The takeover of Charlton Athletic by East Street Investments has been completed, ending Roland Duchatelet's reign at The Valley.

Duchatelet took control of Charlton in 2014 and much of his tenure was defined by friction with supporters.

The sale of the Addicks, which the Belgian had been seeking since 2017, was agreed in November and it was confirmed on Thursday the deal had been finalised.

"It was vital for the long-term health of Charlton Athletic that this deal was completed at the very start of the January transfer window," said Duchatelet in a club statement.

"It allows the new owners to commit resources to the football side in order to bring in new players who will help secure the club's position in the Championship.

"This is a hugely exciting time for everybody involved with Charlton Athletic and I believe the club is in safe hands with His Excellency Tahnoon Nimer, Matt Southall and Jonathan Heller."

Lee Bowyer guided Charlton to promotion from League One last season and they sit 19th in the Championship.

New chairman Matt Southall said: "This is a great opportunity for ESI and we are thankful to Roland Duchatelet and his team for giving us the chance to build on such strong foundations.

"Now, for us, the hard work begins. We already have plans in place to support Lee and his staff over the next month.

"But most importantly is strengthening our links with both the fans and the Charlton community so they may understand our short and long-term plans for the club and how we intend to build on the amazing support and goodwill already shown to ESI."

New Charlton directors Nimer and Heller are respectively the chairman and chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Business Development – the private office of Sheikh Saeed Bin Tahoon Al Nahyan.

Eddie Nketiah's loan spell at Leeds United has been cut short, with the forward to return to Arsenal in January.

Nketiah, 20, joined Leeds on a season-long loan in August last year, but only made two Championship starts, with 15 appearances coming off the bench.

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa confirmed on Wednesday that Nketiah would be returning to Arsenal this month.

"Arsenal have informed he will not continue with us and we are sorry for that," he said.

"Eddie arrived at Leeds when the Championship had started and had to spend time adapting to our style.

"He wasn't part of the 11 starting and it wasn't something easy for him because he deserved to be there, but was on the bench for [Patrick] Bamford.

"After he played against Fulham, he became one of the starting 11 players for Birmingham. We know that Bamford was injured in this match, but he was going to play anyway and today he played again because he played well against Birmingham and did a great physical effort.

"He didn't take this decision, but he's a great player, excellent professional and had very good behaviour – a gentleman in every sense.

"We are grateful with him, also to his family and his club. They developed Eddie with a very good education and for this reason it's a pity he leaves us because we were happy with him."

Nketiah's two Championship starts for Leeds came in his two most recent appearances.

He scored three Championship goals and netted twice in the EFL Cup for the league leaders.

Leeds United remain top of the Championship after a 1-1 draw with West Brom at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.

Semi Ajayi put the Baggies ahead in only the second minute but was unfortunate in deflecting Patrick Bamford's header into his own net to bring Leeds level.

The result means Marcelo Bielsa's side stay above West Brom on goal difference after 26 matches.

The earlier fixtures were largely a feast of goals as 2020 started in enthralling fashion, with Stoke City winning 5-2 at Huddersfield Town and QPR thrashing Cardiff City 6-1.

Brentford were big winners away to Bristol City, Nottingham Forest edged out Blackburn Rovers in a five-goal thriller and Wigan Athletic held on to win 3-2 at Birmingham City.

Fulham's promotion bid suffered another setback with a 2-1 loss to Reading, Middlesbrough made it back-to-back away victories and Hull City snatched three points at Sheffield Wednesday.

In the first game of the new decade, Millwall came from behind to beat Luton Town 3-1 and climb into the top six.

BAGGIES MISS CHANCE TO GO TOP

Ajayi poked home after a penalty-box scramble to give West Brom an early lead against Leeds and Slaven Bilic's side were good value for their advantage in the first half.

Kiko Casilla did superbly to keep out Matheus Pereira's free-kick and then saved with his legs from Matt Phillips, who had been through on goal.

