Wednesday 31 August 2016

Welcome, Fredrik Ulvestad

The official site has announced that Fredrik Ulvestad has signed on a year's loan from Burnley. The Norway international is described as a box-to-box midfielder: New signing

Career details for the 24-year old who has a footballing father and brother here: Fredrik Ulvestad

Despite weeks of speculation, most recently focusing on Crystal Palace, it looks as if Ademola Lookman is staying at The Valley. According to Richard Cawley and other sources, the club has turned down a series of bids from Sheffield Wednesday for Morgan Fox, the last one at over £1.25m.

Palace deal for Lookman?

As the transfer deadline nears, Charlton are trying to offload Ademola Lookman to Crystal Palace: Over to Sainsbury's

So it's a double delight for the Addickted: losing a talented player and seeing him go to a rival club.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

The Contradiction Cup

Why fans don't like the Checkatrade trophy: Worse than paint drying

Saturday 27 August 2016

Out of the waffle pan into the wok?

Charlton fans are so keen to see the back of Roland and Katrien, that they understandably have not given much thought to likely successors. At the present, the serious money is coming from China. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as Chinese investors tend to be consensual and like to build bridges with fans. But not all of them are of the same quality, as our sister site points out: A and B list Chinese investors

Friday 12 August 2016

How far should a club go in stopping dissent?

Charlton Athletic appears to be clamping down on dissent on social media by fans. Read the full story here: Season ticket conditions

Thursday 11 August 2016

Welcome, Josh Maginnis

The striker's signing from Kilmarmock is covered fully in our third division diary: Josh Maginnis

Monday 8 August 2016

Nightmeire shock

Charlton Athletic fans were busy checking the date this morning after chief executive Katrien Meire was elected to the FA Council. Read the full story here: Recognition

Thursday 4 August 2016

Return of the prodigal?

Could Alan Curbishley return to The Valley in an advisory role? See our report on Third Division Diary: Curbs pitches for advisory role

Wednesday 3 August 2016

3rd place for Charlton

Read why at Addick's Third Division Diary: Play off place

Sunday 31 July 2016

A keeper found at last?

Don't forget that in these grim times at The Valley, all your news is now on our Third Division Diary: Reports of signings bring little cheer

Sunday 24 July 2016

Lost in translation

Are you missing out on the stories on Addick's Third Division Diary as the club prepares for the season without a senior goalkeeper? Russell Slade is in despair and we provide the real version of his letter to those renewing their season tickets: Russell Slade

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Who is Charlton's new assistant manager?

Jonathan Acworth has had two phone calls with Russell Slade recently and has been hopeful of moving either into the dugout or replacing Katrien Meire as chief executive. Have Acworth's dreams come true? Read about the identity of the new assistant manager at Addick's Third Division Diary: Acworth overlooked shock

The club's article also reveals that Plymouth is now part of Cornwall which will be a real shock to Devonians. I suspect that the longer term plan is to make it part of Belgium.

You can also read about the return of Tony Watt to his native heath with the Jam Tarts.

Monday 18 July 2016

Big Dave goes

The latest casualty at The Valley is 'Big' Dave Lockwood who has been match day announcer for 24 years. He has resigned and has joined the protests against the regime: Big Dave

Charlton 'through and through' is a much used cliché, but it certainly applies to Big Dave. He once gave me a collection of Charlton videos when his sister emigrated.

Big Dave's full statement is here: Sadly time to go

Roland, I thank yew

The transitional period when posts were being made both here and on Addick's Third Division Diary has come to an end and all future posts will be made on the League One site in recognition of our diminished status. Thank you, Roland and Katrien, for screwing up the club.

The signs that they are learning are still limited, notwithstanding the appointment of an English manager and a few new signings, offset by quality exits. Nick Pope is having his medical at Burnley today. I think he would have been good enough for League One, instead he will have to sit on a cold bench at Turf Moor.

I have renewed my season ticket, because I know that if I didn't have a season ticket, I would stop going. Five hours travelling is quite a bit, even though I can read, sleep and use my tablet. All those around me have renewed. Whether I would renew after another season, I don't know.

However, I do think that the club needs to kept going so that there is something left for a new owner to build on. I don't buy into conspiracy theories that Roland wants to run down the club to redevelop The Valley. It would be a very expensive, perhaps impossible, site to develop.

The considerable reputational damage inflicted on Roland by the CARD campaign has not shifted this obdurate eccentric. Sometimes it feels like we are the victims of a failed social experiment.

What can we expect of the season ahead? Those who like wallowing in gloom and doom, and there are always plenty of those at Charlton (or any club), think that we will be relegated to League Two, and then to the Conference. In that case, given its infrastucture, the club would no longer be viable and would have to be closed in its present form.

Some optimists think the play offs might be possible. My hunch is that we will turn out to be a solid, mid-table League One club, punching below what should be our weight.

Older readers will know that the 'I thank yew' (pronounced ay-thang-yew) in the headline refers to the comedian Arthur Askey.

Saturday 16 July 2016

Farewell, then, Nick Pope

Burnley have improved their offer for Nick Pope to around £1m and a deal is close to being finalised: Nick Pope

It has been good to see Pope to develop from a non-league player to one capable of performing at Championship level and I am sorry to see him go. The Chicago Addick is more critical: Not up to it

Stephen Henderson may also be on his way out, with Nottingham Forest interested: Henderson

The Addicks will need to find a new first choice keeper. Who was that guy the Belgians brought over? Ah, yes, Thuram-Ullen, the maestro of punching the ball.

Friday 15 July 2016

It's not so grim 'oop north

With the president of the NFU at the Great Yorkshire Show

Having spent a day this week at the Great Yorkshire Show, I can verify that. More to the point, the latest Swiss Ramble blog takes an in depth look at Huddersfield Town which in normal circumstances we might think of as a comparator. All the tables and graphs include data on Charlton: Huddersfield Town

Of course, their chairman has pumped in £45m, admittedly to no great effect.

New triumph for daft ideas department

One of Katrien Meire's innovations at The Valley has been to create a Daft Ideas Department. Its role is to think up ideas that will upset the fans even more than they are upset with the regime already.

This time it has excelled itself. Fans will have to pay an extra £2.50 to buy tickets at the ticket office rather than online. Even worse, prices will go up by £3 in the two hours before kick off: Fan friendly

I suppose the idea behind that is to encourage more fans to buy season tickets, given that sales have been poor (3,500 is one figure that I have heard). However, many fans don't want to buy season tickets under the current regime. In any case, there is always some 'walk up' traffic. There are people who just go to a few games a year and might decide, on the spur of the moment, 'I've got nothing on this afternoon. I'll go to The Valley and be bored there instead.'

It's not clear how this affects away tickets, but I would have thought that at many League One grounds you could turn up on the day and hand over some readies at the gate. Indeed, I believe that at Fleetwood Town you get a free cod throw in. No good for Charlton fans: we like haddocks.

The views of the Supporters' Trust on this development can be found here: Insulting

Thursday 14 July 2016

Rickster backs critique of regime

This is hardly a surprising headline: the real shock would be 'Rick Everitt decides regime is a good thing after all.' However, there are some signs that some fans are getting weary of the protests against the current regime, or at least the disruptive ones. Hence, from his den on the Isle of Thanet, the Rickster has selected a post on Charlton Life by 'Grapevine' which he thinks sets out the case against Roland and Katrien rather well. It's rather long, so I have edited it a little.

Personally, although I think that it is well written and makes some good points, it overdoes the doom and gloom. One cynic commented, 'Isn't this just a long way of saying you lose your best players when you get relegated and the owners are just in it for the long term belief they can make some cash. Plus the team is still a bit rubbish.'

Anyway, the post follows.

Can we please stop this endless comparison of the current regime to those of 30, 40, 50 yrs ago? The money for the last two decades in the game driven by television and particularly Sky has transformed the entire industry landscape. It is akin to the comparative pursuit of warfare over the same period while ignoring the technological advances in armaments.

The days of the local builder, baker, butcher and timber merchants dipping their hands in their pockets each and every season have long passed into history. If you do not recognise the distinction then it is not surprising you do not recognise the fundamental flaw in the argument so many seem so desperate to hang on to. Positioning any regime against what you see as the worst regimes is not an endorsement. It is the very definition of "damning with faint praise". The overriding theme through all of them, no matter their failings, was their intent to produce a first team able to compete successfully at the highest possible level. This regime possesses no such aspiration.

