The following report has appeared in The Times: 'Roland Duchâtelet, the controversial owner of Charlton Athletic, has put the club up for sale and admitted that he should not have invested in football.
The Belgian bought Charlton nearly four years ago when they were in the Championship but has faced strong protests from supporters in recent seasons over the way that he has run the club, who are now in League One.
CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchâtelet), a supporters’ group, have put pressure on him to either invest or sell his stake in the club. Stunts have included a mock funeral being held before kick-off, beach balls being thrown on the pitch and a pitch invasion.
Until now, Duchâtelet,71, had been adamant that he would not sell Charlton. “I have not decided anything, I am open to possible offers, I will take the time to think, but contrary to popular belief I have not made any money from football, this rarely happens for investors, those who say otherwise are wrong,” Duchâtelet said.
“It’s not that I’m fed up, I have other activities and my age,” he said. “Actually, I wanted to leave football after the sale of the Standard Liège. Football is an exciting world, but very complex: there is a lot of underground influences, we decide a lot about emotions, we make and break your image on the basis of rumours, social networks create real background slides that are difficult to answer [not quite sure what this means but it is a typical Roland remark]. “It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot about how social media have an impact on the psychology of masses and how they can influence decisions which affect many people.”'
It should be noted that an interview with the French language press has a somewhat different emphasis with Roland saying he has decided nothing, he would be open to offers eventually for Charlton and his other clubs (but there is an alternative translation, see comment below), but he is taking time to reflect. However, it is also evident from this interview that he has no found his experience in football an unhappy one.
Regime apologists have persistently denied that reports that Roland was interested in selling the club and that prospective purchasers had undertaken due diligence.