Wednesday 30 June 2010

Parky linked with Leicester job

Phil 'must go' Parkinson just might. He has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Leicester City after manager Nigel Pearson left to take the vacant job at Hull City. Chris Powell is in interim charge at Leicester, but this is not seen as a permanent appointment.

The official site has announced that Steve Gritt is to leave the building for a second time: Gritt . The widely respected Academy Director agreed to leave by mutual consent on the expiry of his contract as the clubs searches for further ways to save money.

Elsewhere, Nicky Bailey has passed his medical at Boro and Gordon Strachan has 'spoken to' the ginger nut and his wife. However, the paperwork cannot be completed 'because Keith Lamb is in South Africa' according to reliable local sources. So we will have to wait a bit to trouser the money and pay the gas bill.

CAFC tweets report that a fox was seen inspecting a cardboard box outside The Valley this morning, but he did not get in the box so could not be signed up as 'the fox in the box'. Just as well given the problems we had with a previous occupant of that role.

Randolph fitted for kilt

Darren Randolph is to leave Charlton for Motherwell: Kilt . It will be on a free as his contract has expired and the salary savings will not be great.

Towards the end of last season I was developing the unorthodox thought that Randolph might be a better keeper than Elliot. He certainly acquitted himself well when he came in for the injured Charlton supporter. However, Elliot is a decent enough keeper for League 1 and will develop as he gains more experience.

This means that we will need to hire a reserve keeper. There was talk of someone from Woking who would only cost £800 a week. Chris Kiely was let go by Gillingham and then by Leamington so might not be up to the task.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Come on England!

2-1 to England. 'Judas' Defoe to score the winning goal, giving that 'I turned my back on Charlton' content.

After the game: I got that badly wrong. One should never let hope overcome analysis. The first German goal was the kind of goal one would see scored against Charlton in League 1. The defending often seemed to be at League 1 level.

Saturday 26 June 2010

It's goodbye from him

Nicky Bailey thanks Charlton fans as he looks forward to joining Middlesbrough on Monday: Bailey

He certainly scored some superb volleys and no one could doubt his commitment. However, sometimes passion can go too far. He attracted a lot of stick from opposition supporters, not just Shrimpers, and he was a little too fond of rolling around on the ground and getting other players booked.

But no doubt Gordon Strachan is just the man to take him in hand. He used to live at Stoneleigh Abbey when he managed Coventry and a friend who also lived in this up market development used to see him exercising and shouting at the flower beds every morning.

Friday 25 June 2010

Rovers beat us to Hoskins

Bristol Rovers have been off competition from Charlton to sign striker Will Hoskins:

It's a shame as I think he would have been useful. Deon Burton has not yet signed terms with Charlton and there are rumours he could he go to Notts County.

Future of the official site

This statement from Airman Brown aka Rick Everitt has now appeared on a couple of other sites so it is now in the public domain:

Someone asked recently on Charlton Life about the promised redesign of the
OS, which we all accept is now looking rather dated. The reality is that we
look like being forced down a road we do not want to travel, so rather than
present this as a done deal here is the situation we face.

The strong and consensus view within the club is that we want to maintain an
independent site. Other than attendance at matches, it is the main point of
contact for fans. It is the principle way the club communicates and it acts
as our shop window. And who in the high street would deliberately set out to
have a shop window that looked like all the others?

We have never seen it and don't see it now as just another piece of
inventory to sell off to the highest bidder. It is a vital part of our

On the other side of the equation is Football League Interactive, a
subsidiary of the Football League, which operates about 80 websites,
including the sites of all other FL clubs - barring Leeds United and recent
arrivals in the League from either end.

There are good reasons for this dominance and they are financial. By
bringing all those clubs together, FLi is able to make an attractive pitch
to advertisers and share the revenue according to size of club. More
significantly, from our point of view, the League controls the rights to
live action - commentary and video - and licences it in such a way that it
is very difficult to escape the financial logic of handing over your

Two years ago, in response to the demand from fans for commentary, the club
entered into a deal with FLi that enables us to stream commentary (provided
by us) and match highlights (provided by them). No other club has such an
arrangement outside of an FLi website and to get them to agree to this we
had to accept terms that are overwhelmingly in their favour. They get the
vast majority of the revenue Charlton fans pay. The contract is up and they
have made clear that the terms of an extension are non-negotiable.

