Sunday 31 January 2016

Addicks interested in Serge Gnarby

Charlton are interested in a loan signing for Arsenal starlet Serge Gnarby. The 20-year old has been involved in an unsuccessful loan at West Bromwich Albion and has returned to Arsenal: Serge Gnarby

Arsene Wenger cited the improvement of Francis Coquelin following his short spell at Charlton Athletic and believes a similar move for Gnabry could be the best for his development. "I am tempted to give him [Gnabry] some competition because he has not played at West Brom. I am tempted to let him go somewhere to do with him what I did with Coquelin, somewhere for a month or two," Wenger explained.

However, Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday are also interested, but Charlton's relations with Arsenal are good.

Career details for the German born midfielder can be found here: Career details

Not up for the Cup

The Times has produced a table that shows how seriously clubs take the FA Cup. Charlton come 101st out of 106 clubs. Mind you, Wigan, who won it not so long ago, come bottom.

The table is based on the change in average attendance from league to FA Cup (-37 per cent for the Addicks) and average number of team changes from the previous game.

Saturday 30 January 2016

Decisive victory for Riga's men

Charlton beat fellow relegation strugglers Rotherham United 4-1 this afternoon to move just a point behind Bristol City who drew at home to Birmingham.

Simon Makienok scored twice to help the Addicks end their 11-game winless run. The Dane opened the scoring early on from Zakarya Bergdich's cut back before Chris Burke levelled for the home side. Igor Vetokele then finished off a well-worked counter-attack to put Jose Riga's side ahead at half-time.

Makienok headed in to make it 3-1, then Jonson Clarke-Harris blazed over a Millers penalty before Ademola Lookman rounded off victory in added time.

Charlton took the lead after just four minutes when Bergdich cut the ball back for Makienok to smash in. They did not stay in front long as Rotherham's Burke scored his first goal for the club on his home debut, receiving Danny Ward's pass before slotting under Henderson.

After Grant Ward had shot wide for the Millers, Johann Berg Gudmundsson crossed for Vetokele, who turned in from close range after a rapid counter attack. Henderson then produced a diving save to keep out Danny Ward's left footed strike before Makienok met Gudmundsson's pinpoint delivery to give Charlton a two-goal lead.

Rotherham had a chance to get back into the game when Clarke-Harris was brought down by Jorge Teixeira, but the striker smashed his attempt over. Substitute Lookman slid in a fourth to complete a hat-trick of Gudmundsson assists.

In remarks after the game, José Roga was critical of Tony Watt's commitment and also that of Ricardo Vaz Te: I want committed players

The game got good coverage on the Football League Show including the banners. Chris Powell was interviewed and emphasised that Riga knew the Championship.

Cristian Ceballos on his way?

Charlton are offering Cristian Ceballos on loan. He has been plagued by injury problems since his arrival at The Valley: Ceballos

CAS Trust predicts massive drop in season ticket sales

CAS Trust is predicting a massive drop in season ticket sales on the basis of their latest survey: Season tickets

Supporter sentiment against the current regime at The Valley has been hardening in the last few months, they report. Of course, every year season ticket holders say they will not renew, but then many do, but this is different.

One thing that does surprise me is how many supporters say they are going to watch non-league football at Welling, Ebbsfleet, Bromley, Maidstone or other locations. I just wonder how much non-league football they have seen.

I watch my own local team when Charlton are not available. Some people say it is 'real' football. I would say it is crap football.

Vetokele came close to quitting football

Igor Vetokele's injury problems were so bad that he came close to quitting football. He also discusses difficulties in his relationship with the mercurial Guy Luzon: Vetokele

Friday 29 January 2016

Farwell then, Ricardo Vaz Te

The circus at Charlton continues with it being reported that Ricardo Vaz Te is to return to his former club in Turkey. This story is also being carried by Turkish websites: Vaz Te

He has hardly set The Valley alight since he joined us in November.

Six pointer at the New York Stadium

Charlton will still be without Ademola Lookman for tomorrow's six pointer against Rotherham. Latest press reports value him at £6m, but he may be staying at The Valley for now.

Rotherham have won five of their last eight (D3) against Charlton - although all those victories came between 1981 and 1983. Charlton's last league win in Rotherham came at Millmoor in April 1963 - they haven't won any of their 10 previous visits (D3 L7). The Millers hold just one win in their last five Championship matches (D1 L3).

They have, however, acted more wisely than Charlton in the transfer window, as indeed have Bristol City and other relegation rivals. It has been confirmed that Tony Watt has gone on loan to Blackburn with a fee agreed for a permanent move in the summer: Tony Watt

Charlton haven't won in the Championship since November 21st; going 11 games without a victory now. This is the second time they've managed to go 11 matches without winning this season (also August to November).

Rotherham have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games at home, but did concede three to QPR last time out. The Addicks have gone eight Championship matches without keeping a clean sheet, only Fulham are on a longer run currently than them (17).

The odds don't favour Charlton: Rotherham 5/6, Draw 5/2, Charlton 10/3.

Charlton's struggles are no surprise to Igor Vetokele who is facing relegation for the first time in his career: Igor Vetokele

Chris Powell on Talksport

Chris Powell's interview on Talksport last night confirmed what we knew already, but it came from an impeccable source. Kyle Andrews reviews it in trenchant terms here: Chris Powell

One fan speculated that it might be the final nail in the coffin for Roland's regime, but I doubt it. He is impervious to unfavourable publicity and will go on doing things his way.

It's been a stormy night here in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to a good breakfast before I meet the Yorkshire press later. It's a vital game tomorrow, but I am not optimistic.

