Thursday, December 02, 2010

Friendly Takeover?

As if merely in passing, Charlton's ugly new website confirmed a bid for the club has been accepted by the current owners, Baton 2010 Ltd.

Pending due diligence, the deal could be completed by Christmas.

Ironically despite the fact that this is the news we've been waiting for, there's actually not very much to say.

Most fans are comforted by the fact that Peter Varney is fronting the bid, but it's easy to read too much into this.

The big unknown has always been Richard Murray's own personal financial situation, and the speed with which he needs to offload the club, knowing that ongoing deficits need financing.

The consensus view has tended to be that Murray would only sell to the 'right' investors with Charlton's best interests in mind, but this may not be the case.

I've no particular inside track on who's behind this offer, but it's always worth remembering that no serious investors would touch a football club with a bargepole.

Indeed the concept of a football club even constituting an 'investment' in an absolute sense is dubious.

Why invest in a business where the majority of revenues leak out in the form of salaries, when you can invest in real businesses with real earnings and more importantly, genuine growth prospects?

$500,000 would have bought you 5% of Facebook six years ago.

Surely no amount of Boardroom schmoozing can justify such a massive personal outlay for all but the super-rich. Just ask the recently departed directors.

However as mentioned in a recent post, on a relative basis Charlton do constitute a very attractive potential investment so long as one is willing to invest the capital required to ensure promotion to the Premiership (£25m?).

It would be nice to hope that the consortium involved has this plan in mind, but until we know more, even cautious optimism may be uncalled for.


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