BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic have been seen as big payers in League One – but head of recruitment Steve Gallen has revealed why that is misleading.
Owner Roland Duchatelet cut back heavily on spending from last summer as he looked to cut losses and make the club more attractive for a takeover.
Gallen said: “There has been a lot of talk about our budget last year. We are historically playing a few players big contracts.
“And so that made it like ‘look how big Charlton’s budget is’. But I can tell you now that all the players that came in last summer – from Lyle Taylor, Darren Pratley, Josh Cullen and Krystian Bielik – it was a mid-table League One budget.
“It’s easy for some clubs out there to say: ‘Their budget is massive’. But we were paying large amounts to players who quite often weren’t in the first-team squad.
“I’d see every January or February the payments come out to the agents and a year ago it came out that Charlton were paying the third highest. I rang Chris Parkes [club secretary] and said: ‘Chris, what’s this? We’re not paying anything! Blackburn were top and Wigan had just come down. How are we third?
“I was new to the role and Chris explained it was historical. We still have to pay agents for the big contracts – it’s not just on the day they walk through the door, here you go it’s paid.
“It continues through their contracts. You’ll find in a year’s time that the payments to agents will come way down – way down. And our budget will also come down.”