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Charlton storm could leave Bonne in a fix

A storm is brewing at Charlton Athletic, which could see Zimbabwe international striker Macauley Bonne and his teammates failing to get their salaries, as the English Championship side battle financial challenges and internal strife.

Macauley Bonne — Picture: Charlton Athletic
Macauley Bonne — Picture: Charlton Athletic

The Warriors forward joined the south London club at the beginning of the season.

Bonne is the second best scorer at Charlton Athletic this season, with eight goals and two assists, with Lyle Taylor leading on that front with 11 goals and two assists. But, it appears, the wheels are coming off the club’s train.

Majority shareholder, Tahnoon Nimer, who owns 65 per cent of Charlton’s shares, and chairman Matt Southall have been locked in a public war of words that has left the long-term future of the club and its players in major doubt.

Nimer has demanded Southall to be replaced as chairman and vowed that until that happens Panorama, his Abu Dhabi-based corporation who are backing the club, ‘‘will suspend any capital contribution’ to Charlton.’’

He also vowed to remain as a director after Charlton earlier released a statement claiming that they had accepted his resignation as a director.

Nimer’s statement read: ‘‘Our commitment to Charlton Athletic and all of the people behind this historic club, whether they are on the pitch, in the bleachers or in the terraces still stands and we are ready to honour it more than ever.

‘‘For this reason, we have tried, for the past week, to reach an amicable solution regarding the Club’s management, in order to secure our short term objectives — lifting the transfer embargo and ensuring we have a fighting chance in the 20/21 season.

‘‘However, is it now clear that our interest and the current chairman’s, with regards to the Club’s future are different and irreconcilable.

‘‘Therefore, we have retained distinct legal counsel from that of the Club’s and will shortly take the necessary measures to remove the persons responsible from the Club and appoint a new chairman to lead the Club.

‘‘Until such time comes, Panorama will suspend any capital contribution and I will remain in my position as Club Director.’’

But Southall is refusing to budge and has accused Nimer of ‘‘not investing a single penny’’ since the takeover of Charlton was completed on January 2.

The spectacular fallout could have widespread ramifications, including for Charlton’s players.

The Daily Mail understands both youth and first team players have been warned that, as it stands, the club can afford to pay their wages until Christmas, though concerns are growing that the funds will dry up even before that.

Beyond December, though, the Addicks are heading for huge financial trouble and fears are growing that they will not be able fulfil their players’ contracts unless a new investor to replace Nimer or a resolution to the situation is found.

Nimer made a number of accusations against the Addicks chairman on social media on Monday before hinting he would pull out of the south London club, who are backed through his Abu Dhabi-based corporation Panorama Magic General Contracting LLC.

Southall accused Nimer of threatening the senior management team with legal action while a disagreement occurred over an attempt to appoint a new chief executive.

Southall also took aim at the Syrian businessman over an alleged attempt to buy Romanian club Dinamo Bucharest.

‘‘On Monday, Tahnoon Nimer sent an incredibly damaging letter on behalf of Panorama Magic General Contracting LLC to members of the club’s Senior Management Team. In the letter, he made allegations about me and my conduct, which my lawyers immediately rebutted,’’ a statement from Southall read.

‘‘It is a crucial time of the season and it would seem appropriate that all the stakeholders direct their efforts in support of the team and the club.

‘‘Therefore, it is disappointing that the majority shareholder should act in such a manner and be attempting to purchase Dinamo Bucharest to the point where he posted a picture of himself in Romania during Saturday’s fixture.

‘‘The Board and the Senior Management Team are determined that Charlton Athletic be run in a sensible, responsible and sustainable manner but this is being made very difficult by the majority shareholder’s actions and his failure to provide either the necessary satisfaction to the EFL or the funds that he has consistently promised to invest.

‘‘To date, not a single penny of the promised funds has been provided. The Board will continue to make decisions in the best interests of club, its fans, its players and its staff with the full support of the dedicated and loyal senior management team.’’

With this, Southall also revealed that he had a disagreement seemingly over the contract handed to boss Lee Bowyer last summer.

In an extraordinary 24 hours, Bowyer left the club before returning to pen a new deal after his future was plunged into doubt following a bizarre statement from the club’s previous owner Roland Duchatelet. — The Herald/Sportsmail.

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