Charlton Athletic’s Lyle Taylor has spoken in-depth about his contract situation at the club, and explained how Matt Southall used him as a ‘scapegoat’.
The club has been in the headlines for much of the season, and often those headlines haven’t made for good reading. Taylor has been at the heart of everything good on the field for Charlton this season, but he too has continued to make waves off it.
He is set to leave the club in the summer when his contract runs out, after a season of speculation linking him with several Championship clubs including Leeds United, Brentford, Bristol City and Nottingham Forest.
But speaking on The Conv3rsation, Taylor revealed all about his contract situation:
“I was subject to a £4m bid last summer from Brentford on deadline day. I was told everything was done, the club had said they’d accept that amount, but then for whatever reason the plug was pulled on it.
“On the Saturday, I then scored against Stoke and carried on. I got on with my job, went about scoring goals and got five in six before going away on international duty and getting injured.”
Taylor’s injury kick-started Charlton’s decline down the Championship table, and headed what’d prove to be one of the longest injury lists the league’s ever seen in a single season.
“In October, Roland Duchatelet was still the owner of the club and he offered me a contract,” continued Taylor. “The contract he offered me, had he offered it to me in the summer, I’d have signed it without hesitation.
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“Yet in the summer when the conversation was had, his message to me was that I had a 50% rise in wages for being promoted, which was reward for getting promoted and scoring 25 goals.
“I thought that wasn’t right. A lot of people don’t know this but I would still have earned more money at Sunderland in League One than I’m on right now.
“We said if he’d have offered that contract in the summer, not a problem, but with me having scored five in six and proved I can play at this level, this is my value.”
Duchatelet was a contested figure at the club, but he left when East Street Investments completed their takeover at the start of the year. Matt Southall was installed as chairman and later removed, leaving Tahnoon Nimer as the sole representative of ESI.
“He said that was fine, not a problem, they’ll take the contract offer back and we might have a conversation at some point later in the season,” explained Taylor.
“Roland then sold the club. Southall turns up and turns round in the press and says they offered me a contract that I rejected, so they rescinded it. It was less than the last owner offered me. Why would I possibly sign that? He’s used me as a scapegoat so all of the fans turned on me.”
Southall quickly became a tainted name after accounts showed his excessive personal spending of the club’s money, and Taylor received criticism from his own fans for his apparent reluctance in signing a new and ‘improved’ deal.
The club’s been through such an arduous six months. Taylor’s situation is only half the mess at Charlton right now and fans will have plenty other things on their minds. But he remains a quality player and someone who’s been a saving grace for Charlton this season – his summer exit is all but confirmed though.