Deal to buy The Valley come unstuck



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Carlton Athletics owner walks away from chance to buy stadium Image: The Valley, Charlton Athletic, Marathon, CC BY-SA 2.0

The EFL League One club Charlton Athletic F.C. owner Thomas Sandgaard walked away from a £17million deal to buy The Valley (residence of Charlton Athletic) from Roland Duchatelet, sources stated.

‘Football Insider’ stated that Sandgaard bought Charlton from Duchatalet in September 2020, but the Belgian businessman retained control of the 27,000-seater stadium.

The Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English professional football club based in Charlton, South-East London (UK), which compete in EFL League One. Their home ground is The Valley, where the club has played since 1919.

The Valley is a 27,111-capacity sports stadium in Charlton, London, England (UK) and has been the home of Charlton Athletic Football Club since the 1920s, with a period of exile between 1985 and 1992. It is served by the Charlton Railway Station, which is less than a five-minute walk away from the stadium.

‘Football Insider’ further stated that Sandgaard is understood to see potential for redevelopment of the ‘Addicks’ home ground, although a source told that the proximity of a railway line makes that situation unlikely under any owner.

Sandgaard was recently due to sell the club to SE7 Partners but walked away from the deal at the 11th hour after the Charlie Metheven-led consortium refused to let him retain a 20 percent stake in the club.

The controversial Danish entrepreneur originally stated that he wanted to keep a 10 percent stake, but demanded 20 percent after he had already banked a £1m holding fee.

It is now known that Sandgaard also reneged on a three-year deal to buy the stadium in mid to late January, shortly before it was widely reported that he had all but agreed to sell the club.

The 61-year-old’s motivations for the now-shelved plan to acquire The Valley at a time when regime change looked likely are not known, although it is believed he has first refusal in the event of it being put up for sale.

A source stated, “Originally, he was going to buy the ground from Duchatalet. It was originally a five-year deal and then it went down to a three-year deal.”

The 61-year-old’s motivations for the now-shelved plan to acquire The Valley at a time when regime change looked likely are not known, although it is believed he has first refusal in the event of it being put up for sale.

The source added, “Originally, he was going to buy the ground from Duchatalet. It was originally a five-year deal and then it went down to a three-year deal. I think he was due to pay £17m to get this deal in mid to late January, but he didn’t pay it. That is beside the point because it isn’t worth that much money. He was mad to agree to it in the first place. He thinks it’s worth a lot of money because of the potential for redevelopment, but it won’t get planning permission because there’s a railway line in the way. I can’t see them ever doing that.”

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