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    Bowyer confirms Charlton plan THREE signings with Watson already in as embargo is lifted after Sandgaard takeover

    LEE BOWYER hopes to make THREE signings before Sunday’s game against Lincoln City.
    And the first of them has already arrived with former Crystal Palace and Wigan midfielder Ben Watson arriving from Nottingham Forest.


    Lee Bowyer is determined to strengthen his Charlton squad – and Ben Watson has already arrivedCredit: PA:Press Association

    Chartlon’s transfer embargo has been lifted following the arrival of new owner Thomas Sandgaard.
    The Danish businessman, 62, has insisted he wants to see his side “going for trophies”.
    And Bowyer, 43, faces a race against time to bolster his squad ahead of this weekend’s match.

    He said: “The embargo has been lifted, yeah.
    “We’re moving straight away to get people signed for the weekend.
    “We play Lincoln on Sunday and having a Sunday fixture has probably done us a favour because we’ve got that extra 24 hours to be able to bring players in who can then be available for the squad.
    “A minimum of two [signings before the match] and hopefully – I don’t think it’s the right thing to do [name the players] at the moment. ”

    Charlton confirmed the arrival of Ben Watson, 35, later on Friday evening.
    Bowyer said: “To bring in someone like Ben, with the experience that he has, is brilliant.
    “We have a few younger players with us at the moment, so having someone with his experience this season is going to be so important. I’m delighted that he’s chosen us.”

    Bowyer’s side have rejected offers for Alfie Doughty, Dillon Phillips and Macauley Bonne – and the new owner is not expected to sell any of his players anytime soon.
    Former Leeds star Bowyer continued: “We have to do it the right way in case things don’t go the way we want them to go.
    “Clubs will still make offers – I have no doubt in that.
    “We were never going to accept an offer that we didn’t see the value of the player.
    “So nothing has changed on those lines.
    “Obviously if the right offer came in and financially it would be good business for the football club then it doesn’t matter what player, you have to look at the situation and see if it the right deal for the club.


    Thomas Sandgaard plays in a rock band and is recording their debut albumCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    “Thomas is here now and he has said ‘no one is for sale’. But we were saying that before.
    “The most important thing is we’ve got financial stability and we don’t have to sell.
    “Whereas people before, I believe, were trying to take advantage of how weak we were.
    “Now they realise we’re not so weak anymore, so the price will definitely be right.”

    Thomas Sandgaard announces to Jim White that he is the new owner of Charlton Athletic More

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    Grimsby Town announce clash vs Cheltenham postponed after unnamed player tests positive for coronavirus

    GRIMSBY TOWN have postponed their game against Cheltenham after one of their players tested positive for coronavirus.
    The League Two clash has been called off less than 24 hours before kick-off.


    One member of Grimsby Town’s squad has contracted coronavirusCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Grimsby confirmed all of their players will now have to self-isolate.
    A statement posted to the club website read: “As a result of one of our first team squad players contracting Covid-19, our fixture away at Cheltenham Town, scheduled for Saturday 26th September, has been postponed.
    “In line with medical advice received from the EFL, our own medical team and in line with Government guidelines, all players will now face a period of self-isolation at home.
    “The club did consider testing the squad today however, the medical advice received was that such testing would be of no effect as the incubation period of the virus being a minimum of five days, with the squad last being in contact with the player three days ago.”

    The League Two side confirmed a date for the rescheduled match will be revealed in “due course”.
    Grimsby’s statement continued: “In addition, we have received confirmation from the EFL that match passes purchased for tomorrow’s fixture will be valid for the fixture when it is rearranged.
    “A revised date for the rearranged fixture will be confirmed in due course.”
    Cheltenham’s statment read: “Everyone at Cheltenham Town wishes the player involved a speedy recovery and we look forward to welcoming the Mariners later on in the season.”

    Leyton Orient’s game against Walsall on Saturday has also been suspended due to the club’s coronavirus crisis.
    Some 18 O’s players or staff tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day they were supposed to play Spurs in the Carabao Cup.
    Orient’s Carabao Cup clash against Tottenham also had to be called off.

    Michael Gove says govt is postponing return of fans to stadiums as he suggests it may have been wrong to stage events in early days of coronavirus More

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    Thomas Sandgaard is new Charlton owner, loves rock music, plays guitar in his own band, and is worth £400m

    THOMAS SANDGAARD has two loves – rock music and football.
    And while most people are thinking towards their retirement at the age of 62, the US-based Danish businessman has decided to pursue new careers involving his biggest passions.


