Investment banker Josh Harris is set to become the latest American sports franchise owner to buy into English football. The 48-year-old billionaire, who owns basketball’s Philadelphia 76ers and ice hockey team New Jersey Devils, is said to be in detailed talks to purchase Charlton. The Championship club have been linked with a number of potential takeover moves recently, including consortiums from Turkey and Russia. But the bid by Harris is understood to have progressed to an advanced stage since his associates came over for Charlton’s home game against Leeds earlier this month.
Charlton are co-owned by Tony Jiminez and Michael Slater but it is claimed Mayfair property developer Kevin Cash bankrolls the London club and is keen to recoup his funding. Also, Jiminez has had to repay £500,000 to his former Newcastle colleague Dennis Wise after a High Court ruling regarding a property investment. Manager Chris Powell and a number of players are in the last year of contracts that haven’t been renewed because of the likelihood of a Charlton sale. Harris, who spent around £500million buying his NBA and NHL franchises, could easily afford the mooted £43m price for Charlton that would include the freehold of The Valley. And there are ambitious plans being proposed for Charlton, who could, with the aid of wealthy owners, build a new stadium on land near the O2 Arena.