Monday, October 19, 2009

Money Talks

Hot on the heels of the Sunday Papers predicting a takeover at Charlton by David Sullivan comes the news that this offer may be usurped by another fronted by Dennis Wise.

In some ways, the offers may be a case of the best of two evils, with Sullivan’s Northern & Shell publishing outfit containing many top shelf publications, while Wise is a hated man in many parts after his time at Chelsea, Millwall and Newcastle. How either person sits with Charlton's family and cummunity based values is open to debate.

With the current Board, chaired by Richard Murray, clearly stating that they are seeking to attract new investment, and hence the recent re-instatement of Peter Varney as non-executive director with special remit to seek out this funding, if either of the two above parties do make a substantial and realistic offer, it may be a difficult choice for the directors to take.

Sullivan, who is 60 years old, has been the owner of the Sport newspapers (Sunday Sport and Daily Sport) since 1986; prior to that he made his fortune by controlling over 50% of the UK adult magazine market, and also invested in films, often featuring then girlfriend Mary Millington. In 1993 he bought Birmingham City, and held the reins there until this summer, when the long-protracted sale of the club to Carson Yeung finally went through. Sullivan, and his managing director Karren Brady, were arrested in connection with corruption in football in 2007, but in August this year, all charges against the pair were dropped. He has assets valued at over £500m, and has significant chunks of money tied up in horse racing and breeding too.

Wise, who is apparently part of a consortium along with one time Newcastle Chief Executive Tony Jiminez, has apparently been seen as someone who can negotiate on behalf of a Middle Eastern businessman. There is no love lost between this blog and the diminutive West Londoner, ever since he simulated gay sex with John Humphrey in a league game back in 1986 while playing for Wimbledon. Since then, he scored on his England debut - turning the ball over the line in Turkey from all of 3 inches; became manager at Millwall; presided over Leeds as they went down to League One; and jumped ship to join the burning boat that was Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United. Politely called a “little shit” by one friend of mine, he is also the attention of great affection from Chelsea supporters who he captained to FA Cup success.

Wise has, apparently, been present at some Charlton games this season, so there could be some element of truth in this rumour, while Sullivan has stated his desire to purchase a share in a club nearer his Chipping Ongar home. The fact that his first choice – West Ham- are so deep in debt may have turned his attention toward The Valley.

While a bid by a group funded by money from the Middle East may be more beneficial in the long term, this Blog does not wish to see any involvement in our club by Wise, and would therefore be prepared to support a move by Sullivan if that was to come to fruition.

It really would be a case of the best of two evils, but in an ideal world, the fact that Charlton may once more have two offers coming to the table could actually flush out even more bids for the club, and one which may suitably pass the fit and proper person criteria that the league sets out, and that Charlton fans will want.


Well put, Wise will still have difficulty in getting a black cab to the ground.
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