Will Charlton Takeover Threaten Future of Talented Academy Players?

Miles KentCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2008

Dubai based investors have indicated an interest in taking over South London club Charlton Athletic and if we were playing word association, you know what sort of words that would cook up.

Tons of money, foreign investors, and truck loads of new players.

But Charlton's Academy is one that has been producing talented youngsters that are slowly beginning to break into the first team. Could a takeover threaten a tried and tested system that has been producing good players for the club in recent years?

The Valley has recently seen an influx of young players that are breaking into the first team from the U-18's. Aswad Thomas, Harry Arter, Chris Solly, Scott Wagstaff, Danny Uchechi, Jonjo Shelvy, Rashid Yussuf, and Grant Basey are all products from the academy who where only plying their trade in the U-18's a couple of seasons ago.

But today they are members of the first team and this is the best signal that the youth system at Charlton is one that works efficiently.

Since the Addicks relegation after their seven-year stint in the Premiership, the squad has changed dramatically. Now the new wave of players that will create the future foundations of the squad are being slowly ushered in by manager Alan Pardew. But my biggest concern is that any foreign ownership could alter a club structure that has been running well for a very long time, without the backing of billionaires.

The current crop of academy starlets include Tamer Tuna, Sam Long, and Liam Bellamy amongst others that work their socks off at the Addicks' Sparrows Lane traning ground every home game.If their chance to eventually break into the first team is threatened by owners that won't have the confidence to trust in the youth system, fans won't be the only ones suffering effects.

Foreign owners' desire to employ players from other clubs is a way of life in top flight football that has become the norm. It's only a division up where the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea have owners that completely disregard talented young players, and continue to pretend they still care about the youth system while they invest millions in other established players from elsewhere.

My biggest hope is that football teams continue to trust in the talent they spend so much time nurturing to become the players of the future.