The focus of this regime via its Belgian Corporate vehicle as evidenced by its policies, actions and decisions over 31 months is to trade profitably from player acquisition, development and sales. Nothing more, nothing less. Anecdotal evidence from the € 20mn pulled out of Standard Liege which probably funded our purchase and the recent sale of the young Belgian striker by Marseille to Chelsea earning/ repaying Staprix circa £10mn testify to this approach. Sadly so badly have they misunderstood their UK venture they consistently ignored the market needs and opportunities increasing our debt to nearer £45mn whilst now losing circa £5mn p.a. revenue in getting the club relegated to a level at which the current "Chairman" has long stated the club is not sustainable.

The consequence of these "club failures" is any "profit" which may finally accrue to the club on player turnaround (Gudmundsson will be the first) will for the foreseeable future merely reduce the debt including the ever accruing interest to Staprix created by an appalling performance overseen by the common key shareholder. The club has become no more than a vehicle for the Staprix P&L. The entire ambition and consequent strategy is determined by a financial business model which at best pays mere lip service to the underlying principle of producing team striving for sporting excellence. It is a recipe for stagnation and decline.

I understand and commiserate with the regular churn about the decades of supporting your club but regrettably the fundamentals of the club you supported for all of those years no longer exist. It is your club in name only no matter how fervently you may wish it otherwise. It is almost uniquely (Oyston and Blackpool seem to be on the same journey) a fundamental betrayal of the national game.

The current key shareholder is entirely ambivalent to the success of the first team. That is not an accusation you could levy at Gliksten, Hulyer, the Sunleys, the multiple iterations of Murray, the S&J duo all of whom sought first team success within their financial capacity. Each administration regularly sold players for financial survival but at the same time did their best to support the manager of the day by reinvesting in the first team squad.

It matters not whether you are at Level 1 or Level 8 of the football pyramid that has to be the minimum expectation of the players, coaches, managers and supporters of any professional team organisation. I repeat it is not the case today. So no, in sporting terms the club has not been in a worse state. I could argue with an unprecedented level of debt it has never been in a worse financial position either.

For those wishing to embrace the "new approach" of an English manager and the arrival of the first 3 English senior professionals direct from other English senior clubs the club, now into its 2nd week of the preseason, is still grossly under prepared for the season ahead. Our season starts just 4 Saturdays away. How many senior operating positions across the business remain unfilled? Preparation is key to building the foundations of a successful season.

Even if I concede there is an intent to change, and it is at this stage a huge assumption the manager will be properly supported in structuring an appropriate first team squad, there is little evidence to suggest the necessary competence to successfully deliver such change exists. I do not suggest managing a relegation is easy. It isn't but in preparation for a new season it is important you generate and sustain a new momentum. An experienced, focused CEO will have recognised the need to make things happen to drive such change, to create momentum. I regret there is little indication our corporate ownership even recognises such requirement let alone has the competence to deliver.

At the time of writing we have circa 42 professionals under contract of which 21 have minimal if any League experience. Of the other 18 outfield players Bauer, Diarra, Lennon, and Kashi are not match fit.

Of the remaining players; - Gudmundsson and Bergdich will certainly be enjoying pastures. - Cousins, Texeira and probably Lookman are on the trading block - Solly and Jackson carry repeating injury profiles

So within 4 weeks we face having to build on the core of Johnson, Fox, Ba, Holmes, Novak, Ajose, Watt of whom 3 have only been at the club for a matter of days. The squad despite its change in resourcing today carries a very great many of the pitfalls we have seen over the past 2 close seasons. The core of the squad in defence and in midfield looks as fragile as ever. If such a framework represents to you a serious and competent attempt by the executive of the club to support Mr Slade in his endeavours to achieve success on the field on behalf of all of us then I seriously beg to differ.

The club is still to even appoint an assistant for Slade and a replacement Doctor. I fully hope those who have chosen to invest in season tickets for the coming season enjoy the experience but at present it remains a huge leap of faith there has been any material change in the underlying management of the club. There is a very great deal to be done.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Relegation was last straw for Cousins

Jordan Cousins admitted that relegation was the last straw in his decision to leave the club and join the Super Hoops: Cousins

The fee of £1.5m has been seen as on the low side by some fans, although apparently £900,000 was refused for Nick Pope.

Monday 11 July 2016

Slade looks the part

Ramsgate resident but one time Welling mayor Rick Everitt gives his verdict on the 4-1 win for Charlton at Park View Road which included a Nicky Ajose hat trick. It is not a case of shades of Joe Pigott, suggests the Rickster: Match report

The VOTV editor reckons that there are still a number of questions about Slade's squad, but thinks that the manager looks the part.

New mood music at Sparrows Lane

Johnnie Jackson reckons that there is new mood music at Sparrows Lane following the appointment of Russell Slade and three new signings: Morale boost

Of course, he's not going to say that everyone is down in the dumps, but I think his statement is genuine.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Diarra has hairline fracture

Alou Diarra pulled up in the warm up at Park View Road yesterday and has a hairline fracture. Just the news we needed: Diarra

Three central midfielders needed?

This article suggests that Charlton need three new central midfielders: Wish list

No doubt, but it isn't Christmas yet.

Saturday 9 July 2016

Valete, Joe Pigott

Joe Pigott has been signed by Cambridge United on a one year deal following his release by Charlton: Pigott

In all honesty, he has probably found his level. Thanks for all you tried to do.

Charlton retained the Crown Berger Cup with a 4-1 win over Welling United at Park View Road. Full report tomorrow.

I saw Leamington go down 1-4 to rivals Stourbridge at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium. Match report and my programme article on the battle of the Somme here: Brakes versus Glassboys

Friday 8 July 2016

The doctor's diagnosis

I made a rare visit to the doctor this morning. Invariably, this means that more of the time is taken up talking about football. He is a Manchester City season ticket holder and is excited about Guardiola. We also agreed that it would all go wrong with United for the Special One.

He wanted to know all that had happened at Charlton. His diagnosis: Charlton's natural level was the Championship. His prognosis: there would be no cure until the Belgians left.

Meire's latest mistake?

The excellent Drinking During the Game blog is reporting that the University of Greenwich is to be replaced as shirt sponsor by online gambling firm Betdaq: Shirt sponsors

Admittedly, many clubs are sponsored by betting companies and people are entitled to bet if they want to. However, it is also clear that an increasing number of people are getting into financial difficulty because of online and other forms of gambling. According to Gambling Commission figures, British bettors lost £12.6bn last year with the amount rising because of online gambling.

One Addick commented, 'Of course, as a socially responsible, ethical community club we have previously resisted these kind of firms for the shirt, although we have had official betting partners. However, it's another blot on this regimes copybook and I guess no one is really surprised any more.'

The decision has now been confirmed by the club: New sponsor

A spoof Katrien Meire account says that the choice of a betting company is deliberate as she treats fans like mug punters.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Thanks, but no thanks

In a rare show of unanimity, both Charlton and Millwall have turned down the free offer of released Fulham midfielder Jamie O'Hara: Thanks, but no thanks

He was dubbed the 'Putney Piro' [shome mishtake shurely?] but faded towards the end of the season.

Andrew Crofts to appear in Crown Berger

Midfielder Andrew Crofts is training with Charlton today and is expected to feature in the Crown Berger Cup at Park View Road on Saturday: Andrew Crofts

The 32-year old played with Brighton and Hove Albion and Gillingham, but is now a free agent. He is a former Wales international.

Some Charlton fans think that he is not the midfield playmaker that we need, others that we could do worse. Needs must.

Jonathan Acworth claims this was a recommendation made by him, so maybe we will see him in the dugout at Park View Road.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Charlton boost defensive options

Charlton are looking to best their options in central defence and 32-year old Lewis Buxton, formerly with Stoke City and the Massives, is training at Sparrows Lane. He was with Rotherham United last season, but is now a free agent (i.e., out of a job): Buxton

There are rumours that Jordan Cousins may go to QPR, but I have no confirmation at the moment. It would appear that QPR have made a bid, but it was rejected as too low Perhaps they need to add on the tube fare.

Other clubs said to be interested include Norwich City, Ipswich Town, Reading and Fulham. We knew he was going to go, but I don't want him go to the Super Hoops.

Farewell, then, Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Clarets and Charlton sources, most significantly Richard Cawley of the SLP, are reporting that Charlton have accepted an offer of around £2.5m for Johann Berg Gudmundsson. It will be the first signing of the summer for the Clarets: Burnley move

It had been hoped for around £3m, but they are careful with their money 'oop north. I have great respect for Burnley as a well run club that punches way above its weight. I think that Charlton fans showed that when they applauded the 'Burnley champions' banner after the last match of the season. Burnley fans then joined those from Charlton to protest against the current regime.

