stop the sale of shares in ESI to a third party before Sandgaard entered the picture.

"While there was an injunction in place to prevent the acquisition of ESI, it did not prevent the acquisition of the club itself and so I am thrilled to announce that I have acquired the club from ESI," Sandgaard said in a statement here.

“With the club about to run out of funds this month, it was important that I moved quickly to complete the acquisition and put funds in to the club to ensure its survival.

“The club will also be working quickly post-completion to recover any losses suffered as a result of the actions of the previous owners to the extent possible.”

Charlton, who are 11th in the League One standings, face Lincoln City on Sunday.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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