Football

Charlton Hit Out At "Crazy" Championship Rivals In Bizarre Lee Bowyer Statement

Charlton Hit Out At "Crazy" Championship Rivals In Bizarre Lee Bowyer Statement

Charlton Athletic dialled things all the way up to 11 as they announced they have failed to reach terms with manager Lee Bowyer over a new contract on Monday in a bizarre statement.

The former Leeds United midfielder guided the Addicks back to the Championship in remarkable fashion as they overcame one of the all-time goalkeeping screw ups to win the League One playoff final last month.

But he will take the club no further, after turning down a deal to remain at the Valley for the season ahead.

The club, which is currently up for sale as much-hated owner Roland Duchatelet looks to find a new buyer, released a statement in which they labelled the owners of rival Championship clubs "crazy" and attempted to paint Bowyer as a money-hungry individual who refused an offer to triple his wages.

The statement goes on to claim they have no intentions of appointing a new permanent manager before the club is sold before saying that Bowyer will be welcome to remain as manager if he changes his mind and accepts the club's offer of a one-year contract.

Just hours before releasing the statement, Charlton tweeted a picture of Bowyer welcoming their first summer signing, Macauley Bonne, to the club.

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You can read the full statement below.

"Charlton Athletic have been unable to reach an agreement with manager Lee Bowyer regarding the extension of his contract.

"The fact the club is for sale has not helped with finding an agreement. The current owner needs to take into account that a new owner may want to appoint his own manager. However, this concern did not stop the current owner proposing a contract extension of one year to Lee Bowyer, even though the club may be sold in a few weeks. Under those circumstances a multi-year extension would not be good business practice.

"In addition, since the club is still losing money, which is one of the reasons why the club has not been sold yet, the focus on reducing costs means that we are extremely limited on payroll increases.

"Lee has been offered a one-year extension to his contract at a level which is approximately three times what he had since his last increase when he became permanent manager in September. It is six times what he earned when he started as assistant manager in 2017 and 50% more than what any Charlton manager previously had (excluding the Premier League years). This reflects the strong desire we have to continue to have Lee as our manager. But Lee wanted much more.

"The owner understands Lee’s point of view, because many Championship clubs pay huge amounts (some pay millions of £ per year) to their manager. It is fair that Lee feels he should be paid like many other Championship managers. That the average Championship club makes a loss of around £15 million per year is not something players should care about. The owners are crazy.

"This is why we could not come to an agreement. Another element may have influenced as well. Unlike previous contract discussions, Lee wanted an agent to handle it. We reluctantly accepted. However, involving a player agent in a manager’s contract discussion is not healthy. If the agent helps make the manager more money, it may result in the manager to have a more positive attitude towards players proposed by the same agent, a conflict of interest. Obviously, Lee is above such things, but it is nevertheless not a healthy situation.

"The club hasn’t started to look for any other manager in the meantime and does not intend to appoint a permanent manager, since the club is going to be sold. A caretaker manager will be announced in due course and in the meantime the other staff members will continue to prepare the upcoming season for which a lot of good work has been performed already.

"If Lee does change his mind before his contract expires and chooses to continue his good work at Charlton, he is still welcome to stay.

"However our ability to sell the club is the most important thing right now."

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Kevin Beirne

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