Whether Gudmundsson will be a first team regular at Turf Moor remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we say 'Valete' and use the traditional formula of 'Thanks for all you tried to do.'

Personal terms have now been agreed and the deal is an initial £2.5m which could increase by a further million: Gudmundsson

I notice that there are very few hits on Addick's Third Division Diary: Link That is where stories are now being posted first and they will only appear here for one more week or so, although I will provide links for a few days after that.

Brexit and Charlton

Apparently there is going to be a Voice of the Valley out early in August and there has been an unconfirmed rumour that Nigel Farage is to start getting his life back by writing an article on Brexit and football. The fanzine is, of course, published from Ramsgate which was in the Thanet South seat contested by Farage in the last election. VOTV editor Everitt is thought not to be well disposed to UKIP, but a celebrity contributor may be too good a chance to miss.

Meanwhile, our sister site The Political Economy of Football has looked at some of the consequences of Brexit for football: Uncertain times

One thing I am certain of is that if Charlton fans had been given a chance to vote on whether Roland and Katrien should leave, one would have seen a vote in one direction that would rival the results achieved in the former German Democratic Republic. I once had to sit in West Berlin watching DDR news and it gave a new meaning to 'boring'.

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Interest in Gudmundsson

Not surprisingly, there has been interest in Johann Berg Gudmundsson since his return from international duty. Norwich City are among those interested and a price of around £3m is expected: Man in demand

Many Addicks are quite critical of Gudmundsson and his performances this year have been rather sulky and inconsistent. But then one can understand when one looks at coaches like Karel Fraeye and some of the dross in the rest of the squad.

Barmy platoon?

You can probably count the number of Addicks in Warwickshire on one hand. Apart from me, I know of one near Warwick, one in Stratford and one in Coventry. One of the leading lights emigrated to Canada a long time ago, but at least I was able to get a ticket for him for the Greatest Game.

Yesterday I was giving a presentation at King Henry the Eighth School in Coventry and I started with a joke about Charlton because everyone in Coventry thinks you are barmy to support Charlton when you could be supporting the glorious Sky Blues (at least that's an easy away game for me). Somehow or other, sitting in his Ramsgate fastness, VOTV editor Rick Everitt picked up on what I said and tweeted about it.

Having tea in the staff room afterwards, one of the teachers asked me incredulously if I was really a Charlton season ticket holder. I pointed out that for each home Saturday game I would be setting off from Coventry Station adjacent to the school.

It is crazy when you think of what Roland has done to the club. Fans have been heartened to some extent by the appointment of Russell Slade. If Roland really wanted to mend bridges, he could find Katrien Meire a suitable job in his Belgian operations. He could then appoint a chief executive with relevant experience and less of a reputation for offering contentious versions of reality.

Roland's whole scheme was premised on the assumption that financial fair play would kick in and create a level playing field. Even someone who is not a lawyer like me knew that this was likely to be challenged as a breach of competition law, as it has been.

Katrien Meire is a competition lawyer. She is a graduate of University College London and has been an intern at some leading law firms. Before she came to Charlton she had a post at Standard Liege that involved responsibility for legal affairs. Why didn't she warn Roland? Or did she think it would be unwise to speak truth to power? I don't know, but I am puzzled.

This post also appears on Addick's Third Division Diary.

Saturday 2 July 2016

Facing up to reality

The other day my non-league club contacted me and asked me where my programme copy was for next Saturday's match. The season is creeping up on us and it is time to face up to the reality of being in League One.

Accordingly, I need to start moving back to Addick's Third Division Diary. From next Monday I will publish stories both on this site and the third division diary for a couple of weeks, then just use the third division diary.

When we went down last time, I kept using the Championship diary for a season on the grounds that it was a temporary change, but this simply brought bad luck.

I am old enough to remember the Third Division North and South when only one team from each league was promoted. Mind you, teams like Crystal Palace and QPR were kept in their proper place.

You can find the Third Division diary here: Third Division

I realise that the links need updating, which I will do, but things are a bit busy at the moment as I have taken on two part-time jobs in London.

Last but not least, Da iawn Cymru.

Friday 1 July 2016

Slade in poetic mode

I took a couple of days off to visit friends in Devon, but had not foreseen the political turmoil that was going to break out. Hence, I spent much of my time doing live interviews for French radio, talking to American journalists and answering questions from Chile.

Having arrived back, I find that Russell Slade has done his first 'big interview' with Richard Cawley of the SLP: The big interview

Slade has been compiling a conduct book for players which includes his favourite poem. It is not clear whether Katrien Meire's conduct will be regulated. Perhaps she requires her own personal conduct book.

He is clearly a details man, with changes planned for the dining area at Sparrows Lane. However, he does also promise an 'exciting' style of play and wants to revive the enthusiasm of the team. Reviving the enthusiasm of supporters may be a harder task while Belgian rule continues.

Thursday 30 June 2016

Turner to return?

I have seen rumours that former Addick Michael Turner could return to Charlton. The defender was on loan at Sheffield Wednesday last season, but Norwich have triggered a contract extension. It would be good news if he did return.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

New statement by Peter Varney

Former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has made a new statement about recent comments made by the current chief executive Katrien Meire. The statement has been published by Voice of the Valley on their website: Varney statement

Peter Varney says that his solicitors wrote to Katrien Meire asking for a retraction on 14 June, but have not received a reply. He has been touched by the support he has received from the Charlton community, but paradoxically this makes it difficult to bring an action for defamation.

Curbishley or Pardew for England?

For a long time every time there was a managerial vacancy, Alan Curbishley got mentioned. It's happened less often recently or at least the odds have been longer. However, he does appear in the odds for England manager, admittedly the shortest odds are 50-1: Curbs

There was a time when he was seriously considered for the job, but he has been out of management for too long. What is frightening are the relatively short odds for Alan Pardew. Amazing: you avoid relegation with Palace and you are in the frame for England manager. I suppose the one consolation is that Dowie's name isn't there, although he took time off from his day job to offer asinine commentary on the Euros.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Centre back is Slade's next target

A centre back is manager Russell Slade's next target. After that, there will be a pause while the future of existing members of the squad is sorted out, not least Johann Berg Gudmundsson who now has a higher profile through his participation in the successful Iceland team: Next steps

I think that Slade has made some sensible signings so far and there does not seem to have been too much interference from Her Upstairs. Perhaps some lessons have been learnt, although a great deal of damage has been done.

Welcome Nicky Ajose

I'm a bit behind with this as I took a post-referendum break in Jersey, but welcome Nicky Ajose from Swindon Town: Nicky Ajose

So far the new management seems to be having a positive effect.

Ajose began his career with Manchester United, but never made a first team appearance: Career details

Charlton player's part in England's downfall

Johann Berg Gudmundsson played his part in England's largely self-inflicted defeat against Iceland tonight. He won't be a Charlton player for much longer, but was referred to as such by the commentary. Certainly few Charlton internationals have taken part in such a sensational victory.

Iceland have just a semi-professional league, albeit one with a high standard from the one match I watched. Football cannot be played outside for at least six months of the year, so there has been a big investment in indoor training facilities, in particular to bring on the younger generation.

They know how to celebrate in Iceland

The Icelandic commentator sounded hysterical at the end of the match, but understandably so. And self-styled No.1 Iceland Addick and one time Voice of the Valley contributor Olfaur Johansson will be celebrating in style. His naïve adventures as a supporter of Charlton while he was working in London caused some amusement, but he has had the last laugh. The best team on the night won.

Friday 24 June 2016

Ipswich in for Harriott

Charlton want to hang on to Cal Harriott but Richard Cawley has tweeted that Ipswich want him in the Championship.

Thursday 23 June 2016

No return for Wagstaff

Having been let go by Bristol City, Scott Wagstaff will not be returning to The Valley: Wagstaff

A very decent guy, but I think this is the right call. I hope he finds a berth somewhere in the Football League.

Poyet sounds off again

Diego Poyet has claimed that Charlton's foreign loan signings last season were not concerned about the club being relegated to League One. However, his real grievance seems to have been that they were picked ahead of him: Diego Poyet

In my view Poyet's move to West Ham hindered rather than aided his development as a player, taking away his creative sparkle and turning him into a loan player/bench warmer.

New fitness coach identified

Charlton are hoping to bring in Carl Serrant as their new fitness coach. His most recent role was at QPR. He did have a short spell with the Glaziers, but that was for a short period a long time ago: Fitness coach

Harriott bid turned down

It is being reported that a bid from Barnsley for Callum Harriott is being turned down. Charlton did entertain offers for the mercurial winger last summer.but took up an option to extend his contract at the end of the season.

Russell Slade is said to be an admirer of the player. Full story here: Harriott stays

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Varney brings in the lawyers

Katrien Meire has not retracted the comments she made about Peter Varney wanting to move Charlton away from The Valley, so the former chief executive is now resorting to legal action: Legal action

It may not match the drama of Iain Dowie being served with a writ at his first press conference, but it is an interesting development.

Bauer to stay at home nursing injury

Centre back Patrick Bauer is to stay at home in Germany looking after his groin injury and will not start the season with Charlton. He has not played since December and had an operation in January: Absent

If he was not still unfit, I would expect him to be looking for another club as he is better quality than League One.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Getting promotion will be tougher this time

Former Addick Andy Hughes says that securing promotion out of League One this time will be much tougher than when he was involved with Chris Powell: Tough task

His stock with Charlton fans went down when he spent the end of last season coaching at Crystal Palace, although he has now left the Glaziers to be first team coach at Huddersfield Town, making the move largely for family reasons.

However, he is full of praise for Palace and evidently wants to return to Sainsbury's one day: Palace privilege

Ajose deal close

Despite the scepticism expressed in some quarters, it looks as if a deal to sign Nicky Ajose is close: Almost there

Monday 20 June 2016

Kieran Agard linked with Charlton

Bristol City striker Kieran Agard has been linked with Charlton. The former Rotherham striker made only two appearances for Bristol City last season. As always, other clubs are interested, but it is clear that Russell Slade is pursuing a number of options: Talks begin

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that reported links between the Addicks and German defender Christopher Schindler are wide of the mark. He isn't on the list and it is unlikely that any players will arrive from abroad this summer.

Sunday 19 June 2016

Naby Sarr departs

Naby Sarr has joined French Ligue 2 side Red Star on a one year loan: On his way

The five year contract to Sarr was one of the most expensive mistakes made by the current regime. One fan said on social media that it was 'fantastic news.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted that presumably no one will pay what Charlton want for a permanent move by Sarr or Vetokele. That was telling of itself.

Sarr himself tweeted, 'Thank God.' Amen to that.

Blews take a look at Cousins

Birmingham City have joined Brighton in expressing an interest in Jordan Cousins: Cousins

I don't want to see him go, but he is hardly likely to want to stay in League One.

Saturday 18 June 2016

Farewell, then, Wim de Corte

Wim de Corte has left Charlton. He arrived as a coach alongside Karel Fraeye last October: Wim de Corte

My usual response when someone leaves the playing or coaching staff at Charlton and it is not clear whether their contribution has been positive or negative is to use the formula deployed by the cinema newsreels when Neville Chamberlain stood down as prime minister in favour of Winston Churchill: 'Thanks for all you tried to do.' However, even that would be too generous.

It remains to be seen who will be assisting Russell Slade, but I don't think they will be Belgian.

So, farewell then, Igor Vetokele

Igor Vetokele has joined a Belgian side on loan with the prospect of the deal being made permanent: Departure

Vetokele impressed when he first came to Charlton, but has subsequently struggled with injuries.

Friday 17 June 2016

Nicky Ajose signs

Swindon Town striker Nicky Ajose has signed for Charlton. Wiltshire sources are reporting the fee as £800,000, but the initial payment at least is thought to be less: Nicky Ajose

Career details here: Career

Although the story has also been carried by the BBC, Sue Parkes has cast doubt on its authenticity on Facebook, saying you shouldn't always believe what you read in the media.

The problem is that if you wait for the official site you wait for ever and Richard Cawley of the SLP has a reliable track record.

Thursday 16 June 2016

Welcome, Ricky Holmes


He'll be wearing the shirt of another university soon.

Richard Cawley has tweeted that Ricky Holmes has signed a two year contract with Charlton, the first of Russell Slade's signingsHe reckons that Holmes was one of the outstanding players in League Two last season and he has shown good sense in not wanting to stay at Sickfields.

The news has been confirmed by the local Northampton paper: Shock departure

Career details here: Ricky Holmes

The official site has confirmed that Lee Novak has also signed: Lee Novak

New bid for Ricky Holmes

Charlton are to make a new bid for Northampton forward Ricky Holmes after he handed in a transfer request. An earlier bid was rejected by the Cobblers: Ricky Holmes

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Make your mind up time for Novak

Charlton target Lee Novak expects to make a decision about his future in the next couple of days: Decision time

Keith Peacock recalls becoming first ever substitute

Keith Peacock recalls becoming the first ever substitute in English football. He says that he is probably better known for that than the nearly 600 games he played for the club. It's a standard quiz question: Addicks legend

A warning to those of a nervous or sensitive disposition. The article is illustrated by a photograph of Peacock sitting alongside Katrien Meire, although he does look suitably grim faced.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Congratulations to Iceland

Johann Gudmundsson played with verve and energy for Iceland in their 1-1 draw with Portugal tonight, being substituted right at the end of the game. The commentators managed to avoid any reference to his connection with Charlton, merely stating that he played 'in the English leagues'. Of course, he will leave us once Euro 16 is over.

Richard Cawley of the SLP reckons this will add to his transfer appeal. He was already near the top of the pay scale at Charlton: Where and for how much?

Hermann Hreidarsson, who now manages in Iceland, was interviewed before the start of the game. When he first came to England, he was 23, but felt that in terms of his development he was more like a teenager given that Iceland had not then progressed as far as it has now in football.

Ronaldo looked as if he was going to have a hissy fit at any minute during the game and made some ungenerous remarks afterwards about Iceland having a 'small mentality'.

No.1 Iceland Addick, Olafur Johansson from Grindavik, is thought to have been one of the 30,000 Icelanders in St. Etienne, amounting to one tenth of the country's population.

Addicks add two names to summer watch list

Charlton have added two free agents to their summer watch list: In the frame

Aaron Martin is a centre back let go by Coventry City as they felt he was a bit short of what was required in a centre back, not in terms of height but being a clogger. Oscar Gobern is a central midfielder let go by QPR. His career seems to have run into the sand a bit.

Critics of the regime reckon this is another case of trying to do things on the cheap with predictable results.

The SLP's Richard Cawley has cheekily sent a tweet asking how season ticket sales are going.

Slade is the right man for Charlton says Watt

Having worked with him at Cardiff last season, Tony Watt says that Russell Slade is the right man for Charlton: Watt praises Slade

The plaudits keep coming in, let's hope they are justified. At least he has experience of dealing with a barking owner.

Watt hopes to be fit enough to play for Charlton in the traditional curtain raiser against Welling: Prodigal returns

Monday 13 June 2016

Charlton hunt strikers

Charlton are interested in Lee Novak who has been released from Birmingham City after being on loan at Chesterfield this season: Striker hunt

Charlton are reported to have held talks with Novak yesterday (Monday): Will he sign?

It's not a signing that would excite me. Alex Revell is a more interesting possibility, but is likely to go from MK Dons to Sheffield United. In fact, he has now signed for Northampton, but was apparently never top of Charlton's list.

Saturday 11 June 2016

'Let Slade manage without interfering'

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has called on Roland Duchatelet to let Russell Slade manage without interfering. Reasonably enough, he says that it is the only way to bring success back to The Valley: No interference

Hearn says that Slade is very straightforward, always speaks his mind and tells you the truth as he sees it. How this will go down with Katrien Meire remains to be seen.

Friday 10 June 2016

Slade appointment a step in the right direction

The appointment of Russell Slade as Charlton manager is a step in the right direction, but he needs to be able to act with the minimum of impediment, argues the SLP's Richard Cawley: Moving forward

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn reckons that Slade is the best managerial appointment Charlton could have made. Speaking from Las Vegas, he said that Slade was tirelessly hard working and professional: Praise indeed

Peter Varney demands retraction from Katrien Meire

The following statement by Peter Varney has been issued through Voice of the Valley:

'Since August 2015 I have, at the request of a third party who is interested in purchasing Charlton Athletic Football Club, attempted to arrange a meeting with the owner, Roland Duchatelet. Despite several attempts to arrange such a meeting it has been made clear to me on two separate occasions since last August that he has no interest in selling CAFC. That decision is, of course, his absolute right as the owner of the club, as it is to decline to meet me or indeed any potential purchaser.'

