Charlton AthleticSport

Lee Bowyer: Embargo means Charlton Athletic cannot offer contracts to senior players

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer says he cannot open contract negotiations with senior players in his squad because the Championship side are under an embargo.

The EFL announced in March that they had placed the Addicks under a registration embargo as East Street Investments had not passed the owners’ and directors’ test as well as source and sufficiency of funding.

And Bowyer claims he cannot open talks with the likes of Naby Sarr, Jonny Williams and Adam Matthews – all out of contract this summer – as well as trying to negotiate an extension with goalkeeper Dillon Phillips.

Asked by the South London Press about whether he would like to keep Sarr, the Addicks boss said: “I like Naby a lot – he brings us something different, playing out from the back. He gets us going at times.

“I hope he stays but because of this embargo we’re under we can’t offer contracts to senior players yet.

“With the young kids we can, but not the senior boys – because of the embargo.

“We would sign Naby whether we were in the Championship or League One – but we can’t do it.

“It’s given us less time when we finish [the season] to try and tie down players or bring players in. It’s just another thing going on behind the scenes that doesn’t sit right with me.

“It’s a difficult enough period without having things like that to deal with.

“Albie [Morgan] has signed and Josh Davison has signed. But they are kids. The more senior ones like Adam Matthews, Naby and all them type of lads, we can’t. Dillon is another example.

“Because of the embargo we can’t offer them new contracts.

“I don’t know when that will be lifted. I don’t know what is going on – I’ve stepped away from all that behind the scenes. I just want to keep us in the division and cross that bridge when we come to it.

“I’m guessing 99 per cent of the other clubs in the division don’t have to work this way. But that’s the way it is, unfortunately.”

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