Friday 31 January 2020

One more deal

David Davis is in on loan from Birmingham City. Richard Cawley comments, 'Very experienced midfielder who is strong and sounds like he will be a crowd pleaser. Loan deal until the end of the season. Takes temporary deals to six - only five can be in a matchday squad - but we know Lee Bowyer loves to rotate his midfield options.'

Cawley adds, 'Got to say that probably the big win for Charlton in this window is keeping Lyle Taylor. Absolutely no doubt in my mind he can be the difference in the run-in. All starts with a huge game tomorrow v Barnsley.'

Matt Smith is third and final signing

Midfielder Matt Smith comes in as the third and final winter transfer window loan signing for Charlton. He spent the first half of the season with the Super Hoops: Matt Smith

Those who were hoping for marquee signings (which were never promised) will be disappointed. However, the objective remains to avoid relegation and to build the team in the summer. Unfortunately, none of the new signings really replaces Connor Gallagher.

Career details for the Welsh international here: Career

Former Addick Tariqe Fosu has left his mentor Gobby and signed for Brentford who could not meet Charlton's valuation of Lyle Taylor: Was watched at Charlton

Richard Cawley states there is a significant sell on clause for Fosu.

Six pointer against Barnsley

Claims that the crowd is the 12th man are somewhat overstated, but Charlton fans are in a febrile mood and their nervousness could well communicate itself to the players if the Addicks do not secure an early lead in tomorrow's six pointer against Barnsley.

The bookies have the Tykes as the favourites to win and they have a good record at The Valley: CAS Trust preview

Faced with a 380 mile round trip, Barnsley console themselves with the thought that the pressure is on Lee Bowyer and his team with February their 'month of destiny': Charlton preview

Barnsley have won just one match away from home, drawn three and lost ten.

His Excellency Tahnoon Nimer has arrived at The Valley for the first time.

Marcus Maddison has joined Hull City on loan from Peterborough. I always thought that his ego was too big for the dressing room.

Bowyer's Dubai pitch for Green

Andre Green met up with Lee Bowyer and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall in Dubai last summer, but his heart very much remains with Aston Villa. Charlton were interested in him then, but Villa decided he should go to Deepdale where he had very little game time: Charlton's attempts to sign him last summer

'We had a good chat out there. I got to know a bit about the club. The reputation of the club progressing players was a definite attraction. You only need to look at players who were at Charlton and where they are now – Joe Gomez and Ademola Lookman. So many people have done well here.'

Sun baked supremo Lee Bowyer told him ‘"you’ll enjoy it here and we’ll make you a better player"’. I can already feel the positive benefit of being at the club and getting my football – I can build on it.'

First transfer deadline day signing

Charlton have signed experienced midfielder Aiden McGeady from Sunderland on a loan until the end of the season. The winger will train at Sparrows Lane today and will be available for selection against Barnsley: Aiden McGeady

Read about the career of the 33-year old who has played as an Irish international here: Aiden McGeady

The winger had been exiled by shell shocked supremo Phil Parkinson, and was training with the Black Cats’ under-23 side having been told he was free to find a new club during the winter window.

Perhaps I should have accepted Sky's invitation to go on at 06.45, although I always think Skype interviews are low on picture and sound quality, plus the risk of the cat appearing.

Speaking for moaners, Desmond for Deal said: 'This is not the big marquee signing I was hoping for, instead a cast off from League One.'

More positively, the Chicago Addick has commented from Bermuda:' McGeady represents a low risk, if not cheap, loan option. He brings a load of experience and is a midfielder in the Bowyer mould.'

Richard Cawley tweeted early on Friday: 'Charlton hoping to do two more deals today. Hoping. I'm not saying definitely happening.'

Thursday 30 January 2020

Next month is going to be tough says Bowyer

Richard Cawley of the SLP has stated that no news is expected from Charlton tonight in terms of transfers. This has clearly disappointed some fans to say the least, although ESI never said they had huge sums of money to spend. Some fans simply jumped to their own conclusions.

Cawley has subsequently tweeted: 'Charlton chairman Matt Southall has told @charltonlive that he is "hard at work at the training ground with rest of the team trying to get things over the line. Hopefully we'll have some good news for you all soon'. A tweeted picture of a supply of soft drinks appears to be authentic.

Lee Bowyer has said that Sam Field should be available for Saturday's game against Barnsley, although presumably that means from the bench. Chuks Aneke may also be available, although I have to admit I do not find that much of a morale boost: Injury situation and the pressure of Saturday's clash

Sombre supremo Bowyer emphasised the size of the task he faced: 'We’ve got most players back but some need training first. That’s been the problem – we’ve had six or seven come back at the same time but they are all limited to 30 minutes each and I can only make three subs!'

'It’s about trying to blend them all in. Getting them all fully back will make my job a lot easier – it will mean I can rotate. The next month is going to be a tough month because there are a lot of games. We’re going to need the full squad.'

There are media reports that Brentford are going to make another effort to secure the services of Lyle Taylor. This was not what I was hearing from normally reliable Brentford sources earlier in the week, but the picture can change quickly as the transfer deadline nears.

Fulham interested in Doughty

Having suffered the humiliation of having drawn both matches with Charlton this season, Fulham are interested in Alfie Doughty, but the youngster is not for sale: Flying winger not for sale

Bowyer hopes to hang on to what he has

Lee Bowyer wants to hang on to all of the present squad and is still hoping for new arrivals before the transfer deadline: Bowyer lives in hope

What line will the Rickster take?

A new Voice of the Valley is out on Saturday. There will be nostalgic meanderings from the usual suspects, but what line will editor Rick Everitt take on ESI?

The tone of the opening pages of the last issue reflected Rick's background as a journalist (he is a NUJ member). Journalists by profession are sceptical and required to look for the story behind the story. I know: a long time ago I was one myself.

One might think, therefore, that his probing for the facts would go down well with the pessimists, moaners and cynics who sometimes seem to make up the bulk of the Charlton Athletic support. In fact, for many of the leading moaners Rick is Public Enemy Number One.

Some of them seem to have swallowed Roland's narrative that Rick was the leader of the (surprisingly large) group of disgruntled ex-employees. I attended the proceedings at West Croydon Employment Tribunal which led to a private settlement between Everitt and the club.

I interviewed him afterwards, and although he was properly cautious in what he said, I was left with the impression that he was satisfied with the outcome.

The other charge seems to be me that he is a Labour activist. If they follow the national pattern, around a third of Charlton supporters are Labour voters. Admittedly, Rick is an activist, the current (minority) leader of Thanet District Council and has stood in a general election in the Labour interest.

But then I know of Charlton supporters who have been Conservative councillors and are active in the Liberal Democrats. Probably somewhere there is a supporter of the Scottish Nationalists or the Plaid. There are even supporters who live in Northern Ireland. Í am simply not interested in their political views. I would have a bigger issue with someone who is Palace or Millwall.

The conclusion I draw is that I am looking forward to Saturday's issue which will have a focus on East Street Investments. Postal sales are going up as more fans take the option of having VOTV delivered under plain wrapper to enjoy in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Issues seem to arrive from the Isle of Thanet very quickly. To order go to VOTV where you can also read something about the new issue.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Addicks sweep for Gashead nomad

Charlton have put in a bid for Bristol Rovers striker Jonson Clarke-Harris:

Bristol sources say that Charlton have been interested for ten days in both the striker and Rovers captain Ollie Clarke. Charlton have now strengthened their interest in the 25-year-old striker, submitting a bid that Bristol Live understands to be around £1m plus add-ons.

The offer of around £1m is likely to be rejected by Rovers who hope it will start a bidding war. They are also looking for loan players for Charlton, unlikely given the thinness of our squad.

Clarke-Harris has netted 21 league goals in 35 appearances since joining Rovers from Coventry almost 12 months ago, with his form at the end of last season winning the Gas vital points in their bid to escape the drop zone.

Plenty of Championship clubs have run the rule over Clarke-Harris since he joined on January deadline day last year, including the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough - both of whom have been heavily linked with the player this month.

The 25-year old has extensive loan experience in the lower leagues. He started his career playing park football for Leicester's Beaumont Town: Career details

Richard Cawley has tweeted that if JCH comes in it means Taylor is off.

Cawley clears up Pogba story

Although he is taking a couple of days leave, the SLP's Richard Cawley has taken the trouble to clear up the nonsense that has been talked about Florentin Pogba: 'Not back working today but just a little Florentin Pogba update. Told that never Charlton's intention to sign him and that offer of a couple of days of training was a favour.'

Doom and gloom merchants will be out in force today after Charlton fell to 21st in the table following last night's results which included wins for Huddersfield, Luton and Wigan. Pessimists never seem to factor in points deductions.

While Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday may be able to forestall points deductions in the courts, it is difficult to see Birmingham City escaping a substantial points deduction.

Meanwhile, I would place my faith in Steve Gallen and Lee Bowyer to make any loan or other signings that offer good value, something that is very difficult in the January transfer window. There is no point in signing players who can't make a contribution.

It always amuses me when there is talk of football of 'investing' in players. When I make an investment, I expect a capital or income return, or ideally both. Given that I invest in start ups, I sometimes lose my money, but that is a calculated risk and in any case often be offset against my tax bill.

Football players often fail to deliver, end up on the treatment table (especially at Charlton), and are then sold at a loss. The problem was made worse under Roland by giving players long contracts at inflated wages.

At least the club is now run by people who have some idea about football and engage with the fans. I never expected them to splash the cash, especially now.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Bee doubtful about Taylor story

Richard Cawley is taking a deserved two day break, but this means we won't have any white smoke in the run up to the end of the transfer window.

However, I did contact a leading Brentford fan about the Lyle Taylor story and although he is a busy Bee he replied: 'With Lyle Taylor, we’re wondering if this is a press re-hash of the summer story. Then, we needed a central striker, but Ollie Watkins has performed above and beyond our expectations. So if he came, he’s definitely be backup. I’m not sure that would attractive to him given he’s first choice at Charlton.'

Monday 27 January 2020

Three Championship clubs in for Taylor

Whether Charlton can hang on to Lyle Taylor remains in doubt with three Championship clubs interested. Bristol City have maintained their interest; the busy Bees chased him in the summer and are coming out of their hive again; and a faltering West Bromwich Albion are looking for additional firepower: Moves for striker

Roland is out and so is Obodynski

Some significant filings have been made at Companies House in relation to Charlton Athletic Football Club Limited with East Street Investments taking control. Fake news sceptics can see all the filings online here : Filing history

Roland Duchatelet has ceased to be a person with significant control. Mr Richard Alan Murray Obodynski, to give him his full name, has ceased to be a director.

Roland, through his vehicle Staprix NV, has been careful to register his charge on 'all that leasehold property known as Sparrow Farm sports facility, Avery Hill Campus, Eltham SE9.'

Low valuation for Charlton

The football business newsletter Off the Pitch has valued Charlton at £27.4m, only above Barnsley and Luton Town in the Championship. It is not known how much ESI will pay for the club when the transaction is completed in the summer, but I would assume rather more than that given the value of the physical assets and Roland's expectations.

Their figures are based on the recent offer of Preston North End for sale at £50m. However, there is probably something of a London bonus. If I was an investor from the Gulf, I am not sure that I would find Barnsley or Luton particularly enticing locations. ESI referred to Charlton being a London club in some of their statements.

Millwall are valued at £68.8m. Stoke City at £264.4m are the highest valued club, followed by 'Boro.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Rumour mill speeds up

The rumour mill is turning faster than ever as the Currant Bun links us with Paul Pogab's brother Florentin. The 29-year old defender was let go by MLS champions Atlanta: Trains with Charlton

Could be something in it as he is on a free and presumably looking for a wage. We also need defenders

He is a Guinea international and one of three footballing brothers with a twin brother Mathias: Growing up in Paris

Rumour mill links Charlton with Parrott

The rumour mill is linking Charlton with Tottenham's Troy Parrott as a loan target. This story started with the Daily Star and is being copied by other sites, so I don't think it is very credible, although it has a certain plausibility: he is very young and relatively untried. As always, we await a pronouncement from the Vatican, aka the SLP dungeon and His Holiness Richard Cawley.

Parrott is a striker who started his career with Belvedere (the Irish club, not Erith & Belvedere). He signed professional terms with Tottenham Hotspur on his 17th birthday last February: Career details.

With Harry Kane out injured until April and Mourinho looking to sign a new striker, Spurs fans have been calling on the talented teenager to get some minutes from the bench as the team struggles to find goals.

The Special One said earlier this week: 'He is ready to work with us every day like he is doing. He trains with the group, after training he has a special programme of individual development of his qualities as a striker and this club takes very good care of the players,' explained Mourinho.

'That is the only thing I can say,' commented the delphic supremo. 'If he has to play with us, he will. He will do his best, he will show his good qualities, he will show his fragilities because at this moment he is a 17-year-old kid with fragilities in his game.' Make of that what you will, but doesn't sound if he is ready to be exposed to the rigours of the Championship.

Another Greenwich club folds

Charlton fans have not been fazed by the plan of barking Arsenal fans to form a new club with the aim of moving back to Woolwich (where?) but it's sad news that Greenwich Borough have folded. They have withdrawn from the South-East Counties League with immediate effect. Over the years many Charlton academy players or former 'stars' like Bradley Pritchard have found a home there.

Established in 1928, their old stadium at Harrow Meadows was sold to property developers in 2009, leading to a series of ground shares, including Dartford FC. In 2016 they won promotion to Division One of the Isthmian League and agreed a ground share with Cray Valley PM at the Badgers Sports Ground in Eltham.

They had a falling out with Cray Valley and were evicted in April 2019 for non-payment of rent. There have been various accusations and counter accusations, headlined in a page long report in The Non-League Paper today as 'Now it's Kent rivals at war.' I would be interested to hear any reports of gunfire and explosions in Eltham.

They moved to the Phoenix Sports Ground in Barnehurst, but have struggled and were bottom of the SECL Premier Division.

People up here in Warwickshire often ask me where Charlton play and I usually say 'Greenwich' in the hope they might know where that it is. Generally the response is, 'so, East London then.' The nice lady on the Marks & Sparks till who asked if there was anything there got a quick summary of the attractions!

Saturday 25 January 2020

It's 25 years since that kung fu kick

It is 25 years since Eric Cantona directed a kung fu kick at an innocent Palace fan who, according to him, had run to the front to shout 'Off! Off! Off! It's an early bath for you, Cantona.' Other versions of what was said are available. The media has had a bit of a field day over it, but here is the view from Manchester: Eric Cantona

The Palace fan, Matthew Simmons, installed double glazing and lived in the road where my wife had grown up. Ever since, Palace have been referred to as the 'Glaziers'.

Simmons was later sentenced at Croydon Magistrates Court, receiving a £500 fine for using threatening behaviour and a year-long stadium ban – upon receiving the verdict he lunged at the prosecution lawyer, which led to him being sentenced to seven days in prison for contempt of court.

Good vibes from Southall

CAS Trust have given a positive report on last night's meeting between Matt Southall and fan groups: Impressed with Southall

It will probably do little to reassure moaners, sceptics and pessimists whose time horizon is the next week rather than the next five years. Indeed, Desmond from Deal has asked me to help him set up a blog in which he can criticise everyone from the owners to fellow fans.

On new signings, the chairman said he and Steve Gallen were working 22 hour days at the moment. There are a lot of players out there and prices are falling. He noted that quoted prices are considerably lower than at the start of the window and that very few deals have been completed anywhere so far this month.

Southall had to leave the meeting earlier than planned to meet an agent.

Charlton are not City. emphasises Southall

The takeover of the club has not yet been approved by the EFL, so chairman Matt Southall is wary of any comparisons with Abu Dhabi's acquisition of Manchester City: Five year master plan

However, he said that, like City, the Charlton board would not concentrate solely on the development of the football team, with a number of projects, including a brand new training complex spanning almost 40 acres, in the pipeline.

'Obviously we’re a totally separate entity to the guys at Manchester City. When I sat down with Tahnoon and his advisers I outlined my vision and my way and how I feel we could move the club forward. And that isn’t the same as when Sheikh Mansour looked at Man City; they were in the Premier League then. There’s so much more money in the Premier League than there is the Championship.'

'So that would’ve been a different vision to what I’ve got Tahnoon to buy into. It’s not really comparable. But the fact they’ve taken the local community, they’ve expanded it, the campus, they’ve invested into all the regeneration around the ground. They do a lot of work in the community, so there are similarities. But in terms of structure it’s completely different.'

Charlton hope to bring the squad to Abu Dhabi for a training camp towards the end of the Championship season, possibly the beginning of May, with the team expected to become regular visitors to the capital. Southall said the club were seeking to establish commercial partnerships in the Middle East, using Nimer's knowledge of, and close relationships in, the region.

Friday 24 January 2020

Fans meeting this evening

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the meeting for various fan groups with chairman Matt Southall this evening. It has been welcomed by the Fans Trust: Southall to meet fan groups

The Bloke Beside Me, Paul from Bexleyheath, is going to represent the museum, despite being on crutches following knee surgery. I have asked him to ask if we can get rid of the current mascots, particularly Sir Valiant with his pathetic sword, and bring back Floyd and Harvey. Actually, there was no sign of the Duchatelet era mascots on Wednesday.