If we give up the independence of our site we get a more equitable share of
this revenue, plus a a cut of the advertising, plus a share of the
syndication money the League gets from selling the internet video rights on,
for example to the BBC, based on the number of Player subscribers we have.
At the moment we get a flat rate of the syndication based on League One
status, although our website traffic is healthy and hasn't fallen since we
were relegated from the PL.

We would no longer have to pay hosting or design costs, although they don't
offer a shop or tickets interface and these would remain under our control.

Against this, our site would look like the other FLi sites. Our staff would
still maintain the club specific content, but we would have less control of
how it looks, our messages would have less prominence and there are
restrictions on the ways we can prioritise our own commercial activities,
for example with splash pages. In addition, the contract ties us to this
arrangement until 2017. This is also non-negotiable.

There is nobody at Charlton who want to wants to go down this route, but our
research suggests it is worth a minimum of £50k extra a season to do so.
Given that we are faced with making people redundant to save much less than
this, we have build a credible alternative financial model if we are to
avoid it. That is going to need the active support of fans to achieve. Hence
this post and the question - do enough of you care sufficiently to help us
fund the alternative?

We have plans in place to rebuild the existing site now in a much updated
and improved form and continue to host it independently, but that is a cost.
The only secure way of offsetting that and matching the income stream from
FLi is through subscriptions, but it would make little sense in view of the
values we attach to the site to put it behind a paywall. The subscriptions
need to be attached to premium content. Again the League will take a
significant (but much lower) share of the income just to allow us the rights
to include this live action and we would have to obtain our own match
footage and edit it.

We believe the main driver of subscriptions was match commentary rather than
match pictures, not least because these are also available in limited form
via the BBC site.

Are we correct about this? Again, you can tell us. The simplest option would
be to offer a premium content service with no commentary or match action as
the League cannot demand a cut of that, but even if we offer two packages
and exclude premium content from one they are likely to demand a cut of both
through the terms of their licence.

Whichever route we go we are likely to focus on adding more non-match video
content in order to encourage subscriptions, but to take the independent
route we probably need more like 2,000 subscribers than the existing 1,200.
And to stay independent we might have to push the price up, probably to £4
or £5 a month. Bear in mind also that all payments include VAT and we will
incur additional hosting and bandwidth costs if we run our own premium
content service.

We do have some ideas around advertising and sponsorship, but experience
suggests they should be discounted for the purposes of the current

In the end, the board will have to make a decision with finance in mind.
They have consistently supported our resistance to the FLI route in the past
and recognise the importance of preserving our identity, but cannot be
expected to do so regardless of cost.

There will be people out there who are as passionate as those of us at the
club are about this, but how many of you are there?

What we didn't want to do is end up presenting a fait accompli without
canvassing opinion. Unfortunately, and whatever we might like to be
different, this is the financial reality of the club's situation and we have
to deal with it.

My suggestion to Rick was that perhaps small husinesses would pay to have a link on the site or some form of sponsorship, but apparently we no longer have a sales team that can deal with that. The problem is that one gets in a vicious cycle of decline: no money to raise revenue, so revenue declines. For example, this has been apparent for some time with player sponsorships.

I would like to keep our distinctive site, even though the content is sometimes a little bland, but that is inevitable with an official site. Unfortunately, it looks as if financial logic may dictate otherwise.

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Stavrinou to return to Conference?

Alex Stavinrou has just signed a one year contract with Charlton. He was out on loan with Ebbsfleet for much of last season, and only appeared for the Addicks against Barnet and Hereford, but it looks as if he may experience another spell of Conference football with AFC Wimbledon if this report is to be believed: Dons

He may be accompanied by Yado Mambo. Charlton's pre-season tour of non-league grounds includes a visit to the phoenix club.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Some good news: Charlton in for Hoskins

Charlton are in for 24-year old Watford forward Will Hoskins who has been released by the Hornets on a free transfer: Hoskins

Read more about him here: Will

Monday 21 June 2010

Addicks can't afford Spurs friendly

Apparently a friendly at The Valley against a near full strength Spurs side has been called off because Charlton can't afford to stage the match: Spurs

I would have thought that the gate money for such a game would have covered the costs of staging it. What I have subsequently learned is that Spurs require quite a substantial appearance fee. It appears, however, that Charlton are pressing on with their series of non-league friendlies.