'However, what is not right is for Katrien Meire, the CEO of CAFC, to suggest that I have raised the possibility of CAFC leaving The Valley in relation to a potential change of ownership as occurred at the recent press conference announcing the new CAFC manager. Such suggestions are entirely untrue and unsubstantiated and I would ask that Ms Meire retracts the same immediately. If this is not forthcoming, I will unfortunately have no option but to place this matter in the hands of my legal advisers to deal with more formally.'

Pope deal done?.

It's being reported that Nick Pope may be going to Burnley for £850k. Cannot confirm at present.

Newly promoted Metz are reported to be considering a bid for Johann Berg Gudmundsson: Iceland ace

I was giving a presentation at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London today and was introduced as 'a Charlton Athletic supporter and the only relegated member of the panel.' It's like the mark of Cain.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Brighton in for Cousins

Brighton and Hove Albion have expressed an interest in Jordan Cousins: Jordan Cousins

We always knew he was likely to go and there are worst players to go than the Palace hating Seagulls.

The history of moves away from The Valley

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt looks at the way in which Katrien Meire managed to overshadow Russell Slade's initial press conference: Press conference

He makes a number of telling points about Charlton's hapless chief executive, and gives a good appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of Russell Slade.

However, for me, the most interesting part of the article was the discussion of the threat to move Charlton away from The Valley which existed for over a quarter of a century.

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Slade to cull 'bloated' squad

New Charlton manager Russell Slade is determined to cull a 'bloated' squad: Streamlined squad

Having a large squad last year did us no favours. We want quality not quantity, battlers not half hearted commitment. I confidently predict that there will be no rending of shirts if Naby Sarr or Cristian Cabellos depart. The challenge will be to find someone to take them.

Burnley have made an offer for Nick Pope, but Charlton want to hold on to him. I hope they do.

As far as I can work out, customer reaction to Slade has been broadly favourable. Fans have been asking for some time for an English manager with relevant experience for some time and now they have one.

He is solid rather than spectacular, but we have to recognise the pool we are fishing in. Mourinho would have responded with one of his famous Portuguese phrases if approached.

The counter argument is that the regime won't let him manage and he will be out by Christmas. We'll have to wait and see, but for now he has my backing. I am not excited, but I am reassured (although not about the continued presence of the chief executive).

Murray: why I stayed on

Richard Murray has explained why he stayed on as non-executive chairman of the Charlton board. He only wanted to make things better and exert influence from within: Richard Murray

Quite what the results of that influence have been, it is hard to tell. The fan sofa perhaps?

I think that it is very sad that someone who contributed so much to the club in the past, and whom I and many fans respected, has become an apologist for the current regime.

My purely speculative take on what happened is this. Under the former owners, the club was close to going into administration. Along comes Roland offering a lifeline. He seems a bit eccentric, but he has the readies. It takes a while before Murray realises what the downside is, and by then he is in too deep.

A Murray resignation would have probably shaken the regime more than anything else.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Charlton will have top six budget

Charlton will have a top six budget and finishing in the play offs will be the minimum target says new manager Russell Slade: Target

Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire claimed at today's press conference that the bid for the club fronted by Peter Varney would involve a move away from The Valley: New location

It would appear that once again Katrien has been economical with the acualité: Varney demands retraction

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that if there is no retraction, Varney will publish e-mail exchanges with Roland and Katrien from a month ago.

He has also said that the stuff about Charlton moving reeks of Richard Murray and goes back to 2009 and before as a potential hook for a buyer, it is off the table now.

Makienok stays in Championship

Simon Makienok has signed a one year loan deal at Preston North End. The news that he will be not be returning has been taken calmly by Charlton supporters.

Cardistas sceptical about verbal agreement

Leading Cardistas have expressed scepticism after new Charlton manager Russell Slade said, 'It's not in my contract about having control over my players, but it's a verbal agreement. One Cardista likened a verbal agreement to a pie crust. I suppose that the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Slade told the press conference that he had met Roland.

Katrien Meire said that the Slade appointment was not the last roll of the dice and the club was not for sale. She had not been in fear of her job when Charlton were relegated.

Richard Murray was feeling hard done by: 'I was disappointed with the treatment I got last year, considering what I've tried to do for this club.' He admitted that mistakes had been made last year, notably Fraeye staying too long.

The full press conference will be available for customers to watch online later this afternoon.

Super Kev backs Slade to take Charlton up

Super Kevin Lisbie who spent three seasons at Orient under Russell Slade as manager reckons that the new Charlton manager will be able to take the Addicks up, comparing him to Alan Curbishley in terms of his ability to pick teams to win: Super Kev

Orient striker Dean Cox could be an early target for Slade. Read about him here: Dean Cox

Monday 6 June 2016

Addicks swoop for Duane Holmes

Charlton seem to have seen off competition from Barnsley and Portsmouth for the signature of Duane Holmes. The 21-year old American midfielder was released by Huddersfield Town: Duane Holmes

Read the career details of the player whose middle name is Octavious here: Career

However, Sheffield United appear to have won the signature of winger Mark Duffy, despite Charlton offering a better financial package: Target missed

Sunday 5 June 2016

In town tonight

It is being reported that Russell Slade has cut short his holiday and returned to London. It is also being claimed that he will be named as Charlton manager in the next 48 hours.

Career details here: Russell Slade

There have been no reports of fans celebrating around SE7. The appointment is conditioned by the fact that it is accompanied by a continuation of the regime. What the fan reaction would be in other circumstances is an open question.

The official site has now confirmed Slade's appointment on a three year deal: Appointed

Slade will be giving a press conference at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday). Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire will be present.

French paper mocks Roland

French sports paper L'Equipe has mocked Roland for putting memorabilia for sale on e-bay. The report is illustrated by a picture of Charlton stalwart Jean Tindall, who has contributed to Voice of the Valley from time to time.

The report states: 'English club Charlton, owned by a wealthy Belgian politician, is selling jerseys signed by the club on eBay to finance its media department. Club Charlton Athletic, which has just been relegated to League One (English D3), put up for sale on eBay signed jerseys and other memorabilia from the club to fund "equipment for the media relations team," of the club for the 2016/17 season.'

'An amazing sale given that the unpopular owner of the club, the Belgian politician Roland Duchâtelet, is head of one of the largest fortunes of his country, estimated at over a billion euros.'

'Among the items for sale, are signed shirts of the game where the Addicks lifted the League One trophy in 2011/12, or shirts signed by the French [Breton] Yann Kermorgant, former favourite of the fans.'

The report in French is here: Amazing sale

Saturday 4 June 2016

Slade in Charlton talks

Russell Slade is reportedly in talks with Charlton about the vacant head coach post at The Valley: Slade

He quit as head of football at Cardiff City yesterday.

Whilst I wouldn't say that I am excited by the potential appointment, he looks well qualified for a League One club. If the Roland regime was not in charge, fans might be more positive.

Poyet dishes it out to Riga

In shocking revelations, Diego Poyet has revealed that José Riga 'made decisions' about which players to use: Decision maker

It is quite extraordinary to think of a head coach selecting the players he thought would do the best. Maybe he did get it wrong, but I am not sure that Riga didn't use Poyet because 'his ideas had changed'. It may be that a period bench warming at West Ham meant that Poyet was not the sparkling player he was when he left Charlton.

Friday 3 June 2016

Charlton cannot succeed under Roland says Poyet

Diego Poyet says that Charlton cannot succeed under the Duchatelet regime: Poyet

That's the general consensus, but it's nice of him to say so, even if it stating the obvious. Actually, the real exclusive would be to get someone to say that Roland is a strategic genius.

'Further revelations' are promised relating to decisions taken by José Riga, presumably not to make much use of Poyet.

Thursday 2 June 2016

Championship clubs have strained finances

The latest annual report from Deloitte Sports Business emphasises the strained finances of Championship clubs and their dependence on owner support: Finances

Wages to turnover ratios remain very high. In contrast, Premier League clubs enjoyed a second year of profitability.

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Odds lengthen on Jackson

The latest odds from Sky Bet for Charlton 'manager' show that Johnnie Jackson has dropped from 1/2 favourite to 10/1. Russell Slade is now favourite at 2/5 up from 11/8. Nigel Adkins is 11/4 and Steve Evans 18/1.