Thursday 28 January 2016

Welcome, José Jeunechamps

José Riga has appointed José Jeunechamps as his right hand man. He was Riga's No.2 at Metz: Jeunechamps

The 48-year old Belgian arrived on Eurostar last night. There is speculation that he may succeed Riga in June.

Welcome, Reece Oxford

17-year old West Ham starlet Reece Oxford is joining the Addicks until the end of the season: Reece Oxford

The details of the defender's career are here: Career details He can also play in a defensive midfield position.

The news has received a generally positive response from Charlton supporters who are usually quick to write off any new signing.

At one time it appeared that the deal might be off because he didn't want to come (he tweeted an angry emocion). However, the latest tweet from Richard Cawley of the SLP states that it is still on.

The latest rumour is that Riga has pulled the plug on the deal. This has been confirmed in press reports: Salvete! Valete!

Goodbye, Tony Watt

It looks as if Tony Watt is heading out on loan as a sale has not been possible: Watt? Watt?

Goodbye, and thanks for all you tried to do.

His departure is a bit at odds with what José Riga was saying last week, but then he's not in charge: Watt fully committed

It appears that Watt may be going to Blackburn Rovers who may have been impressed by him last Saturday.

The Eagle has landed

Crystal Palace are planning to develop their fan base in the United States where they think their eagle mascot will have a special appeal: Eagles

Painful though it is, it has to be said that the fan friendly board at Selhurst has made a better job of running the club than has been the case at Charlton.

Wednesday 27 January 2016

New loan deal for Pigott

A number of League 2 clubs including Luton Town, Bristol Rovers and Stevenage are interested in taking Joe Pigott on loan for the second half of the season. He spent the first half of the season at Southend United: Loan deals

Appearances in the first team showed that Pigott was not up to Championship standard and he seems to have found his level in League Two.

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Charlton now a subject for cartoons

Some fans have been arguing that we are a laughing stock and a newspaper cartoonist has now taken a look at the turmoil at the club: Cartoons

Over 4,000 people have now signed a petition demanding that Roland Duchatelet sells Charlton Athletic: Petition

The Wharf asks whether Roland underestimated the tenacity of Charlton fans: Tenacious

CARD has released details of plans for protests at the next two games and has put a valuation on the media coverage received: CARD

Reuters has run a story on the protests which is likely to get extensive coverage: Network failure

Former Charlton midfielder Rob Lee has criticised Roland's 'strange decisions': Strange decisions

It's crunch time for the Addicks

So says the SLP's Richard Cawley. With their poor goal difference, they are effectively five points away from being out of the bottom three. Charlton need to pull off a big result to provide momentum. Recruitment has been poor. Crunch time

MPs raise four concerns

Two South-East London MPs raised four key concerns in their meeting with Charlton Athletic chief executive Katrien Meire last week. These included the perception that the club's strategy was imperfectly executed, the chaotic way in which decisions about managers were made, Roland's lack of emotional involvement with the club and poor engagement with fans: MPs' meeting

Apparently, there was a 'full and frank' exchange of views which is a polite way of saying there was a row.

Monday 25 January 2016

Morgan Fox admits motivation problems

Morgan Fox admits that he has had motivation problems, but says he is up for the crucial game at Rotherham: Morgan Fox

Charlton linked with Liam Feeney

Bolton Wanderers sources are saying that Charlton are interested in signing winger Liam Feeney: Feeney

He was formerly at Millwall. Summary of his career here: Career details

Apparently, Charlton did put in a bid, but it did not match Bolton's valuation: Rejected

Sunday 24 January 2016

Want to buy a flat in the Jimmy Seed?

Charlton are working on plans with a Belgian architect to replace the Jimmy Seed stand with a new facility that would incorporate leasehold flats for sale, reveals Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt: Flats plan

When the away end is full it is a big revenue generator, but the flats plan could make Roland millions. With the club playing in League One, there would also be less need for a big away end to accommodate the likes of Fleetwood Town.

Saturday 23 January 2016

Spirited performance earns just a point

New signing Jorge Teixeira in action

Charlton looked more organised against Blackburn Rovers today than they have for some time, but their reward was just a point.

The Addicks went ahead on the half hour when Johann Berg Gudmundsson's free-kick fell to Harry Lennon, whose effort deflected past Jason Steele. But the end of the first half is always a dangerous time for the Addicks. Rovers levelled on the stroke of half-time when Jordan Rhodes nodded in Adam Henley's right-wing cross.

Rovers put Charlton under sustained pressure for the first ten minutes of the second half, but they managed to hold firm. Craig Conway and Shane Duffy had headed chances for Rovers after the break, with Henderson having to save well from Conway, while the energetic Igor Vetokele tested Steele.

With minutes remaining substitute Reza collided with Rovers keeper Steele as he tried to pounce on a loose ball. The referee re-started the game with a Rovers free kick.

The Salopian referee ignored cynical fouling by Rovers, particularly against Watt, and only awarded a yellow card in the dying minutes of the game. We do, however, need to stop giving away cheap fouls.

This report deals with the protests as well as the game itself: The Guardian

Player ratings

The Blackburn goal could be seen as an own goal as it hit the post and bounced in off Henderson but he made a good save in the second half. Lennon seized the chance to score and generally put in a decent performance. Teixeira looked very solid and quite an imposing presence to me, although he is no Jorge Costa. Fox had a better game than usual. Solly was industrious and committed as always.

