A year ago
Last March was a pretty uncertain time for everyone, the pandemic was unravelling quickly, as was the ownership situation at Charlton Athletic.
A year ago tonight I wrote that I had just got indoors from having dinner with a client…. probably the last for a while I said. It was.
At the same time my phone was lighting up with what was going on inside The Valley. There were chaotic scenes hidden from view but word had got out that Matt Southall’s own fraud was unravelling as Charlton fans attempted to remove him.
Fast forward a year and the excellent Benjy Nurick has the full untold story, with the help of those that were inside the boardroom.
There are some classic quotes in Benjy’s article that will only only give further emphasis of how important it was to remove these frauds and nobodies from our football club. The cowardice of Chris Farnell is also duly noted.
Take a read if you haven’t already.
Southall, Nimer, Farnell and all the other hangers-on associated with them behind the scenes really were scumbags. Duchatelet and Jimenez were bad enough but these shysters really were the lowest of the low. Farnell and Southall, in particular, are parasites of the lowest order and it really is shocking that Southall and his cronies have been able to walk away relatively unscathed without ever being properly held to account (other than a paltry £21k fine for Southall for unlawfully changing the names of club Director’s). That Southall was even able to get his hands on Charlton in the first place is a disgrace and also a damning indictment on the ‘not fit for purpose’ EFL.
At a time when different sectors of industry & society are calling for much broader representation at ‘the very top level’ from individuals from the BAME community, what an extremely poor example Matt Southall set when he had the opportunity. (By comparison, Southall is the polar opposite of Chris Powell who served the club with integrity and distinction.) To the club’s gross misfortune, Southall wrongly mis-used club funds to purchase cars, fancy accommodation, bizarrely holding a meeting while having his haircut (at the expense of the club, l expect), and, when challenged, his unprofessional and tyrannical conduct shone through (either sacking employees on the spot or offering to fight them!), and all within a very short space of time of him being made Chairman. Southall just couldn’t resist getting his hands on the spoils and he was eventually exposed for the greedy bastard that he is. His family must be so proud!
Move on 12 months from Southall’s night of shame and thank God for Thomas Sandgaard! He is everything that Matt Southall is not. TS has honesty, integrity, commitment, engagement, generosity, compassion and more. After years of hardwork by a whole range of people reclaiming and re-building the Valley, enhancing the stature of the team/club, increasing attendances, followed by those dark dark days of extremely poor ownership, piece by piece Thomas is breathing new life back into the club by putting the club back together again. Purchasing the womens team for example is a great start. He has delivered on his promise to bring stability and a sense of inclusively. With the togetherness that TS encourages, the club will get back to where it once was, l have no doubt, but we all recognise that it will take time. Had TS not stepped in and saved the club when he did then l dread to think what would have happened! To TS and those employees who bravely stood up to Southall (in whatever capacity) we owe you a greal deal. l salute you!
Hear hear Norfolk.
Lest we forget – very timely article given all the moaning going on.
And I apologise now CA – the drug is too much and am back watching this afternoon.
Was volunteering at the vaccination centre in the north stand yesterday and got very emotional looking out the window – despite what has been going on on the pitch I can’t wait to get back.
Me too LP.
That first pint, the crowds, the camaraderie, walking through the turnstile, taking your seat, the red, red robin, the noise, the expectation, the nerves, the first whistle…..
I really enjoy reading these articles. Thank you.
Quote of the Day (3) ‘Team Spirit MUST be fostered if the side is going to achieve anything and the captain can do much towards this if he is given a chance…When Charlton won promotion… we were not a great side…but we had the right spirit developed throughout the club and we won our matches because we WERE a team, in which every man was a vital cog in the machinery.’
Jimmy Seed, Soccer from the Inside, London:Thorsons, 1947, p. 109.
As true now as it was in 1947
So right Neil. Jimmy Seed 👏 👏