New Charl­ton owner speaks about play­ers and man­ager Chris Pow­ell

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joe Short

CHARL­TON’S in­flux of for­eign Jan­uary ar­rivals is just the start, says their new multi-mil­lion­aire owner Roland Duchatelet – and he also wants to ship the club’s best young­sters out to his em­pire of clubs in Europe.

The en­tre­pre­neur’s com­pany Staprix NV owns Bel­gian sides Stan­dard Liege and STVV, Carl Zeiss Jena in Ger­many, and Hun­gar­ian club Ujpest.

Duchatelet, re­port­edly worth around £500mil­lion, also bought Span­ish side AD Al­cor­con just af­ter his £14mil­lion takeover of the Ad­dicks in Jan­uary.

And the Bel­gian wasted no time in mak­ing use of his con­tacts – five of Charl­ton’s six Jan­uary sign­ings came from his own net­work of clubs.


For­mer Liver­pool mid­fielder Astrit Aj­dare­vic, goal­keeper Yohann Thu­ram-Ulien and winger Anil Koc all ar­rived on loan from Stan­dard Liege while Ira­nian in­ter­na­tional Reza Ghoochan­nejhad has signed on at the Val­ley per­ma­nently.

Ujpest right-back Loic Nego also came in – but 67-year-old Duchatelet in­tends to set up a Europe-wide player swap pro­gramme.

“One of the ma­jor strengths of Charl­ton is that they have a huge his­tory with the academy and young play­ers,” added Duchatelet, speak­ing to the Bri­tish Press for the first time since the takeover.

“These young play­ers be­ing part of such a net­work with con­ti­nen­tal clubs is a big ad­van­tage be­cause, as you are aware, foot­ball is be­com­ing a more Euro­pean kind of thing.

“You see Span­ish coaches coach­ing Ger­man clubs, for ex­am­ple, and Ital­ian coaches coach­ing here in Eng­land.

“Foot­ball is be­com­ing in­ter­na­tional and if we can give younger play­ers, who are 18 years old and just not ready, first- team ex­pe­ri­ence in an­other league in other coun­tries, then great.We can com­pare this more or less like the Eras­mus pro­gramme, when uni­ver­si­ties ex­change stu­dents.

“If they can, at a younger age, have ex­pe­ri­ence abroad with re­gard to the lan­guage and es­pe­cially the coach­ing and also the other types of foot­ball that is be­ing played in other coun­tries, for the cur­ricu­lum for a young player it is a ma­jor plus.”

De­spite his grand mas­ter plan, Duchatelet has promised not to in­ter­fere with boss Chris Pow­ell’s day-to-day job of re­tain­ing Charl­ton’s Cham­pi­onship sta­tus – de­spite sell­ing first-team reg­u­lars Yann Ker­mor­gant and Dale Stephens last month.

Pow­ell’s fu­ture has also come un­der in­tense spec­u­la­tion in the past month, with his con­tract up at the end of the sea­son.

But Duchatelet has no plans to re­place the man­ager – in fact he’s plan­ning to ex­tend the for­mer Eng­land player’s deal be­cause he says it is im­por­tant to have a club leg­end as boss.


“We are dis­cussing now to re­new his con­tract for the com­ing years,” he added. “I hope to (reach an agree­ment soon) but there is no doubt in my mind that he is an ex­tremely good coach. It is cer­tainly our de­sire to con­tinue to work with Chris.

“It’s cer­tainly im­por­tant for the fans to have a leg­end in charge, but for me the most im­por­tant mat­ter is to just have a very good coach.

“It was not very easy be­cause we took over the club in early Jan­uary and of course the Press are very in­ter­ested in all kind of moves in foot­ball.”

Duchatelet has no in­ter­est in just throw­ing money at the club. As non-ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Richard Mur­ray pointed out: “QPR are £100m in debt, Bolton £165m in debt – are you say­ing to Roland that is the model he wants to copy?” But he is with Charl­ton for the long-term, and he hopes a self-sus- tain­able model will see them re­turn to the Pre­mier League af­ter a seven-year ex­ile.

“Each club is a club in its own right and I’m a share­holder in those clubs,” con­tin­ued the Bel­gian busi­ness­man.

“But these clubs need to care for their own des­tiny. The man­age­ment of this club is re­spon­si­ble for this club.

“The ben­e­fit the man­age­ment of this club has is that they can ask ad­vice of a few friends in other coun­tries, maybe they can bor­row some play­ers from other coun­tries and they can send some young­sters.

“But last­ing suc­cess is built on good foun­da­tions. It is im­por­tant for clubs to break even and I am a big sup­porter of fi­nan­cial fair play.”

Sam Vokes, cen­tre, cel­e­brates Burn­ley’s sec­ond goal – Pages 8&9

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

CON­TI­NEN­TAL SHIFT: For­mer Liver­pool player Astrit Aj­dare­vic is one of six new play­ers brought in for boss Chris Pow­ell (left) by owner Roland Duchatelet (be­low)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.