Wales Online reports that Slade has had an interview, but other sources have suggested that he is now on holiday. Perhaps in Belgium? Once he returns, it is expected that his appointment will be finalised: Russell Slade

Inevitably, Alan Curbishley has to appear at 28/1. There is no price for Jonathan Acworth.

Vetokele on his way to Belgium

Reports suggest that Igor Vetokele is on his way to Sporting Lokoren in Belgium. As well as an unlimited supply of moules et frites for the player, a fee of £1.5m is being talked about: Vetokele

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Work halted on training ground

SEnine magazine reports, 'Work has been suspended on Charlton's £15m training ground. After a series of blunders including re-laying pitches, collapsing trenches and mis-calculations over the number of pitches they needed, work on CAFC's lavish training HQ has ground to a halt, raising speculation about the Belgian owner's long term commitment to the club . Calls to CAFC's media office by SEnine have gone unanswered for weeks.'

Alongside the new pitch, the training ground project was always the regime's 'Aqueducts' answer to 'What did the Belgians do for us?' question.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that he cannot vouch for the story. However, he is noted in tweets that the club's communications strategy is a shambles and the club has only itself to blame if it stays silent and doesn't respond to media enquiries.

Monday 30 May 2016

Johnnie Jackson rumours grow

With experienced managers unwilling to take Roland's euro, rumours that Johnnie Jackson will become the next Charlton manager are growing: Jacko

It would be a high risk appointment and, as Chicago Addick and others have observed, he would need a director of football to back him up. He would also need the autonomy to do the job, although Katrien Meire owes him for the number of times he has been her human shield.

Saturday 28 May 2016

Rams fans welcome Chris Powell back

Derby County fans are delighted to see Chris Powell back with them as assistant coach to Nigel Pearson as manager: Delighted Rams

Over at The Valley, the rumour mill suggests that Jordan Cousins is on his way with the need to get his wages off the book.

Friday 27 May 2016

Russell Slade is the latest tip

Former Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade is the latest favourite for the vacant managerial post at Charlton: Russell Slade

One of his advantages is that he has experience of dealing with barking owners at Cardiff City.

Odds have also shortened on Johnnie Jackson becoming player-manager.

Chris Powell looks as if he is going to go to Bolton.

Roland buys back club

Roland Duchatelet is buying back Belgian club Sint Truiden, apparently desperate to own a club on his home turf: Buy back

Roland said in a press conference that a foreign buyer would not have been as good as they would lack knowledge of Belgian competition and mentality. Quite.

Disrespectful fans have suggested that there is an ideal candidate for the post of chief executive.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Louis-Michel Yamfam to sign

Winger Louis-Michel Yamfam is set to sign from Stevenage for an undisclosed fee. He had a trial with the under 18s at the end of the season: New signing

The Arsenal fan turned down a two year professional contract at Stevenage.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Head hunted

Steve Head has been appointed as Charlton's new chief scout: Steve Head

This is a solid appointment and if it can be complemented by a decent manager we might be getting somewhere. The odds are shortening on Nigel Adkins.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

New transfer target

Crawley's Gwion Edwards is the latest transfer target for Charlton: Edwards

Who is choosing these targets? I don't know.

Keith Hill is no longer in the frame as the new Charlton manager. He has decided to stay at Rochdale.

Mandy Anderson-Myers is the latest departure from The Valley. With her departure from the head of ticketing role, it means there are vacancies there and for head of commerce and head of communications.

Isle of Thanet sources are claiming that she left the building after a row with the head of finance. Happy Valley.

Monday 23 May 2016

Inigo Calderon talks?

Reports are circulating that Charlton are talking to 34-year old Spanish defender Inigo Calderon who is leaving Brighton and Hove Albion: Departing Seagull

Who he would talk to is a mystery to me.

And for the latest candidate

Scottish charm merchant Billy Davies is the latest name associated with the managerial vacancy at Charlton: Billy Davies

He left Nottingham Forest two years ago and his pay off salary has expired so he is in 'gizza a job' mode.

It will be recalled that when Curbs left, Davies was initially the favourite to succeed him, but after initial talks did not take the hotel room made available for him in Bexleyheath.

Chicago Addick has a low opinion of him and the views of Forest fans are mixed. He could, however, be rough, tough and desperate enough to take the poisoned chalice.

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that he is not expecting a decision in the early part of this week. Meanwhile, my non-league club has confirmed the manager in post and made two key signings.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Fan applies for manager's job

A cheeky Charlton fan has applied for the manager's job at The Valley. He couldn't be worse than Karel Fraeye: Give us a job

Jonathan Acworth is understood to be considering his position.

Friday 20 May 2016

Addicks pray for Pope

Burnley, Celtic and Wolves are all interested in Charlton keeper Nick Pope, so even prayer may not keep him at The Valley: Nick Pope

Stephen Henderson is furious about being dropped at the end of the season which kept him out of the Irish Euros squad.

Birmingham, QPR and Notts Forest are among the clubs interested in signing Tony Watt who does not want to return to his native heath: Watt

Adkins latest in the frame

Former Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins is the latest name to be linked with the head coach vacancy at Charlton: Nigel Adkins

How serious his interest might be is difficult to gauge, but this and other appointments need to be made as soon as possible.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Celtic No.2 in the frame

Well thought of Celtic No.2 John Collins is in the frame for the job of head coach at Charlton. He is leaving Celtic with his boss, but Dundee United are also interested: Collins

Rochdale's Keith Hill is also being considered, although he has attracted interest from Blackburn Rovers: Keith Hill

With any of these names, the question is whether they would want to come.

Bookies' favourite ruled out

Despite being the bookies' favourite, Serbian network manager Nebojsa Vignevic is not in the frame for the vacant head coach post at Charlton: Not interested

This news has been greeted with understandable scepticism by Charlton fans, but there are other indications that it is the case.

Charlton are also to make an improved bid for Colchester midfielder George Moncur: Moncur

Who is making these recruitment decisions with none of the relevant posts filled? Your guess is as good as mine.

Pope on his way?

Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope is attracting interest from the likes of Leeds, Crystal Palace, Celtic and Burnley, sources have told

Pope’s performances have not gone unnoticed higher up the football pyramid with the likes of Palace, newly-promoted Burnley, promotion hopefuls Hull, Nottingham Forest and Scottish champions Celtic all keeping tabs on the keeper. Leeds could also be in the market for him if they decide to allow often-criticised No 1 Marco Silvestri to move on.

The six clubs are all in the market for goalkeeping reinforcements this summer and Pope is thought to figure highly on their wanted lists. Charlton are reluctant to lose Pope, but are bracing themselves for offers for the keeper in the wake of their relegation to League One.

He would be a real loss in my view.

Bargains for Blues at The Valley?

This article suggests that there could be bargains for Birmingham City at The Valley: Bargains

Top of the list is Johann Berg Gudmundsson. However, Morgan Fox is seen as the real gem. The writer reckons that he could be picked up for £250,000 and has all the potential to become a 'fantastic' full back.

Other clubs are, however, interested in Fox. Many Charlton fans have a low opinion of him. My view is that he is inconsistent: a piece of excellent play one minute, a disastrous error the next. Whether he could be coached to improve is an open question.

Last but not least on the list is Callum Harriott.

All three players are likely to leave, but none of them may go to Birmingham.

Monday 16 May 2016

Moncur bid rejected

Colchester have rejected Charlton's £150,000 bid for George Moncur. They want £500,000. Play off hopefuls Barnsley are also interested: Moncur

Friday 13 May 2016

Search for British manager continues

Charlton continue the search for a British manager and several experienced managers are being considered, according to Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire: Search

Meire said he would have to get back to what the core Charlton is all about, but that might be difficult under the current regime with relationships with fans on a downward spiral.

Meire's remarks yesterday recall the adage if you are in a hole, stop digging.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Meire accuses fans

Speaking at the Business of Sport conference in London (from the audience), Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire has accused Charlton fans of 'abuse and criminal offences' against her. 'Sometimes fans cross the line,' she said.

She is very upset at fans' aggression towards the club's owners and feels that owners deserve greater protection. Some might think that fans deserve better protection against wayward owners.

It has also been reported on social media that she said 'the fans are mean.' However, 'experts' at the conference said that Charlton was a 'badly run club.'