Leeds introduced Bamford at the break and it proved a crucial move, as the striker's header from Jack Harrison's cross deflected off Ajayi's shoulder and into the net.

Neither side could find a winner in the end-to-end closing minutes, meaning each are on 52 points, nine clear of the chasing pack.

 

SIX-GOAL SHOWDOWNS

Stoke dominated the first half at John Smith's Stadium but Sam Vokes' opener was forgotten when Steve Mounie and a Danny Batth own goal put the hosts ahead.

However, Stoke struck a further four times through Nick Powell, Lee Gregory and a Tyrese Campbell double in a game otherwise marred when a stadium announcement was required to warn against further alleged discriminatory chants aimed at James McClean.

QPR's victory was a more straightforward affair, as a Nahki Wells hat-trick inspired them to a 6-1 thrashing of Cardiff, who got a late consolation through Will Vaulks.

Cardiff stay 12th, though, given Bristol City were dispatched 4-0 at home by Brentford, Ollie Watkins making the points safe with a late double to send his side third.

MILLWALL INTO PLAY-OFF SPOTS

Sheffield Wednesday's loss at home to Hull meant Millwall's earlier 3-1 win over Luton, in which they trailed until the 69th minute, was enough to see them into the top six.

Nottingham Forest are up to fourth thanks to Lewis Grabban's two goals securing a 3-2 defeat of Blackburn Rovers, with Fulham slipping to fifth after John Swift and Charlie Adam consigned them to a fourth defeat in seven league games.

Preston's top-six chase was dealt a blow, though, as Rudy Gestede and a Ben Davies own goal gave Middlesbrough a fourth win in a row.

At the other end of the table, Wigan gave their survival bid a boost after they held onto a 3-2 win at Birmingham, Cedric Kipre's 73rd-minute goal proving the difference.

Teenager Jason Knight scored twice to end 10-man Derby County's seven-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic in the final match before the start of Wayne Rooney's Rams playing career.

Player-coach Rooney is in line to debut against Barnsley this week, formally completing a January transfer from DC United, but his new side had largely struggled in the Championship in his absence until Monday's improved display at Pride Park.

It was a player 16 years Rooney's junior who made the difference with his first senior goals, the opener a brave, stooping header after just 10 minutes.

The hosts were dealt a blow when ex-Charlton loanee Krystian Bielik was shown a straight red card for an awful, late lunge on Conor Gallagher, but the 10 men remained in control and Knight steered in a clinical left-footed finish with 13 minutes remaining.

Although Lyle Taylor coolly dispatched a penalty for Charlton to set up a nervy finish, Derby held on through eight minutes of stoppage time for a precious win.

Leeds United overcame Birmingham City in a nine-goal thriller to move top of the Championship table as previous leaders West Brom suffered a shock home defeat to Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds benefited from an injury time own goal at St Andrew's, Wes Harding turning Luke Ayling's low cross into the net to settle a post-Christmas cracker.

The visitors had previously let slip a lead on three occasions during a see-saw contest, though by finding a late winner they leapfrog West Brom, who lost for just the second time in the league this season.

Fulham are up to third after a 1-0 triumph over Stoke City, with Brentford slipping back a spot in the standings after going down to Aiden O'Brien's eighth-minute goal at in-form Millwall.

Nottingham Forest moved up to fifth by beating bottom club Wigan Athletic, overtaking Sheffield Wednesday after the Owls went down 2-1 at home to Cardiff City. Preston North End also slipped up, beaten 2-0 at home by Reading. 

Elsewhere, Bristol City eased past Luton Town, Steve Mounie was the hero for Huddersfield Town in a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers and Hull City won by the same scoreline at QPR. Swansea City's meeting with Barnsley, meanwhile, ended in stalemate, the only goalless draw on a busy day in England's second tier.

 

LEEDS LEAVE IT LATE

There was no sign of the drama to come when Leeds moved into a 2-0 first-half lead, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison getting the goals.

