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Lee Bowyer ‘couldn’t walk away’ from Charlton amid ownership battle as he feared for League One club’s future

Kwao Benson

Oct. 26, 2020

Lee Bowyer has revealed how he feared for Charlton’s future if he walked away from the club earlier this summer.
The Addicks’ were at risk of being thrown out of the Football League when three individuals from ESI failed the English Football League’s directors’ and owners’ test in August.
ESI only purchased Charlton from Roland Duchatelet for £1 in January, with an agreement to purchase the training ground and The Valley for £50million later down the line.
Ownership of the company was then transferred from Tahnoon Nimer to Manchester-based businessman Paul Elliott in June.
However, that application was rejected and the situation got more complex when Elliott then sought an injunction to stop the club being sold to anyone else as Thomas Sandgaard entered the picture.
The south London club had been relegated from the Championship and under a transfer embargo as the new season approached with things looking bleak.
Now that has all been resolved it seems, with Sandgaard completing a takeover and the future looking a lot brighter.
When asked how close he was to walking away, Charlton manager Bowyer told Jim White on talkSPORT : “I don’t think that’s important. It was tough. It was really, really tough.
“Our backs were against the wall even from day one when we got into the Championship it was hard.
“The budget we had to work with it was near on impossible to try and compete in that division.
“Once we got to that December and everything started to go wrong and put under embargo in January it became impossible at times.
“I had to stay around because, as people keep telling me, if I’d have walked away then the club would have been in big trouble.
“The most important thing was that I stayed and now we can start building and looking at the positive sides. I couldn’t have walked away because it wouldn’t have ended well I don’t think.”
Thomas Sandgaard has been a man of his word and backed Bowyer in the transfer market and has publicly spoken of his ambition to see the Addicks return to the Premier League.
Bowyer said: “I speak to the owner regularly. He comes over when he can and I answer to him and he’s the main man. It’s not too complicated.
“He wants to win games. I want to win games. We are both on the same page. He wants to help in every way he can and he’s doing that. He’s going to tidy up things.
New Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard on talkSPORT
“Obviously the squad was the most important thing but now that’s done we will start tidying up other areas that need improving to be a bit more professional again because we cut back on so many things. It wasn’t good.
“Now we can start building, as a club, the big picture and being a bit more professional as well with the facilities and things like that.”
Charlton have started the League One season well winning their last three games and keeping four clean sheets in the process.
Bowyer’s side are eighth in the table and are six points off first place Lincoln City with a game in hand.
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