She considers that there has been a lack of action to deal with fan actions by the game's governing bodies: Extreme abuse

She has also complained about Charlton fans visiting her home in Belgium: Customer protest

After leaving the venue, where tickets reportedly cost £1,500, she was greeted by a couple of Charlton fans: Pavement summit

CAS Trust is considering taking Meire's comments to the Football Association under the rule about bringing the game into disrepute: Unforgiveable comments

Meire appeared to compare Charlton customers to racists.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt reflects on her behaviour, pointing out that there is no effective oversight from the owner: Off agenda

Louis Mendez has tweeted, 'Katrien has been advised not to speak in public because she really can't help herself. Shame she ignored that advice today.'

Roland may be closer to selling than is realised

An interesting article by Rick Everitt on the Wilder affair, making the point that it was not a public relations stunt: History repeated as farce

The Ramsgate resident thinks that Duchatelet may be closer to selling than his acolytes realise which is what I have heard from other sources. First, he is going to try and boost the value of the club by the conventional route, but if this doesn't work out by Christmas he may be ready to cut and run.

Over at Leeds United, Massimo Cellino has decided to throw in the towel: I quit

Back to the network?

Following the breakdown of talks with Chris Wilder, Roland Duchatelet may revert to his network to find a new head coach. Step forward, Nebjosa Vignjevic, currently managing Upjest in Hungary: Network choice

Former Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill is also being mentioned. However, after being linked with moves to Coventry and Portsmouth, he is the fans' choice at Notts County.

Richard Cawley of the SLP thinks that the plan is still to search for a British manager. Cotterill is apparently keen on the Charlton vacancy: Cotterill

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Wilder deal hits a snag

Richard Cawley of the SLP tweets that the deal for Chris Wilder to come to Charlton has hit a snag. 'Whether that will be rectified, time will tell.'

Richard Cawley has added another tweet stating that Charlton were confident of announcing Wilder yesterday. 'Rumblings are not good today.'

Other comment suggests that it could be a big issue and getting the deal over the line will need a major concession from someone.

It appears that contract length may have been an issue. It has also been suggested that the club refused to put in writing certain key assurances such as control, buying etc. If they were in writing, they could subsequently be the basis for a constructive dismissal claim.

It also appears that Sheffield United may now have come into the mix. The Blades are also interested in Charlton target George Moncur.

The club has now confirmed that the deal is off: Failure

I am disappointed that this deal did not go through. It would not have dealt with the criticisms of the regime, but it would have been a step in the right direction.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

No release clause for Lookman

Unlike Joe Gomez, Ademola Lookman does not have a release fee clause in his contract, so the Addicks can name their price: Lookman

A fee of £6m - £7m seems achievable, which should just about offset the sum Charlton are set to lose through relegation and customer dissatisfaction.

Charlton are set to make a move for Colchester midfielder George Moncur who does not want to play in League Two with the U's: George Moncur. A fee of around £150,000 is expected.

Cobblers chairman accepts loss of Wilder

Northampton Town's chairman thinks it is very likely that Chris Wilder will join Charlton: Move accepted

The story of what he achieved at the Cobblers is told here: Success story

Northampton fans are worried that Wilder will take their best players with him: Cobblers fears

Monday 9 May 2016

Wilder on his way

Chris Wilder is on his way to London prior to his appointment as Charlton coach. It's not Eurostar, it's London Midland this time. Apparently he has received assurances about having a say in player recruitment: Wilder

According to one report, Wilder has already had the Eurostar ticket as he travelled to Belgium to meet Roland, but this has not been confirmed: Under the Channel . It now transpires that it wasn't a Eurostar ticket, but a flight in a private jet.

The club has confirmed that they have been given permission to speak to Wilder and assistant manager Alan Knill: Time to talk. Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that this means that the deal is done in principle.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that Wilder may be a good manager, but it is unclear how gullible he is.

Wilder, who would receive a substantial salary boost, wants total control in setting up a structure that would bring success: The deal

Knill's name will be good for purveyors of 'Charlton nil' jokes.

Football League statement angers fans

A statement from the chief executive of the Football League on Saturday's events at The Valley has angered Charlton fans: Statement

The statement praises security staff for their actions, but much of what I and others saw was well over the top.

Here is a balanced account of what happened: A club on the edge

Saturday 7 May 2016

The final curtain - for Riga as well

Today was the last match as season ticket holders for many Addicks fans who have vowed not to renew until the regime goes. I suspect that they will have a long wait.

Charlton were defeated 0-3 at The Valley today by champions Burnley to finish third from bottom in the Championship. Once again the match was overshadowed by customer protests.

As for the match, Charlton started well enough, but then fell to a sucker punch after 20 minutes. They pressed hard in the remainder of the half, creating a number of chances and putting in several shots on target, Gudmundsson being prominent, but they were all straight at the keeper.

The Addicks made a lacklustre start to the second half and defensive errors gave Burnley two goals in quick succession. That was pretty much game over. After Gudmundsson was fouled and taken off, he received warm applause from the crowd in appreciation of his efforts. This was the last time we would see him in a Charlton shirt.

As for the protests, like all fans, I was frisked and had my bag searched before entering the ground. Netting had been placed along the whole length of the covered end, not something you see in the average supermarket to deal with dissatisfied customers. In the first five minutes of the game paper aeroplanes and screwed up leaflets with one or two toilet rolls were thrown on the pitch.

Towards the end of the half, a home made banner with the word 'Liar' and an arrow pointing downwards was moved along the front of the upper west above where Katrien Meire was sitting. It was eventually removed by a jobsworth.

After the third goal went in, flares were thrown on the pitch and the game was temporarily halted. A dissatisfied customer got on to the pitch and evaded efforts to capture him for some time.

The referee blew up with no time added on and Clarets fans swarmed on to the pitch to congratulate their players. It all kicked off at the intersection of the East Stand and the Covered End as Charlton fans tried to join them. Eventually large numbers got on and congregated in front of the West Stand expressing their dissatisfaction.

According to an ex-director he and other ex-directors were forcibly ejected from the directors' box after the game. It has also been reported that the valued amenity of the fan sofa was damaged beyond repair.

José Riga resigned after the match. He said, "It's not necessarily about going down to League One - and I am not a liar. I have taken this decision a few days ago. Even before that it was down to what I saw and could feel. Everybody can recognise my investment in Charlton the first time I was here and this time."

A powerful report on the day's events has been written here by Paul Breen: The Big Smirk

A ten minute video of the protests here: Angry customers

'Blinkered owners destroying Charlton'

This is the title of an article in today's Times by chief football correspondent Oliver McKay, based on an interview with Chris Powell.

Chris Powell can clearly remember the moment that alarm bells started ringing for him at Charlton Athletic. He had felt vulnerable from the moment Roland Duchâtelet bought the club in early 2014, but now it was time to start planning for the following season. He had prioritised a winger, so he gave the new board a list of targets, one of them a highly rated Premier League youngster whom he was confident he could get on loan if the club moved quickly.

Powell was told not to worry; this was where he would see the beauty of the new ownership structure, which put Charlton in a “network” with Standard Liège, FC Carl Zeiss Jena, Ujpest and Alcorcón. Leave it to us, he was told. A couple of days later a Belgian youngster pitched up at the club’s training ground. Powell was informed that this would be the winger for next season. On the training pitch, he stuck out like a sore thumb. The coaching staff felt the youngster was not ready to play for Charlton’s youth team, let alone the Sky Bet Championship. He did not stick around. “I felt sorry for him,” Powell says. “He said he didn’t know why he was there.”

“People began to work out was going on with regard to team selection. Whenever I picked a team that didn’t have a player from the ‘network’, I would be asked why.

The winger has not exactly gone on to great things since and neither, sad to say, have Charlton under Duchâtelet’s ownership. Two years and five managerial changes later, their stay in the Sky Bet Championship will end this lunchtime with a home match against Burnley — two clubs going in opposite directions, Burnley promoted to the Barclays Premier League, Charlton relegated to League One. The celebrations in the away end will be in stark contrast to the toxic mood among Charlton’s fans, who are planning their fiercest protest yet against a calamitous ownership regime.

What grates most at The Valley is the frustration that their club, for so long a byword for stability and good housekeeping in the Premier League, has been severely undermined by a regime that purports to know all the answers but has made one misguided decision after another. The Championship is full of proud, historic clubs whose position in English football’s hierarchy has been damaged by mismanagement. Charlton are now dropping down to League One, with matches against Shrewsbury Town, Southend United and perhaps Accrington Stanley to look forward to next season.

