Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Charlton model

There has been an interesting debate on the list run by Glynne Jones about the 'Charlton model' and whether it is still viable. One of my opening comments was that perhaps there was never a Charlton model, simply a fortuitous combination of circumstances that enabled us to get into the Premiership and stay there for several years.

And, as someone pointed out, even if it worked in the past, it may not work now given the way in which the Premiership has moved on. In any case, we are looking for a model that would work in League 1!

In so far as there was a Charlton model, it was centred around financial prudence, taking one step at a time to grow the club incrementally rather than a 'dash for growth'. It also involved a 'fan focussed approach', maintaining good lines of communication with fans, something we seem to have lost. This was all embedded in a community based approach that we still maintain.

The consensus among listers was that things started to go wrong when Parker departed. Curbs didn't want him to go and insisted on the money being spent on replacements. But the replacements either disappointed (Rommedahl) or thought they were bigger than the club (Danny Murphy). The purse strings were loosened and these players and the likes of Smertin and Marcus Bent (!) were given much more than their predecessors.

When Dowie arrived, the strategy was to make money available for a more expansive style of football (and stay in the Premiership). However, the club didn't really have enough money to pursue such a strategy and ended up with escalating wage costs, players on deals which did not drop if we were relegated, and transfer fees paid which did not give value for money. For example, we signed players with track records in the third division (two of whom cost £4m between them) on far too much money. The old 'Charlton model' would never have allowed that type of business.

One interesting view was that 'the Board being fans was one of the greatest strengths of the club's model through the building years, but I felt that they let their heart rule their heads too much.'

What we need now is a reversion to a much more prudent model. One thing that may help is that wages at League 1 level might start to become more affordable.

12 comments:

lesberrysdodgybackpass said...

Wyn,
Well written, I do remember the board stating (during the first season we were promoted after the play-off final)that thye were planning on Charlton being a finiancially solid first (championship) division side. I wondered at the time what the sudden promotion would mean, having watched other clubs drop out of the premiership and keep on slinding into division two. It can be summed up in the board chosing the wrong managers, who choose to buy the wrong players at too inflated prices. I still hope that against all the odds we can stay up and steady the ship. ZZ & Racon in midfield and a decent striker and if need be try semedo in defence, I know pardew didn't think he would be up to the physicality and high balls but (can't remember his name the little fellow who partnered Fortune now at the Saints) did a good job for us.

Anonymous said...

Why does the E-Bulletin give news on Waghorn and not the OS.Not everybody subscribes to the daily bulletin

sm said...

Isn't the real problem that the "sugardaddy" daddy model has been allowed to take over - and as a consequence players and managers salaries have been so bid up that the old Charlton model has now become unviable. As a start I would extend the League 1 and 2 salary caps to the Championship - and then something has to be done to the contracts of Premiership players that allows their termination/reduction in wages should a club be relegated (ie because the players have failed).

Or perhaps the FA could do a proper fit and proper test on sugardaddies and drive them out of the game.

Anonymous said...

Is there a salary cap in Div 1.If so what is it ?Does the club turnover establish it?

Billericay Dickie said...

In my opinion Charlton first started to deviate from the “Charlton model” when it suddenly dropped Mark Mansfield & Charlton Live from Millennium radio in favour of Capital Gold. I was told at the time that the club could have insisted when the deal was made, that Millennium Radio continued to have commentary rights but that the club decided against it.

About the same time it became increasingly difficult to obtain players for official club supporters question and answer sessions. In fact it became so bad that some sections have simply folded. Without the player input there was little pointing having meetings and members simply didn’t renew.

How the club must rue these decisions now. The very people who made target 10,000 so successful were cast aside in favour of so called bigger and better friends.

johnny73 said...

Sensible financial management of a football club is a lovely dream. The reality is we are competing against teams prepared to break the bank for top flight status. And yes it's this attitude which has brought us here today.

The problem is when you cease competing financially and make decisions purely on a business basis you are then asking for relegation.

I know it's insane and I don't agree with it, but it's the system we have. The thing is it's getting worse every year.

Wyn Grant said...

I know that the salary cap in League 2 operates as a percentage of turnover and that clubs (Morecambe most recently) have been barred from the transfer market for breaching it. On another point, I don't know why material in the E-mail bulletin doesn't appear on the official club site.

sm said...

Talking of the Charlton model - could someone explain to me why we are so soft as to allow our own loaned out players play against us (Varney) - but other clubs do not allow us to play players which we have purchased from them (Burton) or which we have purchased from someone else but were loaned to them (Spring). Makes you wonder who negotiates these contracts for Charlton - but he/she is obviously rather too nice.

Ken Jennings said...

Have the club released Harry Arter? I thought he was supposed to be a good prospect?

Blackheath Addicted said...

Sorry to suggest it in answer to your question, SM, but we allow our loaned out players to play against us because with them in the opposition team we have a better chance of getting something out of the game (I'd hesitate to say win the game).

Anonymous said...

SM - I agree that the practice seems odd, but I can only assume that clubs are able under league rules to negotiate a play/no play clause. Speculating, it may be that Sheffield Wed said that you can sign Burton after the game at Hillsborough or before providing he doesn't play in that match. If that were the case, it is understandable that Charlton would agree. Conversely, perhaps with Varney, who Charlton were keen to offload, Derby agreed to an attractive deal but then insisted that he play in the game at the Valley. Again, Charlton would then have been happy to agree. So, it's probably not about weak/strong negotiation but more to do with context/circumstances and what was important for the two clubs at the time.

sm said...

Anon you are probably right - but why is it that Charlton never seem to be able to drive a hard bargain? Do we ever call the otehr side's bluff - perhaps Wednesday were happy to unload Burton?