Bergdich was a surprise inclusion but he had a decent game until he was substituted. Cousins contributed well, one very good corner. Jackson did his best. Gudmundsson was anonymous in the first half. He became more involved in the second half and did draw a save from the keeper, but he doesn't seem to me to be the player he was at the start of the season.

Vetokele played well, but tired and had to be substituted. Watt was the same only Tony Watt, talented, troublesome for the opposition defence, but too greedy and selfish.

Harriott was energetic, but gave away his usual cheap fouls. Reza tried to liven things up.

Roland's special experiment

The Times is the latest paper to look in depth at Charlton's problems.

'There is a plaque to commemorate those Charlton Athletic supporters who worked tirelessly to return the club to The Valley and some of them will gather at the stadium today, this time in protest at the owner. Ending a nomadic existence ground-sharing in 1992 represented a triumph of fan power and community spirit and the southeast London club went on to become synonymous with stability. A decade later, Alan Curbishley’s side were battling for a European spot, but the end of his 15-year reign in 2006 started a descent that plunged the club into the third tier three years later.

With only four league wins this season, the worst goal difference in the top four divisions, and four points adrift from safety in the Sky Bet Championship, Charlton are faced with a similar fate. Since Curbishley left, there have been two takeovers and ten new managers, the third of which this season was the return of José Riga, who has been asked for a second time to save the club. He succeeded Karel Fraeye, who was out of his depth after arriving from Belgium’s third division to replace Guy Luzon, who was short tactically and hamstrung by injuries to his squad.

The recent downturn has prompted the uprising of a group called Coalition Against Roland Duchâtelet, the owner worth £400 million who rarely visits the club. Their online petition calls on Duchâtelet to sell or invest and respect the role of the fans. What makes this fans’ group different is that some members held positions of power at the club as recognition of their efforts to bring the club back to The Valley. They feel disconnected, questioning Duchâtelet’s tenure, investment and the fruitless turnover of players and managers from his network of teams. Ultimately, they are no closer to understanding why he bought the club two years ago.

Since the second protest after the draw with Nottingham Forest this month, Charlton have lost 5-0 and 6-0 to Huddersfield Town and Hull City respectively, while exiting from the FA Cup at the hands of Colchester United, who had not won in their previous 11 league games in Sky Bet League One. The group have asked for a peaceful demonstration after the home game against Blackburn Rovers today and plan a flash protest at noon.

Sue Parkes, who is married to Chris Parkes, Charlton’s long-serving club secretary, took to Facebook to vent her anger. “The continual stirring up of hatred and vile vocal attacks will cause lasting damage and bring humiliation to the club far worse than any owner ever could,” Parkes said. “Many of you are like sheep now, losing track of your original aim but continuing to follow aimlessly those who perpetuate rumours intended to destabilise the club. Think of the players and staff having to work under this pressure.”

Yet history is repeating for Duchâtelet, who also controls clubs in Germany, Spain and Hungary. He was forced to sell Standard Liège, the Belgian club, in the summer when repeated fan protests turned aggressive. There were clashes with police near the stadium, a group of fans broke into Duchâtelet’s office and others stormed an event for sponsors, who had to ask the media to help them to safety. Liège fans had similar grievances, including the lack of reinvestment from the sale of their best players, such as Axel Witsel, and the sacking of favoured managers.

He departed with a slightly morbid leaving speech in June. “An average person will live mentally and physically healthy until 75, so I have another 350 weeks [seven years],” he said. “A club is not easy to control. It is more difficult than running a business or politics.”

He has made clear that he will not sell Charlton, despite Peter Varney, the club’s former chief executive, seeking to hold talks on a possible takeover. Duchâtelet never had an affinity for the game, but became aware of its power when he bought Sint-Truiden, the Belgian club, in 2004. He introduced a pitchside fan sofa at Charlton this season and once suggested, to his players’ amusement, that midfielders and defenders could swap at the interval to maximise energy. Given such ideas, it has been concluded in Belgium that football is a special experiment to Duchâtelet and he wants to prove he can be successful his way.

Charlton have invested large sums on a new screen and have planning permission to upgrade the training ground to Category One status, at a cost of £12 million, to give them greater protection over their young prospects. Their debt is about £44 million and the club loses about £4 million each year, which would worsen in League One. There could be more hostile writing on the wall if they do not survive.'

Friday 22 January 2016

Give Riga a chance

Until our 5-0 and 6-0 defeats I thought we might have a chance of avoiding relegation. We were still in touch with the teams around us and some of those teams are far from that great. I was talking to a Brentford fan yesterday and he thought that both MK Dons and Rotherham were weak.

Some argue that our players are not good enough, but they were good enough to beat Hull and QPR earlier in the season. Confidence can make all the difference in football and hopefully José Riga can restore some of that. Relegation will do nothing for the long-term prospects of the club, in particular attracting another owner.

Charlton have lost their last four league games against Blackburn, conceding two or more goals in each meeting (11 in total). We lost 1-3 in the last two matches at The Valley. Jordan Rhodes has scored twice in each of his last three appearances versus Charlton for Blackburn. Overall Rhodes has scored more league goals versus Charlton than any other opponent in the Football League (10 goals in 12 appearances).

Charlton have not won a league game since the end of November (D4 L6), the longest wait in the division. Rovers have lost their last three away games 1-0. They are currently 17th in the form table. Charlton are, of course, bottom.

Charlton's new signing Jorge Teixeira could make his debut on Saturday. However, Patrick Bauer (groin), Ademola Lookman (hamstring), Alou Diarra (foot) and Ahmed Kashi (Achilles) are all out.

Charlton are the only Championship side yet to be awarded a penalty.