However, Birmingham would continuously peg their high-flying opponents back. Lukas Jutkiewicz was on target twice for the hosts in the second half, including netting a stoppage-time equaliser that seemed certain to see the game finish at 4-4.

Yet full-back Ayling – who had put his team 3-2 up with a sensational long-range strike – made one final, telling contribution to proceedings, his run and cross from the right resulting in Harding's own goal.

 

FLETCHER FLATTENS BAGGIES

Middlesbrough recorded their first away win under Jonathan Woodgate as they upset the odds against promotion-chasing West Brom.

Centre-back Daniel Ayala put the visitors in front in the 17th minute and they defended stoutly until doubling their advantage in stunning fashion deep into stoppage time.

Ashley Fletcher opted to take aim from distance when a throw-in reached him midway inside the West Brom half, the forward smashing the ball over the head of Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to wrap up all three points and end Woodgate's wait for success on the road.

 

TOUGH FINISH TO 2019 FOR STRUGGLERS

It was a good day for Derby County – and they did not even play. The lowly Rams face Charlton Athletic on Monday but only one team – Barnsley, who kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Swansea – managed to close the gap on them at the foot of the table.

Wigan could have climbed off the bottom had they avoided defeat at Nottingham Forest, who took the lead through Tobias Figueiredo on the hour.

However, Forest needed a fine penalty save from Brice Samba – who guessed correctly to turn away Josh Windass' spot kick – to preserve their narrow advantage through to the final whistle, meaning Wigan will welcome in 2020 at the foot of the standings.

West Brom and Leeds remain separated by three points in the Championship's automatic promotion places after each being held to draws on Boxing Day.

Leeds needed an 89th-minute equaliser from Stuart Dallas to earn a 1-1 draw at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Preston North End, while West Brom conceded in the 90th minute to share the same scoreline with Barnsley.

Brentford, 3-1 victors over Swansea City, were the only winners in the top six as Fulham came from behind three times in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday conceded twice in stoppage time to lose 3-2 at Stoke City.

There was also late drama at Wigan Athletic, with Derby County's Martyn Waghorn snatching a 1-1 draw against the division's bottom side.

 

THREE DRAWS OUT OF FOUR FOR BAGGIES

Filip Krovinovic capitalised on a poor clearance from Barnsley goalkeeper Samuel Sahin-Radlinger to give West Brom a fifth-minute lead at Oakwell but Aapo Halme converted Conor Chaplin's cross from close range to earn a point.

West Brom extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches – the longest sequence since 1901-02.

Any designs Leeds had on trimming the gap at the top were compromised by Alan Browne giving Preston the lead midway through the first half at Elland Road.

Mounting second-half pressure finally told but after winning seven consecutive games from the start of November, Marcelo Bielsa's men are now winless in three.

Brentford are eight points further back in third, with Ollie Watkins helping himself to a brace in their fifth successive victory at Griffin Park.

DRAMA AT THE BOTTOM

Along with Barnsley, all of the bottom four claimed positive results – most notably Stoke.

James McClean gave Michael O'Neill's Stoke an early lead but Morgan Fox and Tom Lees converted second-half corners to suggest further misery for the Potters.

Tyrese Campbell had other ideas, however, netting an acrobatic volley before Sam Vokes scrambled home in the 97th minute to lift Stoke off the foot of the table.

Waghorn scored Derby's first goal in seven Championship away games to cancel out Joe Garner's opener and leave Wigan bottom.

Fulham are fifth and one of three teams on 39 points after a remarkable contest at Kenilworth Road, where Bobby Decordova-Reid's second of the game in the fourth minute of injury time ensured a share of the spoils.

BONNE ENDS CHARLTON'S VICTORY WAIT

Macauley Bonne hit a brace and set up Alfie Doughty's winner as Charlton Athletic overcame Bristol City 3-2 – their first victory in 12 games.

Middlesbrough and Reading were two other teams moving clear of trouble thanks to respective 1-0 wins at home to Huddersfield Town and Queens Park Rangers.