Others will no doubt be pressing to ask why a world class player has not been signed yet.

Arsenal fans plan Woolwich return

My grandfather (far left) in relaxed mood with Woolwich Arsenal colleagues

You couldn't make it up. Arsenal fans in Surrey are planning a phoenix club with the objective of rising through the non-league ranks and returning to their roots in Woolwich in a purpose built stadium: Dial Square breakaway club

My grandfather was a clerk of works at Woolwich Arsenal. My grandmother was a keen Charlton fan. It's a good job the news hasn't reached Plumstead Cemetery.

Words fail me, other than ones inappropriate for a family page. The Woolwich Rejects would not be welcome to return, even if they still have fans in the area.

Are Charlton fans risking their health?

A new study finds that fans are at risk of heart attacks because of the stress they experience at matches. Admittedly, the study was based on saliva samples from Brazilian fans: Cortisol levels

Probably Charlton fans place their mental health or at least their well-being more at risk than their physical health. I can't find anything in my life that is more associated with negativity and pessimism than Charlton. Indeed, my bestie thinks that not only am I tiring myself out by going to the other side of London from Warwickshire, but following such a down market club is not good for self esteem!

Non-league football is more fun. We exchange banter with the lino and laugh at the attempts to deliver pinpoint corners. At Charlton we feel a sense of despair when another corner goes into the side netting (as on Wednesday) or is easily caught by the keeper.

I don't think much of the study's suggestions for calming fans down at the end of the match by dimming the lighting or playing soothing music. Much better to play 'look on the bright side of life' that some New Age tune that would be approved by the Duchess of Sussex.

On the bus after Wednesday night I caught two well-known reprobates heading for the River Ale House for an after match libation. And why not? What better than a drink with fellow supporters?

Oh, I forgot, it's dry January. I got told off not observing it at the GP's the other week, despite my protestations that my birthday is in January.

Well, here are some wise words from Chapel Down (the winery in Tenterden, Kent) in their latest newsletter: 'Perhaps unsurprisingly, given a career peddling fine wines and spirits, I’ve never been a big fan of Dry January. It goes beyond a parochial concern for my industry though. Health advice from them-that-know says that there are far greater benefits to drinking less throughout the year, as opposed to one month of abstinence and then reverting to old habits.'

'So, to my mind, yes drink less throughout the year BUT then use the extra pennies to drink better! And that's the way it seems to be developing. Sales of higher quality drinks with real provenance continue to outpace the standard alternatives. Music to my ears!'

I should say that I am an investor in Chapel Down, but I can also recommend the River Ale House without any suggestions of bias.

Loan deal for Idah?

CAFC Facts and Stats have tweeted, 'Charlton Athletic are looking to do a loan deal for 18 year old Norwich City striker, Adam Idah. Idah scored a hat trick in the 3rd round of the FA Cup at Preston earlier this month. Today's South London Press.'

We await a semi-official announcement 'urbis et orbe' from Richard Cawley. Loan deals make a lot more sense in this transfer window. Having survived, we can then build in the summer.

Idah was born to a Nigerian father and Irish mother in Cork. He is an Ireland under 21 international and first appeared for Norwich in a cup game last August: Career details.

In Steve Gallen we trust.

Richard Cawley has confirmed that he has a transfer line for the SLP today and it will be online early. He admitted that it would probably crash the SLP website again, plunging their dungeon office into darkness.

However, the jittery journo also said: 'Let me just be clear. It's not a done deal. I think that would be a first if I confirmed a deal before it was done by the club. Especially as our paper goes to press at 1:30pm. It's a player I know they are keen on.'

Richard Cawley has now confirmed that Charlton are chasing a loan deal for Idah: Keen on Canaries striker

Dismal Desmond from Deal commented: 'This is all very well. While I realise that it was not possible to get Messi in this transfer window, I was hoping for a big marquee signing now we have loads of money. Instead we are chasing loan deals for youngsters just starting to shave.'

Cautious Cawley has confirmed that Lee Bowyer hopes to have talks with Lyle Taylor next week in an effort to persuade him to stay. The Bristol City target was in buoyant mood at The Valley on Wednesday, larking about at half time, make of that what you will: Talks with Taylor

Thursday 23 January 2020

Maddison deal on agaim?

Sky Sports is reporting: 'Charlton Athletic are in advanced talks over a deal for Peterborough attacker Marcus Maddison. The 26-year-old’s Posh contract expires at the end of the season and the club are keen to avoid losing him on a Bosman free transfer in the summer.'

They will be glad to see the back of 'Moody Marcus' at Peterborough: He will soon be forgotten

Talented, but is he the player for us?

Richard Cawley has tweeted to say that he does not think talks are at an advanced stage, so this may be fake news. Perhaps confusion arose over the talks for a new deal for the Sparrows Lane tea lady.

Cullen contract extension is a blow

Many Charlton fans think that Josh Cullen is one of our best players and want to see him sign for us permanently. But now West Ham have extended his contract for another year, making him a lot more expensive to purchase: Outlines his future intentions

Cullen himself emphasised that his long-term plan had always been to improve at Charlton and go back and play at West Ham. Ironically, West Ham are at some risk of being relegated.

The SLP's Richard Cawley has commented: 'That's a definite blow to Charlton fans, who had hoped he could be snapped up. Fact is he'll cost a fee + increased wages. Doesn't look anything like a goer at the moment.'

Once a club gets a new owner, clubs demand more for their players and the players themselves want higher wages. Bargain basement clearout deals, which might contain a hidden gem, are no longer available.

Parker lets rip

Scotty Parker is clearly a frustrated rather than a happy manager after coming away from Charlton last night with a useful away point. He thinks that the Cottagers were 'wasteful' and bemoans his lack of firepower up front because of injuries. He reckons that the Addicks were 'banked up' which is another way of saying that we parked the bus.

We were forced back too much at times, but equally Parker might ask why his team spends so much time faffing around at the back. No doubt it is part of his master plan.

You can read his full remarks here: Parker's verdict on bore draw.

I don't think it was a bore draw: it showed that a goalless draw can be entertaining, albeit that we had just one shot on target.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Clean sheet for Charlton

East Greenwich: Another battling Charlton performance saw the Addicks secure a 0-0 draw with Fulham at The Valley tonight, a clean sheet at last!

After a bright opening five minutes with two corners, Charlton were pushed back quite a bit in the first half.Dillon Phillips had to make a couple of good saves.

Their best spell came in the latter part of the second half after Jonny Williams and Lyle Taylor came on as substitutes. No one could connect with an excellent Taylor cross and a last minute free kick by Josh Cullen could not be converted.

Fulham were slick passers of the ball, but also gave it away from time to time.

Almost all our corners were poor, more work is needed on this.

When I saw that the East Stand linesman was follically challenged, I said he might be a problem. Two blatant offsides by Fulham were ignored, but he was quick to raise his flag against us.

Moaners were confounded by the announcement of a three year contract for Lee Bowyer before the game. The smiling supremo said that he was over the moon, pointing out that a five year contract made no sense bearing in mind what happened to Pardoo: Puts pen to paper

The report from Louis Mendez is here: Entertaining stalemate

Fever Pitch fame moved to live near Highbury, he had this fantasy of a load of blokes in cloth caps leaving their houses at around two thirty on a Saturday. Of course, nothing stirred.

I was therefore interested that quite a few elderly blokes got off the bus in East Greenwich and disappeared up side streets.

Fulham's poor record in away London derbies

Snotty Parker's Fulham come to The Valley this evening. Many fans have not forgiven Parker for joining Chelsea halfway through a season when his continued presence might have made it even more successful.

Charlton are winless in 10 league games (D6 L4) against Fulham since beating them at The Valley in a Premier League tie in December 2004. Fulham have lost each of their last six away London derby matches, last winning such a game in April 2018 against Millwall in the Championship. (OK, I know this is clutching at straws).

Charlton have managed just one victory in their last seven league games at the Valley (D3 L3), failing to keep a single clean sheet. The Addicks last conceded in eight successive home league games back in April 2017.

After losing each of their 10 Premier League London derbies last season, Fulham have only lost one of their four such matches this season (W2 D1), though that defeat did come at Brentford last month.

Despite Tomer Hemed failing to score in his seven league appearances for Charlton this season, he has netted five times against Fulham in just three previous appearances - more English league goals than versus any other side.

Since his league debut for Fulham in February 2018, the currently injured Aleksandar Mitrovic has only missed three such games for Fulham; the Lilywhites have won two of those matches, however (L1), including beating Middlesbrough last time out.

Fulham have won five, drawn four and lost four away from home this season. Charlton have won five, drawn four and lost five at home: after tonight, it could well be five-five-five.

