The EFL has confirmed it is investigating the January takeover of Charlton by East Street Investments.
The consortium, headed by Tahnoon Nimer, paid former owner Roland Duchatelet £1 for the club, with an agreement to pay a further £55m to purchase remaining assets including the stadium and training ground. The deadline for the payment has not been confirmed.
Majority shareholder Nimer, based in Abu Dhabi, has still yet to satisfy EFL requests for proof and source of funding.
The EFL said: “The EFL has commenced formal investigations to ascertain whether breaches of EFL Regulations and/or other misconduct occurred in relation to the takeover of Charlton Athletic in January 2020.”
Nimer, who took control in March after ousting executive chairman Matt Southall and another director, Jonathan Heller, is now being investigated, along with Southall and Heller.
Nimer said in a statement confirmed this evening by Charlton: “I can confirm that I have received correspondence from the EFL and I have already provided an initial response and intend to co-operate fully with them in order to ensure clarity on this matter. Mr Southall liaised with the previous solicitors throughout this process. I do not believe I should make any further comment on this at this stage.”
All parties have been asked to provide any information relating to the takeover and in particular the timeline of events regarding the transfer of shares and roles taken in the running of the club.
They have until Wednesday to respond.
Nimer had promised to invest funds in the club this month – and told manager Lee Bowyer he will honour that commitment.
But the EFL could deduct Charlton as many as 12 points if misconduct is proven – virtually guaranteeing relegation, with nine games to go.
Another risk is that Nimer might not be able to pay the £55million to Duchatelet, who would become the de facto owner of The Valley and the club’s Sparrow’s Lane training ground.
That would leave the Addicks in the precarious position of not owning their stadium. That scenario would give fans deja vu after then-chairman Michael Gliksten sold the club in 1982 but kept the ground, leading to seven years of exile from 1985, first at Selhurst Park; and then a year-and-a half at West Ham’s then-ground, Upton Park, before their return in December 1992.
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