    Rock ‘n’ roll businessman Thomas Sandgaard has bought CharltonCredit: Instagram / @sandgaardfnd


    Sandgaard has acquired the club from ESICredit: Twitter

    Having acquired a personal wealth believed to be in excess of £400million supplying medical devices, Sandgaard is recording a debut rock album as lead guitarist of his newly-formed band The Guardian Angel.
    Alongside that, he has just completed a takeover of the Addicks from East Street Investments.
    And the musician has a Eurovision dream – to rock The Valley with European football.
    He told SunSport: “I’m competitive so want Charlton going for trophies.

    “The more important ones are when you’re in the Premier League – but to do that you need infrastructure supporting it.
    “Then we can be playing for silverware on a European level and I mean the Europa League and Champions League.”
    That is some claim for a club that has been out of the top flight for 13 seasons and had THREE different chairmen in the last year.


    LEE has done a superb job and plays a positive high-energy game that you need to be successful.

    It’s the football I like to watch as a fan. He clearly has all the players playing for him and my first aim if I take over will be to make him my best friend.


    Sandgaard plays in a rock band and is recording their debut albumCredit: Instagram / @sandgaardfnd

    Now, he’s the owner he can look forward.

    But the big question is why would a Dane living in the US want to buy a League One club in turmoil?
    Especially a man with experience in medical supplies.
    In 1996, he founded Zynex a company that markets electrotherapy devices for use in pain management, physical rehabilitation, neurological diagnosis and cardiac monitoring.
    He said: “I’ve two passions – rock music and football.
    “I was a bit of a nerd when I was 13 so decided to go out and buy a guitar because I wanted to be one of the cool kids and be a rock musician. 


    Sandgaard made his £400m fortune supplying medical devicesCredit: Instagram @sandgaardfnd
    “But I also played football at amateur level in Denmark and started to love the English game when I watched Chelsea on TV winning the FA Cup in 1970.
    “I moved to the States more than 20 years ago to start my own business out of a one-bedroom flat and spent years personally bankrupting myself to make sure wages and bills were paid. 
    “But in the last few years I’ve reached a point financially where I can do something like this.
    “Three months ago, a friend asked, ‘Have you thought about owning an English football club?’
    “And I thought, ‘Wow, that could be one of the more positive things I could do in my life.’”

    Sandgaard on relationship with Charlton fans

    I WENT on social media mainly to try to get communicating with Roland Duchatelet and ESI, who were hesitant on picking up the phone at the start.

    But the happy side effect of that was I’ve started having great dialogue with the fans. I’ve learned so much from them and they’ve actually helped me a lot in my negotiations to buy the club.

    So Sandgaard networked with various clubs as well as coaching staff at several teams.
    He held talks with QPR but “they wanted a couple of hundred million” then looked at Sunderland before settling for Charlton.
    The Dane explained: “They stood out. Take the ownership drama and relegation out of the equation and everything is good.
    “The foundations are right, they’ve an amazing history and had a lot of Danish players over the years like Allan Simonsen, Dennis Rommedahl and Claus Jensen.”

    Sandgaard on immediate plans

    THE club needs stability.

    I am not going to make a wild claim that we will be in the Premier League in x-amount of years. No, we will focus on getting this club stable for the next two years and build from there.

    Sandgaard’s first concern is to keep Lee Bowyer as manager and vowed not to make sweeping changes to the long-suffering staff who have been trying to run the club in difficult circumstances.
    However, he will recruit experienced football executives to provide leadership.
    One person he will offer a role to is Peter Varney, who not only is a lifelong fan but was CEO when the club were in the Premier League.
    And he also has pledged to make sure the club remain at The Valley and their training ground with fears among fans that both could be sold for housing.
    And – although Sandgaard acknowledges there is a need for clubs to operate within their financial means – he has vowed to give Bowyer funds to strengthen.

    Sandgaard on his favourite player

    ALAN SIMONSEN – who joined Charlton from Barcelona – was one of the best Danish players ever.

    He had great vision and, like a chess player, could see four or five plays ahead. I
    He signed for Charlton after scoring the deciding goal for Barcelona in the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1982.

    He said: “I want to strike a balance between investing to be successful and sticking to within the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules. It’s about being smart and the best in the environment you’re in.
    “Fans were unhappy with Roland’s vision for the club and his investment. It’s maybe not how I’d have done things because we have different philosophies.
    “I’d focus more on football than just looking at Charlton as a capital investment.”
    So when will Sandgaard have time to finish this album? He has been working with Danish drummer Kenny Aranoff, who played with greats such as Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, BB King, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi and Meat Loaf.
    And he in turn roped in Bon Jovi lead guitarist Phil X and Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney.
    Sandgaard – who has Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water as his personal mobile dialling tone – said: “We got together for five days straight in a studio for 12 hours solid and recorded nine tracks.


