Charlton Athletic striker Lyle Taylor has taken aim at the Addicks’ former executive chairman Matt Southall as the saga concerning East Street Investment’s takeover of the club continues.
Southall is understood to have purchased a 35% share of the club when ESI completed their takeover of Charlton in January and was appointed as executive chairman when the deal was first agreed late last year.
Following an ugly boardroom dispute with majority shareholder Tahnoon Nimer, Southall has been removed from his role at the club and it has been reported that he is looking to sell his stake in Charlton for a high six-figure sum.
Nimer and Southall traded some serious allegations during the dispute, which was played out on social media, and the EFL has since launched an investigation into ESI’s takeover of the club over potential misconduct.
Speaking on The Beautiful Game Podcast, Taylor took aim at Southall over his character and the way he’d conducted himself at the club.
He said: “He’s a fraud. He’s a fraud. It’s that simple. He’s a fraud.
The Addicks striker is out of contract this summer and earlier this season, Southall told the press that Taylor had rejected the new deal offered to him but the striker revealed recently that the offer was lower than had been previously suggested in negotiations with the club.
Asked if Southall was using him as a pawn to increase his popularity, Taylor said: “100%. I know about him. I’m telling you, I know about him. I know everything you need to know about him. I know about his past, I know about past dealings. I know everything, I promise you I know everything.
“I’ve known this since September/October.”
“(When he came into the club) I had his number, I already knew. I knew everything about him because I spoke to plenty of people. Plenty of people have got enough to say about him.
“That’s people who know him personally and that’s people that have had business dealings with him. I know him, I know who he is, I know his character.
“Now, what he has come and done. This isn’t the first time he has come and done stupid stuff like this. That’s all I’m going to say on that.”
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These are strong claims from Taylor but given the situation surrounding Southall and the other allegations leveled at him, there’s no reason to dispute them.
It will be interesting to see whether the previous dealings that he has alluded to come out in the future.
It appears that the former executive chairman attempted to use contract discussions with the Addicks key man as a popularity ploy, with the striker now seeming likely to walk away as a free agent at the end of the season.
You have to feel sympathy for the Charlton fans, who may have felt their off the field issues were over when the new takeover was completed in January – that does not seem to be the case.