Nobody, least of all the club’s supporters, could say Charlton were not warned. This has been a relegation waiting to happen. The problems pre-dated Duchâtelet’s arrival — to Powell’s frustration there were serious cutbacks in the summer of 2013, as Tony Jimenez, the previous owner, prepared for a sale — but it is not just results that have suffered since the takeover. The relationship between the club and their fanbase, which Charlton had worked so hard to revitalise and strengthen since returning to The Valley in 1992, has become terribly strained, with the protest group CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchâtelet) warning that the regime “threatens the very existence and soul of the club”.

Friday 6 May 2016

Mourning a community

VOTV editor Rick Everitt writes evocatively about the disappearance of a community who have sat together in the East Stand for many years, none of whom are renewing their season tickets: The end of an era

Ambition at The Valley

There's plenty of ambition of display at League One Charlton with the club targeting Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, widely regarded as a hot property as a loan target: Loan target

Charlton continue to pursue Chris Wilder as their new head coach. The Cobblers boss has lost interest in Bolton: Wilder

Liverpool have entered the contest for the signature of Ademola Lookman with a fee of £6m being mentioned: Lookman

But Spurs could offer £8m: Auction

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Farewell then (again) José Riga

It will be St. Pancras Station and Eurostar on Saturday for José Riga as he leaves the club for a second time: Farewell

If he had been in charge for the whole season, and we had not had to suffer the hapless Karel Fraeye, we might have done enough to stay up.

There has been talk of a coach with English league experience, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Moreover, anyone hoping to progress their career would not find the present set up at Charlton inviting.

In his report on Riga's departure, Richard Cawley of the SLP mentions the speculation surrounding Northampton's Chris Wilder: Wild card

However, would he want to club with a bonkers owner and an incompetent chief executive where he would have limited influence over player recruitment? Moreover, whereas Northampton's fans are in a buoyant mood, Charlton's customers continue to seethe with dissatisfaction.

Wilder has also been targeted by Bolton, although financial constraints might be an issue there given that many players are on high wages with a year or more to run on their contracts.

Gudmundsson on his way

It's no great surprise, but comments by Johann Berg Gudmundsson indicate that he won't be staying at Charlton: Gudmundsson

Tuesday 3 May 2016

We need the right sort of player - Chris Solly

Chris Solly thinks there will be quite a few changes in the squad before the League One campaign starts. He emphasizes that it is important to bring in players with the right character who are prepared to grind out results: Chris Solly

Louis Mendez reviews Charlton's season here: Unbelievable

Saturday's final game against Burnley is going to be televised with a 12.30 kick off. CARD have issued a statement saying they will not try to get the game abandoned, as they respect the integriuty of the competition and the ambitions of the visiting club: CARD

Jonathan Acworth has informed me that he is 19th cousin to Henry VIII and is trying to get a cut of Hampton Court ticket money.

Monday 2 May 2016

Charlie MacDonald's varied career

Former Addick Charlie MacDonald is the featured double page interview in this week's Football League Paper. He has been on loan at St. Albans.

When he was released by Charlton at the age of 21, he then went to play in the Conference. After a good spell at Gravesend & Northfleet, he was signed by Southend and then went on to Brentford.

He enjoyed the best spell of his career with the Bees, scoring 45 goals in 127 games. In 2011 he joined MK Dons for £35,000. He then played for Leyton Orient and Oldham, before dropping into the Conference with Barnet in 2014.

He started as a YTS trainee at Charlton in the last year of that scheme, cleaning Kevin Lisbie's boots. He told the FLP, 'I owe a great debt to Alan Curbishley. He gave me a contract and put me in the first team' where he scored one goal, an equaliser against Newcastle.

He names Scott Parker as his best team-mate. They played together for a Sunday league team called Valley Valiants. He also mentions John Barnes who came to Charlton at the end of his career, 'Fantastic attitude, fantastic footballer.'

Being released by Charlton was his lowest moment. 'It was bad time to be released , too. ITV Digital had collapsed and there was no money in the lower leagues.' Going to the Conference left him 'very, very low.'

As for the future, he has earned a degree in professional broadcasting and writing and has taken his first coaching badge.

Nick Pope wants to stay

Nick Pope has made it clear he wants to stay at Charlton: Charlton player

Whether Stephen Henderson stays remains to be seen, but I would be confident in Nick Pope as lead keeper in League One.

Sunday 1 May 2016

Birmingham in for Fox?

A Sunday newspaper report claims that Birmingham City are preparing a bid for Morgan Fox. There have been reports of interest from various clubs over the season.

Fox is not rated highly by many Charlton fans and I find him very inconsistent, a good piece of play followed by a basic error which puts us at risk. However, the case for him being Player of the Year is made here: Underrated

Football League warn Charlton of 'dire consequences'

The Sunday Mirror reports that 'The Football League have warned Charlton of dire consequences if the climax to their season is ruined by a planned fan protest next Saturday.' They fear that any delay could compromise the competition with the title race finely balanced.

They are concerned about a repeat of the final day protest at Blackpool 12 months ago when 2,000 fans staged a protest against owner Karl Oyston. The game was abandoned, although this had no bearing on promotion and relegation issues.

A source told the Mirror, 'The league are very worried. This will be on television and could be one of the deciding games for the whole season. The last thing they want is major disruption - as it stands, there is a real chance of that happening.'

Customer dissatisfaction continues to run at a high level at Charlton and some fans have responded that the Football League would be better off protecting fans from dire owners.

Saturday 30 April 2016

Charlton win bonkers owners derby

Belgium beat Italy at Elland Road today with the Addicks winning the bonkers owners derby. Lookman probably added to his selling price.

Pope had to make a good save with his feet early in the game at Elland Road as he faced a one on one from Leeds. It looked like a 4-4-1-1 formation with Harriott and Lookman out wide and Gudmundsson behind Vetokele.

Charlton won a free kick 25 yards out after Lookman was fouled. Lookman’s free kick was over the wall but just wide. Leeds fans started to sing ‘Your owner is a ****, so is ours.’ The 363 Charlton fans subsequently started a chant of ‘We want Roland out.’

Diarra got a yellow card for a foul on Wood. Pope had to tip the resulting free kick over the bar. He claimed the corner well.

A strike from Gudmundsson hit the foot of the post from 25 yards.

Around the half hour mark Leeds started to apply a bit more pressure, but Bridcutt shot high and wide from distance.

Pope claimed Coyle’s low cross after Leeds advanced down the Charlton left.

Leeds won a corner after Pope tipped the ball out following a good block by Jackson.

After a great move down the left involving Lookman and Fox, Gudmundsson took the opportunity from Fox’s cross and scored with a low strike.

Charlton won a corner taken by Lookman but it went out for a Charlton throw.

Pope flew out of his area to deny Wood with a diving header. Vetokele put in a shot, but it was blocked in the area.

Teixeira won a corner in time added on.

HT: 0-1

Gudmundsson nearly played in Vetokele, but he was too slow to react and the keeper gathered.

A great strike from Lookman into the bottom corner put Charlton 2-0 ahead on 49 minutes, the whole move starting with a Fanni nutmeg of Dallas who was subsequently taken off.

The referee pulled play back for a Charlton free kick despite Vetokele racing through on goal. What about advantage?

A header from Wood hit the bar. Bamba fired the rebound into the side netting.

Charlton won a corner, Bamba fell over after a collision and the referee gave a free kick to Leeds.

From a Leeds corner Cooper headed well over. Fanni put in good defensive work as Charlton looked as if they might be under pressure.

Leeds won a corner, but the ball was headed over by Botaka.

Charlton made a good break away, but Harriott’s shot was just wide. Kashi was booked for a late challenge.

Bamba got a free header from a free kick to make it 1-2 on 71 minutes. Pope was furious with his defence. Suk Young came on for Gudmundsson.

Pope saved an angled shot from Antenucci who had come on a sub. Pope claimed the corner at the second attempt.

Pope saved well with his feet in a one on one with Wood after a free kick. Vetokele made way for Makienok on 82 minutes.

Fox dealt with a cross well with a header. Harriott blocked a cross at the expense of a Leeds corner. Makienok headed the ball away.

Leeds threatened with a series of attacks, but Charlton held firm. Kashi, who had had a good game on his return, went down injured. Ba replaced Lookman on 88 minutes.

Six minutes were added on. Kashi put the ball behind for a Leeds corner. Diarra headed clear at the near post.

Charlton broke away well, Ba played in Harriott but his shot was blocked for a Charlton corner. Kashi gave away a foul.

Three balls into the box were headed away by Makienok. Pope had to save as Cook tried his luck, leading to a corner.