Fulham are currently third in the form table, Charlton are fifth from bottom.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Southall to meet fans on Friday

Chairman Matt Southall is to meet Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust and other fan groups on Friday is what is described as a 'low key, meet and greet' event: Fan groups meeting

Opening the lines of communication is timely as the level of moaning reaches a higher pitch. I was talking to the local Sunderland fan this morning and he was surprised at the level and extent of complaint from Charlton fans. They would readily swap their problems for ours.

Reassurance on Bowyer contract

The many suspicious Charlton supporters have been making much of the fact that Lee Bowyer's contract has not been signed yet, but as the authoritative Richard Cawley explains, he is waiting for the contracts for Johnnie Jackson and other backroom staff to be concluded first. Bowyer's own contract is very close and could be signed later this week: Waits on Jackson and Marshall deals

No doubt some supporters say they won't believe it until they see it on the official site, but that is the last place you will read anything. I have never known Richard Cawley or Louis Mendez to be wrong on anything significant.

Charlton have until midday today to sign any new players before the visit of Snotty Parker's Fulham. Unconfirmed reports (not SLP) are linking the Addicks with West Bromwich Albion youngster Reekem Harper, a 19-year old midfielder. However, Leeds and the Super Hoops are also pursuing him.

As the noon hour approaches, Richard Cawley has confirmed that there will be no new signings so that it will be the same squad against Fulham.

Monday 20 January 2020

Could Rangers outcast come to Charlton?

Charlton are being linked with Greg Docherty, surplus to requirements at Rangers. Sunderland were interested in the cast off, but could not meet his wage demands. Sounds familiar: 23 year old's wage demands

However, north of the border they are saying that Lee Bowyer's remarks about Aribo's move to Rangers could scupper the move (please be aware that this website is full of crap and takes a time to load): Rangers transfer latest

The central midfielder was at Shrewsbury Town on loan last year and was named their player of the year.

Player boost against Fulham?

Sanguine supremo Lee Bowyer hopes to have Lyle Taylor, Josh Cullen and Sam Field 'available' for Wednesday's game Fulham which probably means they will be on the bench, although Field looks the least likely. Today's birthday boy Chris Solly will also be available after feeling unwell before the game at Preston: Three injured players to return.

Pessimists are, however, inevitably taking a 'I'll believe when I see it' stance.

Unconfirmed media reports are stating that Bristol City were the club that offered a player or players in exchange for Lyle Taylor, an offer dismissed as ridiculously bad given the players mentioned.

Pardoo and Powell in charge of Dutch Millwall

It's an unlikely pairing from a Charlton perspective, but Alan Pardew is coach and Chris Powell is assistant coach at ADO Den Haag, sometimes referred to as the Millwall of the Netherlands.

Alan Pardew has taken the controls at Den Haag.

The Chinese owned club has a 15,000 seater stadium. With a traditionally working class base drawn from two working class suburbs of the Dutch administrative capital and home of the royal family, the club is historically known for off the field troubles. While Pardew and Powell were being interviewed for The Times a white hatchback tore through the car park doing wheelies.

Relegation threatened ADO won their first match under the new bosses 2-0. Fans displayed a 'Ghostbusters' banner to welcome the Charlton hero and villain: Who are you going to call?

Pardew has been out of work since being sacked by West Browmich Albion in 2018. He called up Powell when he heard the job was available and they headed off through the Channel Tunnel on the 300-mile drive to The Hague in Pardew's 'bangers for cash' car. Which coach would you rather spend 300 miles in a car with?

Pardew sees the position as reviving his career: 'I've been accused in the past of certain things, but this role is a great opportunity for me to carry the flag for English coaches abroad. I'm hoping to do a good job here and then we'll see.'

Sunday 19 January 2020

Why Charlton face a January full of toil

Putting Charlton's transfer plight in context, this article discusses why agents and other clubs smell blood at Charlton: Why Charlton face a January full of toil

The article notes: 'the Charlton squad is a bit of a depleted mess, kept above water by loans, academy graduates, and players on expiring contracts.'

'All that makes Lee Bowyer’s side appear rather desperate. A quick glance at Charlton’s squad reveals the need for substantial reinforcements and a quicker glance at the google search results for “Tahnoon Nimer” will get opposition clubs and agents licking their lips.'

This is a thughtful and interesting treatment.

Tsunami of gloom hits Charlton fans

I went to Ceredigion for the weekend to meet my nephew's new girl friend; take them out to dinner; talk about sheep; and hear the old language spoken by native speakers. A further incentive was to get away from the negativity and pessimism of Charlton supporters.

After an entirely predictable 2-1 defeat at Preston, even with a poor internet connection in a remote Welsh farmhouse at the 1,000 foot line, it was evident that a tsunami of gloom had enveloped Charlton supporters.

Trust in Steve Gallen's skills seems to have evaporated quickly, although both Gallen and Bowyer have emphasised the need for additional players: More bodies wanted before Fulham

Meanwhile the Football Manager crowd, many of them having played at Sunday league level for a pub team, have been on their keyboards criticising Bowyer. 19th in the actual table and 19th in the form table is not a relegation position, even before taking account of impending points deductions for at least two teams.

It seems to me that 21st place is still possible. In the meantime there is no point in hiring players who reduce morale by disrupting the dressing room or are over valued.

As Tahnoon Nimer has made clear, the way forward is not spending lots of money, but being at the forefront of technology and development: Five year plan

If most companies operated on the same short-term horizons of many football clubs, the economy would be in even poorer shape than it already is.

Saturday 18 January 2020

Defeat seems likely at Preston

Preston North End consider that they have been knocking on the door of the Premier League for some time now, but although they often get close, their form tends to desert them t some point in the season. They have not won in their last five games and are fifth from bottom in the form table. Charlton are now actually above them, although in the real table the original Invincibles are 10th and the Addicks are 19th.

Without Conor Gallagher and with a side still weakened by injury, everything points to a defeat for Charlton at Preston. This will trigger a new wave of trepidation from relegation forecasters.

Preston have won their last three league games against Charlton but they have never won four in a row against the Addicks. Charlton have won one of their last 19 away league matches against Preston (W1 D5 L13), a 2-0 victory in November 2007.

Preston have won just two of their last 12 games in all competitions (D3 L7), losing each of their last three at home. Charlton have had the fewest shots (247) and faced the most shots (426) in the Championship this season.

Since winning three league games in a row against Blackburn, Charlton and Huddersfield, Preston have scored just six Championship goals in 11 games - four fewer than any other side in that time.

Only Wigan (24) and Blackburn (19) have dropped more points from winning positions than Charlton (17) in the Championship this season.

Whatever happened to Olafur who returned to Iceland under a cloud?

I have friends who are making the long trek to Preston and I admire their loyalty and dedication. You may recall that one time VOTV columnist and self-proclaimed No.1 Iceland Addick Olafur Johnansson once turned up in Preston in the belief that Southend were the counterpart of North End. Someone even managed to convince him that Tranmere Rovers played in the Lake District, but at least he saw a lot of scenery.

Friday 17 January 2020

Why does the January transfer window bring out the worst in fans?

Given the wave of pessimism and negativity that is currently seizing Charlton fans, it is interesting to read an article that claims that the January transfer window brings out the worst in fans generally: In the dumps in January

The article notes, 'Clubs are regularly criticised for what is perceived as lethargic inaction when they are actually endeavouring to complete deals behind the scenes. The disconnect between how much the fans know about the club’s inner workings causes friction and often leads to a toxic and fractious atmosphere online.'

'There is a collective suspicion among each fan base that their club will somehow be left behind and that a failure to sign a first-team regular (at the very least!) will derail the club’s season. [Sounds like Charlton]. Never mind, historically speaking, successful January signings are few and far between when it comes to significantly impacting the season in which they occur.'

Those forecasting relegation rarely refer to the points deductions heading the way of Birmingham City or Derby Country, nor to the limitations of teams like Luton Town and Wigan Athletic. You don't have to be great to survive, just a little bit better than the worst clubs.

Has the Ego landed in Birmingham?

Birmingham City are claiming that they have had a bid accepted for Marcus Maddison and are proceeding to talks with the player. Earlier Peterborough United thought that Birmingham's offers were too low, but now they are so fed up with him that they may accept a reduced offer: Heading for Birmingham?

It is understood that Birmingham have provided a dialect translator in case Maddison misunderstands what is being said to him.

Williams: I want to bomb around the pitch and give my all

In an exclusive interview, the SLP's Richard Cawley talks to Jonny Williams about a number of topics: Relishing the challenge of the Championship run in

The popular player commented about his time with the Addicks: 'It is a great bunch of lads – it’s like playing with your friends. I’ve missed it.'

