Exclusive: Lee Bowyer and his management team would love to sign long-term deals at Charlton

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Lee Bowyer admits he would jump at the chance of a long-term deal at Charlton Athletic – and reckons all of his management team are ready to commit.

The 42-year-old is being linked with the vacancy at Cardiff City – with Welsh press reporting earlier this week that it was a straight race between the Addicks chief and former Millwall boss Neil Harris.

But Bowyer, on a short break in France’s Champagne region, told the South London Press on Wednesday that he had not had any contact from the Bluebirds.

Harris. who left the Lions in early October, has looked to be the preferred option for Cardiff ever since they parted company with Neil Warnock at the start of this week.

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet has shown no intention of extending Bowyer’s contract – which runs out at the end of June – despite him being a highly-regarded young boss who knocked back overtures from Huddersfield Town earlier in the campaign.

Even after winning promotion to the Championship at the end of May, Bowyer had to wait until June 18 to pen a 12-month extension.

Assistant-boss Johnnie Jackson and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall signed for the same length of time.

“It’s not just me – all of the staff would like to get proper contracts,” said Bowyer. “And fair contracts.

“But mine runs out [in June] and I’m going to be asked a million questions again about when I will sign a new contract.

“I’d rather have a three-year contract, like other managers do, and then you might have some stability and something to build with. You’d think ‘okay, I’ve got a bit of time’ instead of the way things are here.”

Duchatelet has previously stated that he does not want staff tied to longer-term deals as he looks to sell the club.

One interested party was Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman, but he has since walked away after getting frustrated at negotiations.

Duchatelet claims he wants to make Charlton financially attractive to potential purchasers – and that means not making the coaching staff expensive to pay off if a new owner wants change.

“I get and respect the reason why he is doing it,” said Bowyer. “But it doesn’t make it any better for us as staff – because there is uncertainty the whole time.

“For us it is not a good situation to be in. We’d like the same contracts as everyone else have but we ain’t got that. So it is what it is.”

Bowyer believes that the lack of security is also a factor when it comes to persuading key players to stay.

Lyle Taylor will be a free agent next summer and was the subject of multiple bids from Brentford before the last transfer window shut.

“You saw what happened with Joe Aribo [joining Rangers] and obviously Lyle’s in a similar situation this year,” said Bowyer. “It does make an impact, whether you like it or not that is the reality of it.

“It does affect things.”

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