Blackburn Rovers were unable to close on Preston in the final play-off spot as they shared a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City, while Cardiff City and Millwall did likewise to remain on 34 points apiece.

Lewis Grabban scored both goals in Nottingham Forest's 2-0 victory at Hull City.

Leeds United's chief executive has confirmed Jack Clarke's loan spell at Elland Road will be cut short after Tottenham opted to recall the teenager due to a lack of playing time.

Teenage winger Clarke became Spurs' first signing in 18 months when he joined from Leeds in July, though he was loaned straight back to the Championship side for the 2019-20 season.

However, having appeared in 24 league matches last season, Clarke has played only 19 minutes in one substitute's appearance in this Championship campaign.

That has led to Spurs making the decision to cut short his spell at Elland Road, with Clarke due to return to Tottenham next month.

"We thank Jack Clarke for his services and wish him the best of luck in his career as Spurs have confirmed, due to a lack of playing time, he will be recalled in the January transfer window," Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear wrote in his programme notes.

The Whites, who will end the calendar year in the Championship's top two regardless of how they fare in their next two games, could also lose Eddie Nketiah back to Arsenal.

Nketiah, 20, is on a season-long loan from the Gunners - though he could be recalled in January - and has scored three times, but he has yet to start in the Championship.

"I appreciate much speculation still surrounds the immediate future of Eddie Nketiah and although Arsenal have the right to call him in January, we still believe he can make a huge impact over the remainder of the season at Leeds United," Kinnear added.

"Accordingly, we are endeavouring to convince Eddie and the technical team at Arsenal that the coaching environment and profile of the playing opportunity at Thorp Arch and Elland Road is still the best choice for his long-term development."

Blackburn Rovers lost Bradley Dack to a serious-looking injury as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Wigan Athletic in the Championship.

Rovers top-scorer Dack, returning after missing the win over Bristol City through suspension, was taken off on a stretcher in the second half of Monday's game at Ewood Park after appearing to hurt his knee.

Tony Mowbray's side came closest to breaking the deadlock, Danny Graham hitting the crossbar and Lewis Holtby seeing a shot saved by Jamie Jones.

Wigan could have snatched all three points had it not been for some fine saves from Christian Walton, though, the best a flying stop to tip Sam Morsy's curling effort over the bar.

The result sees Rovers climb to eighth in the table, above Bristol City on goal difference and just two points adrift of the play-off places.

Wigan move off the bottom of the table, a point above Stoke City, ahead of Thursday's game against Derby County.

Barry Bannan's late penalty was enough to move Sheffield Wednesday up to third in the Championship, securing a 1-0 win over Bristol City and extending their unbeaten run to six.

City's Callum O'Dowda went agonisingly close to an opener after just 12 seconds, dragging wide of the bottom-right corner.

Wednesday had a Liam Palmer effort blocked on the line by Korey Smith in the 24th minute, before the former was in the right place at the right time in the second period to deny Jack Hunt.

The hosts' chances looked to be over when a late Barry Bannan free-kick was tipped wide by Daniel Bentley, but the midfielder converted soon after from the spot following a tangle between Tommy Rowe and Atdhe Nuhiu.

Josh Onomah scored the winner as Fulham boosted their hopes of making a push for automatic promotion in the second half of the Championship season with a 2-1 victory over second-placed Leeds United at Craven Cottage.

On a day when leaders West Brom were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford, Fulham ended a three-match losing streak and moved back up to third, nine points behind Leeds, courtesy of their triumph.

Scott Parker's men could be overtaken by Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday if the Owls beat Bristol City, but victory over high-flying Leeds nevertheless represents a significant boost.

At the other end of the table, Barnsley climbed off the bottom with a first away win of the season, thanks to a 94th-minute winner from Patrick Schmidt at Millwall, while Derby County's disappointing campaign continued as they had Scott Malone sent off after four minutes and conceded two penalties in a 3-0 defeat at Reading.

