Charlton Athletic have been unable to agree on a contract extension with manager Lee Bowyer, meaning he is set to leave the club when his current contract expires at the end of June.
A caretaker manager will be appointed by the club in due course and in the meantime the club’s staff members will continue to prepare for the upcoming season.
Bowyer led the Addicks to promotion to the Championship last season, after they beat Sunderland dramatically in the League One play-off final.
The Englishman was offered a one-year deal worth three times his previous contract for the 2018/19 season but, according to a statement on the club website, the club were not prepared to offer the 42-year-old a multi-year extension because it “would not be good business practice” given Charlton may be sold in a few weeks.
The statement added: “The owner understands Lee’s point of view because many Championship clubs pay huge amounts (some pay millions of pounds per year) to their manager. It is fair that Lee feels he should be paid like many other Championship managers.
“That the average Championship club makes a loss of around £15 million per year is not something players should care about. The owners are crazy.”
The club also suggested that Bowyer’s agent had had a negative impact on negotiations.
The club will not look for a new manager and have left the door open for a potential return for Bowyer.
The statement noted: “If Lee does change his mind before his contract expires and chooses to continue his good work at Charlton, he is still welcome to stay.
“However our ability to sell the club is the most important thing right now.”
This looks like a real mess for Charlton, the last thing you need ahead of your first season back in the Championship.
Things looked to be moving in the right direction after their promotion from League One and with a new potential buyer reportedly found for the club but this news must be crushing for the fans.
The club appear set on only offering a one-year contract and keeping costs down, which means the only way we might see Bowyer back at the helm is after a takeover – if he is still available.