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 loan 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 loan 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.
It was reported by City AM contributor Mark Kleinman in club fanzine Voice of the Valley at the time that talks between Charlton and Greenwich Council over the possibility of a new stadium were featured in a document made for potential buyers of the club.
Any potential move away from Charlton's home at The Valley would be extremely controversial with supporters, many of whom were forced to watch the team ground-share with Crystal Palace and West Ham for seven years before forming a political party and winning enough votes to persuade Greenwich council to bring them back home to The Valley in 1992.