BY RICHARD CAWLEY
East Street Investments’ agreement to buy Charlton Athletic involves owning The Valley and the Championship side’s training ground.
And the South London Press understands that there has been no discussion about the club moving in the future, with a clear understanding that their current base is their spiritual home.
The board will be Tahnoon Nimer – the majority shareholder in East Street Investments – Matt Southall and Jonathan Heller.
Southall will be the new chairman.
Steve Gallen, recently appointed as a director, will no longer carry that title but will still operate as head of recruitment.
It means that Richard Murray, who joined Charlton’s board in the early 1990s and was chairman in their Premier League hey days, will not be part of the new-look set-up.
There has been no indication of how much ESI will pay Roland Duchatelet as his unpopular reign as Addicks owner looks set to come to an end. They have been in negotiations over a deal for around four months.
ESI have started the process of satisfying the owners’ and directors’ test with the EFL. No timescale has been put on that procedure but it seems a safe bet that they will want it wrapped up in time to be active in the January transfer window.
Charlton are at home tomorrow against Sheffield Wednesday and the news that Duchatelet’s days are numbered is expected to boost the crowd – despite it being a televised match – to around the 20,000 mark.
The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet [CARD] – who have campaigned so vociferously and persistently during the darkest days of the Belgian’s regime – have issued their own statement.
It said: The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) warmly welcomes the news that Charlton Athletic will have new owners, East Street Investments, and the commitment they have made to manager Lee Bowyer and promise to engage with fans’ groups.
“Over the last 18 months Bowyer has restored much of the credibility of the club and enabled many supporters, previously alienated by the disrespect, ineptitude and sheer stupidity of the Duchatelet regime, to re-engage with the team. As a result, the club is well placed to move forward under new owners, subject of course to their approval by the EFL.
“We hope that all supporters will now get firmly behind the new administration so that Charlton can advance again. CARD was formed in January 2016 as an umbrella group bringing together a variety of organisations, groups, platforms and individuals, because it had become clear to all of them that Duchatelet’s ownership was beyond redemption.
“We are deeply grateful to all the volunteers who helped us deliver the protests that followed and which helped cement the national and international media’s understanding of the issues at our club, as well as push Duchatelet to a point where he was willing to sell. It has been a long and frustrating wait, but with the sale of the club CARD’s job is done.
“It is for the elements that made up the coalition, particularly the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust, to take matters forward and build relationships with the new owners.
“As with the Valley Party in the 1990s, we should all be proud to say that Charlton fans did not stand idly by when the future of their club was under threat.
“We do, however, have one final task to perform. For almost two years we have been holding 1,000 red and white scarves ready for this moment to symbolically replace the black and white protest ones we previously distributed.
“These will be available, free of charge, from 11.30am on Saturday by the big Charlton badge at the back of the Covered End. CARD thanks you for your ideas, support and resilience over the last four years and encourages everyone to join us at The Valley tomorrow for one hell of a celebration. Come on, you Reds!”
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