Charlton Athletic: Roland Duchatelet demands EFL acquires League One club

Roland Duchatelet
Roland Duchatelet took control of Charlton Athletic in January 2014

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet has "demanded" that the English Football League acquires the League One club.

The Belgian, who took control of the Addicks in 2014, has blamed fans for vandalising several of his properties in his homeland in recent days.

Duchatelet said the change in the EFL's profitability and sustainability rules in 2014 had "dramatically increased the financial burden on shareholders".

Charlton have been officially up for sale since the end of 2017.

The EFL confirmed it had received a request from Duchatelet, which it "will review and subsequently respond to as appropriate".

Lieven de Turck, who is representing Charlton in takeover talks, said there are currently three parties interested in buying the club.

However, talks have stalled and the proposal to offer the club to the EFL was put forward at a fans' forum on Wednesday.

Notes on the club website said De Turck suggested the EFL "would pass the EFL fit and proper persons test, understand the monthly losses as they have the financial figures of the club and have the football knowhow to run it".

The proposal was unanimously rejected by supporters present and described as "unfeasible".

De Turck said Duchatelet would willingly sell the club for a nominal fee of £1, but would retain ownership of The Valley and the club's Sparrow's Lane training ground.

In a separate statement, Duchatelet described the Championship as becoming renowned for being "the biggest financial graveyard or black hole in football" and criticised the EFL for failing to properly investigate several issues concerning the club.

Protests and fans who "want club to fail"

Animosity between Charlton supporters and Duchatelet has been present for some time.

The Addicks were added to a network of clubs around Europe, which included sides in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Spain, when he bought the club five years ago.

However, a section of supporters became disillusioned with how Duchatelet and former chief executive Katrien Meire were running the club, and formed a coalition group called Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet (Card), urging the 72-year-old to sell.

Card questioned Duchatelet's long-term strategy for Charlton, the club's recruitment strategy and the high turnover of managers, with five managerial changes made during his first two years of ownership.

A series of protests were held at matches during the 2015-16 season as Charlton were relegated from the Championship, with Duchatelet saying some supporters "want the club to fail".

Card has since continued to protest at Duchatelet's ownership and supporters have had The Valley listed as an Asset of Community Value so they are notified if it is to be sold.

The Belgian businessman is keen to offload the club but no sale has been finalised, despite a price for the club being agreed with two parties a year ago.

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