Date:Tuesday May 8 2007
Charlton Athletic have flatly denied that they are the subject of a potential foreign takeover bid. The Addicks, who were relegated on Monday, say stories of a business consortium preparing a £50 million offer are spurious.
The respected BBC journalist Mihir Bose had claimed a group of Middle Eastern and European businessmen were looking to invest in the club.
However, Charlton chief executive Peter Varney issued an unequivocal rebuttal, saying: 'The takeover rumour is totally unfounded.
'There has been no contact from any Middle East consortium and the stories emanating on this matter have no foundation whatsoever.'
Despite relegation, Charlton's board remain extremely popular with fans, who would be reluctant to see the club change hands.
They have already sold 16,500 season tickets for next term thanks to an offer promising free tickets if the south London club achieve promotion at the first attempt.
Fans first heard of the takeover when the BBC broke the story only hours after we was relegated. According to the BBC:
A consortium is lining up a takeover bid for newly relegated Charlton.
The bid, put together by a group of businessmen from the Middle East and Europe, values the club at about £50m.
The group, which had earlier considered buying Liverpool, is keen on Charlton because of its south London location, which is suitable for expansion.
The club, which owns its ground in addition to having a well-established academy and facilities, also offers commercial and marketing potential.
The consortium has always been determined to make the bid regardless of Charlton's Premiership status, although relegation to the Championship has knocked about £30m off its initial £80m valuation.
It is possible that a bid will be tabled shortly after the end of the season.
The club is a limited company with a number of shareholders, including chairman Richard Murray and ITV chairman Michael Grade.
The club has stated that is has yet to receive any contact about a possible takeover.
Although us fans would love for a massive cash injection, we are happy with the best board of directors in football and a group of gents that only have our club at heart, and not pound notes.
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