Local MP steps in over Charlton Athletic takeover amid ‘growing alarm’

The local MP Matthew Pennycook has intervened in the chaotic situation currently ongoing at Charlton Athletic, and demanded answers from the English Football League.

Charlton Athletic Football Club, currently in the midst of a worrying relegation battle, but faces a greater threat to its future in the fallout of a takeover of the club by East Street Investments (ESI) in January.

They bought Charlton from Roland Duchatelet for £1, with the agreement of a further £50m to purchase remaining assets including the stadium and training ground, but the club’s supporters trust warned in May that CAFC’s “very existence is under threat” due to the takeover.

The ESI consortium, fronted by Tahnoon Nimer and Matt Southall, fell in chaos when the pair had a large and public fallout which has now threatened to derail the club, with the situation further complicating when businessman Paul Elliot’s consortium took over from Nimer.

The EFL has since launched an investigation into potential misconduct regarding the ESI takeover.

Matthew Pennycook, Member of Parliament for Greenwich and Woolwich, has now weighed into the proceedings, stating that a “great many questions remain unanswered.”

In a letter addressed directly to the chairman of the EFL, Pennycook said he will not let Charlton, “the club located at the heart of my constituency,” become another Bury.

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In the letter, he tells Rick Parry that he’ll surely be aware of the breakdown in relations between CAFC supporters and the clubs previous owners, meaning the fans welcomed the ESI takeover in January.

“However, developments in recent months have led to growing alarm among CAFC fans, many are now rightly concerned about the clubs future, and a great many questions remain unanswered regarding the club’s ownership, future intentions of the freeholder of the Valley and the Sparrows Lane training grounds, the ESI consortium itslef and the nature of financial support that consortium has provided to CAFC.”

Pennycook said the situation at Wigan serves to highlight to risk involved in such takeovers, also opting to hit out at the deficiencies in how the EFL currently regulate their leagues.

In his letter, he has asked the EFL to provide a prompt update on the following:

-What progress has been made to the EFL’s investigation into the ESI takeover in January, and when it will conclude

-When the EFL expects to make a decision regarding the owners and directors, and whether the current owner has the sufficient funds

-commit to greater transparency with fans in regards to both of these processes.

“I am determined to ensure that what has happened at Wigan Athletic and Bury FC does not happen at CAFC, and I am committed to doing everything I can to secure our club’s long-term future.

“As you determine how best to resolve the issues of concerns at CAFC, I urge you to have at the forefront of your mind the need to proactively engage supports, and ensure…

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