Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer: We’ve got money now – but spending it isn’t easy

Lee Bowyer has spelled out that Charlton Athletic still face a tougher task adding to their squad – despite Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover of the football club last week.

League One clubs voted for a salary cap to come into effect from the start of August.

But the Addicks had been under a transfer embargo since January until Danish businessman Sandgaard acquired control of the SE7 outfit on Friday. They immediately pushed through deals for former Forest and Palace midfielder Ben Watson and the loan signing of Norwich defender Akin Famewo.

Bowyer has pointed out that plenty of the teams at that level did their business before August – so they could spend more on their squads.

The cap means clubs in English football’s third tier can only spend £2.5million a year on player salaries.

“Thomas can have all the money in the world but he can’t change the cap,” said Addicks boss Bowyer. “Other teams could go and spend what they wanted before the cap came in.

“For example they could offer £5k or £7k a week but we can only do £2k or £2.5k now – because of the cap.

“We’re trying to duck and dive so we can get three senior players in so that we come under the cap. We’re still well under the £2.5m that we can come to. We’re trying to bring three senior players that will take us to the cap and then have three loan spaces left over – but those players have to be U21 otherwise they count in the cap.

“It’s so difficult and fiddly, We’ve got to get the three best senior players we can but for as little money, because we can’t go over the cap. Or we could bring two senior players and give them a little more money – but we need to bring in as many as we can.

“We lost 12 players at the end of last season and have only brought in five – so we’re seven down on the squad we need.

“If the loans are U21 they don’t count towards the budget.

“That’s unfortunately the way it is.

“What makes it worse is there was a player we had lined up and someone took him because we couldn’t sign him. He would’ve been a good player for us but it was out of our control [with the transfer embargo]. Now we can start signing players but some we wanted have moved on now.

“Don’t get me wrong – there will be some good ones coming up at the end. We’ve got to be a little bit patient and leave a space or two.

“It’s not that easy when people say ‘go and spend this and that’. Because of the cap we can’t.”

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