Odds are: Charlton 14/5, Draw 12/1, Blackburn Evens.

Thursday 21 January 2016

Can Riga get Charlton out of the Valley of Doom?

This report from The Guardian is one of the fullest I have seen on Charlton and includes an interview with the elusive Katrien Meire in which she reiterates that the club is not for sale: Valley of Doom

It also makes the key point that the Duchatelet plan was fatally undermined when the Football League decided to relax its financial fair play rules.

In any case, even if the club was put up for sale, it is not clear that a buyer would be available with the apparent withdrawal of the Peter Varney fronted consortium. Wolves has been for sale since the beginning of the season without finding a purchaser.

There is an interesting quote from a Belgian journalist who makes the point that Duchatelet bought Charlton because his ideas were not being taken seriously in Belgium.

At the end of the article, Steve Clarke states his view that the fans always win in the end. Maybe, but at what cost to the future viability of the club?

The article does bring out what a strange individual Duchatelet is. Whether protests that are long and loud will make him go away remains to be seen. CARD is planning a 'flash' protest for Saturday which will not be announced until midday through social media channels: CARD plans

Our sister site, the Political Economy of Football, assesses the situation here: Can owner be forced out?

Charlton hero Steve Brown has told the owners to embrace the club's history and use it in the club's fight back against relegation: He won't let you down

Ten reasons why Charlton fans have lost faith in their club

A good summary of the concerns of fans, er, sorry, customers, concluding with that wretched sofa: Ten reasons for losing faith

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Leeds may make new move for Tony Watt

According to reports from Yorkshire, Leeds United may make another move for Tony Watt. They thought they had managed to sign him in November, but Cardiff City got in first. Charlton will be keen to reduce the wage bill and make money from a sale.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Don't invade pitch!

Sue Parkes, wife of club secretary Chris Parkes, has been urging fans not to invade the picture at Saturday's game against Blackburn Rovers, but her thoughts have now reached the SLP: No pitch invasion

Lookman may stay

Despite interest from several Premier League clubs, leading him to being described as 'Britain's most wanted teenager', Ademola Lookman may well stay at Charlton where he feels he will have better opportunities to develop and mature as a player: Lookman

Riga knows how big a task he faces

Jose Riga knows how big a task he faces if he is going to save Charlton from relegation, but he is no network 'yes' man: The challenge for Riga

Monday 18 January 2016

Welcome, Jorge Teixeira

Belgian media are reporting that the 29-year old defender Jorge Teixeira is leaving the former mother ship Standard Liege for Charlton: Jorge Texeria

The journeyman has played for nine clubs in the last 10 years. Career details of the Portuguese player here: Career

New York City Football Club were claiming that they had gained his signature. Belgian sources are talking of a fee of €500,000.

Charlton of the past dying on its feet

In this latest contribution to the debate about what is happening at Charlton, Paul Breen argues that 'the Charlton of the past is dying on its feet': Dying on its feet

It's another piece of good writing about desperate times at The Valley. Let us hope that cumulatively they make a difference.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Dunlavy lays into Belgians

Chris Dunlavy lays into the Belgian owners and management of Charlton in a full page article in The Football League Paper today.

He starts by referring to a greeting card which says 'I never make the same mistake twice - I make it five or six times just to make sure.' Dunlavy suggests that one might be sent to Roland.

Of Katrien Meire, he says, '[her] crass comments and embarrassing naivety have exposed a shameful condescension towards supporters.' She has proved 'by word and deed that football is beyond her expertise.'

Of Roland he says, 'the bloke is either willfully ignorant or deliberately neglectful ... [he] is an idealist determined to make his network succeed despite increasing evidence to the contrary.'

Referring to the plan to use the Academy to 'produce the Premier League players of the future', Dunlavy says 'That would undoubtedly be easier without the burden of a Championship wage bill. Not to say he seeks relegation. Simply that relegation would not harm the business plan.'

He concludes, 'if Charlton were a restaurant, trading standards would close it down and kick this pair of comedians out on to the street.'

The Daily Telegraph takes a long look at the situation at Charlton: Toxic yet positive

Saturday 16 January 2016

BBC London looks at Charlton

A short BBC London video on the situation at Charlton with interviews with Supporters Trust chairman Steve Clarke and Labour MP and shadow sports spokesman Clive Efford: Video clip

Friday 15 January 2016

Welcome back, Tony Watt

Cardiff City have been placed under a transfer embargo for breach of financial fair play rules, so Tony Watt will be returning to The Valley: Watt?

This will affect the budgetary calculations made by Roland, so it may have some knock on effects. Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that it may mean raising funds with a different sale.

Hard task at Hull

It is in the long-term interests of the club to stay in the Championship. Any future owner would then have a more viable club to build up again.

Charlton face a hard task playing promotion chasing Hull tomorrow, although our record against them is a reasonably good one. Hull have just one win in their last eight fixtures against the Addicks (D4 L3). Charlton's loss away to Hull in February 2013 is their only defeat there in nine visits (W4 D4).

However, Charlton have scored the fewest away goals in the Championship this season (7). Since winning back to back games in November, the Addicks have gone nine without a win, with five of those contests ending in defeat.

The Hull Daily Mail comments about 'how the Tigers struggle to put teams away. It's a bit of an issue and one which Bruce himself raised after the game. A big win could help change that mentality and given the mess Charlton Athletic are in at the minute that win could come tomorrow at the KC Stadium.'

Although I think we will lose, I don't think it will be a Huddersfield style rout. But we have to tighten up at set pieces.

