League One side Charlton Athletic; Aussie consortium in running to take over Charlton Athletic


An Australian consortium’s $A120 million bid to take over English League One side Charlton Athletic appears to be back on.

A representative of the south London club, who have struggled on and off the field since relegation from the Premier League in 2007, said at a fans’ forum event this week that an international group are in the “final stages” of completing the purchase of the club.

Lieven De Turck confirmed the Australian Football Consortium (AFC) is one of three parties in the hunt to buy the Addicks from hugely unpopular owner Roland Duchatelet, who’s been trying to sell the club for almost 18 months.

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media_cameraThe ownership of Roland Duchatelet has proven very unpopular with fans.

De Turck also said the parties all want to rubber stamp a deal before the end of June so they can be in place to plan for next season.

The AFC is headed by Gerard Murphy, a management consultant who has previously worked with AFL clubs Geelong, Richmond and Port Adelaide along with West Ham United and the England rugby team.

He is joined by Philip Aiken, a London-based Australian business executive and Essendon board member Andrew Muir, the former head of The Good Guys retail chain.

Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has also had some tentative involvement in the bid, which has been in the making for nearly two years, as has veteran English football facilitator and financier Keith Harris.

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media_cameraCharlton are flying high in League One this season.

Harris was part of the process that led to previous takeovers of Fulham, Manchester City and Aston Villa by overseas owners and is a board member of Everton FC.

The AFC looked on course to take control 12 months ago when Muir was pictured in the directors box at The Valley ground wearing a Charlton scarf during the team’s League One play-off against Shrewsbury.

However, the deal appeared dead when Duchatelet demanded more money and then tried to sell the club to the English Football League (EFL) who he wanted to charge rent for using the stadium and the training ground.

The offer from the reclusive billionaire was rejected outright by the EFL.

Charlton are fifth in League One on 82 points, and have secured a place in the end-of-season play-offs to reach the Championship next season.

Originally published as Aussie takeover bid lines up big English club



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