For the South African triathlete, see Richard Murray (triathlete). For the founder of Equity Schools Inc., see Richard R. Murray.
Richard Alan Murray is an English businessman and the former chairman of Charlton Athletic F.C.
Murray founded Avesco plc, the specialist services provider to the entertainment & sports industry in 1984, where he was Chairman for almost 20 years; he is the Chairman of Investinmedia plc and has other non-executive directorships which include Welsh Industrial Investment Trust plc and Medal Entertainment and Media plc.
Murray first started watching Charlton Athletic F.C. during the 1980s when the club was playing its home games at Selhurst Park as the club's ground, The Valley, had been forcibly closed. He joined the board of Charlton in the early 1990s and is credited with helping the club return to The Valley in 1992. He became chairman of the plc board at Charlton in 1995, after which he appointed Alan Curbishley as the club's sole manager (Curbishley had previously been joint manager with Steve Gritt). The first twelve years of Murray's tenure saw two promotions to the Premier League and seven seasons in the top flight, the club's most successful spell since the years preceding and after World War II.
Since 2005, Murray has attracted headlines over his relationship with Crystal Palace Football Club counterpart Simon Jordan. This relates to incidents between the two which occurred when Charlton relegated Crystal Palace from the Premier League in May 2005, and a year later when manager Iain Dowie moved from Palace to Charlton, when Jordan felt Dowie had agreed to take over at Charlton before leaving Palace. At the subsequent court trial, the verdict was that Charlton had not interviewed Dowie before he left Palace.
The club's fortunes on the pitch declined after Curbishley's departure from Charlton in 2006, suffering relegation from the Premier League in 2007. In early 2008, a re-organisation at the club meant Murray was moved to become chairman of Charlton Athletic Football Club Limited, thus taking greater responsibility over football matters. He was replaced as plc chairman by Derek Chappell. However, a poor 2008-09 season saw Charlton suffer a second relegation in as many years. Chappell resigned in 2009 and Murray returned as plc chairman.
Over a period of several years--in 2007, 2008 and 2009--Charlton were linked with a series of takeovers. These were actively encouraged by Murray as a means of solving Charlton's increasing financial problems; former Chief Executive Peter Varney was tasked with identifying potential owners. In the summer of 2010, a restructure of the club saw the plc effectively wound up with the club's assets transferred to a company controlled by Murray. In December 2010, it was announced that the club had been sold to Charlton Athletic Holdings Ltd, a Swiss-registered company owned by Michael Slater and Tony Jimenez; Slater immediately replaced Murray as chairman. Murray remains a director of Charlton Athletic, and retains a ten per cent ownership of the club.