The odds reflect current realities: Hull 3/10, Draw 4/1, Charlton 10/1.

Thursday 14 January 2016

One cheer for Riga

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt gives a lukewarm reception to the appointment of Jose Riga as coach: One cheer

Everitt reveals that there was an extraordinary meeting at the weekend at which Richard Murray was present when Katrien Meire asked two senior players who were there whether Fraeye was good enough to continue. This does seem to be a rather odd way of running a football club.

Fraeye, to his credit, said that the club needed to appoint a manager with British experience.

Everitt insists that there must be no let up in attempts to get rid of Duchatelet and Meire.

Lookman fit for Blackburn game

Ademola Lookman should be fit for Jose Riga's first home game on his return to The Valley: Lookman

However, as Premier League clubs circle for his signature, he has not agreed a new contract at Charlton.

Chelsea and Manchester City are leading the race for his signature, but other clubs are interested, most recently Everton. A fee of £5m is now being talked about in the press.

He has been named 'the most wanted teenager in English football': Wanted

Welcome back, Jose Riga (official)

Jose Riga has been reappointed as head coach at Charlton: Riga

Whilst most fans would prefer a British manager with Championship experience, this was never going to happen under the present regime, so this is the least bad outcome.

The Charlton owner Roland Duchâtelet told the club website: 'This has been a disappointing season for everyone connected with Charlton and the board take responsibility for that. Some things, like an unprecedented number of injuries, we could not have foreseen. But we have also made errors in recruitment, mistakes we have immediately tried to address in January.'

'It was also crucial we dealt with the position of the head coach. José did an excellent job in his short period with Charlton two seasons ago. He was very popular with supporters and I believe that he will get us back on track. There are 20 matches of the season still to play and it’s vital that we battle for every point.'

Riga has not yet caught Eurostar and it is expected that Jason Euell and Wim de Corte will remain in charge for Saturday's game at Hull.

Tony Watt's move to Cardiff will be completed today. The deal is worth around £2m.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Fraeye gone, but Serb not coming

Karel Fraeye has gone with thanks for his 'tireless work', but his Serbian replacement is not coming. Wim de Corte and Jason Euell will take charge at Hull on Saturday while the search for a replacement head coach goes on: Thank you, Karel Fraeye

Rick Everitt has speculated that Roland may have backed down from the Serbian appointment because of internal and external pressure.

There are rumours of the possible appointment of a British ex Championship manager, and various names are being suggested. However, this is all speculation at the moment.

Welcome, Nebojsa Vignjevic

Charlton, I salute you.

It is being reported that the 'little known' Serbian is to become the next ringmaster at the circus known as Charlton Athletic. His recommendation is that he is a network man from Upjest, so we can expect some goulash: New coach

Something rather uncomplimentary has been put on his Wikipedia page, but before going to Upjest he managed Hadjuk Kula, Rad and Vojvodina. These are not brands of vodka, but football teams. As a player, he scored 11 goals for Edmonton Kickers in Canada's indoor league.

You can see him taking the ice bucket challenge here, but he will need more than a bucket of cold water at Charlton: Ice bucket

The news has not gone down well with fans, one tweeting that it is a 'declaration of war' by the owner. 'Nebojsa Vignjevic's Red Army' will not come easily off the tongue.

The well-informed Richard Cawley of SLP has said that 'sadly' he cannot deny the story.

If he doesn't work out, we still have the German and Spanish clubs in the network to draw managers from.

Various fan groups have now come together to form a Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD): CARD

Greenwich MP Matt Pennycook has asked for a meeting with Katrien Meire to discuss the crisis at the club: MP intervenes

Riga: no one has made the call

Jose Riga would like to help rescue Charlton, but neither Roland Duchatelet or Katrien Meire has been in contact with him: Jose Riga

Tuesday 12 January 2016

From bad to worse

Charlton's dismal form continued with a 5-0 rout at Huddersfield this evening.

Charlton lined up with a 4-5-1 formation against Huddersfield on a cold but dry night in the presence of around 150 Addicks.

Nothing decisive happened in the first quarter of an hour. Town then won a corner which then led to a second and an easy header for the unmarked captain and former Addick Mark Hudson to open the score from six yards out.

Charlton won their first corner, but Johnson put it wide.

Rhys Williams got a rather surprising booking for a tackle.

Town put in a low shot but Henderson got it under control.

Lennon conceded a corner. Henderson came out and missed the ball and Charlton went 2-0 down, having conceded twice from set pieces. Charlton has struggled to create anything in the half.

HT: Terriers 2, Addicks 0

Huddersfield won an early corner, but Henderson was able to grab it at the third attempt.

Poyet put in a shot, but it was the wrong option as Gudmundsson was running into the penalty area.

Fox received a yellow card.

Henderson had to be alert when Fox turned the ball back to his own goal. Town put in a shot that went straight at Henderson as the Charlton defence was caught out.

Reza and Holmes-Dennis came on, Fox and Williams went off.

A Charlton corner was followed by a second, but it was unproductive.

An attempt from Harriott went into the back of the stand.

Henderson had to make a great save with Lennon down and the keeper then kicked it out for a corner.

Makienok came on in place of Gudmundsson with 15 minutes of normal time remaining.

Huddersfield had a free run towards the edge of the Charlton penalty area and Paterson scored their third.

A deflected shot saw Huddersfield score their fourth.

Charlton got a free kick on the edge of the box after Jackson was fouled. The ball hit the six man wall.

Huddersfield threatened again and won a corner. Reza got a yellow card and then a second and he was sent off.