'It takes a bit of time after you have been out so long. I’ve got to be realistic, I’m still not fully at it yet – that only comes with games. If I’m not 110 per cent I get annoyed because I want to bomb around the pitch and give my all.'

Gallagher's agent not Chelsea thought Charlton was too small

Jonny Williams discusses how Connor Gallagher benefitted from his stay at Charlton: He's left a man

Much criticism has been directed at Chelsea for his departure, but according to the authoritative Richard Cawley 'It is thought that Chelsea were not pushing for a recall and that it was Gallagher’s representatives who wanted him to join a club that could be involved in the Championship promotion race.'

Fergie loses his rag with Maddison

Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson has got his hair dryer out. The frustrated supremo has made it clear that he is unhappy with the 'circus act' surrounding Marcus Maddison and he is dropping him from the side in an effort to get him to make his mind up about his future: Fed up with the circus act

As the flat fields around Peterborough rocked to a Vesuvius style football explosion, the frustrated supremo said: 'The chairman offered him an excellent contract last summer which he turned down because he wanted Championship football which is fine. I get that.'

'And the chairman has now found two Championship clubs willing to take him on and he now can’t agree personal terms. The deals are also good for the club as Marcus only has six months on his contract left.'

Maddison may be a good footballer, certainly in his own estimation, but do we want his ego in the dressing room?

Thursday 16 January 2020

Gloom merchants out in force

The doom and gloom merchants have been out in force over the last day or two. Some of it is the result of excessive expectations. Just because we have a wealthy owner doesn't mean he is going to turn a large fortune into a small one by splashing out on Charlton Athletic.

As far as relegation is concerned, all we need to do to avoid it is for there to be three teams worse than us. I am surprised that some people think that Luton, Barnsley and Wigan are stronger. Also remember that both Birmingham City and Derby County now face big points deductions for breaching financial fair play rules.

Lee Bowyer is very close to signing a new contract, according to a report from the authoritative Richard Cawley: Very close to signing a long-term contract

As for the transfer window, you can only assess it properly at the end, not by having a panic attack half way through. Lee Bowyer says that Charlton's hierarchy are working overtime to add players to the squad - two more loan slots emptied this week with Kayal and Gallagher both recalled.

There is also a possibility that Josh Cullen, who has resumed full training, may be available for Preston: Josh Cullen is a machine

As it so happens, the 'fake news' tweet about Marcus Maddison was not far short of the mark as it does seem that his wage demands were excessive.

All this negativity is just too much, it's enough to drive one to desperate measures. Rydw i'n mynd i Ceredigion am y penwythnos.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Maddison did turn down first contract offer

A Peterborough journalist certified as reputable by our own Louis Mendez has confirmed that Marcus Maddison did turn down the first contract offer from Charlton, but talks are ongoing: Latest from Posh

Maddison did meet Lee Bowyer earlier in the week, but has now left matters in the hands of his agent. Charlton may simply not be a big enough club for the former Gateshead ace.

'There's only one Matt Southall'

Glasgow-based Addick Heather McKinlay has interviewed Matt Southall for the CAS Trust - and all the indications are that it's the real Matt Southall and not a stunt double: The man in the chair

One point to emerge is that it 'is clear that winning over families and capturing the next generation is high on the priority list, broadening the demographic beyond a traditionally older, white and male fanbase.' So that's me and the Bloke Behind Me on our way out! Seriously, though, renewal and winning the support of a new generation of fans is crucial.

Talking about what is meant by sustainable, he says that Roland's plan would have seen the club break even in the Championship, but also get relegated: 'We will spend to stay in the Championship. We are in this for the long-term. It is not about reaping rewards in five years – it might be seven, eight, ten.'

Ramsgate fan speaks out - and it kicks off

Ramsgate-based fan and VOTV editor Rick Everitt has been relatively silent recently, but one could always expect him to probe any ambiguities in the takeover deal at the club in line with his background as a journalist.

He has now emerged from his Ramsgate fastness to tweet: 'Former Charlton director loans have not been repaid and they have not be told by ESI what is happening, despite pre-December discussions. Still waiting for takeover to be posted on Companies House to understand structure of deal without training ground freehold.'

He was then challenged in the following terms by someone who appeared to be posting as the Man in the Moon: 'Surely the same deal would be in place, the repayments start on promotion to the Premier League. Are you really going to start getting on their backs two weeks into their ownership?'

The Rickster replied:'Just facts - it’s not clear that the deal as presented can be done without releasing their charges.'

Some of his critics see Everitt as being on a personal ego trip. However, I think that he has the best interests of the club and its fans in his heart, and there are few who can rival his knowledge of the club and its history or have such a wide range of contacts. Sometimes he does edge towards being a 'Napoleonist' or permanent oppositionist, but the questions he is raising here are legitimate ones.

There is now a poll online on whether one agrees or not with the VOTV stance on the takeover, but like all referendums it offers a binary choice on a complex issue.

Some fans clear object to Everitt's involvement with the Labour Party (he is leader of Thanet District Council), but presumably something around a third of the Addickted support Labour if they are a cross-section of the population. Others support a range of parties. But does that really matter? It's our love for Charlton that binds us together, let's not look for sources of division outside football.

Swansea to land Gallagher

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted: 'Swansea [Dinas Abertawe] looking to confirm Conor Gallagher deal today. The Welsh club have already landed Rhian Brewster, who had been on Charlton's list of loan targets this window.' So it's a double blow.

The offer of free Welsh lessons for Gallagher may have been decisive. I wonder how much he will like being so far from the bright lights of London, where he is said to have a girl friend.

Richard Cawley has further clarified in response to the Chicago Addick: 'My understanding is that there was to be a loan fee paid for Swansea move and they would pay greater proportion of his wages.'

So it's really about the money, no surprise there, Chelsea are a football business that seeks to maximise returns from its young players.

Maddison gives it large so deal is off - but it's fake news

It looks as if a fake Twitter account may have given the news about the deal with Peterborough over Marcus Maddison having failed. One Charlton fan has done some detective work and sorted out the difference between the real and fake accounts.

Peterborough did, however, give the green light for talks (via their own web page) earlier in the week and there has been no definite news. Perhaps it's just a case of waiting for the medical. Best to wait for something one way or the other from Richard Cawley or Louis Mendez.

Other clubs have expressed an interest. Birmingham City have made a number of bids for Maddison, but have fallen short of the required amount (at least £2.5m). Blackburn Rovers are also interested according to 'Lancs Live'.

Moaners and pessimists will no doubt be on their keyboards, but this is a time for calm and realism. It's all too easy to waste money in the January transfer window on Carlos Kickabout or Joe Journeyman.

What is not fake news is that Matt Southall is in Abu Dhabi talking to His Excellency which has to be encouraging.

Why did Chelsea recall Gallagher?

Chelsea fans sites have picked up on the fact that Charlton fans are furious about the sudden recall of Connor Gallagher, a move that stunned already shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer: Charlton fans fuming.

The site linked to above commented: 'It seems a bizarre decision from Chelsea to disrupt the deep-lying playmaker during a loan where he was earning regular minutes and developing his game, but they have clearly spotted something. Charlton are 19th-placed in the Championship table and perhaps Frank Lampard’s side feel he could continue improving at a higher level.'

One comment I have seen online was that it was felt that when Gallagher started at Charlton there was a more mature and impressive side, but he was now surrounded by 'youth' players. This strikes me as rather patronising, but because of our thin squad (thank you, Roland) and our injury crisis, we are playing several Academy players whose main experience up to now has been with non-league clubs. They have performed very well, but it may not be a good look from a Chelsea perspective.

The SLP's Richard Cawley has called the decision 'a proper kick in the nuts.' That about sums it up and we have a real challenge in putting together a team for the trip to Preston on Saturday.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Shocked supremo was taken by surprise

Lee Bowyer admits that he was taken by surprise by Chelsea's decision to recall Conor Gallagher, but is full of praise for his contribution: Lee Bowyer expresses his shock

It's essentially a business decision by Chelsea who specialise in promising young players who are loaned out. According to Richard Cawley, 'It is thought that West Brom and Swansea are both keen to take Gallagher and will pay a loan fee as well as paying a hefty portion of his salary.'

Monday 13 January 2020

Gallagher blow

Football London and other sources are claiming that Cbelsea intend to recall Conor Gallagher. It is not clear why or where he would go, although Burnley and Norwich City have been interested. Gallagher has been developing well at The Valley and it had been thought that he would be allowed to stay for the rest of the season.

Richard Cawley has confirmed that Gallagher is being recalled and will be loaned out to a club near the top of the Championship. Baggies? Aston Villa has also been mentioned by the Currant Bun.

Swansea City are the latest club to be linked with Gallagher, hardly much of a step up: Swansea join Gallagher bidders

A byddai'n rhaid iddo ddysgu Cymraeg!