 

TOP TWO DROP POINTS BUT STILL CLEAR AT CHRISTMAS

West Brom and Leeds may have both dropped points on Saturday, but they remain firmly on course to finish as the top two.

The table-topping Baggies are three points clear of Leeds and 12 ahead of Fulham after Darnell Furlong took just three minutes to cancel out Henrik Dalsgaard's opener for Brentford at The Hawthorns.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was predictably prominent in Fulham's victory. The Championship's top scorer converted an early penalty before Patrick Bamford pulled Leeds level. Onomah's decisive goal then came on the rebound after an attempted overhead kick from Mitrovic had been blocked. 

Preston North End sit fourth after drawing 0-0 at Cardiff City in the day's early kick-off.

 

BARNSLEY REVIVAL CONTINUES

After beating QPR 5-3 last weekend, Barnsley made it back-to-back wins thanks to Schmidt's injury-time header at Millwall. 

The Yorkshire club have leapfrogged Stoke City and Wigan Athletic at the foot of the table, although the latter could jump from 24th to 21st by beating Blackburn Rovers on Monday.

 

NO MALONE AT CHRISTMAS! RAMS SCUPPERED BY SCOTT'S EARLY RED

Derby have not won away since the opening week of the season and their hopes of ending that dismal run were swiftly dented at Reading when Malone was dismissed for bringing down Yakou Meite as the last man inside four minutes.

Charlie Adam converted the penalty, Lucas Joao added a second for Reading after the break and Meite converted a late penalty of his own on a miserable day for the Rams, who sit seven points above the bottom three in 17th.

Elsewhere, Swansea City snuck into the top six with a 1-0 win at Luton Town, Hull City thumped Birmingham City 3-0 and Huddersfield Town beat slumping Nottingham Forest 2-1 in a contest that saw managers Danny Cowley and Sabri Lamouchi involved in a furious confrontation. Naby Sarr's 95th-minute goal rescued a 2-2 draw for Charlton Athletic at QPR.

Lewis Wing hit a fine winner as Middlesbrough came from behind to earn a crucial 2-1 home victory over Stoke City in the battle against relegation from the Championship.

Jack Butland made a fingertip save to deny Ashley Fletcher in a low-quality first half, with Stoke then nudging ahead in the 53rd minute at the Riverside Stadium on Friday.

Sam Clucas turned in the rebound after Aynsley Pears denied James McClean, but Boro hit back within four minutes as Fletcher headed home Jonathan Howson's pass.

After Clucas was harshly booked for diving in the Boro box, going down under a challenge from Howson, the hosts sealed three vital points in the 71st minute. 

Wing beat Butland with a dipping drive from outside the box and Jonathan Woodgate's side held on for a third straight home win to move six points clear of struggling Stoke in 22nd.

Hull City defender Angus MacDonald has been given the all-clear from bowel cancer.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with the early stages of the disease in August and immediately began treatment, which was completed successfully this month.

"Hull City are delighted to announce the wonderful news that Angus MacDonald has been given the all-clear from bowel cancer," the Championship club said in a statement.

"Everyone at the club would like to express their happiness at this fantastic news.

"Angus has shown tremendous courage and strength of character during the most challenging of periods.

"We would like to wish him and his family and friends a wonderful Christmas and we all look forward to seeing Angus back in and around the club."

MacDonald joined Hull in January 2018 after spending 18 months at Barnsley.

He played 12 times in 2017-18 but only managed one league appearance last term after being diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis.

Hull, who host Birmingham City on Saturday, are 14th in the table after 22 games.

Wayne Rooney claims he is still good enough to play in the Premier League as the former England striker prepares to take up a player-coach role with Derby County. 

Rooney scored 208 goals in the English top flight during two spells with boyhood club Everton either side of his time at Manchester United, where he became the club's top scorer.

He joins a Rams side siting 16th in the second tier, but Rooney believes he can still cut in the top division.

