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Another day, more confusion

Like a drunken and beaten heavyweight fighter slumped on the ropes, Matt Southall took to Twitter today in an attempt to lay one last punch. Jonathan Heller, an apparent turncoat, in his corner dabbing Southall’s bruises co-signed the letter on Charlton Athletic headed paper. Not surprisingly the Official Site did not carry the statement.

Southall is finished at Charlton, but yet he clings onto his 35% share of ESI, nominally the owners of the club still. Heller interests me. The ex-Dulwich College student is a very clever man, he could walk rings around Southall intellectually. Sounds as if he only got involved with ABDB due to a previous association with a Canadian nuclear power company, Heller’s background and number one subject.. not football club ownership.

Heller has sat on and backed many boards and enterprises, and it was Tahnoon who got himself involved in Charlton. I assume he is reasonably local. Tonight I see he has been removed from the ABDB executive on their website, and I suspect he just wants to go back to whence he came but is a little caught up in Southall’s web of deceit.

Dave from Drinking During the Game does a much better job than I could of deciphering Southall’s Twitter missive here.

In parallel to this is the story, growing a lot of weight, that former club directors are planning legal action to null and void ESI’s takeover in January. Rick and VOTV explain in great detail here.

£7m is still owed to seven former directors – Richard Murray, Sir Maurice Hatter, David White, David Hughes, David Sumners, Bob Whitehead and Derek Chappell – and it was never paid or even addressed at the point of the sale of the club in January.

It is Chappell leading the charge concerned that ESI’s lack of funds to buy The Valley and Sparrows Lane was always going to end in problems. That’s an understatement of course and the previous directors own due diligence – better than Duchatelet’s unsurprisingly – led them to find out pretty quick that ESI, Southall and Nimer’s proposition was a house of cards.

Legal action by Chappell could hand the club back to Duchatelet, but I think we’d all hope that the stewardship or management of the club lie with some if not all of those ex-directors. I would have more faith in them to 1) care about the immediate future of the club and b) find new investors.

What a mess. Charlton matching the rest of this crazy mad world at the present time.

Also today football in England was further suspended until at least April 30th just as Lee Bowyer was expected to bring his players in for training tomorrow for the first time in a week.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Concerned Addick #

    Brilliant summary, thank you. What I can’t understand is why Nimer doesn’t invoke his absolute right under company law to remove Southall and Heller as ESI directors – which, if he is a 65% shareholder in ESI, he can do by simple majority at shareholder level. Yes this may subject to a claim for damages under a shareholders’ agreement / under the removed directors’ service contracts, but he can still do it. Once Nimer controls the ESI board, he can then move to remove Southall and Heller at CAFC Limited level (having assumed control of the ESI board and therefore its decision making for this sort of matter). I’m concerned that Nimer either doesn’t have the control he says he does – and/or the “Sports lawyers” instructed don’t have a full grasp of corporate governance matters. In any event, as has rightly been pointed out, if Nimer really were a rich and successful businessman, he’d surely have instructed a magic circle London firm to deal with this.
    That said, maybe this IS what’s happening but the timescales set out in the governing documents of the companies has to be followed.

    March 20, 2020
  2. Sysphus #

    Thanks for your update which I read regularly. There can’t be one CAFC fan who still supports Matt Southall, his involvement with CAFC is sickening.To think he still owns 35% of the club and likely to make more money from it is worse. As for Nimer we wait and…hope for the best.
    I agree that the previous Directors from the Curbisley/Murray era are more trusted, and I wish them success…. but I would go one step further to make the club safe.

    I go to football to watch it, not to be kicked about as if I am the football. Complaining is one thing, action is another. Its time for the fans to take control.Its the only way to protect the club for the future. I would suggest that a trusted body such as Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust start a campaign to Buy Back the Valley. Portsmouth fans did it a few years ago and then sold on to someone they chose .
    38,000 fans attended Wembley, £25 million is an accepted value for the Valley and Sparrows Lane. Thats £658 per CAFC fan who attended Wembley, a lot of money but not unachievable. The response will help assess whether we deserve to have a club or not. Or we can keep on moaning at being kicked around.

    March 20, 2020

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