It is being reported that Charlton are to become (I think) the first Belgian owned club in the Football League. Belgian Television has announced that Standard Liege owner Roland Duchatelet has concluded the acquisition of the club: New owner . A Belgian source can be found here: Quel surprise
The possibility of a deal being done has been greeted with scepticism by most Charlton fans, but this is the first bid to be acknowledged on the club website The statement reads: 'The club are happy to confirm that negotiations are taking place for Roland Duchâtelet to take over Charlton Athletic Football Club. Chairman Michel Slater has confirmed that: "Very constructive discussions are ongoing which we hope to conclude soon.”A further announcement will be made in due course.' This will presumably be in English, French and Flemish.
Normally reliable sources are indicating that there is more than one deal on the table, but the fact that it is payday on Tuesday may help to focus minds.
The price is reported to be a bargain basement £14m, given that alleged ultimate owner Kevin Cash is no longer to prepared to fund the club. Duchatelet was estimated to be worth €500m in 2011.
How seriously can we take these reports given that there have been many disappointments before? I don't have any independent verification, but it probably has more substance to it than reports that Acworth was about to conclude a deal with a consortium of Albanian pyramid selling magnates.
Duchatelet has been a controversial figure at Standard Liege, which he acquired for £35m in 2011, provoking street demonstrations by fans after he sold the club's best players. However, they are now top of the Belgian Pro League.
Duchatelet made his money in microelectronics. A larger than life character, he founded his own political party, reflecting his progressive liberal views, although this subsequently merged with another party. He is a member of the Belgian Senate: Duchatelet
Charlton have had links with clubs in Belgium before, but generally in the more economically dynamic Flemish-speaking part of the divided country. Liege is in French-speaking Walloon Belgium and was once a centre of heavy industry.
Duchatelet has interests in quite a few clubs. An informative English language article from a Belgian source here: Ownerships