If Leamington can afford to entertain League 2 Cheltenham, things must be bad at The Valley. Indeed, the official site states that a number of staff have been warned that they are 'at risk' of redundancy as a cost cutting campaign gets under way: Redundancy

Some of those staff are presumably in revenue generating positions. Whilst one appreciates the difficult position the club is in, there is a risk of a downward spiral gaining momentum.

Done deal on Bailey

Nicky Bailey is ezpected to sign for Middlesbrough in the next 24 hours for a fee in the region of £1.4m. Quite how much of that will be cash up front and how much will depend on appearances, Boro's promotion etc. is unknown. Clearly Charlton needs as much cash up front as possible to keep the club in business.

In any event they'll be dancing on Southend pier as 20 per cent will go to the Shrimpers in a nice boost for the League 2 club.

This deal has been expected for some time and the club has managed to get much more than I hoped for, so it's good news on balance.

Sunday 20 June 2010

Charlton swoop for Worthing ace

Charlton are to give a week's trial in July to Worthing Town left-back Matt Whitehead: Whitehead . I would have thought that particular position was well covered, assuming Youga stays and with Grant Basey back in action. Also, our experience of recruiting that far down the non-league has not been all that promising. Perhaps he is one for the future.

However, he clearly is not without talent: Wembley

Valley rejects continue to succeed in World Cup

Dennis Rommedahl was named man of the match after Denmark sent Cameroon out of the World Cup last night: Dennis

It's certainly a case of 'spot the Charlton reject' at this World Cup with Bougherra's good performance for Algeria now being topped by that of Rommedahl. Mind you, apparently he did bottle a tackle towards the end of the match.

Although 'Dennis in the last minute' will always be remembered for his winning goal against the Glaziers at Sainsbury's, perhaps his style was not suited to English football.

Holleran re-lines Brakes

With the opening fixture against a full strength League 2 Cheltenham Town side on July 10th fast approaching, Brakes supremo Paul Holleran has been busy building the squad.

Brakes scored a lot of goals in the league last season (84) but they also let a lot in (74). Strengthening central defence has been a priority with doughty defender Adam Cooper released and dropping down a division to play for Bedworth United.

Into central defence comes 6ft. 6 ins. giant Liam Daly. Daly started his career with Birmingham City, but has recently played for Solihull Moors in the Conference North and for Halesowen Town.

Fans have also been heartened by the news that their favourite player 'Jacko' has re-signed. The dynamic terrier-like player will be partnered in midfield by Richard Batchelor who has agreed to stay at the club.

Another fans' favourite Stuart Herlihy (Her-le-hee) has also agreed terms after long talks with Holleran. Work commitments interrupted his availability last season, but apparently the situation has improved.

Saturday 19 June 2010

Sheer magic

Former Charlton player 'Magic' Bougherra was undoubtedly the standout Algerian player when they held England to a 0-0 draw in Cape Town last night. The fact that he was a former Addick was even mentioned by the commentator. He played more effectively than he ever did in a Charlton shirt which was the opposite of the case for the England players.

In many ways watching England was just like Charlton: no creativity, zest or ideas in breaking down the dogged but limited defence of a supposedly inferior side.

Apparently, ITV have received thousands of complaints for not showing adverts during last night's game. An England fan, however, made his way into the dressing room and gave it large. South African police said, 'We are looking for a well built man in his late sixties with a pronounced South London accent. He was wearing a Charlton shirt and also had an insignia depicting a horse.'

BTW, if you have a Capello sat nav, please return it to the retailer as defective. All it will do is tell you to take the first exit.

Radio Scilly has reported that the wholesalers on the island are flying their England flag at half mast.

Friday 18 June 2010

Boro offer for Bailey?

A number of sources are reporting that Middlesbrough are about to make an offer for Nicky Bailey. The Daily Mail even claims that the deal has been done at £1.5m: Bailey

That would be a great finnancial result if it was true and there may have been some competition for his services which forced up the price. However, the absence of any commentary on the effect on house prices in SE7 leads me to question how well founded the Mail story is.

Bailey certainly has an eye for goal, but his petulance and attempts to get players booked did not make him popular with all Charlton fans. He was also capable of losing possession in midfield.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Cherry ripe

Charlton face AFC Bournemouth at home on the opening day of the third division south season. The newly promoted Cherries will be hoping to put one over the 'giant' club, just as Scunthorpe did a few years back in the Championship. Homer the Cherry Hound has been given special leave from his role at Didcot Town to act as match analyst.

