Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet on Lee Bowyer’s new deal after remarkable statement u-turn

BY LOUIS MENDEZ

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet has claimed that securing boss Lee Bowyer on just a one-year contract extension increases his chances of selling the Championship outfit – but he remains unclear on when that will happen.

The Belgian tycoon, who put the Addicks up for sale over two years ago, also lamented the amount of money clubs lose in the Championship and called for reforms from the English Football League (EFL).

Bowyer penned a twelve-month deal to remain in the SE7 hot seat less than 24 hours after a remarkable statement appeared on the official club website claiming an agreement couldn’t be reached. The 42-year-old had won promotion from League One via the play-offs last season but his current deal was set to expire this month.

Duchatelet appeared on talkSPORT on Tuesday morning.

“We formed an agreement which is a very nice agreement for [Bowyer], which is good, but also an agreement whereby we do not get into a big liability for the future,” said Duchatelet.

“That is also very important for us and for our ability to sell the club. I’m very happy. In fact, I was in a problem situation as I have two objectives. Sign Lee Bowyer on one hand as he is a major asset to the club but on the other hand retain the ability to sell the club.

“The problem was that his agent was proposing things that increased liability of the club to such an extent that it would become difficult to sell the club. It would increase the difficulty and it is difficult already. That was one of my problems and I’m happy now that we sorted it out and we have more or less a reasonable agreement.”

Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer with the Sky Bet League One Trophy

‘[When the club will be sold] is unclear. It’s certainly not days if you ask my opinion. It is true that because we came back to Championship that the interest has improved again. There are more than a few who have interest. But I think it’s not an easy thing to sell a club. There are a few other Championship clubs for sale. If you look at the statistics of the number of Championship clubs sold in the last few decades its impressive how many clubs change hands. That means that many new owners come in but also means that many former owners are happy to sell.

“The main problem of all the owners in the Championship is in fact the average loss per club today, which is funded by the rich owner, is £1000 per season ticket owner.

“Charlton lose money as well like any club, sometimes there is one or two who don’t lose in Championship. The problem is the regulation about Financial Fair Play and in general, it is a very poorly organised competition. It’s craziness. The problem also lies with the EFL. Not taking appropriate measures like would be done in the US for example to contain the losses. By putting in measures, for example, to limit the expenses on players.

“The problem is the players don’t have to care. The agents work for the players, they work for the agents, they don’t care about the owner of the club. The owners have to get together and say we don’t want to lose that money every year. We want not to lose money all the time. They should put themselves together and say we are going to reorganise ourselves. The EFL should be a key actor in doing that. The reason why I said that I wanted to sell the club to the EFL was basically because it is not doing its job properly in that respect.”

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