League One side on verge of changing hands as unpopular Belgian billionaire prepares to accept £20m offer for Addicks
CHARLTON ATHLETIC’s long-suffering supporters may finally have something to cheer as hated owner Roland Duchatelet could be about to sell the club to an Australian takeover.
The Belgian is currently holding talks with the consortium and appears ready to end his turbulent reign at the beleaguered League One outfit.
Duchatelet bought the Addicks in 2014 but his time in power has been riddled with fan unrest, with regular protests from the Valley faithful calling for him to leave.
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And those wishes may just be about to come true, according to claims in the Daily Mail.
Australian Football Consortium Ltd (AFC) are currently trying to raise the believed £20million needed to buy out the controversial 70-year-old.
The potential deal would secure Duchatelet’s 100 per cent shares in the club and their New Eltham training base.
AFC are believed to want to make Charlton into a breeding ground for young talent from Down Under.
Gerard Murphy, a management consultant from Australia who has previously been involved with Crystal Palace, is leading the takeover bid.
He also has experience of working with Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic squads, the Rugby Football Union and a number of AFL and Super 15 clubs back in his homeland.
Philip Aitken, a London-based chairman of construction group Balfour Beatty, has been appointed as AFC chairman while Australia national team boss Ange Postecoglou and former Chelsea and Middlesbrough keeper Mark Schwarzer are acting as advisers.
A Charlton spokesman said on the takeover: “The club is not for sale and our concentration is on maintaining our League One status.”
They currently sit 16th in the table, five points above the relegation spots.
Duchatelet owns several sides across Europe,although he has hardly visited the Valley during his time in charge due to the angry protests over his running of the club.
Fans have held mock funerals, disrupted matches and even staged demonstrations in his home town of Saint-Truiden in an attempt to get him to sell up.