News emerged this week of two separate bids to purchase the club - one from Peter Varney in conjunction with Andrew Barclay (grandson of Daily Telegraph owners David and Frederick Barclay) and another from a Portuguese consortium.
Peter Varney was quoted in Voice of the Valley:
“I have got to know Andrew well in recent months and I am confident he offers stability and the best future for Charlton.
“He recognises the need to get the legacy issues, including the ex-directors' loans, off the table and sees owning The Valley and working with the fans as keys to success. His interest is sporting, not property-based, and he has the financial clout to solve the club’s problems.
”Andrew is keen to do a deal. However, we need to be able to negotiate with the current ESI majority shareholder, Tahnoon Nimer, through his lawyer, and from there with Roland Duchatelet or his representative, which so far we have been unable to do.”
Thursday began on a somewhat negative note but ended a little more positively:
Early on Thursday morning club director Marian Mihail, in reference to the Varney / Barclay bid, informed CAST that:
"Unfortunately, last night was the first time I’ve heard of a possible bid and only through the media. Nothing has ever gone into the club, officially or unofficially."
He continued: "There’s no update yet, but our understanding is that Panorama has agreed to a bid in late May and is just waiting the notice period out, in case MS files for an injunction; and that the name is being withheld to prevent any form of leaking. Now, in theory, since the sale hasn’t taken place formally yet, a new buyer, such as the Barclay/Varney pair, may intervene, but with just one and a half business days left and them not contacting Panorama/Tahnoon in any way and not having any documents available (they probably know Charlton’s current situation just from the media), I don’t see it happening."
Peter Varney later tweeted that "The statement put out by Mihail today is misleading, as I have been in contact with Chris Farnell (Nimer's lawyer) for two months".
Mihail later confirmed to CAST that Peter Varney had spoken to Radiu Florica during the morning and that he understood that Peter Varney did in fact have documents available. Mihail sounded a little less pessimistic about the prospects of a deal.
And in the evening Varney tweeted: "Constructive day today with the club, but I hope CAFC fans understand that discussions need to be kept private for now".
The Evening Standard reported on the Portuguese bid as follows:
Meanwhile, on the football front, The Championship has set a provisional restart date of 20th June, although the discovery that nine EFL players tested positive for Covid-19 this week may put this in doubt.
A meeting of English Football League clubs to vote on proposals on how to end the season early if it becomes impossible to play the remaining games will be held on Tuesday. This is the meeting at which a 51% majority of clubs must approve any proposal - including the proposal that the league positions are decided on points per game which at the moment would see Charlton relegated (or, if you prefer, evicted). It will be very interesting to see how clubs towards the foot of the table vote because, if a couple of games are played before the season is halted again for heath reasons, points per game would probably also change - putting them in jeopardy.
Lee Bowyer expressed his concern this week that a June 20th restart is "rushed". He also confirmed that Chris Solly, David Davis and Lyle Taylor have declared themselves unavailable for selection.
Steve Gallen was on Radio 5Live this lunchtime and said the atmosphere at the training ground was very good. He said the first game would be on June 20th and the second on June 27th - so a week for recovery. He said that, with good will from players and agents, it should be possible to extend contracts beyond June 30th.
Over 1000 Charlton supporters have joined CAST in the last two months - no doubt motivated by the parlous state of affairs at our club. This has pushed our total membership towards 2500 making us one of the largest supporters' trusts in the country. Together we are stronger. You can join here: