BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Tahnoon Nimer’s lawyer has raised questions over spending by Matt Southall – and says that Charlton’s majority shareholder will take legal action to remove him from the football club.
The rift between the pair became public on Monday. It has since emerged that the EFL have yet to approve the takeover of the Addicks by East Street Investments in January as further information is required as to the source and sufficiency of funding.
Nimer’s lawyer Chris Farnell has questioned whether spending on a central London flat costing £150,000 a year, four £98,000 Range Rovers and consultancy fees for Southall and Lee Amis had been sanctioned.
Two of the vehicles were for Jacco Van Seventer and John Hirst, who work for Panorama Magic General Contracting LLC, which is the company Nimer used to buy the Championship club in January. The Syrian businessman owns 65 per cent of the shares in Panorama. Nimer has instructed lawyers to investigate “financial irregularities” at the club.
Farnell said: “We have written to Mr Southall today to request his resignation. If not, we will go through the procedure, we will remove him as a director and we will pursue him personally.
“Due to the desire of Mr Nimer to get this matter resolved as soon as possible, for the benefit of the fans and the club, we have begun that process today [Wednesday].”
Asked if Southall was powerless to prevent his removal due to Nimer being the majority shareholder, Farnell said: “As far as my opinion is, that is the case. I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest otherwise. Nor has Mr Southall suggested otherwise as well.”
Charlton Athletic released a statement this morning.
It said: “In line with the EFL’s statement earlier this week, the club had no intention of making any further public comment.
“However, given the high level of interest in the media, we feel it only right for Charlton’s staff, players and supporters to be made aware of the club’s position in a clear and concise manner.
“The club wish to make it clear that Matt Southall has their full support in his role as chairman and are looking forward to working with him into the future towards a positive end to this current season and beyond.
“All the public allegations levelled at Mr Southall by either Mr Nimer or his advisors are denied in their entirety and Mr Southall retains the full backing of the club and its board.
“Mr Tahnoon Nimer, in his capacity as majority shareholder of ESI, has made various funding guarantees to the club but as of yet the EFL remain unsatisfied regarding the source and sufficiency of any funds proffered.
“The club is grateful for the EFL’s statement of March 10 clarifying this position and would like it made clear that, as a result of Mr Nimer’s failure to provide the information sought by the EFL, the club was subject to a transfer embargo during the January window.
“If the information the EFL require is not forthcoming the club is at risk of further sanction by the EFL and it is taking advice in this regard.
“In the meantime, and until further notice, no statements made by either Mr Nimer or his advisors should be understood to represent the club’s position.
“The board are hopeful that this matter is resolved soon to allow all parties to concentrate on the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.”
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