In time added on Huddersfield scored their fifth after a scramble at the near post. A low shot from Harriott drew the first save of the evening from the Huddersfield keeper.

Karel Fraeye refused to meet the press after the game: Fraeye

Stephen Henderson had to step in. Henderson said 'The lads are lower than they could ever be': Henderson remarks

Marvin Sordell thinks that Callum Harriott can turn Charlton's season around: Sordell

Arsenal think they have won Lookman race

Arsenal think they have beaten Manchester City to the signature of Ademola Lookman: Ademola Lookman

A fee of £2m is envisaged.

Unhappy Valley

The view from Huddersfield as Charlton head north for this evening's fixture: Unhappy Valley

What has happened about the much mooted Jose Riga reappointment is uncertain, but it may be that he does not want to return.

Jordan Cousins will not be available tonight, but is expected to be fit for Saturday's match at Hull: Jordan Cousins

Chris Solly is expected to play tonight after being rested at Colchester. Cup tied Callum Harriott will be available and Harry Lennon is expected to return to central defence to partner Roger Johnson.

At the Valley earlier in the season Huddersfield won 2-1, so with three of the last five-matches in all competitions won and just two of the last eight meetings with Charlton lost (three won) the perennially lower mid-table Town will expect to win.

Odds: Huddersfield 4/6, Draw 11/4, Charlton 17/4.

Sunday 10 January 2016

Welcome back, Jose Riga

It is looking increasingly likely that Jose Riga will be brought back to sort out the mess at Charlton with interim coach Karel Fraeye under enormous pressure: Riga return?

Of the managers appointed by the Belgians, Riga was the most professional and successful. Of course, many fans would prefer a British manager with Championship experience, but that isn't going to happen.

It looks as if Peter Varney's attempt to bring new investment into the club is dead in the water: Varney statement

Saturday 9 January 2016

Charlton out of the cup

Charlton were left to concentrate on the league after a woeful performance at Colchester saw them exit the FA Cup.

Neither side was dominant in the early exchanges as Charlton played Colchester United in the FA Cup at the Weston Homes Community Stadium. The wind was blowing across the fields. Fox put in a good sliding challenge as it looked as if Massey was going to put the ball into the box. It was mainly possession football in the first ten minutes.

Makienok saw a half chance but got it all wrong and the ball went over. After quarter an hour one could see why the two teams were second from bottom in their respective divisions.

Poyet took a shot which was a yard or so wide of the Colchester goal. Sordell put in a shot which went past the post.

Colchester got the first corner of the afternoon after 20 minutes. Pope punched the ball clear.

A shot from Massey came off Johnson for a corner. Pope grabbed the ball.

Charlton struggled to clear their lines and Pope had to save well at the expense of a corner which ended in a goal kick.

Charlton were not showing a lot of creativity. On 28 minutes Moncur, the U’s leading scorer, put Colchester ahead, after a move that started from a throw in, with Pope having no chance to stop it. There was a chorus of ‘If you want them out, stand up’ from the Addickted.

Charlton won their first corner, but it was unproductive. Ceballos put in a shot, but it took a deflection and cannoned off the post with the keeper stranded.

Cousins was limping badly after a tussle with Sordell and then went down on his haunches. Eventually the ball went out of play and he received attention. Cousins took his captain’s armband off. Fox became captain and Vetokele came on.

Sordell made a run, there was poor communication between Johnson and Sarr, who was hopelessly out of position as he tried to play the attacker offside, and Colchester were able to get their second through Sordell. With their confidence boosted, Colchester were taking control of the game.

Pope had to save from a volley as Colchester once again found space which Charlton had been unable to do all half.

In the four minutes added on, Makienok drew a save, the ball came back out and Moussa’s effort went wide. The Addickted booed Charlton off.

U’s 2, Addicks 0

Rhys Williams came on after the break to replace Ceballos. Charlton won an early corner but it was unproductive. Charles-Cook took a shot, but it was parried away.

Johnson came off and Vaz Te came on, Williams moved back. Vaz Te took a shot, it was punched away, but the move ended with a decision that there had been a foul on the keeper.

Pope saved from Moncur after some poor play by Sarr. Vaz Te took a shot, but it deflected into the arms of the keeper.

A shot from Gilbey deflected off Sarr for a Colchester corner as the rain poured down. Charlton made a break, but a shocking challenge was put on Moussa and the yellow card was shown. Makienok was also booked for dissent.

Charlton won a corner, but the move ended in a goal kick. The Addickted chanted, ‘We want our club back.’ Shortly afterwards there was a chorus of ‘If you want them out, stand up.’

Charlton won a corner. Sordell was taken off to loud applause. Vaz Te put in a shot, the keeper saved, and then the ball was cleared off the line by Brindley.

A Charlton corner led to the ball being steered well wide by Williams. Charles-Cook put in a good cross, Makienok made a good run and put in a header but the keeper saved. In any case, the referee awarded a free kick.

Reza got a goal back for Charlton with a header after an excellent cross by Vaz Te in the four minutes added on to make it 2-1. Morgan Fox was penalised for a foul throw.

Will this lead to the sacking of the ‘Interim One’. I doubt it, as I don’t think anyone is lined up to replace him.

Friday 8 January 2016

The Magic of the Cup

Charlton make the trip to Colchester tomorrow for their 3rd round FA Cup tie. It's really a case of two teams who don't do cups playing each other. Colchester have lost their last five FA Cup third round games, while the Addicks have lost four of their last five ties at this stage.

The U's have faced Charlton once before in the FA Cup, losing at home to the Addicks 1-0 in a third-round tie in 1984. The U's have lost six of their last eight FA Cup ties against higher-ranked opponents (W2), but are unbeaten in their last three at home (W2 D1). Charlton have only reached the fourth round once in the last six seasons - in 2014, when they eventually were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Colchester are second from bottom in League One and have conceded 59 goals, the largest number of any team in the Football League. However, they have brought in a keeper on loan, 24-year old Jake Kean, from Norwich City who is likely to play tomorrow. He was encouraged to go on loan by their goalkeeping coach, one Dean Kiely.

Odds are: Colchester 31/20, Draw 12/5, Charlton 7/4.

Fraeye denies involvement in player recruitment

'Interim' coach Karel Fraeye has denied that he has in any way been involved in the recruitment of players at Charlton in the last couple of years: Denial

Fraeye has asked fans not to boycott matches, after a boycott of the Blackburn Rovers game was discussed on line: No boycott please

Lookman should not be loaned back

It is being argued that if Spurs sign Ademola Lookman they should not loan him back to Charlton, but put him in the first team straight away: No loan

However, it is also being reported that Chelsea are close to securing a deal and hope to sign him before tomorrow's FA Cup game against Scunthorpe: Ademola Lookman

This may not happen, but it looks unlikely that he will stay at Charlton.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Board to issue statement today

The Charlton Athletic board is to respond to recent criticism of the club with a statement later today: Board statement

Whether it will contain anything to address the concerns of fans, er, sorry, customers, remains to be seen.

An interview with Richard Murray is now available on the official site: Murray interview

If Murray is thought to be the acceptable face of the board, this is a miscalculation, as he has lost credibility with a lot of fans.

Essentially Murray's argument is: Championship a difficult league; mustn't gamble with future of club; underestimated time it would take overseas players to adjust to Championship; communication with fans could have been better; football for the family at an affordable price.

One thing that has not been addressed is the future of 'interim' coach Karel Fraeye. My hunch is that the plan was to make him coach for the rest of the season as a cheap solution, but results have not made that possible.

A critique of the statement can be found here: Mockery

CAS Trust ask some pertinent questions here: A goal is not a strategy

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Palace take a look at Lookman

Crystal Palace have scouted Ademola Lookman, but it doesn't look as if they are poised to make a bid: Glaziers

It's getting close to a majority of Premiership clubs who have now taken a look at him.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Bristol City in for Kermorgant

Bristol City are hoping to sign Yann Kermorgant in the January transfer window to boost their battle against relegation: Kermorgant

There had been hopes that he might return to The Valley, although he is no fan of the current regime.

Charlton crumbling before our eyes

The Charlton we love is crumbling before our eyes, asserts Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt in an interview with the Evening Standard. Left to their own devices, the Belgian owner and chief executive will destroy the club: Everitt interview

The SLP's Richard Cawley give his view on events at The Valley here, concluding that the relationship between the fans and the owners is beyond repair: Damaged

Here is the coverage from The Sun with four suggestions about what might be done to remedy things: Building bridges

Spurs offer loan back for Lookman

Tottenham Hotspur are prepared to offer a loan back of Ademola Lookman to Charlton in return for his signature, according to The Times this morning.

A number of other clubs are, of course, interested in the youngster.

Power Point

The latest campaigning tool from the black and white campaign is a well executed Power Point mocking the presentation by Katrien Meire at the recent meeting: Black and White

I do find her claim that one wouldn't complain about a bad experience in a restaurant a little odd. There is always Trip Advisor. Moreover, we had poor service at a restaurant in Birmingham over Christmas and when we complained we got a discount and a free dessert. Of course, one doesn't identify with a restaurant.

Monday 4 January 2016

Business as usual for Roland

The Evening Standard claims that Roland has no intention of selling the club or changing the way in which he runs the business: Business as usual

This is, of course, no surprise, but the challenge now is to maintain the considerable momentum that the protest campaign has achieved. The media coverage over the weekend has been extensive. A good report from The Wharf here: Fans come together

The organisers showed considerable tactical acumen in holding a protest after the match as many fans do not get to the ground until after 2.30, particularly when public transport is disrupted, as has been the case recently. Rick Everitt stated in his radio interview that the intention is to make the club 'unmanageable' and hence pressure Roland to sell up.

There is a proposal to call a meeting of Valley Gold members: Valley Gold

However, a current member of the Management Committee has stated: 'My overall concern is that in the search for targets for protest people have landed on an organisation independent of the club, and whilst the club benefits from it is essentially an investment in its long term future. If we succeed in getting RD out in the next 12-24 months, then the funds we withheld now will have affected two years of academy players who wouldn't graduate until after he'd gone. I just wish people would think through the consequences rather than let the red mist take over.

Makienok not put off by sarcastic cheers

Simon Makienok is not letting himself be put off by sarcastic cheers every time his head makes contact with the ball, although he admits that it doesn't help. He is trying to improve as a player: Makienok

Sunday 3 January 2016

Poyet and Johnson coming in

As widely forecast, Roger Johnson will be joining the club next week, but the more surprising news is that he will be joined by Diego Poyet: Signings

There is also the possibility of a deal to get Yann Kermorgant to return to The Valley: Kermorgant

It has now been confirmed that Roger Johnson has joined the club on a 18 month deal.

The official site has now confirmed that Poyet has joined the club on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Saturday 2 January 2016

Charlton fight for point

Charlton secured a hard fought point against Notts Forest at The valley this afternoon, but the draw was overshadowed by a very well supported fan protest, particularly after the game. It was estimated that there were four times as many people there as at earlier protests. 'You're not fit to run a club' was one of the chants.