    Now a takeover is done, Sandgaard can concentrate on recording his rock albumCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    “Covid-19 – and now Charlton – have delayed things but I’ve been buying up all the domain names for when we finally launch.”
    And he might do a gig at The Valley and invite assistant-manager and guitar-playing singer Johnnie Jackson to join him.
    He laughed: “I never knew about Johnnie but been checking him out online. He’s really good. If we get promoted, we’ll have to do a gig.”

    England wonderkid Jeremy Sarmiento impresses at Benfica after Charlton move More

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    English football offered life-saving £250m loan by American pension fund with no Government bailout

    ENGLISH football has now been offered a life-saving £250million loan by an AMERICAN pension fund.
    It comes after Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston yesterday announced there would be no Government bailout for our game.


    English football has been offered a live-saving mega money loan from across the pond


    EFL chairman Parry has laid bare the extent of trouble the lower leagues are in – but they could be saved by this £250m US loanCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    EFL chairman Rick Parry said clubs will need up to £250m to survive the pandemic-hit season without fans.

    Rotherham chief Tony Stewart warned: “A lot of clubs in League One and League Two — even the Championship — will go into administration if no money is forthcoming.”
    The US proposal would see Premier League sides pay the interest on the debt, which would be paid back over a number of years by EFL clubs.

    It was revealed by former top agent turned football finance expert Jon Smith. He said: “EFL teams have a financial hurricane that will blow their way by the end of the transfer window.
    “By November, there are probably ten clubs that won’t exist unless they get help. What I and a few people have proposed, is that the funds I represent are prepared to put in the £200m and some the EFL needs, with interest paid by the Premier League.
    ‘Not money-laundering funds’
    “They are American pension funds, proper people — not money-laundering funds.”
    Smith insisted future EFL TV income would pay back the capital sum.

    He told talkSPORT he had “entered discussions” with the Prem, although League sources suggested that there were no ongoing talks.
    Top-flight teams are reluctant to hand over bailout cash to the EFL without guarantees on how it would be spent.


    And Prem clubs were hardened by what was described privately as the “unhelpful” intervention by Huddleston.
    He told MPs: “We will expect the top tiers of professional sport to look at ways it can support itself with the Government focusing on those most in need.”
    Clubs have accused the Government of ignoring their pleas for stronger efforts to get fans back inside grounds — after plans to begin a staged reopening from October 1 were placed on hold.
    One Prem chief said: “We have done a lot for the Government — but we don’t know what they have done for us.
    “We have come up with lots of great ideas on health, safety and testing and been ignored.”
    Huddleston admitted the ban on fans “will have economic consequences.”
    Rotherham chairman Stewart added: “The Government, Premier League and EFL need to realise the dire consequences.
    “They know the disaster that is waiting to happen — but still nothing is forthcoming.”

    Boris Johnson reveals new restrictions on sporting events More

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    Lincoln 2 Liverpool 7: Minamino and Shaqiri inspire Klopp’s kids to set up Arsenal clash with dominant win

    MOVE over Chelsea, there’s a new bunch of kids in town.
    Stamford Bridge has been the breeding ground for the best young talent coming through in England, but Liverpool now boast a crop ready set the world alight.


    Liverpool set up a Carabao Cup clash against Arsenal with a 7-2 thrashing of Lincoln CityCredit: Reuters


    Takumi Minamino scored twice as a young Reds side ran rampantCredit: Reuters

    Jurgen Klopp watched on as his dazzling youngsters turned on the style to seal a fourth round clash with Arsenal and Mikel Arteta is sure to be a worried man on the evidence of this display.
    It was men against boys – and youth came out on top.
    Lincoln were actually supposed to provide a stern test for Klopp’s team containing four teenagers, having won four matches already this season.
    Imps boss Michael Appleton had instructed his players to get stuck into the champions, to unsettle them and show them what senior football is all about.

    The trouble is they just couldn’t get close enough to Liverpool to put their foot in.
    Before the Anfield club splashed out on Thiago and Diogo Jota last week there had been claims from outside the club that there wasn’t enough strength in depth on Merseyside. Don’t believe a word of it.
    For jostling in line for a place in Klopp’s Premier League plans is a group full of quality right across the pitch – from debut-making 19-year-old Rhys Williams to Harvey Elliott two years his junior.
    And right now perhaps the best of the bunch is Curtis Jones, the local lad who has already started to make strides into the first team picture at Anfield.