A big draw on Boxing Day will be against Southampton who have been tipped for automatic promotion this season.

Both Notts County and Dagenham & Redbridge will be visiting in September. Notts County were the subject of a big £1 promotion in the days of 'Target 10,000' and the match had to be delayed by fifteen minutes because of the size of the crowd.

We finish the season with a home game against Hartlepool United so if we are in the frame for anything that should give us a chance.

Much excitement in Shrewsbury

Shropshire is en fete at the news that Shrewsbury Town are to entertain 'giants' Charlton Athletic in the Carling Cup: Shrews

Apparently we are likely to be the bookies' favourite to win promotion next year!

New Shrews manager Graham Turner was responsible for our exit from the competition at Hereford last year.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Parky in for Chilvers

Phil Parkinson has confirmed his interest in signing free agent Liam Chilvers who played for him at Colchester: Chilvers

The defender may not have happy memories of The Valley as he tore his achilles in the warm up to a game with Preston North End in March 2008 and was subsequently out for the best part of a season. However, Charlton have often shown an interest in injury prone players who spend most of their contracts in the treatment room.

No doubt he is a decent player and apparently he may want to head back down south again.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Summer chat - £1m tag on Bailey?

Normally reliable Solent sources are reporting that Charlton have placed a £1m+ price tag on Nicky Bailey. What is more they infer that it is the banks who are insisting on this price rather than the club. If there is anything in this story, it is an interesting insight. But it is the summer.

28-year old central defender Liam Chilvers has been released by Preston North End and loose talk has linked him with Charlton. However, it seems that mighty Morecambe are already in the frame and he wouldn't have to move house.

Friday 11 June 2010

Steve Waggott leaves

Charlton chief executive Steve Waggott is to leave the club, although he will provide some transitional assistance during the transfer period. There will be no replacement in the role with managing director Stephen Kavanagh taking responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club.

Waggott had a hard act to follow in replacing Peter Varney and he had to do so at a difficult time for the club. Nevertheless, he attracted some criticism from fans and from sources inside the club. There is probably no easy way to perform the role, but it is uncertain whether his previous experience was the best preparation for it.

Once again we have to invoke the words of the newsreels when Neville Chamberlain resigned as prime minister: 'Thanks for all you tried to do.' Unfortunately, there is no Churchill on the horizon to save the club in its hour of need.

The new arrangements will save the club a significant sum of money at a time when every penny counts.

So far fans seem to have taken the news calmly and there have been no reports of fans gathering at The Valley to wail or rend their Charlton shirts.

McLeod on his way?

Izale McLeod's agent is looking for a new club for the errant striker but he has warned that he will not allow him to be 'forced out' of Charlton: McLeod

After an indifferent career at The Valley, McLeod joined Peterborough, but was then suspended for unspecified 'disciplinary reasons' and subequently managed to do his knee in.

At one time there were strong rumours that he would return to his native heath in Scotland with Hearts, but the deal fell through after he had been measured up for his kilt.

McLeod has a small coterie of devotees among the Addickted and they may be able to gain a glimpse of him as he drives down Sparrows Lane to pre-season training. One of them said, 'Once again it's down to Parkinson. Real talent has been let go instead of being developed. If we had had McLeod and Dickson up front with Fleetwood on the bench, we would have gone up.'

Thursday 10 June 2010

Pigs seen over The Valley

Air traffic controllers at London City Airport were disconcerted when a group of pigs were seen flying in formation at The Valley trailing a streamer: 'Nicky Bailey. Price tag £1m.'

The Daily Express started a story that he was going to Celtic for £1m as Neil Lennon's first signing and this was picked up by another rag the Sottish Daily Record.

It's possible that he could go to Celtic, but they are not so flush with cash that they can casually spend more than the market valuation.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Unsung heroines

The Charlton ladies team have been gradually re-building under the guidance of Morts (a player I enjoyed watching) and now their reserve team has won promotion to the top flight: Ladies

There is a certain irony in the fact that promotion was gained after six points were awarded because of the failure of the Glaziers and the Skates to turn up for games.

The top reserve striker, a young lady called Alana Garratt, is certainly easier on the eye than Wayne Rooney.

Town in for Bailey?

