Is Bowyer right to show Charlton loyalty?
Lee Bowyer has turned down the offer of greater riches at Huddersfield Town to continue his work at Charlton - but is he right to show loyalty to the Addicks?
The 42-year-old has worked miracles at the south London outfit since he stumbled upon the job back in March 2018.
Having started that season as assistant manager, he was thrust into the role in a caretaker capacity when Karl Robinson vacated the top job at the Valley.
Bowyer’s good start saw him handed the reins until the end of the season and he guided them to the League One play-offs.
A semi-final defeat against Shrewsbury proved to be the catalyst for an improved 2018-29 season which saw Charlton finish in a commendable third place.
A penalty shoot-out win against Doncaster was followed by a last-gasp 2-1 victory against Sunderland in the play-off final at Wembley in May.
Bowyer has hauled the club back into the Championship in his first full season at the helm, despite working on a show-string budget.
During his tenure, the fans have also launched countless protests at the manner in which owner Roland Duchatelet runs the club.
There were major doubts that Bowyer would lead the club out in the Championship, but he performed a U-turn earlier this summer after seemingly deciding to walk away at one point and signed the one-year contract extension in June, to the fans’ delight.
Charlton then suffered the loss of several key men, such as Anfernee Dijksteel, Patrick Bauer and Joe Aribo, who helped them secure promotion.
But Bowyer replaced them with free transfers, while his only outlay has been the £200,000 spent to bring in Macauley Bonne from Leyton Orient.
And his managerial stock has continued to rise in the opening month of the new season with Charlton unbeaten heading into the international break with four wins and two draws from six matches to leave them second in the Championship.
His work has not gone unnoticed at Huddersfield with the West Yorkshire outfit searching for a replacement for the outgoing Jan Siewert.
The Terriers’ nightmare run of form from their Premier League relegation has overlapped into the Championship.
Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Luton has left them second-bottom in the table with just one point from a possible 18.
It would be a gamble for Bowyer to up sticks and leave the high-flying Addicks for Huddersfield.
But he would no doubt be guaranteed more financial security on a personal level and a chance to rebuild the squad at the John Smith’s Stadium given that they will be boosted by Premier League parachute money for the next two years.
To turn that down in favour of staying put at a club with its well-publicised off-the-field issues shows a great amount of loyalty.
It is a gamble, but it could pay dividends for Bowyer because it won’t be long before Premier League clubs will be calling if he can maintain Charlton’s upward trajectory.
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.