Whilst Charlton’s potential new owner, Roland Duchâtelet, may not be a household name in the UK he is well known to football fans on the continent due to his involvement with a number of football teams across Europe.
The largest club with whom Duchâtelet has an involvement are ten times Belgian champions Standard Liege. Duchâtelet had to give up his stake in fellow Belgian top flight outfit STVV upon taking over Standard in June 2011. There was initial resentment from some fans as big name players were allowed to leave, however a fourth place finish last term and top spot so far this season have quelled the disquiet emphatically.
Also part of Duchâtelet’s empire are FC Carl Zeiss Jena playing in the German fourth tier whom he also acquired this month and 20 times Hungarian champions Ujpest (whose chairman is Duchâtelet’s son, Roderick) - Ujpest now count a number of Belgians amongst their squad.
Away from football Duchâtelet is a successful businessman, reportedly Belgium’s 18th most wealthy with his fortune predominantly earned through micro-electronics. He has also dabbled in politics, forming his own left wing political party Vivant in 1997. Duchâtelet stood as a candidate in every election until standing down as senator for the Belgian constituency Sint Truiden in 2012.
Duchâtelet is also a published author, his canon including 2004’s snappily titled "De weg naar meer netto binnenlands geluk" ("The road to more net domestic happiness").
Unusually this story has also featured on the Official Charlton site, which would seem to give it some weight.