Maddison in talks with Charlton

Louis Mendez reveals: 'As of this morning Peterborough has accepted a bid from Charlton who have permission to talk terms with [Marcus Maddison]. Two other Championship clubs have bid for the player multiple times & do not currently have permission to speak to the player.'

In case you think this is fake news, here is the official 'Posh' statement: Bid accepted

Maddison is an attacking midfielder who can also play at left back: Career details

He came on a sub in Posh's goalless draw with Gillingham on Saturday. He is clearly not Lionel Messi in disguise, but we shall have to wait and see.

A rather mixed response from Posh fans online, including the inevitable 'could have gone to a bigger club than Charlton', Peterborough being massive: Nine goal man

The local paper is taking the line that it's far from a done deal and he may decided not to move, given that Charlton are in line be relegated to League One next season (whereas Peterborough will no doubt be promoted): It's far from a done deal

The tale of the red, red Robin

Ben Hayes, in association with the museum, takes a look at Charlton's association with the red, red robin: When did it first come bobbing along?

A recent online poll showed that about two-thirds of fans preferred it as the music to accompany the teams coming on the pitch to Valley Floyd Road (which is a less bouncy tune).

However, the article has a more general theme than the song. When I first started supporting Charlton they were called 'the Robins', a name also appropriated by other teams, not least Swindon with their 'Rocking Robin'. The replacement name, the Valiants, was also used by Port Fail: some media reports still use it.

Many years ago I talked to an elderly lady who went to Charlton matches in the 1920s with her father. She said that they were then called the 'Addicks' as a corruption of 'Haddocks'.

BTW, can the new owners bring back Harvey and Floyd as mascots?

Lockyer sorry to lose goal credit but buoyant about team

Charlton defender Tom Lockyer is understandably a bit peeved that for the second time this season a goal he scored has been awarded to someone else, this time to the famous Welsh international Owen Goal: Who have I upset to keep having my goals taken away?

Nevertheless, he was in buoyant mood. He told Louis Mendez of the SLP: 'In this league, there’s going to be Premier League quality but I think we can match that. The positive thing for us – you’ve seen we had Jonny (Williams), Tomer (Hemed) and Jake (Forster-Caskey) back in the action today.'

'We’ve been told there is going to be signings coming in to strengthen the squad as well. There will be competition for places. The more bodies we can get back the more chances we will have to go on and win games.'

Sunday 12 January 2020

That'll do

Charlton held table topping West Bromwich Albion to a 2-2 draw at The Valley yesterday. It was an exciting, competitive match in front of an up for it crowd, although the increasing petulance of the Baggies players earned them a succession of yellow cards, six in total. The match was the lead on Quest's EFL show last night.

Satisfied supremo Lee Bowyer praised the character shown by Charlton: Boywer hails Charlton's character

The Bangkok Addick tweeted: 'Very impressed with the battling performance against a technically superior team with several players who were in the Premier League last year.'

Paul from Bexleyheath made the game on crutches after his recent operation. Erstwhile Goodbye Horse fanzine editor and former black cab driver Kevin Portch made it to the Real Ale House in East Greenwich before the game.

Charlton fans were heartened by the return of Jonny Williams, who displayed his usual commitment, and Jake Forster-Caskey. It was a first ever senior level goal for Josh Davison, a non-league recruit from Enfield Town in the summer, and a first Addicks goal for Tom Lockyer. If this goes down in the stats as own goal, it will be nonsense: Lee Boywer says so

The game mirrored October's similarly-entertaining affair at The Hawthorns when Charlton also twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw. While the first half was fairly even, Albion will rue not making the most of their superiority after Robson-Kanu put them ahead for a second time less than a minute into the second half. This was frustrating and was really the consequence of a rather tentative start to the half by the Addicks.

That goal had an element of fortune, the Wales striker's instinctive flick from a Matt Phillips cross taking a nick off Naby Sarr. Zohore, who netted the winner in Sunday's FA Cup game, had earlier won the ball before firing home at the second attempt to break the deadlock. Oshilaja made an initial block, but was unable to prevent a repeat effort. The Albion move had started when Matthews gave the ball away.

But Davison, a summer arrival from non-league Enfield, headed the Addicks level from close range after Sarr nodded back a deep corner. The Baggies fans held on to the ball before the corner, much good that it did them, but they continued with similar silly behaviour throughout the match. I also think that the EFL should fine the Baggies for having an away kit in bad taste. More seriously, it was actually quite difficult to see the player numbers.

Sarr made a crucial and very skilled tackle to prevent Albion taking the lead again.

The Covered End delivered a chant of 'There's only one Matt Southall' in the first half but leading moaner Desmond from Deal was not impressed: 'Mark my words! The wheels are coming off and it's all going pear shaped. Duchatelet will build houses on the training ground before we buy it.'

Charlton have won just once in 15 Championship matches, taking eight points from a possible 45, but the draw keeps them 19th, five points above the relegation zone.

The attendance was a little disappointing at 19,720, but reminds us that there is work that needs to be done to attract back former fans.

Lee Bowyer hopes to sign his new contract on Monday.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Another tough test today for injury ravaged side

In my first season supporting Charlton in 1953-4 West Bromwich Albion were a team to be feared and indeed they finished second behind Wolves. However, we did beat them 3-2 at the Hawthorns and drew 1-1 at home.

Birmingham media have picked up the mood of foreboding among Charlton fans with no recognised centre forward: Addicks fans forecast a tonking

CAS Trust try to look on the bright side of life by emphasising that the FA Cup result gives no guide to what may happen today: Hemed's moment?

Charlton have lost just one of their last 14 home league games against the Baggies. Albion are unbeaten in their last four league games against Charlton, since a 2-1 top flight defeat at The Hawthorns in September 2005.

Albion have lost only once in their last six away league trips to London, winning three of them. The Baggies have only lost twice in 26 league games in 2019-20 - the least in the Championship. It matches their two defeats in 26 games in 1901-02, when they were promoted to the top flight as champions.

I will be happy if we get a point.

Friday 10 January 2020

Getting our Charlton back

As we looking forward to celebrating the end of the Roland era, this video is a good summary of the recent past and what is special about Charlton, especially the way it is embedded in the community: The fight back against Roland

Former Charlton executive speaks out on betting row

Steve Sutherland (aka 'Sunderland' at Charlton) states in relation to the betting controversy enveloping the FA: 'My own antipathy towards the rise of betting brands sponsorship in football is well known and I pride myself on the fact that all of the major sponsorships I was personally involved in negotiating during my 23 years in professional football – whether that was for Charlton Athletic in my two spells at the Club or for The Football League (now known as The EFL) or for Swindon Town – were with companies whose products, services and brand values were ones that I was personally happy to promote to supporters of my Club, or in the case of The EFL, to supporters of all 72 Clubs.'

Of the current controversy he says: 'Three years ago, the Football Association indicated that it wanted to distance itself from the gambling industry by ending its £4million-a-year sponsorship from Ladbrokes, who are owned by GVC Holdings. It’s little wonder then that The FA are receiving heavy criticism over the sale of FA Cup rights to BET365 via its deal with sports rights agency IMG, a deal which is due to run until 2024.'

Read his remarks in full here: FA Cup betting deal controversy

Thursday 9 January 2020

Bowyer has a smile on his face

Often sad supremo Lee Bowyer has a smile on his face. He said at this afternoon's press conference: 'My job is to win games, so I've tried to distance myself from the off-field stuff. Now, I can see the club moving forwards and it puts a smile on my face.' Bowyer has been offered a five year deal that will reassure many fans.

Bowyer revealed, 'Jake Forster-Caskey will be back on the bench on Saturday alongside Jonny Williams and Tomer Hemed .The players coming back will only strengthen us and we will pick points up again once they are back, I have no doubt.'

He added, 'The lads that have been playing have given absolutely everything. The fact we've stayed in games and lost by the odd goal shows just how good our academy is.'

Possibly responding to demands from fans on social media today for 'ambitious' spending the sagacious supremo said: '[Moving the club forwards] won't happen overnight. We've done well to get in the situation we're in now and we're trying to rebuild something that was broken for a long time. We can't jump too quick, too soon.'

Given what could be described as his own response to cynics and professional oppositionists, chairman Matt Southall said: 'Any decision made is for the long-term benefit of the club. There's always possibility to be promoted or relegated, so there has to be provisions. But under Lee, I honestly believe we won't be relegated.'

Steve Gallen said: 'We're trying to bring some players in. We've put bids in for three permanent signings in the last week. Our job now is to try and strengthen what we have. We have players coming back, so we want to add to that and maybe bring in another loan as well.' Gallen admitted that there was need to strengthen certain areas and that would be done.

