Charlton are still in talks with Lee Bowyer over a new deal, with the chances of him renewing his contract now rated as 50-50, according to the Evening Standard.
Talks are believed to have hit a stumbling block over Bowyer’s proposed salary, with Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet said to have offered him a wage equivalent to what managers of lower League One clubs receive.
It is quite surprising that there should be an impasse over wages given the success Bowyer has enjoyed since taking charge, which includes getting Charlton promoted.
Here, we look at Bowyer’s situation in our FLW Six Point Opinion…
How important is this deal to Charlton?
“Bowyer has turned Charlton around since he became manager in March 2018. He has restored pride, passion and a winning mentality into a team which was devoid of those qualities.
“It is important that Charlton try and retain some continuity in their side, particularly as so many players have left or are on their way out.
“Bowyer knows the club better than anyone and if he left they’d be in a very precarious position, especially if Duchatelet stays in charge. The club has gone through several managers in the Belgian’s tenure and they could do with Bowyer staying on long-term after the success he has achieved.”
What’s the next step for the club after completing this deal?
“They need reinforcements, and soon. Macauley Bonne was a good addition but he is unproven at Championship level and will likely feature primarily as a back-up.
“The arrival of Bonne means there are now two strikers in the squad, but the club will have to bring in further additions up front and a creative midfielder to replace Aribo who looks like he could join Rangers.
“Bowyer undoubtedly has several targets which he would like to sign, and once his own deal is sorted he and Steve Gallen, Head of Recruitment, can begin planning for life in the second-tier.”
Is Bowyer ready for the Championship?
“It remains to be seen. He has just one full season of experience in the dug-out, and the Championship is a huge step up in quality which means he will have to be more tactically astute.
“However, the qualities that have served Bowyer well so far work at every level of the game.
“He builds strong unity in the dressing room, and creates a bond with players which ensures they give no less than 100% commitment. That translates into results on the pitch due to the hard work and never-say die attitude that his players show, and that should enable him to do well in the Championship.”
Can you see Lee Bowyer being at the club long-term?
“It was rumoured that this deal would only be for a year, which is odd.
“However if Duchatelet hands over the reigns then a new owner may be more likely to tie Bowyer down for longer. He is definitely worthy of it too. Few many managers would have been able to steer The Addicks towards promotion last season given the problems behind the scenes.
“Bowyer clearly loves the club and is unlikely to be persuaded by a move away, unless Duchatelet becomes impossible to work under or a Premier League club is interested. At this stage it is ultimately up to whether the owners want to keep him as manager for the foreseeable future.”
Should other clubs be looking at bringing Bowyer in before he renews his contract?
“He is a young, bright manager with a lot to offer for clubs outside the top-tier. Derby were reportedly interested in him and could make a concrete move if Frank Lampard departs for Chelsea.
“Bowyer is relatively untested however and that could deter certain clubs, but if he’s available at little cost then he certainly won’t be out of employment for long.
“The Charlton boss has had just more than a year in management, yet already has a promotion to boast of. Most teams in the Championship and those in the top end of League One will definitely be keeping a watchful eye over proceedings at The Valley.”
What should Charlton do next if Bowyer leaves?
“Their next appointment would be crucial, and it is unlikely to end well.
“Without Bowyer, and with Duchatelet remaining in control, much of the spirit that has been built up over the past few months will be gone, and Addicks fans will once again be pessimistic about the future.
“It is important that Charlton go down the route of appointing a young manager who is hungry to succeed and improve. That is one of the reasons why Bowyer worked so well. Michael Appleton would fit that criteria and he is one of several managers who could go into Charlton and do a decent job on a tight budget.”