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Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Former chief executive Varney stays with Charlton

Peter Varney
Peter Varney will continue to help Charlton find fresh investors

Ex-Charlton Athletic chief executive Peter Varney is to stay on at the club in a fund-raising role after stepping down from his non-executive position.

Varney was close to attracting new West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan to The Valley, shortly before they took over at Upton Park.

But he has had some success, admitting: "I was brought back to help with refinancing and we raised £10 million.

"Now I'm working hard on helping the board to raise fresh investment."

The well-respected Varney, who has just celebrated 50 years as a Charlton supporter, was the chief off-field figurehead during the Addicks' happy days in the Premier League.

He took over as chief executive in October 1997 before quitting in the summer of 2008 following the club's first season back in the Championship.

He then took a hands-on role again this season, only to step down from the club's plc board on 11 February.

But he has vowed that he will continue to search for new investors. And, although he hopes that there might potentially be another Sullivan and Gold out there, he knows finding fresh investors on that scale will not be easy.

Clubs get over excited in their ambitions

Former Charlton Athletic chief executive Peter Varney

"David Sullivan and David Gold were close to coming to the club," Varney told BBC Radio Kent.

"But the pull of West Ham was too great, especially for David Gold, who played for the club's youth team.

"They were very honourable and we wish them well.

"But I can tell our supporters that attracting new investors will not happen overnight, it's a slow-burn thing.

"There are people out there willing to invest in football clubs but they would prefer a club to go into administration first so they can buy it for a song, even though they are liable to a 10-point deduction."

With both Portsmouth and Chester facing potential liquidation in the next fortnight and other clubs having defended winding-up orders this month, Varney admits that he thought it was only going to be a matter of time before football finances got into the state they are.

"It's because clubs get over excited in their ambitions," he said.



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