"I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that," said the 34-year-old, who watched Derby lose 1-0 to Millwall at Pride Park on Saturday

"Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.

"Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.

"Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League."

Rooney plans to go into management in the future, but believes he still has a lot to offer on the pitch if teams play to his strengths.

"It's important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game," he explained.

"Sometimes that gets lost, because you don't score as many goals or whatever.

"The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully we can get there with them."

West Brom sit at the top of the Championship after Charlie Austin's double helped them to a 3-2 win over Birmingham City in Saturday’s early game.

Leeds United looked set to reclaim first place later in the day but threw away a three-goal lead at home to Cardiff City to draw 3-3.

Preston North End are now 10 points behind Marcelo Bielsa's side after a 2-1 win over Luton Town, while Brentford leapfrogged Fulham into fourth with a slender 1-0 win.

At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Barnsley registered a remarkable 5-3 win over QPR but Middlesbrough slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Swansea City.

 

AUSTIN INSPIRES BAGGIES COMEBACK

Charlie Austin took his tally for the season to eight with a brace to help West Brom record a vital win at Birmingham City.

Slaven Bilic's side looked set for a first defeat in 12 league games after Lukas Jutkiewicz and Harlee Dean had scored either side of Grady Diangana's goal.

Austin drew his side level three minutes after being introduced, though, when he flicked up Jake Livermore's pass and rifled a half-volley past Connal Trueman.

The 30-year-old sealed all three points nine minutes from time, powering home Darnell Furlong's cross with his head.

LEEDS CAPITULATE AGAINST BLUEBIRDS

Leeds conceded three goals inside the final 30 minutes to miss the opportunity to quickly reclaim top spot from the Baggies.

Helder Costa gave the hosts a wonderful start at Elland Road, scoring after six minutes, before Patrick Bamford struck twice to open up a commanding lead.

However, Lee Tomlin gave the Bluebirds hope with a goal on the hour mark to spark an unexpected comeback.

Sean Morrison added another with eight minutes remaining, before receiving his marching orders four minutes later for a late tackle.

Their numerical disadvantage did not daunt the visitors, however, as Robert Glatzel struck with two minutes remaining.

STOCKLEY FIRES PRESTON INTO THIRD

Jayden Stockley scored with six minutes remaining to help Preston beat Luton and climb to third in the table.

Paul Gallagher opened the scoring early on, slotting home after his penalty had been saved, before James Collins levelled from the spot.

Brentford, meanwhile, are a point behind Preston in fourth after Bryan Mbeumo scored the only goal of the game against Fulham.

Sheffield Wednesday are level on points with the Bees, the Owls cruising to a resounding 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Jordan Rhodes.

CHAPLIN TREBLE LIFTS CLOUDS OVER BARNSLEY

Barnsley moved to within four points of safety as Conor Chaplin's hat-trick helped them to a stunning win over QPR at Oakwell.

Cauley Woodrow and Bambo Diaby were also on target in what was only the Tykes' third league win of the campaign.

Fellow strugglers Stoke City and Wigan Athletic were held to 0-0 and 1-1 draws by Reading and Huddersfield Town respectively.

Andre Ayew scored twice in Swansea's comfortable win over Middlesbrough, while Bradley Johnson and Adam Armstrong helped Blackburn Rovers to a 2-0 triumph at Bristol City.

Hull City snatched a 2-2 draw at Charlton Athletic on Friday thanks to an own goal from goalkeeper Dillon Phillips in the final seconds of the game.

Darren Pratley's header had given Lee Bowyer's side a half-time lead before Jarrod Bowen equalised from close range two minutes after the restart.

Charlton restored their advantage when Naby Sarr tapped in Jonathan Leko's cross, which looked to have been enough to secure all three points.

However, Phillips parried Keane Lewis-Potter's header onto the right post and the ball bounced in off the keeper's head in the sixth minute of injury time, with what proved to be the final act of the match.

Hull move above Millwall on goal difference into 13th in the Championship, six points clear of Charlton in 17th.

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