It could be a Tractors v. Canaries contest for the signature of Nicky Bailey with reports from Ipswich Town sources of interest there: Bailey

Don't think this will trigger off a price war, however, as they are talking of a fee around £500,000, a bit on the low side in my view.

Sunday 6 June 2010

Addicks chase Bostwick

Charlton are one of a trio of clubs chasing Stevenage Town (formerly Borough) utility player Michael Bostwick. He was a trainee with the Spanners before going on to play for Rushden and Diamonds at Nene Park and then had a spell at Edgefleet before going to Stevenage. Brighton and Brentford are the other clubs in the frame.

Although he is often described as a defender, he can play in midfield and could probably take a turn on the gate if that was needed: Bostwick

It's difficult to see why the League 2 club should let the 22-year old go if he is as good as stated and they would probably want quite a substantial fee.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Canaries and Saints in for Bailey

Phil Parkinson putting up the 'Player for sale' sign seems to have had some effect as the Canaries and Saints have expressed an interest in Charlton captain Nicky Bailey: Bailey

It seems to me that it is the sort of signing that the Canaries might want to make to ensure they stay in the Championship, while Alan Pardew might want to splash out and put one over Charlton.

I don't take the references to West Brom seriously as that would be too big a leap and 'Boro have been reported to be interested for ages but have never made a move.

Over the weekend, a Forest blog said they were seriously interested, but this may just be someone trying to find something to write about over the summer.

How much we will get for him I am far from sure, but I sure it will be a lot less than most people anticipate. However, it should be enough to keep the club ticking over.

I know that makes a selling club, but we were in the 1950s as well.

Friday 4 June 2010

So, farewell then, Yassin Moutaouakil

Yassin Moutaouakil has agreed to have his contract at The Valley terminated which is a generous gesture on his part with no assurance of a role elsewhere. Like Gordon Brown, nothing dignified him more than the way in which he left the post he had clung on to for so long.

Some will see the fact that the mercurial player was not used more as a management failure. I have not seen him play enough to form a judgement about his ability, nor do I know enough anything what happens at Sparrows Lane. The issue may not have been one about ability, but rather his attitude in terms of his relations with the management team, but that is pure speculation on my part.

Once again the words the newsreels used on the departure of Neville Chamberlain from Downing Street might be applied to a departing Charlton player: 'Thanks, Monsieur Moutaouakil, for all you tried to do.' And genuine best wishes for a better future elsewhere.

Thursday 3 June 2010

No offers yet for Bailey

Charlton have not yet received any expressions of interst in Nicky Bailey: Bailey

It was thought that he might be sacrificed to keep the club afloat, but that depends on a suitable offer.

Talks are to start soon with out-of-contract players including Christian Dailly, Darren Randolph and Lloyd Sam.

Addicks in for Lisbie?

Reports from Ipswich Town sources are claiming that Charlton may be about to make a move for the Addicks' former striker, Super Kevin Lisbie.

I have seen Lisbie score some brilliant goals, including one away at Ipswich. I have also seen him miss more sitters than almost any Charlton striker I can remember.

I once took a Canadian friend to a game when we were in the Premiership. We were in the Upper West that day and had a good view when Lisbie failed to put the ball in the net from six yards out with the keeper stranded.

'How much do I pay that guy?' expostulated the Bloke Beside Us. My Canadian friend was very amused.

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Fancy footwear ban in Academy

The fancy footwear ban in Charlton's Academy has attracted a lot of media attention:

Once you have graduated to the first team, you can wear what you like. There is a view that even at level that players who wear coloured boots are a bit flash and not to be relied on. A Charlton spokesman has argued that Lloyd Sam didn't score many goals because he could be seen too easily in his yellow boots. Perhaps.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Palace on the brink

Crystal Palace administrator Brendan Guilfoyle sounded a worried man when he was interviewed on Radio 5 a short time ago and well he might: Abyss

A thousand Palace fans protested at the ground yesterday and called on David Cameron to intervene, but the Coalition Government has indicated that they regard the matter as one for the club.

Guilfoyle said that he would have to start selling players after 3 p.m. today. The CPFC 2010 consortium might then walk away and the club would have to be liquidated as there is no alternative buyer.

The possibility of a groundshare at The Valley has been mooted, but no one has yet used the 'M' word that was uttered in the 1980s. Opposition to that is something that would unite the fans of both clubs.

I hope that a solution can be found as I want to beat Palace on the pitch not in the bankruptcy courts.