Who is featured in this section?
Here you find some individuals who appeared to play some role, at various stages of the saga; but their roles – as far as we know at this time – were relatively minor. However it is important to put them under scrutiny too; firstly because our further investigations may discover that they played bigger roles than we first understood; and secondly because in many cases they have history with other clubs, and they may appear on the radar again at other clubs in future; we can then share information with fan groups of the affected clubs, as we can with the main characters.
JARVIS, Alexander Stephen (aka Alex Jarvis)
Jarvis passed unnoticed by Charlton Athletic fans until brought to their attention by Southall’s comment to representatives of Rochdale AFC Supporters Trust on 29 September 2021. Southall claimed he had known Jarvis for a few years, and had worked with him previously, including at Charlton, before being invited by Jarvis to buy Rochdale AFC shares from the Morton Group. This revelation has prompted some interest and on-going investigations into both Jarvis’ background and his possible role at Charlton Athletic.
Companies House records show Jarvis, who as a young man was an asbestos surveyor, had a number of short-lived companies before incorporating Blackbridge Cross Borders Ltd (09055077) in 2014. It currently has an active proposal to strike off, which has been suspended due to an objection registered on 6 Mar 2021. Rochdale fans have studied Blackridge C.B.’s financial filings at Companies House, and raise some interesting questions.
Blackbridge Sports Ltd (12393590), of the same Exchange Street East, Liverpool accommodation address, was incorporated 9 January 2020, with Jarvis as sole director, and appears to be his replacement company for Blackbridge C. B. Ltd.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Jarvis “was the first British financier to set up a football-focused investment company to assist Chinese investors in acquiring European Football Clubs. Alexander has sold several football clubs to investors from the United States, India, China, Canada, and the UK. Alexander has advised investors on over 30 football club investments across UK/Europe.”
In England, in addition to his 2021 involvement with the Morton Group at Rochdale, and with Southall at Charlton, presumably in 2020, Jarvis is known to have been active from 2017 to 2018 at Southampton, Barnsley, Woking, Peterborough, Blackpool and Hull, and has received somewhat mixed reviews.
It is now known that Southall was associated with Jarvis’ involvement as an intermediary in the attempted hostile take-over of Rochdale AFC as early as 29 April 2021, when the two of them, along with Andy Curran (self-styled consultant to Morton House Mgt Group), were caught on CCTV at RAFC. All three were also seen together the same day outside Wilbutts Lane Chippy in Rochdale.
This brings into question Southall’s exact part in the whole Rochdale venture, which now seems more pivotal than he suggested to Dale Trust in September. Jarvis’ cack-handed input at Rochdale has been well documented by Dale fans. The details of the role Southall credits him as having at Charlton remain, for the time being, a minor mystery.
JONES, David Ronald (aka Dave Jones)
Former footballer and football manager, Jones was brought in as a consultant at Bury FC in July 2019, where he worked with Chris Farnell and others, trying to find a buyer for the club.
On 7 August 2020, when a group of fans paid an unscheduled visit to Farnell at his office in Hale, they found him in a meeting with Jones. A brief video from this meeting can be found in our Gallery. The presence of Jones prompted a local sports reporter to reveal he had been sent a tip the previous day that Steve Gallen was being sacked and replaced by Dave Jones, which he had disregarded at the time. Following a swirl of rumours, the media reported two days later that ESI were planning to appoint Jones to be in charge of football matters, not only above the Manager, but also above the Director of Football at the club. The appointment did not go ahead.
Jones was one of the recipients of the infamous CAFC Range Rovers; it was parked outside Farnell’s office on the day of the fans’ visit, as also was Farnell’s CAFC Range Rover. It soon after appeared for sale on an internet car-mart.
McCARTHY, Matthew David (aka Matt McCarthy)
One of a host of advisors and general hangers-on who arrived at The Valley in the wake of ESI, he was seen at The Valley, the training ground and in the directors’ box at away matches. McCarthy was formerly a director at Bury FC, starting under Steve Dale , and having already worked with that club for several years. He went on to work with Forever Bury who were trying to find a new owner for Bury FC, but then he resigned and left for unknown reasons covered by an NDA.
Sources, including one close to ESI have speculated that in his (unclear) role at CAFC, he was involved in the production of promotional material seeking investors for a scheme to move the club to a new stadium on “Greenwich Peninsular” [sic], thus freeing the Valley site to be redeveloped for luxury apartments. Whatever work he carried out, it apparently justified an invoice for £19,365 from his company Red Cow Media Ltd , for Matt McCarthy, included in a list of invoices revealed by Nimer from the audit he initiated at CAFC in March 2020.
Once Wimbledon reporter for the South London Press, later sports editor of the News of the World, Paul McCarthy is now a PR man.
He accompanied Southall to a “Meet & Greet” with supporters’ groups on 24 Jan 2020, declaring himself as an avid reader of Charlton Life fans’ forum.
According to a summary of an interim audit, released by Nimer in March 2020, Paul McCarthy (via his company Macca Media) charged CAFC £34,100 for his services.
Chartered accountant McHugh had worked for a wide range of companies before being brought to Charlton Athletic by ESI. He had prior experience of football, having been Finance Director at Crystal Palace for 5 years during Simon Jordan’s ownership, and Head of Finance at Bolton Wanderers FC, where he left at the end of his 6-month probationary period. There followed a 16+ month break in his employment record before he was engaged from December 2019 to be Chief Financial Officer at Charlton Athletic. However, he was involved at an even earlier stage; by 3 October 2019, arrangements were being made for a meeting between Southall, Duchâtelet’s negotiator Lieven de Turck, and others including McHugh, at the ground (Annex C)
McHugh was one of three people evicted from The Valley on 12 March 2020 when Southall was served with papers ending his involvement as Chairman and CEO. McHugh was effectively also suspended. Majority owner Nimer instigated an audit of the club’s finances and publicised some of the findings on Instagram, including what he claimed were wages for Southall and McHugh.
It appeared there had been a lot of extravagant expenditure, which given McHugh’s role as Chief Finance Officer, was presumably (or otherwise should have been) subject to his scrutiny and ultimately his approval.
Mihail, Andrei Nicolae
The older brother of Marian Mihail, Andrei Michail is a Romanian accountant. He was appointed to the board of ESI at the same time as Farnell, 6 April 2020, apparently to increase the number of board members who would support Nimer against Southall. He is not known to have played an active part in the running of CAFC, although doubtless his accountancy knowledge would have been relevant.
Andrei Mihail and Farnell also resigned on the same day, 7 August 2020, following the news that they had both failed the EFL’s O&D Test. Farnell appealed successfully, and it eventually emerged that the issue with his test application was that he had omitted to notify the EFL of his appointment as a director of ESI until some time after he had been appointed. It seems likely a similar reason for failing the test also applied to Mihail.
Thomas was an associate of Stewart Day, former owner of Bury FC and was both CEO and a director of the club during Day’s ownership. Steven Dale claims that Thomas persuaded him to take over ownership of Bury. Thomas also knows Matt McCarthy, who became a director of the club at the same time as Dale.
Currently, his reported involvement at Charlton is limited to being a witness in 2019 to a conversation between Southall and Bassini. This discussion, about Bassini and his company BPL introducing Southall to and assisting him in the completion of the takeover of CAFC by ESI, was cited in a document from Brandsmiths (representing BPL) to Southall concerning payment of their invoice, and which has subsequently entered the public domain. (page 3/29)
The question is, what other role might Thomas have been fulfilling, which brought him to be present at this private business conversation? His business interests are mainly property-connected.