Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has expressed his disappointment that the EFL has launched an investigation into the club as the game faces a cash crisis during the lockdown.
The Addicks manager is trying to keep his players focused on their jobs – but the club’s own situation has caused worries among squad members, he admitted.
They have already agreed to defer 25 per cent of their wages for three months, when the Valley club’s cash situation will be reviewed again.
But the EFL probe, revealed on Monday, has consumed valuable time amid its financial troubles – and with the Addicks sitting in the relegation zone as the table currently stands.
Football chiefs are looking into why new owners East Street Investments did not hand over proof it had sufficient funds to take over Charlton in January.
Bowyer said: “I do not know anything about contact between Charlton and the EFL about whether
there were sufficient funds.
“But I know the authorities were not happy in January – that is why they stopped us bringing in players that month.
“So they should have launched their investigation then, instead of imposing the transfer embargo in
January and then stepping away.
“Now they have picked it up months later. I know they have rules and protocols, but this probe should have started in January. What has changed between January and now?
“I do not have a clue when the result of the investigation will be announced. The EFL obviously feel it
needs to be done. But I don’t understand why it had to become public now.
“There are so many other important decisions for the EFL to make. I am sure, if they could not investigate in January, that it could have waited until later. The timing is not the best.
“My job is the playing side. I am trying to keep this whole issue out of the players’ minds, but things keep coming into the public arena.
“Yes, it worries them, because they do not know how things will end up. But I have to keep them
concentrating on their jobs – playing football. We have to make sure they are ready. The work they are doing behind the scenes is very good.
“The rest has to take care of itself. None of us can control that.”
He has explained to players the implications of finishing the season behind closed doors. “They have
been great – whatever we have asked, they have done,” he said. “Me and Steve Gallen have had video calls with every player on more than one occasion. We have explained what the club needs to do to survive.
“They understand and have said they will do everything they can to help. It will bite, but this situation will bite us all. Everyone up and down the country will suffer. The most important thing is for us to pull together and make it as easy as we can.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.