Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Charlton Fans' Fury as Owner Skips Meeting

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Charlton Fans' Fury as Owner Skips Meeting

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Kilpatrick

THE Football League will meet with Charlton early next month to discuss the disastrous ownership of Roland Duchatelet but the controversial Belgian multi-millionaire will not be present.

Instead, the absentee-owner is preparing to send a representative who holds no official position at the club.

Lieven De Turck has has been representing Charlton in recent takeover talks with an Australian consortium, and supporters' groups are angry that Duchatelet will dodge the meeting, although manager Lee Bowyer has said the club could be sold in the next week.

Bowyer, who was named as Duchatelet's ninth permanent manager yesterday after six months in a caretaker role, told Standard Sport: "I spoke to him [Duchatelet] and he did mention the takeover. His words were, 'It could happen within the next week but I've been thinking that for a long time'. It will get done.

"I thought it would have happened already and I think the owner thought it would have happened by now. It could happen tomorrow, next week or next month. It's just a matter of time."

Bowyer said he had no knowledge of reports linking Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal's former stakeholder, with a bid for Charlton and insisted he felt secure in his job after signing a contract until the end of the season.

"I'll have to sit down with the new owner and introduce myself," he said. "But if isn't broke don't fix it, so I don't expect them to change too many things straight away."

If the club is not sold, De Turck and a member of senior management will meet with the EFL.

Heather McKinlay, of the Charlton Athletic Supporters' Trust board, told Standard Sport: "He [De Turck] is neither a director nor an employee of Charlton. The owner has repeatedly rebuffed attempts by CASTrust and other fans to have a proper discussion about the future of Charlton. …

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