    It was a goal fest for Jurgen Klopp’s young RedsCredit: Rex Features


    Curtis Jones continued to impress as he scored a doubleCredit: Reuters

    The 19-year-old looks to have the kind of footballing brain only the best possess, and his ability on the ball is just as good.
    He scored a brilliant double to put the Imps to the sword to cap a wonderful individual display which will surely give his manager food for thought as he tries to plot his way through the congested fixture list.
    It was actually a golden oldie who set Liverpool on their way – Xherdan Shaqiri sending a ninth minute free-kick dipping and curling into the top corner.
    At 28, and on the fringes of things now on Merseyside, his time at the club might be nearing an end but it was vintage Shaqiri providing a reminder of the quality he possesses in his left foot.


    The likes of Virgil van Dikj helped steer Liverpool’s youngsters to victoryCredit: Reuters


    Divock Origi bagged Liverpool’s seventh in the final momentsCredit: Getty – Pool
    Takumi Minamino is just at the start of his Anfield career and will hope to be challenging Roberto Firmino for a starting role in the coming months
    And he did his chances no harm with an emphatic finish to double the lead on 18 minutes as Lincoln were overrun.
    Then up stepped Jones to stamp his mark on the game, firing his first by controlling a Divock Origi knock-down before whipping a shot into the top corner on 32 minutes.
    Barely three minutes had passed before the teenager struck his second, and though it was aided by a deflection, the swivel of the hips to beat his man in the build-up was a joy to behold.


    Xherdan Shaqiri displayed his brilliant technique despite being out of favourCredit: Rex Features


    Takumi Minamino scored twice in the emphatic winCredit: Rex Features
    Liverpool were relentless, and they added a fifth within 20 seconds of the second half starting, Minamino following up after Elliott had been denied by keeper Alex Palmer.
    This mad match wasn’t finished there, though as Tayo Edun pulled a goal back to the delight of those home supporters lucky enough to be in the LNER Stadium.
    Marko Grujic fired a sixth for Liverpool on 65 minutes, but seconds later Lincoln found a second goal as Lewis Montsma headed in off the underside of the bar.
    Jota then came off the bench for his debut following his £41million move from Wolves and saw a low drive just pass the wrong side of the post.
    Origi made it seven with two minutes left, racing away on the break to shoot into the bottom corner.

    Liverpool v Arsenal – Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time and team news for Premier League Clash More

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    FA clear Fleetwood staff for Akinfenwa ‘fat water buffalo’ jibe as PFA say ‘white player wouldn’t be described this way’

    WYCOMBE and the PFA have slammed FA disciplinary beaks after no charges were brought against the Fleetwood staff member who called Adebayo Akinfenwa a “fat water buffalo”.
    PFA chiefs claimed that the FA had failed in its duty to Akinfenwa, who is understood to be upset and unhappy about the decision.


    The Fleetwood staff member who described Adebayo Akinfenwa as a ‘fat water buffalo’ has escaped punishment from the FACredit: PA:Press Association

    The PFA said: “It is abundantly clear that a white player with a similar stature to Akinfenwa would never be described in the way he was during this incident.
    “Black people have battled dehumanisation for centuries, and the PFA strongly condemns the use of all disparaging remarks that compare black players to animals.”
    The decision followed a two-month probe into the incident at the League One play-off second leg in July.
    A member of the Fleetwood technical staff made the comment to a match official during the game.

    Wycombe made a formal complaint to the FA in the days after the match and the investigation found: “The witness accounts all confirmed the use of the term “water buffalo” or “buffalo”.”
    Two of the match officials reported “they had not interpreted the words to be discriminatory” and were descriptions of Akinfenwa’s playing style.
    As part of the inquiry, the FA commissioned a report from an independent expert in race relations, who “concluded that the words were not objectively racist”.
    While commending Akinfenwa’s “courage and conviction” and conceding the offence that was caused, the FA stated it was “not satisfied there is sufficient evidence” to lay a charge.


    The striker played a crucial role in helping Wycombe get promoted to the Championship last seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    But the outcome caused fury at Wycombe and PFA headquarters.
    Wycombe blasted: “The failure of the FA to act is disappointing. The investigation confirms that the language was used. There is no place in sport for such comments.
    “The Club believes the FA had the opportunity to take appropriate steps to ensure the conduct was punished appropriately and to make sure that everyone knows that this type of comment will not be tolerated in the future.”
    And the PFA added: “This type of hurtful, derogatory language is unacceptable, regardless of intent.
    “Adebayo showed great courage in coming forward to report this incident, which tarnished what should have been a night of celebration for Wycombe Wanderers.
    “This incident demonstrates that bias extends to problematic language casually used on our pitches and in the dugouts.
    “We share Adebayo’s disappointment that this allegation will not be upheld, especially since he took steps to speak publicly about the incident’s emotional impact.
    “We are in contact with Adebayo, and will continue to offer him our support.”