Richard Cawley

I would like to express my condolences to the SLP's Richard Cawley who is on bereavement leave following the death of his father who had a long battle with prostate cancer. Richard stressed the importance of those in vulnerable groups taking blood tests for the disease. I would only add, avoid having a camera inserted if at all possible because it isn't very pleasant!

Charlton pull out of striker deal

Charlton have pulled out of a deal for Blackpool's top scorer Armand Gnanduillet, supposedly because the asking price is too high: Charlton move on to other targets

Whether he was really the answer is a matter for debate, but it just underlines the difficulty of getting value in the January transfer window. Knowing that Charlton have new owners and are desperate for reinforcements tends to push up prices. Further loan deals may be the answer.

Stunned supremo issues ulitimatum

Lee Bowyer has demanded that his new contract be sorted out by the weekend or the chances of signing new players in the transfer window could be impaired: Supremo speaks out

Louis Mendez reports: 'The Addicks boss has been told by new chairman Matt Southall they will not talk about his deal until the end of this month’s transfer window. But Bowyer has already been asked by one possible signing whether the former Leeds star will still be in charge if he agrees to come to the Valley.'

Temperamental striker Lyle Taylor also wants it sorted out.

Bowyer said: 'Everyone knows I want to be at the club. I want Matt and my agent Rob Segal – who is coming to the West Brom home game tomorrow – to put a contract together this weekend.'

For Charlton fans it's bigger than 'Mexit'. CAFC 'Facts and Stats' tweeted: 'Well the new chairman has a press conference today, so someone can ask him about the manager's demands'>

Where footballers live

The feature on our sister site on football generally may be of some interest as there is Charlton content: From tied house to luxury mansion

Wednesday 8 January 2020

East Street Investments now at home at The Valley

It takes a little time (usually about five days) for new filings to appear on the Companies House website but a full set is now available for East Street Investments: Filing history.

Of symbolic significance is the fact that the registered office was changed on 2nd January from Manchester to The Valley.

More than 50 per cent but less than 75 per cent of the shares are in the hands of Panorama Magic General Contracting LLC. Governed under the laws of Abu Dhabi, its registered office (actually a post box) is at Emirates Islamic Building at 133 Oud Al Touba Street.

Director (His Excellency) Tahnoon al Nasirat is listed as a person of Syrian nationality.

At last Charlton has entered the 21st century world of globalised football.

Charlton to finish 21st - forecast

Charlton will finish 21st, two points above the drop zone according to Sky. Barnsley and Luton will suffer fairly early relegations and Birmingham City will join then (the analysis does not appear to factor in a likely points deduction for the Blues). Stoke City will just survive: Football Manager prediction

Matt Southall interview

I don't have much to add to the excellent blog post by the Chicago Addick on this topic: Frist impressions. Professional moaners may take a few days to get their critique together. They may try to focus on any departure by Lyle Taylor as a Kermorgant moment.

However, good player though he is, Taylor has exasperated me and many other fans with his antics. Of course, he is entitled to try and get a better job: fans sometimes expect loyalty from players, yet would take a better job offer themselves. Even so, I am not happy about some of his social media commentary.

It is clear that the new owners are going to take a sustainable, long-term approach. In the difficult January transfer window they have to be wary of sellers trying to inflate prices. However, I am sure that enough will be done to ensure that we finish at least 21st (remember also that Birmingham City are set for a substantial points deduction).

I do think fans need to allow the board time to get to work, but, as always with Charlton fans, there is a tendency to pessimism and panic, aided by the latest fake news story.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

ESI talk tough with Taylor

Richard Cawley of the SLP is reporting that ESI have confirmed that they own the Valley but don’t own the training ground, they’re aiming to buy it within six months. 'We’re listening to offers for Taylor after he didn’t respond to contract offer by the deadline we gave.' Still interested In Blackpool striker Gnanduillet.

They did want Taylor to stay and offered what they thought was a good deal. I am afraid he has become a bit of a prima donna: Ready to listen to offers

Gnanduillet is French but of Ivory Coast heritage: Career details

Richard Cawley has further clarified: 'ESI say there is a contractual agreement to buy the training ground and that if they had waited to do all the surveys, due diligence and so on for [Sparrows Lane] then they wouldn't have completed their takeover by January. ESI also say they have committed £15 million to developing it once the training ground has been bought this summer.

One complication with the training ground is the loans of former directors secured against it. Roland tried to buy them out for 25 per cent of their value. Admittedly they are not enforceable unless the club gets promoted to the top flight.

Why Charlton fans can be sceptical about owners

Given the history of Charlton Athletic, it's not surprising that some fans are wary of the new owners. I was criticised for not being quick enough to see what was wrong with Roland and his gang. Things became so toxic between fans that I was abused by a CARD activist outside the ground for not being militant enough, although one or two of Roland's running dogs thought that I was a pain.

If we look back at the history of the club since the return to The Valley, which is as long as most fans can remember (and many can only just remember the Premier League days) a narrative has been constructed that tends to overplay the role of Richard Murray, significant though it was, and overlooks the part played by others.

Nevertheless, the relationship between Murray and Curbishley saw the club flourish. I also take my hat off to chief executive Peter Varney. I had a run in with him after the sacking of Brian Cole when he suggested to me that my standards were lower than those of a journalist which is saying something consider that they rank lower than estate agents in many polls. However, I would admit that my friendship for Brian and my dislike of Palace clouded my judgment.

A few of you will remember one of the most frequently used adverts in the early days of commercial television, 'Murray mints, the too good to hurry mints': Murray Mints.

Unfortunately, Richard Murray was in too much of a hurry when he appointed Iain Dowie as manager. Dowie put on an impressive but standardised presentation in his enthusiasm to 'move north'. The board decided that it wasn't rocket science to appoint him. When I saw him on the pitch during the warm up (which had people to do for him) at one of his early games trying to inspire the players with a look of fanatical dedication, I felt obliged to reflect on how the decision had been made.

Pardew then managed to complete the destruction of the Curbishley legacy, although like many fans I initially thought it was a good appointment. Bizarrely he was later touted as a possible England manager, but summaries of his career generally managed to omit his achievements at Charlton.

Currency soon lost its value

The board eventually sold up to a shadowy group collectively referred to by some fans as 'the spivs'. This was a rather harsh term to use about businessmen of experience and integrity, but one of their number certainly had some encounters in court when he failed to impress the judge. It seems that the interest of their backer was in a property play which would see Charlton leave The Valley for a stadium on the Greenwich peninsula to be erected by Ikea: Court encounters and stadium move plans

After all this, it is possible to fall into the trap of being a 'Napoleonist'. This refers to the eccentric group of English men and women who supported Bonaparte during the Napoleonic wars, not exactly a popular stance. Edward Tangye Lean wrote an excellent book about them which made the more general argument that there are people who always oppose whatever regime is in place.

The one risk in the present situation is that excessive expectations have been generated. Just because the ultimate owner is very rich doesn't mean he is going to squander that wealth. Indeed, if he is a shrewd businessman, as appears to be the case, he would not do so but would proceed more prudently. What is important is that we have a leadership that turns up at The Valley, rather than enjoying a live feed, and is prepared to engage emotionally with the fans.

Monday 6 January 2020

Get The Valley rocking again

New chairman Matt Southall has urged Charlton fans to come to Saturday's game against West Bromwich Albion and get The Valley rocking again. His clarion call has already been viewed over 9,000 times: Twitter video

My hero Sam Bartram featured in the programme.

It's a particularly significant day for me as on 11 January 1947 my father went to see Charlton beat Rochdale 3-1 in the FA Cup. He then made his way to St. Alphege's Hospital in Greenwich where I was born at 7.30 p.m.

In those days fathers had to wait in a room full of cigarette smoke to hear the news.

Fake news on Bostock and Browne

The authoritative Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted: 'John Bostock and Marcus Browne are not transfer targets for Charlton in this window. Had been linked.'

This may be good news in the sense that the new owners may be more ambitious rather than papering over the cracks. However, as always, caution is necessary given the limitations of the January transfer window.

Leamington FC have announced that ace striker Josh March, formerly with Alvechurch, will be signing later today for a Football League club, believed to be either Accrington or Forest Green Rovers for an undisclosed fee, thought to be either £25k or £50k. Interest from an unknown Championship club did not lead to an offer with the selling on clause an issue.