Fans also responded during the game to chants of 'Stand up if you want them out.' There were also chants of 'We want a manager' and Karel Fraeye was booed when he left the pitch.

For much of the first half it was a case of two mediocre teams cancelling each other out. The returning Callum Harriott did put in a good shot on goal and from a corner Makienok should have scored. However, Forest started to wake up to the limitations of Charlton and began to dominate the play in the concluding ten minutes. They got their reward when Charlton failed to clear a corner and Osborn scored on 44 minutes.

Gudmundsson was brought on after half time for the hapless Ba and Charlton stared to look more energised, although there were some dangerous moments at the start of the half. Good work by Harriott, who in my view was man of the match, set up Makienok to score the equaliser.

However, as anticipated, referee Trevor Kettle made his mark on the game by giving a harsh second yellow to Holmes-Dennis, who had come on as a substitute, and sending him off. Loan player Rhys Williams was brought on in place of Vaz Te to shore up the defence and Charlton fought hard for a point. Indeed, they had chances in the closing minutes to go ahead.

Leaving the ground, I heard one fan say 'A glimmer of hope?' and another 'We're going to be relegated, it's inevitable.' The Addicks are one point off safety, so all is not lost.

By the time I got to Coventry I just missed a Charlton caller who had been on 606.

There was a long interview with Chris Powell on the Football League Show. The Charlton legend expressed sympathy with the supporters and said that he could not understand where the club was heading or what the owner's intentions were. There had been four managers since he left, there was no director of football or chief scout. Good people left, including, he implied, on the non-playing side. The clip can be seen here: Chris Powell

He was shown footage of protesting supporters chanting his name outside the West Stand and was asked if he would go back if he was asked. He replied, 'Possibly,' but made it clear that everything would have to be right.

There was also a good discussion on Sky's Sunday Supplement. They described us as the poster boy of how a club should be run but now the poster boy of how a club shouldn't be run. They criticised how fans were called customers.

There is a good round up of audio interviews from yesterday's protests here: Audio interviews

Player ratings

Henderson could not have saved the goal. Otherwise, he looked confident. Sarr was woeful, unfortunately Bauer is out for six weeks. Lennon put in a decent shift. Solly showed some real skill, I wish other players would pass to him more when he is unmarked and in a good position. Fox always makes me nervous and often with good reason, although he did get forward well at times.

It was good to see Cousins back and in form again, probably affected before by illness. Ba was useless. Jackson made a limited contribution and was eventually substituted. Harriott was a revelation. Clearly his loan spell has done him good, particularly in terms of attitude. His problem in the past has not been a lack of talent, but inconsistency. Before we get too excited, we should remember that he is in the shop window.

Vaz Te didn't really impose himself. Makienok was described as having a 'torrid time' by the Football League Paper. With his top knot gone, he did manage to head the ball a few times. He had three chances to score, and made use of one of them, although he was denied for one by a good save. However, Steve from Petts Wood said 'I still don't like him' after he scored.

Gudmundsson made a real difference and came close to scoring shortly after coming on. Holmes-Dennis should have been more cautious on one yellow with Kettle steaming away and getting closer to his target of ten red cards this season. The signing of Williams has been greeted with a chorus of derision by many supporters, but he looked quite useful to me. He is a big lad.

A summary of the issues at Charlton

A good summary of the issues that are leading fans to protest at Charlton from The Guardian blog. The final paragraph, however, expresses scepticism about the chances of success giving Roland's stance towards football and its fans: Nick Miller

Friday 1 January 2016

Not so quiet in the West Stand

Daryl Chamberlain was one of the original Charlton bloggers with 'All Quiet in the West Stand.' He has now written a long but nuanced and informative post analysing the current crisis at Charlton.

He argues that Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire have a point in their diagnosis of what is wrong with English football, but one club can't change things. If the Addicks are relegated to League One, they face a fatal squeeze. Read his analysis here: How Charlton is being killed.

I was struck by a quote in today's Times obituary of Brian Lomax who was the initiator of the supporters' trust movement in England and later managing director of Supporters' Direct. A theology graduate, he compared football to following a religion: 'There is a sense of pilgrimage, of going to a sacred place, there is loyalty, sticking with something through good and bad times.'

Prospects against Forest

Tomorrow's game against Nottingham Forest is overshadowed by the planned protests with Charlton in the last chance saloon in terms of the prospects of new ownership.

However, there is a football match to be played. Forest manager Dougie Freeman is hoping to take advantage of the recent troubles at The Valley and turn the crowd against the team, although he may be confusing the team with the owner and his chief executive. However, he has vowed to 'take the hand brake off' and is going for an attacking strategy: Freeman's plan.

14th placed Forest have won just two games away from home this season and scored eight goals. However, they have drawn as many matches as they have lost.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Alou Diarra will have tests on knocks as Charlton struggle with injuries and poor form. Ademola Lookman's hamstring injury, Patrick Bauer's abdominal problem and Jordan Cousins' recent illness could put all of them out of the match.

Last year we beat Forest 2-1 at home and the year before that was a 1-1 draw. The Addicks have gone five games against Forest without defeat. In the reverse fixture last August Forest had 20 shots on target to Charlton's 10, but neither side could find the back of the net.

Odds are: Charlton 23/10, Draw 23/10, Nott'm Forest 6/5.

Unfortunately, the referee is the steaming Trevor Kettle. He will be remembered for having to apologise for just issuing a yellow card for a horror tackle against Grant Basey.