11 October 2008

Charlton on the block...

According to The Political Economy of Football:


On a day in which global markets have been in turmoil, unfashionable south-east London club Charlton Athletic have received a bid from a Dubai-based investment group headed by His Excellency Mohammed Ali Ali Hashimi. Apparently the group considered a number of football clubs but thought that Charlton offered the greatest potential. In a statement, the prospective new owner has praised the passion of the club's fans, its heritage and its commitment to the community. He also expressed his determination to get the club back to the Premiership. Due diligence has to be undertaken, but it is hoped that the sale could be completed within a few days. It has the full support of leading Addicks shareholder, Richard Murray. Normally reliable sources at the club indicated that among the factors that had attracted the new owners were: the development potential of the Thames gateway; the status of Greenwich as an Olympic borough; the club's community programme; and the fact that it has a reputation for good internal management and effective structures.

Zabeel has links with Dubai International Capital, the group that was interested in buying Liverpool. They received approaches from a number of clubs in England, elsewhere in Europe and in South America before settling on the Addicks. They had talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, but thought that his asking price of £480m was too much. Portsmouth were available at a bargain price, but it was thought that the London club offered more potential. They are thought likely to pay somewhere in the region of £20m-£25m, giving them a relatively economical route into English football with reasonable prospects of a Premiership place. They do not intend to splash the cash, however, but to build up the club steadily in a similar way to the strategy being followed at Queen's Park Rangers.