March eventually settled for the vegan training regime and signed for Forest Green Rovers. It's been a great journey from park football, a bit reminiscent of Ademola Lookman, but the BBC should know that Leamington Town folded eighty years ago: Signing

He has given quite an interesting interview to FGR talking about the pressures of a rapid ascent and being watched by clubs from the Championship downwards: Joining interview

Sunday 5 January 2020

Bowyer a little more hopeful on fitness front

Lee Bowyer says that Josh Cullen will be back in training tomorrow and even seeing him walking around the training ground will be a boost to morale: Injury news

The serendipitous supremo said that the postponement of the Fulham game on January 25th would also give players more recovery time with Lyle Taylor expected to be out for two to three weeks with his thigh injury.

Bowyer admitted that Charlton's cup exit had its positive side: 'In a way we can look at it as if it’s a good thing we’re out the competition now. I love the competition and have a lot of respect for it but the bigger picture for this football club.'

Charlton can concentrate on the league

The Addicks can concentrate on the league after a 0-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion at The Valley this afternoon. Of the 6,246 there, nearly a third (1,982) were Baggies supporters.

Louis Mendez commented: 'A very young side stuck at it but were unable to find a leveller.'

Fans were heartened by the return of Jonny Williams as a substitute, but Lyle Taylor will be out for two to three weeks according to sanguine supremo Lee Bowyer. Josh Cullen is set to return to Charlton tomorrow, but is probably ten days away from fitness.

The sides made a combined 20 changes from their league games on New Year's Day, with three Charlton debutants. Despite their changes, the Baggies named a much more experienced team than Charlton, with Chris Brunt, Austin and Gareth Barry all playing. Seven of Charlton's starting line-up were not born when Barry made his debut.

Zohore scored his third goal of the season when he played a one-two with Kyle Edwards before side-footing home through Dillon Phillips' legs.

Youngster Josh Davison almost forced an unwanted replay for Charlton but his last-minute bicycle-kick hit the crossbar. West Brom hit the woodwork twice. Chris Brunt's chip came off the crossbar and goalkeeper Phillips brilliantly kept out Charlie Austin's rebound.

Austin also struck the outside of the post from long range as West Brom kept on the pressure. Andre Green had a chance to equalise on his Charlton debut but his shot from outside the box was saved by Jonathan Bond.

Super Kev sees bright future for Addicks

Super Kevin Lisbie now runs a workshop for young strikers after retiring from non-league football last summer at the age of 40. He played a key role in the FA Vase campaign of Cray Valley Paper Mills, particularly in the semi-final: Super Kevin Lisbie Unfortunately the Eltham-based club were defeated in the final at Wembley and Lisbie was substituted: Lisbie's Wembley farewell.

However, it was a great end to a long football career. He spent more than a decade at The Valley.

He is convinced that Charlton can go from strength to strength under new ownership. 'If someone takes over your club, you just want people who care and now that ESI have come in I think that's what we'll get.'

Having spent time alongside Lee Bowyer, Lisbie thinks that the very spirit and determination that Bowyer displayed in his playing years is what Charlton wants in the coming months. Lisbie thinks that he made a massive difference when came in as manager in League One.

Lisbie told The Football League Paper: 'Charlton replicate the player Lee was and that's a good thing because you need to be resilient in the Championship.' Lisbie thinks that when Bowyer came in as manager, 'the players ran a bit further, tackled a bit harder and they were giving their all.'

The former Jamaica international was eager to praise Macauley Bonne: 'I think he has done well this year. I thought the jump might be too big for him, but he's come in and scored goals. I watched him a lot at Leyton Orient and there's games when he's not involved at all but all of a sudden he scores goals.'

Super Kev continued: 'This league is so relentless that he needs relaxing and managing. It's hard work, the Championship, and to do what he does giving his absolute all week in, week out is really tough.'

Bostock loan move as Super Kev speaks out

Reports are linking Charlton with a loan move for Nottingham Forest midfielder John Bostock: Rest of the season deal?

Bostock was the youngest ever player to appear for Crystal Palace. He has had a lot of loan experience and has also played in Belgium and France: Career details

Am I excited? Not very, but needs must. It is difficult to get hold of quality players in the January transfer window. I am more cautious than many about the extent to which the new owners will splash the cash.

We also need to remember that the UAE is threatened by developments in the Gulf. The UAE has tried to remain on tolerably good terms with Iran, but there are a lot of underlying tensions and it is very vulnerable to attack.

Super Kevin Lisbie has been interviewed by The Football League Paper and is full of praise for the new owners. A summary will appear here later in the day.

Up for the Cup

Not me, I'm afraid. Getting to London on a Sunday can be quite a trek. I did come to the Truro City game because it had novelty elements but we will be playing the Baggies again on Saturday. In any case I have family commitments today. The general merits of a cup run are discussed by CAS Trust: Up for the Cup?

Millwall did start their usual cup run yesterday and it has certainly brought them some profile and financial benefits. It also gave their fans the opportunity to fight among themselves at Wembley which is highly unusual to say the least.

Charlton aren't going to win the cup and we have a relegation battle on our hands. The last thing we want is any more injuries. However, if you are going, I am sure Lee Bowyer will give it his best shot while West Brom will surely put out a weakened team given their promotion push. The Baggies have their own injury worries: Albion's injury hell

Because Fulham beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup yesterday, the return of Scott Parker to The Valley will have to be rescheduled from January 25th.

Saturday 4 January 2020

Fan meets birthday boy Bowyer

The following has appeared on social media: 'Just had the pleasure of bumping into Bowyer at the Ivy in Tunbridge Wells. [Half decent restaurant] Assuming it was a birthday treat considering his wife and children were in toe. He seemed a bit surprised at first as he was on his way out, probably thought he was safe in the suburbs!' [Suburbs? Shurely shome mishtake, ed.]

'Very down to earth, easy to talk to and was having a good chat with me and my partner. Very talkative and friendly. He is hoping Taylor will be back in about three weeks (in an ideal world). Never wanted to throw him in but needs must. Proud of Pratley and the shift he is putting in, and especially the youngsters who have stepped up.'

'He was very upbeat despite the injuries and hopes the owners will be kind to him. So proud of the fans and their support and he can tell the fans can appreciate the effort from the players, especially the younger ones last night. It’s recognised.'

'He left in the end so I could finish my chocolate bomb, and especially as his poor family were standing around waiting.'

In Bowyer we trust! He's one of our own.

Friday 3 January 2020

What the Belgian did in Belgium

A different look at Roland's depredations by focusing on what he did at Standard Liege: Duchatelet as Standard Liege owner

Roland is a shrewd businessman and he has probably not walked away from The Valley empty handed. The article notes, 'Duchatelet sold Standard in 2015 for around €30m, making a small loss, but he is thought to have made plenty of financial gains over his time there, paying himself a hearty executive’s salary replete with bonus and dividends payments, including a €10m divestment to Standard shareholders (himself, mainly) shortly before selling the club.'

Analyst Thomas Driesen did not like the contents of the piece, describing it on social media as a bull**** article.

Bowyer wants to lead Charlton to Premier League

Supercharged supremo Lee Bowyer wants to lead Charlton to the Premier League: Premier League comeback

Before one gets too excited, there is the challenge of not getting relegated to League One. There are many clubs who think their rightful place is in the top flight.

The Sub-Standard says: 'The 43-year-old Bowyer has done an outstanding job at the club and is fast building a reputation as one of Britain’s best young coaches.'

Warning: much of the content of the interview appears to have been lifted straight from the SLP. One piece of information in the report is that Chelsea have said we can have Conor Gallagher until the end of the season.

West Ham's favourable stadium deal

Kieran Maguire of the PriceofFootball reports that E20 LLP, the company that rents out the London stadium to West Ham for £2.5m, have published losses of £17m for 2018/19, following on from losses in previous years of £17m, £208m and £105m. The analyst called 'Kevin' by the media, thus confusing him with a well-known journo, comments 'West Ham owners getting a great deal, not sure taxpayers are as happy.'

Or, indeed, some supporters of Charlton. It may be recalled that former Valley Party activist and Czech Republic resident Richard Hunt ran a long but ultimately unsuccessful campaign on this issue.

Maguire continues, 'E20 the London Stadium landlord show rent from West Ham of £2.7 million on a stadium that cost £323m to convert for football use and £486m to build. That works out as a yield of 0.33%, which I suspect wouldn’t give Dion Dublin a boner on Homes Under The Hammer.'

As well as bringing a book out with Agenda on football accounts, Kieran is now doing a very successful podcast series which you can link to @PriceofFootball on Twitter.

Rangers and Blades in for Taylor

[Glasgow] Rangers and Sheffield United are among the clubs interested in signing Lyle Taylor in the transfer window. Despite his current injury problems, Rangers see Taylor as a bargain buy: Target

Apparently because he is going north of the border he will need international clearance, but this should not be an obstacle. He will not be the first Charlton player to be measured for the kilt.

His departure has been on the cards for some time and this should not be seen as a 'Kermorgant moment' as happened in the early days of Roland's regime.