A consortium of Portuguese investors from the sports and financial areas has made a proposal to buy a majority shareholding of the English football club Charlton Athletic, confirmed a representative of the Corporate Football Organisation Portugal (CFO), Fernando Corte-Real.
The process “is at an advanced stage”, said the manager, without confiding what conditions were offered.
“We have to wait for Charlton’s decision to report on the conditions we put on the table. We wait so we can debate them,” he told Lusa.
The current majority shareholder, with 65 percent, is East Street Investments (ESI), linked to Abu-Dhabi-based entrepreneur Tahnoon Nimer, who bought the stake for one pound in January from former owner Roland Duchatelet.
The group announced its intention to sell the stake after a disagreement with former president Matt Southall, who owns the remaining 35 percent.
TalkSport radio revealed in April the existence of an ongoing English Football League investigation, which manages the leagues below the Premier League, including the second division, where Charlton currently competes.
Fernando Corte-Real, who said he has experience in finance, said that CFO Portugal “manages funds and assets of some investors who see in this change of the market some interest in diversifying and see football with other eyes”.
The current crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, offers challenges but also opportunities.
“We believe that the impact is more at the level of top clubs, clubs that have quite high structural loads. Obviously, Charlton has some risks, but we think they’re easier to manage in a club of this dimension now to progress and evolve into the Premier League within 3-5 years,” he added.
According to the British press, there are a number of interested parties in acquiring Charlton, including Huw Jenkinsa, former Swansea president, while former Watford owner Laurence Bassini has given up.
Charlton is at risk of being relegated to the third division at a time when there are nine games left in the season, interrupted by the pandemic, but which will resume on 20 June.
A move down, admitted the CFO official, would have an impact in financial and sporting terms, but he hopes that maintenance will be possible and then start the way up to the top flight.