Sunday, 7 June 2009

What's Peter Varney up to?

The South London Press leads with another story on the fabled Valley takeover this week. The evidence for this is  that Valley staff have said Peter Varney has been "locked in talks" all this week at the ground.

This snippet comes at a time when some supporters hopes of a takeover are beginning to fade. Many see the release of six players and the contract offers to another four as a sign that the club is moving on and preparing for life in League One under the current regime, including Phil Parkinson. I am not so sure. Time was always going to be a deciding factor in when the club needed to take action on players and the six released are hardly a surprise; none could expect to be kept on even if the club's finances were better than they are - Ambrose has failed to deliver, Weaver is past it, Todorov looks finished and the rest were youngsters. Similarly, the contract offers so far are all safe bets; Holland and Fortune could be expected to play all or part of a League One campaign and you have to assume that these are "League One" offers, so hardly constitute big decisions. Zheng Zhi has been made an offer but will probably move on and Darren Randolph would be retained as a reserve goalkeeper. The time to begin to lose hope is when anything is decided on Shelvey or Bailey.

So what has Peter Varney been doing at the Valley this week? We know he has an official role back at the club with the Community Trust in the lesser role of Vice-Chairman. I'm guessing that wouldn't justify him being locked in talks all week at the Valley, so maybe the SLP has a point and I assume they do have some sources at the club, even if it is only fans on the staff. I am inclined to think the SLP is correct here in it's assumptions.

Rumours have put Varney in the role of leader of an interested consortium but I am wondering whether he has been installed by the Board to act as lead negotiator for the club? This might explain the differing rumours that the consortium he has been involved with was "Dubai" or "Irish" based? It's a role I can see him being much happier with, rather than one where he might be leading the battle to wrest control from his old mates for as little as possible?

It might also go some way to explain why any negotiations have been protracted so far. If Varney was leading a consortium bid, you would think he would have the best view of the club's true value and what the Board would accept to cede control and, on that basis, the negotiations would have been concluded one way or the other weeks ago? As a potential buyer he could have been expected to confirm his position before now, whereas being employed as the club's lead negotiator would mean keeping Mum.

In the circumstances, I continue to live in hope.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this is spot-on and the Varney interpretation makes much more sense than the idea that he's been leading a consortium.

Question is, what the hell is taking so long? I guess there could be competing bids. Wouldn't that be nice! Alternatively, perhaps there's a major problem in agreeing a deal on the Charlton side. Basically, Charltons's equity is worth zip, but you wouldn't care about that if your convertible bonds are going to redeem at par suggesting that various owners might have very different interests. Shareholders without the bonds may be reluctant to sell. Let's hope not.