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Charlton near takeover

League One side Charlton Athletic are poised to be taken over by an investment group headed by former chief executive Peter Varney.

In a short statement on the club's website, Charlton chairman Richard Murray said the offer was "indicative and legally binding". It is hoped the deal will be completed by December 24 once the due diligence process has been completed.

Charlton, who were once held up as an example of how to run a club on a limited budget, have been in serious financial trouble ever since they were relegated from the Premier League in 2006-07. A second relegation from the Championship two seasons later added to their problems.

Varney stood down from his role at the club in June 2008 after 11 years, but was subsequently tasked with trying to find a buyer and remained on the board until February 2010 when he resigned.

In October 2008 Charlton accepted an offer from a Dubai-based investment company but that fell through during the due diligence process. They were subsequently linked with David Gold and David Sullivan, but the pair opted instead to invest in West Ham.

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