Charlton Athletic make joint statement with Australian Football Consortium over takeover status

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Charlton Athletic’s takeover process got a further public statement this afternoon – jointly issued by the consortium interested in purchasing the League One club.

Addicks owner Roland Duchatelet recently asked Lee Bowyer to carry on in caretaker charge of the Addicks as the players get ready to return to pre-season training.

The Australian Football Consortium has been interested in buying a club since 2016 and their own website says they “commissioned Deloitte’s Football Business Group in Manchester to conduct a feasibility study on our project and identify clubs that fit our criteria”.

The group, fronted by multi-millionaire Andrew Muir, have been in extended negotiations to end Duchatelet’s spell at the helm of the South London club.

But the latest statement does not set a timescale on when the takeover will happen.

Andrew Muir (scarf left) and Gerard Murphy (second left) watch the play-off game
Charlton Athletic v Shrewsbury Town, SkyBet League 1 Play-Off Semi Final 1st Leg, The Valley, 10 May 2018.
Image by Keith Gillard

Duchatelet has acted in more ways than one of late. He sold Ezri Konsa to Brentford for around £3million.

And there looks set to be a reduction in outgoings as the Addicks face a third season in football’s third tier.

The statement on behalf of both seller and potential buyer said: “Charlton Athletic can confirm that it is expecting a takeover of the club to be completed by a select group of investors linked to The Australian Football Consortium.

“The group has a significant interest in the long-term prosperity of the club and is committed to seeing the deal go ahead.

“Understandably, negotiations of this scale take time due to the enormous amount of due diligence that goes on behind the scenes, the need to satisfy the regulatory complexities of a football takeover and the challenges of assembling an ownership group.

“The current ownership would like to assure the club’s supporters that the running of the club will remain its priority throughout this process. The club’s management team are focused on the club’s operations, and Lee Bowyer and his staff are continuing their preparations for the upcoming season.

“We will provide a further update when further developments are made. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support.”