Charlton Athletic’s majority shareholder Tahnoon Nimer has today resigned with immediate effect.
Since East Street Investment’s takeover of Charlton Athletic at the start of the year, Charlton fans have been clinging onto an ideal of a long, successful and illustrious future history in the Premier League, backed by Nimer’s millions and led by Lee Bowyer.
But from the get-go, it’s not felt quite right. It all seemed a bit too good to be true and this morning, fans’ worst fears were confirmed – Nimer left his post at the club with immediate effect, and his supposed millions never saw daylight.
Matt Southall has been left to pick up the pieces. Charlton’s young and likeable chairman has been the only truth, and the only consistent in this short but damaging saga.
Here we take a look at three immediate issues that will beset Charlton after today’s news:
More to follow?
Once one goes, more follow. That’s the usual scenario when boardroom fractions arise like this one. Although the debate seems to be between Nimer and Southall over ‘false funds’ promised by the former and never delivered, the whole debacle only portrays Southall in a negative light, and he could yet follow suit.
It’s hard to know what to believe and who to trust, especially in football and especially when there’s so much money involved. Charlton fans adored Nimer and worshipped ‘his excellency’ as one of their own. But, according to Southall anyway, he’s proved to be something of a fraud, and it’ll be hard for Charlton fans to trust fully in anyone, let alone Southall after the events of this week.
Often when a case like these blow up, there’s subsequent legal proceedings. Nimer’s resignation won’t be the last that fans hear of him and should Southall follow-up on the defamation claims he made last night, he could embroil the club in a lengthy, unhealthy legal battle against the said-to-be wealthy Nimer.
It’s unfortunate how damaging off-field incidents like these can be. Charlton fans had suffered for long enough under Roland Duchatelet and hoped that this was the silver lining of a long and arduous cloud. But their suffering looks set to continue – this could just be the start of it.
‘The making or breaking of Bowyer’s Charlton?’
Leading on from the previous point, off-field problems more often than not will eke their way onto the pitch, and given that Charlton dropped into the bottom-three over the weekend, their season’s fortunes have just got a whole lot worse.
Lee Bowyer is now a man under immense pressure – a section of fans have been on his back for a number of months and that section will no doubt have grown after the defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend.
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His side have shown far too much to be relegated straight back to League One but as it stands, and looking at Charlton’s remaining fixtures, relegation is now a highly-likely probability, and this week’s controversy will either be the making or breaking of Bowyer’s Charlton.