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Charlton face being booted out of EFL with ownership shambles among worrying parallels with Bury

CHARLTON are in danger of heading the same way as Bury unless owners ESI sell the club.

SunSport understands an appeal lodged by the Addicks against the EFL’s decision to ban chairman Paul Elliott and club lawyer Chris Farnell from taking over is doomed.

The League are currently instructing an independent panel to hear the case but their original decision is deemed bullet proof by EFL legal eagle Nick Craig.

Worryingly, for Addicks fans, Farnell was the lawyer acting for Bury last summer before they were booted out of the EFL after failing to provide proof of funding.

While – in another twist – Farnell was planning to appoint former Southampton and Wolves boss Dave Jones today as special football adviser.

Jones also held the same role at Bury last summer.

But that may now be put back after a video showed Charlton supporters interrupting a meeting Farnell was staging with Jones at his Manchester office on Friday – as they sought to confront him.

The owners are telling the fans all is good yet behind the scenes they’re looking to sell prized assets as they’re desperate for cash.

Jones is, however, already working on selling fans’ favourite and keeper Dillon Phillips and has recommended three overseas players to the club although they are currently under a transfer embargo.

A well-placed source told SunSport: “The current owners are telling the fans all is good yet behind the scenes they’re looking to sell prized assets because they’re desperate for cash.”

Farnell resigned his position yesterday as a director of ESI but remains as club lawyer.

SunSport understands by removing himself from that position, he is hoping that will satisfy one of the EFL’s conditions for passing the test.

Former chief executive Peter Varney and ex-Ritz owner Andrew Barclay both still want to take-over the club.

And the two have the finances in place to complete a deal – but as things stand they are unable to negotiate as no-one is sure yet who owns the club.

If Farnell and Elliott fail their appeal, the club will either revert back to the control of ESI majority shareholder Tahnoon Nimer or to other individuals appointed by ESI, who will then be subjected to the League’s fit and proper owners’ test.

If it is the former, the Abu Dhabi businessman will be keen to negotiate a deal with Varney and Barclay.

The situation is complicated by the fact the Addicks no longer own The Valley or training ground – which was retained by former owner Roland Duchatelet.

Nimer wants shot of the club to rid himself of a £50m commitment to buy back the land from the Belgian.

The big concern is, with the club appealing a decision they know is certain to fail, they run the risk of being in a Bury situation next month.

An insider told SunSport: “It’s almost a mirror image. The EFL could postpone their first fixture and say they need evidence of someone funding the club.

“Tahnoon has already failed to provide proof of funds so probably won’t be able to this time either.

“If the club is then not sold, they will almost certainly run a huge risk of expulsion.”

The EFL has told SunSport there is no timeframe for the appeal process to be completed although they were hoping it would be concluded “as soon as possible”.

It is understood one thing that could go in Charlton’s favour, unlike Bury, is they do not currently have any insolvency issues.

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