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Arsenal can lay down a marker

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Varney nears Charlton takeover

Peter Varney, the former chief executive of Charlton Athletic, is confident his takeover of the club will go through despite the December 24 deadline passing without the necessary due diligence process being completed.

The need for the deal is pressing as the club has no money and needs an injection of around £5 million to avoid possibly going into administration before the end of the season, this despite it being held up as a model for how to run a smaller outfit at the time it was in the Premier League.

"It wasn't our fault, but during the Christmas holidays it's not easy to do a transaction," Varney told the BBC. "Talks are now very advanced. There are a few things to iron out which we're working on round the clock, but I'm very confident that it's going to happen very soon. Charlton's finances are not in a good state and the fans can rest assured that this is in the best interests of the club."

The club, owned by a company controlled by chairman Richard Murray and his family, agreed to the sale to a consortium headed by Varney earlier in the month.

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