talkSPORT are this morning reporting that Lee Bowyer has agreed a new deal at Charton Athletic, despite claims from the club that he turned his back on the club yesterday.
The former Charlton, Leeds, Newcastle and West Ham man was all over the papers and news outlets yesterday following a scathing statement released by the clubs owner Roland Duchatelet.
It was claimed that the offer of a new contract was three times more than he was earning while the club were in League One and SIX times more than what he was earning when he first started coaching, but Bowyer allegedly wanted more.
Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer applauds the home fans after the EFL Sky Bet League 1 match between Charlton Athletic and Scunthorpe United at The Valley, London, England on 22 April 2019.
Despite no words from Bowyer himself, Tha Addicks owner took it upon himself to release the statement, which did not reflect well on Bowyer, causing unrest amongst loyal supporters who are probably only just finishing celebrating promotion and settling down into the realisation that their club will be competing in The Championship next term. Not an ideal situation.
But it now appears that, should there be any truth in the owners original statement, Bowyer has done a full 360 and committed to a longer stay at The Valley.
Either way this is a terrible turn of events for Charlton, especially given the fantastic work that’s been done there last season.
All this uncertainty is down to an ongoing take-over saga, something that the owner seems more interested in than the immediate security of the team and management, totally disregarding the integrity of all involved and throwing a spanner in the works for the fans.
Here is yesterdays statement from Duchatelet in full, make your own mind up-
“Charlton Athletic have been unable to reach an agreement with manager Lee Bowyer regarding the extension of his contract.
“The fact the club is for sale has not helped with finding an agreement. The current owner needs to take into account that a new owner may want to appoint his own manager.
“However, this concern did not stop the current owner proposing a contract extension of one year to Lee Bowyer, even though the club may be sold in a few weeks.
“Under those circumstances a multi-year extension would not be good business practice.
“In addition, since the club is still losing money, which is one of the reasons why the club has not been sold yet, the focus on reducing costs means that we are extremely limited on payroll increases.
“Lee has been offered a one-year extension to his contract at a level which is approximately three times what he had since his last increase when he became permanent manager in September.
“It is six times what he earned when he started as assistant manager in 2017 and 50% more than what any Charlton manager previously had (excluding the Premier League years).
“This reflects the strong desire we have to continue to have Lee as our manager. But Lee wanted much more.
“The owner understands Lee’s point of view, because many Championship clubs pay huge amounts (some pay millions of £ per year) to their manager.
“It is fair that Lee feels he should be paid like many other Championship managers.
“That the average Championship club makes a loss of around £15million per year is not something players should care about. The owners are crazy.
“This is why we could not come to an agreement. Another element may have influenced as well.
“Unlike previous contract discussions, Lee wanted an agent to handle it. We reluctantly accepted.
“However, involving a player agent in a manager’s contract discussion is not healthy.
“If the agent helps make the manager more money, it may result in the manager to have a more positive attitude towards players proposed by the same agent, a conflict of interest.
“Obviously, Lee is above such things, but it is nevertheless not a healthy situation.
“The club hasn’t started to look for any other manager in the meantime and does not intend to appoint a permanent manager, since the club is going to be sold.
“A caretaker manager will be announced in due course and in the meantime the other staff members will continue to prepare the upcoming season for which a lot of good work has been performed already.
“If Lee does change his mind before his contract expires and chooses to continue his good work at Charlton, he is still welcome to stay.
“However our ability to sell the club is the most important thing right now.”
It’s a bit of a mess over at Charlton, but who is in the wrong here? The owner or Bowyer?