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    Premier League clubs will threaten to pull out of Carabao Cup unless EFL players agree to testing for coronavirus

    WORRIED Premier League clubs will threaten to pull out of the Carabao Cup unless EFL players agree to be tested for coronavirus.
    West Ham co-owner David Sullivan yesterday accused the EFL of not testing their players due to the financial implications — potentially exposing Prem teams to the disease.


    West Ham’s game with Hull was hit with late news of positive Covid-19 tests before kick-offCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    A major outbreak of cases of top-flight stars could bring the Prem to another shuddering halt.
    So the top clubs are demanding all EFL clubs left in the competition go through Covid-19 testing before  playing next week’s fourth-round ties.
    Sullivan said: “Medically, why are we in a competition where we’re playing teams who have not been checked? The EFL are not testing their players for financial reasons.”

    Hammers boss David Moyes plus players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen were dramatically sent home just an hour before Tuesday’s 5-1 Carabao Cup win over Hull after testing positive for Covid-19.
    But Hull declined their offer to pay for their players to be tested, with manager Grant McCann insisting they were following EFL guidelines.
    Tottenham’s tie with Leyton Orient on Tuesday was called off after the majority of the League Two club’s squad tested positive, with Spurs paying for the screenings.
    Sullivan told talkSPORT:  “We and a few other Premier League clubs made the offer to give these teams a test at our expense so we weren’t exposing our players to untested players.

    “Unfortunately, Hull didn’t want it. Charlton the previous week did, for example.”


    SunSport understands talks took place between Prem and EFL chiefs yesterday.
    Sullivan added: “We are now tested once a week. We were tested on Monday and the results came through at 6.30pm. The whole team now will be retested today.”
    Moyes, Diop and Cullen are now isolating for ten days.
    A round of testing costs about £5,000 per club.
    EFL clubs do not have to do coronavirus tests on players and staff this season.
    So Liverpool have paid for Lincoln to be tested before tonight’s third-round clash, while Bournemouth players were also tested ahead of their tie at Manchester City.
    But Orient chairman Nigel Travis admitted: “If I was doing this again I would not do the testing. This is an incentive not to test.”

    Tottenham vs Leyton Orient axed and Spurs declared winners of Carabao Cup tie after coronavirus rips through O’s squad More

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    Wigan put club’s chippy up for sale for £500,000 in desperate bid to pay wages as crisis club run out of money

    WIGAN ATHLETIC’S administrators have put the club’s ‘chippy’ up for sale in a bid to pay the wages.
    Latics are looking for around £500,000 for the property as the admins admit that failing to find a buyer will leave their funds running out.


    Wigan Athletic’s administrators are looking for £500,000 for the club’s ‘chippy’ after putting the property up for saleCredit: Rex Features

    Begbies Traynor have kept the deal in house by bringing in Eddisons chartered surveyors to raise cash while they struggle to get a bid for the rest of the club.
    Admin Gerald Krasner confessed that the money would run out ‘before Christmas’ and said: “We wouldn’t finish the season if no buyer came in.”
    League One Wigan were relegated last season after a 12-point deduction for going into administration sent them spiralling down the table.
    Their new Hong Kong-based owners conceded they could not support the club financially and they had to call in the administrators on July 1.

    As revealed by SunSport, Middle East-based business group MBuzz plotted a £3million bid for the crisis club.
    That comes after American businessmen Randy Frankel and Michael Kelt made a final £2m offer.
    As the search for new ownership and an escape from administration continues, a Supporters’ Club Crowdfunder page has been set up to raise cash and save Wigan from going under.
    Former Lactics favourites including Roberto Martinez, Reece James and James McClean have all stepped forward with donations.

    And Victor Moses has given £20,000 to the fundraiser in a touching gesture.
    On the pitch, the Latics lost their opening three matches of the season – in the Carabao Cup to Fleetwood and then in League One against Ipswich and Gillingham.
    They did, however, beat Liverpool’s Under-21s 6-1 on Tuesday night in the EFL Trophy.

    Wigan administrator Paul Stanley says there are a dozen investors showing interest in the football club More