BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Ryan Inniss was the most straightforward deal for Charlton Athletic to get over the line in the last transfer window.
The Addicks’ director of football Steve Gallen has revealed that the 25-year-old centre-back grew up supporting the SE7 outfit.
Inniss penned a contract until at least 2022 as he moved on from Crystal Palace.
“The easiest deal to do was Ryan,” said Gallen.
“There was a bit of toing and froing between myself, Steve Parish [Palace chairman] and Dougie [Freedman, sporting director at the Eagles] in trying to find the right way of getting it over the line.
“But to be fair to the kid, once I spoke to his agent and said: ‘I think we can do something here’ he then said: ‘Right, where are you?’. I was at the stadium signing Marcus Maddison. He asked if I could wait there 30-35 minutes. He picked the lad up and drove him to us – it was not begging people, like we normally are, to join us.
“He [Inniss] said: ‘I want to come here. I was a Charlton fan as a kid, I used to come to the matches’. He started singing Valley Floyd Road. After he left, Bow [Lee Bowyer] gave it: ‘He’s a winner’. And he is, because I know Ryan Inniss.”
Palace have absorbed plenty of the finances to make the Inniss move affordable to the League One outfit.
“Dougie is my friend and he’s done us a favour there,” said Gallen. “Like they did with Jonny Williams.
“I’m lucky we’ve got people out there who do us favours. But we also do quite well for their players. Ryan has got a sell-on and if he comes in and does great then Crystal Palace will benefit – and rightly so, because they’ve had him all the way since he was a youngster.”
Gallen cites Akin Famewo, who arrived on a season-long loan, as the trickiest addition because the club was under a total transfer embargo.
“The deal was nearly pulled on it because Norwich were waiting on us. Everything was agreed and it went on for about two weeks. Norwich were getting fed up.
“Other clubs wanted Akin but he had just made his mind up he was coming to Charlton.”
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