Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Former owners sued over Peninsula move for club

The former owners of Charlton are being sued over the failure to secure a new home on the Greenwich Peninsula for the club before it was sold

City AM reports: 'The former owners of Charlton Athletic have been sued over a failed promise to arrange a deal for the construction of a new stadium with an adjoining residential and commercial development on Greenwich Peninsula. LA-based property developer Darius Khakshouri is suing Tony Jimenez and Kevin Cash, who co-owned Charlton from 2011 to 2013, after providing the pair a £1.8m to help ease the club's cash flow issues in September 2013 as they searched for a buyer.

Khakshouri claims he was talked into the deal on the condition that Charlton would not be sold without a deal being in place to set the club up in a new stadium in the prestigious Greenwich Peninsula area near the O2 Arena. Yet when Charlton were sold to current owner Roland Duchatelet in January 2014, no deal such deal was in place.

A long time friend and business associate of Jimenez and Cash, Khakshouri says he was told he would share in the profits of a land deal and was therefore convinced to reduce his stake in an LA property development from 55 to 25 per cent in order to raise the money for the loan. Although the loan was repaid, Khakshouri will argue that it subsequently became apparent that there had never been any intention of securing the land deal prior to the sale.

Ian Baker, a partner at PGB Gitlin Baker Solicitors who are representing Khakshouri, said: "Mr Khakshouri trusted his friends Mr Jimenez and Mr Cash and lent them money in good faith and relying on their promises. "Mr Khakshouri feels that he not only suffered the loss of over £1m from reducing his stake in a lucrative investment to provide finance for Mr Jimenez and Mr Cash's project - but was also hurt at the betrayal of two individuals he considered long-standing friends."

The trio had previously worked together on the development of Les Bordes luxury golf resort in the Loire Valley in France.

Charlton were in desperate need of funding at the beginning of the 2013/14 season, when the club began the Championship campaign with 16 players in the last year of their contract.'

This last point is significant as it does provide evidence that Charlton were in dire financial straits, as many of us knew to be the case, before the Belgian takeover.

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