Charlton’s Duchatelet explains why there was U-turn over Bowyer’s deal

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet hits out at Lee Bowyer’s agent again… even AFTER u-turn to sign new deal as he labels manager’s rep ‘the problem’

  • Lee Bowyer signed a contract extension at the Championship club on Tuesday
  • His future was plunged into doubt by a bizarre statement by owner a day earlier
  • Roland Duchatelet revealed process behind trying to tie boss down to new deal

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet has hit out at Lee Bowyer’s agent again – even after the u-turn to sign a new deal at the Championship club. 

Bowyer signed a contract extension on Tuesday after his future was plunged into doubt when the controversial owner had announced he had failed to agree terms with the 42-year-old a day earlier.

Duchatelet released a bizarre statement on Monday evening in which he criticised Bowyer’s agent and then in revealing the process behind trying to tie Bowyer down to a new deal he labelled the manager’s rep ‘the problem’.  

 Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet has hit out at Lee Bowyer’s agent again after new deal

‘The problem was his agent [Rob Segal] was proposing things which would have increased the liability of the club to such an extent that it would have been difficult to sell,’ he said in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT on Tuesday. 

‘Well, increased the difficulty, because it’s difficult already.

‘So we found an agreement, which is in fact a very nice agreement for him, which is good, but it’s also an agreement whereby we do not get into a big liability for the future, which is also very important for us and our ability to sell the club. 

‘If you’re the owner of the club you have different objectives at the same time. In my position I had the objective of keeping Lee and to maintain the ability to sell the club. 

‘I wanted to combine both. Now I have a solution where I can keep Bowyer, one of the better managers in the Championship, and keep the ability to sell the club.’ 

Bowyer signed a contract extension at the Championship club on Tuesday after uncertainty

Bowyer has exceeded expectations at Charlton, working amid difficult circumstances and huge uncertainty off the field since his appointment, initially as caretaker in March 2018.

Sportsmail understands the salary offered was in line with a bottom half of League One manager and the lowest in the Championship by far while he was also going to have to operate with the league’s lowest budget next season.

On the dramatic 24 hours at The Valley Bowyer, who guided Charlton to the Championship last campaign, told Sky Sports News: ‘I was not really aware of it [the statement]. I’m out in France at one of my lakes. 

‘It was only when I spoke to my wife and she said “apparently you’re gone”. I literally spoke to the owner just before I spoke to my wife and had a normal conversation with him.

Bowyer guided Charlton to second tier of English football via play-offs last campaign

‘It was civil and we were negotiating. It was only when I came off the phone I heard a statement had gone out.

‘He then called in the evening and said “Look Lee I would like to agree with what we spoke about earlier so let’s move things forward and start planning” which was great to hear because all I wanted to do was stay at the club, I love the club. I think everybody knows that so to hear that was great.’ 

Duchatelet, who is unpopular among Addicks fans, also disclosed that he is edging closer to selling the Championship club. 

‘That’s what I really want. Today we have a kind of arrangement so we can move forward. It is unclear (when it will happen) but it is certainly not days.

‘It’s true because we came back to the Championship, the interest has now improved again.

‘I tried to combine both objectives – to keep Bowyer and to keep also the attractiveness for the club to be sold. The sooner the better if you ask me.’ 


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 per cent 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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