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Uproar at Xamax shareholders’ meeting

Shareholders of the Neuchâtel Xamax football club were up in arms at an extraordinary general meeting of the club on Monday – but the owner didn’t attend to see it.

Since Chechen businessman Bulat Chagayev holds a majority of the shares, the revolt of small shareholders in any case made no difference to his plans.

Chagayev, absent “for family reasons”, was named chairman of the club by the meeting, and his associate Islam Satujev vice-chairman.

Opponents whistled and booed, but Satujev refused to answer any of the questions raised. Initially he said he had “not foreseen” them; later he told the press he “didn’t want” to answer.

The few shareholders not in the Chagayev camp who nevertheless voted in favour of the new board said they had done so in order to save the club.

Recent press reports have been highly critical of Chagayev’s style. The French-language Le Matin newspaper reported that Chagayev had gone with bodyguards to the dressing rooms after Saturday’s match against Lausanne and roundly abused several of the players.

Le Matin also quoted Neuchâtel city’s head of sport as saying Xamax had not paid the rent on its grounds since Chagayev took over in May – an accusation played down by Satujev.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR