Thursday 21 July 2022

EFL will not disqualify Southall

According to a report from the usually reliable Athletic, Matt Southall will not be disqualified by the EFL from being involved at Birmingham City.

The Athletic understands Southall believes he has been unfairly blamed for disputes between investors at Charlton that were beyond his control. It is also understood that his relationship with Bassini was not close and they are not linked now.

In regards to Charlton, he believes the steps he took to exclude other directors from the south east London club and illegally change information at Companies House were motivated by a desire to find a better buyer to take over. A judge reprimanded him for those actions and awarded costs against him when the matter went to a business court in 2020. Southall admitted his wrongdoing and apologised.

After Charlton, little was heard from him for a year. He was loosely linked to Spanish businessman Erik Alonso’s amateurish attempt to buy Derby in the spring of 2021 but that probably boiled down to making a few introductions.

More significant, and potentially problematic for keeping the fans at Birmingham onside, is his involvement in the attempted hostile takeover of League Two club Rochdale last summer by a company called Morton House.

Like Wanda Nara and Charlton, that is another saga that warrants further reading. Long story short: Rochdale fans did not want their club to be taken over by Morton House, so got organised and fought back.

Southall, for reasons that remain unclear, ended up being Morton House’s front man in an attempt to sue Rochdale's board and supporters' trust. That attempt was ongoing until Monday of this week, when Southall resigned from Morton House. It remains to be seen where that goes next.

Again, it is understood that Southall has an explanation for what happened. Furthermore, The Athletic has seen a document that suggests, despite his admitted wrongdoing at Charlton, the EFL will not disqualify him as a “relevant person” at a club.

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