Date:Tuesday May 8 2007
Charlton chief executive Peter Varney wants to keep Darren Bent at The Valley when the Addicks push for an immediate return to the Premiership.
Charlton's relegation was confirmed on Monday night as they lost 2-0 at home to Tottenham but the club remain positive Alan Pardew is the man to lead them back at the first attempt.
Varney, who also denied any knowledge of a reported takeover being planned, said of Bent's situation: 'You saw the situation with Andrew Johnson (at Crystal Palace), what we'd like to do is try to get back with the strongest possible squad we can but it's impossible to answer that this morning.
'There are all sorts of ifs and buts about Darren, he's an England international and will obviously want to play at the highest level, and I don't know the answer yet. But we've got to keep the strongest squad possible to get back in the Premiership.
'You have all got to stay together. Nearly 17,000 fans have already renewed their season tickets, and did that before they knew what status we had, Championship or Premiership. That shows the faith they have got, for Alan Pardew in particular. We've got to work on that, build on that, and create an atmosphere that gets us back up.'
Regarding suggestions of interest from a consortium in the club, Varney continued: 'I didn't see many sheikhs at the game last night!
'As far as I'm concerned it is total nonsense. There's been no approach, I think I would know if there had been an approach for the club.
'There is no substance in the story whatsoever.'
Charlton are one of four clubs considering legal action against the Premier League regarding the decision not to dock West Ham points for fielding ineligible players and Varney expects developments this week.
'The dust has settled, we have gone down, Fulham have stayed up and I think the situation will evolve over the week.'
If we do sell Bent then expect the money to be BIG. To sell one player and build a side good enough for an instant return to The Premiership would be accepted by the fans.
Watch this space.... It's going to be a very busy summer
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