“Ownership change is a positive step” – Charlton boss Lee Bowyer reacts to Paul Elliott’s arrival in SE7

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has hailed the new ownership of the club by Paul Elliott as a positive move which will help his players in the fight to stay up.

The Addicks, in the relegation zone, begin their nine-game battle against the drop on June 20 at Hull – two points and one place above them in the Championship table.

And Bowyer said his squad were relieved to hear the news on Tuesday of a takeover of the Valley club owners East Street Investments (ESI) by Hammersmith-born Manchester property mogul Elliott.

The boss has also been told by lawyer Chris Farnell, who brokered the deal, that there will be funds in the medium-term to cover player wages – and in the summer to invest in the squad.

Bowyer and Elliott are due to meet face-to-face for the first time next week where they will discuss the club’s future going into next season. Also in the background are talks between Elliott and former Addicks chief executive Peter Varney, who is brokering a deal for ex-Ritz owner Andrew Barclay to invest in the club.

Bowyer said: “This takeover is a positive thing. Mr Elliott called me on Monday evening, so we could talk before it became public – that was a nice thing to do. He said he saw the club was in trouble and he wanted to help. That is good enough for me. I welcome with open arms anyone stepping forward to help us because I want the club to be OK.

“It was good just to have a civilised conversation with someone who has stepped forward to take this club forward.

“If anyone wants to do that, for the right reasons, including Mr Varney, then great – the more, the merrier.

“I have said before that Charlton was not in a good position. Thankfully, Mr Elliott has come along to help us.

“I had more contact with him in the first three days of his ownership than in all the time with his predecessor. He said he was here to support us. He understands things have been difficult.”

Roland Duchatelet, the owner from 2014 until he sold the club for £1 to Tahnoon Nimer in January, did not interfere with playing matters, Bowyer said. “He left us to it and we did OK like that,” he added. “I don’t know how much Mr Elliott will be involved but he told me he would rather be in the background a bit. That is fine, because we were OK before.

“Mr Farnell said there will be funds. Obviously, we can’t use anything now. But the most important thing is everyone gets paid because they have been worried about that the last two months.

“He said Mr Elliott has put in money already and there will be more. In the short-term, that is what we need. We will see where we go from there.

“The players have been worried about getting paid so this is good for them. They have deferred a lot of money and it is a concern when you have to do things like that. If you hear things are going on behind the scenes, it is a worry. My job is to get them to focus on the football and that is what we have been doing.”

Charlton’s new owners will face three tests from the EFL before the takeover can be licensed.

* Their buyout triggers an “Owners and Directors Test”.

* There is also a “Source and Sufficiency of Funds” test, which previous ESI owner Tahnoon Nimer had still not complied with when he sold this week – and Elliott must now do so.

* But there is also an investigation into ESI’s takeover in January, which is still ongoing – and which could yet lead to penalties imposed on Charlton.


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