OPINION: Charlton Athletic doomed if Bassini takeover goes through
According to a report from Sky Sports, ex-Watford chairman Laurence Bassini confirms interest in Charlton Athletic.
Charlton Athletic had been on the market since late 2017, eventually former owner, Ronald Duchatelet, completed a deal to sell it to East Street Investments (ESI), fronted by businessman Tahnoon Nimer, in January this year. That brought ESI to the table, Matt Southall was installed as chairman. Cue a falling out in March, Southall is deposed and a Twitter spat ensues.
The Belgium businessman dealt with the club’s financial difficulties in the public eye, making it clear that he’d lost millions since the initial takeover. That is a ‘tradition’ that ESI has continued with the Matt Southall affair.
Charlton released a club statement on Friday evening expressing that a process to change the owner was underway, although this could very well relate to a change in ownership at ESI.
According to Sky Sports- Charlton have not confirmed the identity of the potential new owner, but a deal has been agreed by Tahnoon Nimer to sell his shares in East Street Investments. A provisional agreement for Bassini to buy the club was discussed at last week’s board meeting.
Ex-Watford owner Laurence Bassini has had his fair share of legal problems. In 2013 the businessman was banned for three years after carrying out multiple deals behind the EFL’s back. He faced allegations claiming he took personal gain from loans made out under Watford’s name. He pleaded guilty for dishonest behaviour of Watford’s accounts and financial reports. There were also implications suggesting the owner purposely played with Watford’s cash flow, deliberately slowing it down to avoid the EFL’s radar.
Last season Bassini emerged in position to take over from Ken Anderson at Bolton. The Trotters were in the Championship when the interest spread, however, the deal subsided with Wanderers claiming Bassini had failed to provide proof of funds by the club’s deadline. Bolton would fall into administration and were relegated to League One a few months later.
Bassini Effect – Do Charlton want episode 3?
The Bassini effect is certainly not a reliable or sincere one. The businessman’s past suggests that a takeover would be nothing short of a horror movie for Charlton Athletic. After the Duchatelet and ESI episodes, would having Bassini waltz in be the Episode 3 that Addicks fans would want to watch?
Despite the desperation of a new, stable owner at The Valley, Laurence Bassini is not the answer to the prayers of desperate Addicks fans.