The acrimony over Charlton’s failed takeover bid has taken a bizarre twist after a company car the club were allegedly trying to recover was mysteriously put up for sale.
The League One club’s future is mired in uncertainty and the fall-out has taken another curious turn after a Range Rover, bought with the club’s money, was listed on used car website Carcraft.
However, in a letter sent to former Southampton and Cardiff boss Dave Jones — who was set for a role at The Valley as part of a stalled takeover led by sports lawyer Chris Farnell — the club appeared to be demanding the car’s return.
The letter, seen by Sportsmail, reads: ‘As a shareholder and Director of East Street Investments Ltd (ESI), which owns the entire share capital in Charlton Athletic, I authorise DNEL Lead of Unit 1-2-4 Access Point Industrial Estate to recover vehicle YA69 ZKZ — a black Range Rover Vogue from your possession. The vehicle is not insured for you to drive and the club have informed the relevant authorities and strongly urge you not to attempt to drive the vehicle.’
The letter, dated August 13, is signed by Matthew Southall, a director and shareholder of ESI.
The London club insist Southall does not act for them following his removal from their board this year.
But on Monday Southall claimed to Sportsmail that as a 35 per cent shareholder and director of ESI, who own 100 per cent of Charlton, he has the authority to send the letter.
Southall says he held talks with Charlton director Marian Mihail on Thursday at which they agreed he would handle the recovery of the cars. Those claims were disputed by Charlton, who insist they have not demanded the cars’ recovery.
Southall added that a further recovery letter had been sent to Farnell for another Range Rover purchased with the club’s money — but sources close to the lawyer insist he didn’t receive any letter.
It is understood Farnell insists Charlton agreed he would keep the cars for safekeeping while the takeover was finalised and that one was given to Jones ahead of his pending appointment.
It is also claimed the letter to Jones arrived with the recovery worker, but the car was not handed over. Southall is adamant he and ESI have nothing to do with the car appearing on Carcraft.
Likewise, there is no suggestion Jones or Farnell are behind the listing. Jones was contacted by Sportsmail but was unavailable for comment.
This month the EFL ruled that Farnell and his associate Paul Elliott could not complete a takeover, though an appeal has been submitted.