Tuesday 30 June 2020

Addicks battle for away point

Charlton headed back across the national border tonight having won a useful away point in the Welsh capital.  It was a scrappy 0-0 draw against Cardiff City.

Lee Bowyer named seven changes to his side for Tuesday the clash with Cardiff City at Cardiff City Stadium. Having remained unchanged for the last two games, which have yielded six points since the restart, the Addicks shuffled their pack with the fixtures coming thick in fast in the form of three games in just six days.

With that in mind, Bowyer brought Naby Sarr, Jake Forster-Caskey, Alfie Doughty, George Lapslie, Sam Field, Andre Green and Chuks Aneke into his starting XI. Dillon Phillips, Jason Pearce, Tom Lockyer and Josh Cullen were the four players who retainrd their places from the start, while Deji Oshilaja, Aiden McGeady, Darren Pratley, Albie Morgan and Macauley Bonne take their places on the bench.

They join Ben Amos, Ben Purrington, Jonny Williams and Josh Davison as Bowyer's options in reserve, while Adam Matthews received a rest.

Charlton started with a 1-3-2-4 formation while Cardiff played a 4-3-3 to make use of their wingers.

The first half was an even contest.  Field was injured in a clash of head and the bleeding player had to be replaced by Pratley.  Seven minutes were added on.

Cardiff had a spell of pressure early in the second half, but then Charlton had a go.   Only good work by Nelson for Cardiff stopped a Charlton tap in on 60 minutes after great play by Lockyer.

Cardiff got in the game more after they made two substitutions and Bonne was left isolated up front. Hoilet missed a chance, but was arguably offside.

In the latter part of the game the referee started giving Cardiff soft free kicks and one in time added on made Johnnie Jackson furious.  Neil Harris had been consulting his watch, but his side were not able to stage a late flurry.

Satisfied supremo Lee Bowyer described it as 'a well-earned point': https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51883996

It was another clean sheet for Charlton and Dillon Phillips made a key finger tip save to keep Charlton in the game.

Sarr made some pinpoint passes and didn't get anything wrong.   Pearce was a stalwart in defence.  Green was off the pace.

Barnsley and Wigan both won, Stoke losing.  Charlton are now four points above the first relegation place, but three teams below them have games in hand.

Trust tries to find out what 'owner' is up to

 CAS Trust have sent a series of questions to Paul Elliott.   The questions are reasonable enough, but whether they get satisfactory - or any - answers remains to be seen: https://www.castrust.org/2020/06/questions-for-paul-elliott/

Harris expects a hard day's night

Cardiff City boss Neil Harris expects a difficult night against a resolute Charlton Athletic: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/football/53228956

Masked manager Lee Bowyer has warned that Charlton are not out of the woods yet and he will not let his players relax: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/lee-bowyer-charlton-players-cant-relax-a4484151.html

Welsh sources are speculating that Rhyngwladol Cymru Jonny Williams may start the game against the Bluebirds in the Welsh capital.    Deji Oshilaga is a former Bluebird.

Remember that the game starts at 18.00.  Unfortunately we won't see the 'CAFC Cymru' banner with its splendid dragon.

If we come away with a point, I will be delighted.

Burnley boss admits Charlton rip off

Charlton fans have long been frustrated by the loss of players to Premier League clubs, not because we don't want them to progress, but because we often get fobbed off with relatively small transfer fees.

Now Burnley boss Sean Dyche has come clean: 'The days of us nicking Nick Pope for £1.5m and Johann Gudmundsson for £2.2m off Charlton are gone.'

Monday 29 June 2020

Harris: Bydd Charlton yn brawf caled

Cardiff City manager Neil Harris is spoilt for choice as his in form promotion chasers face Charlton tomorrow: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/neil-harris-high-praise-cardiff-18500540

Much as it pains me to say so about a former Spanner, Harris is a good manager.  He is sensible enough to realise that his side can't just turn up and claim three points tomorrow..  He told The Football League Show: 'It will be a tough test.'

One of the puzzling aspects of the Cardiff City website is there appears to be nothing in Welsh.  An old English friend who lives in Cardiff has two grandchildren who both go to Welsh immersions schools.  

When I have appeared before Senedd committees, the temperature has dropped ten degrees when I have said that I will need translation out of Welsh, but it appears that football is exempt.  But then rugby is the national game.

Just to add I know nothing about Mohammed el Kashashy, the Egyptian banker who was at The Valley on Saturday.  It's difficult to know whether this a tragedy or a farce, but often the two are found together.

Dills is the tops says Pratley

Dillon Phillips is the best keeper in the Championship according to Darren Pratley who has seen a lot of them during his career: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-midfielder-darren-pratley-says-that-dillon-phillips-is-the-best-goalkeeper-in-the-championship/

Pratley said: 'It was another dogged performance where we managed to win with a set-piece but, to be honest, I’m not really bothered about how well we played. There’s no point playing well if you don’t get the points. I think the main thing is the points.'

He also emphasised the importance of set pieces in the struggle against relegation.

Pratley has been named in the SkyBet Championship team of the week.

Real nostalgia

A fan reports, 'Anyone remember The Big Match in the 70s & 80s? It was ITV's answer to MOTD but went out on a Sunday lunchtime. Well ITV are currently revisiting them on Sunday mornings on ITV4 and today's programme was February 1977 and featured Fulham against Charlton.'

'Fulham's line-up included George Best, Bobby Moore and Rodney Marsh. Charlton included Mick Flanagan, Colin Powell and Keith Peacock (who was interviewed afterwards). Real nostalgia to see that team again despite having lost Derek Hales the previous month to Derby.'

He added, 'For me yesterday's game was pure nostalgia. Especially seeing Colin Powell again at his imperious best.'

Apparently you can see it on the ITV Hub.

Sunday 28 June 2020

Bowyer: why signings are difficult

Lee Bowyer has admitted that financial uncertainty is making it more difficult to sign new players.  Apart from the effects of the pandemic, Charlton do not know which league they will be playing in next season and Paul Elliott is yet to pass the owners' and directors' test: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-boss-bowyer-admits-that-financial-uncertainty-has-made-it-harder-to-tie-down-more-players-after-morgan-and-davison-pen-new-deals/

The sanguine supremo told the BBC after yesterday's game: 'I knew with nine games to go there is a lot of football left and even with seven to go, we are not out of it yet. We have to focus and keep fighting for every point because this league can hurt you. We have had a good start and we are in a good position.'

Bowyer praised the work that assistant manager Johnnie Jackson puts in on set pieces: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-boss-lee-bowyer-on-why-he-wanted-crowd-noise-pumped-into-the-valley-for-the-win-over-qpr/

Saturday 27 June 2020

One is enough

For the second week running one goal was enough to give Charlton all three points at The Valley this afternoon.  This time it was Darren Pratley who scored the winner in the first half.

A friend had sent me a team list beforehand which named 'Partly'.   Hardly: he was putting himself about all match.

The cut outs of fans moved around in the strong breeze at The Valley.  Pitch announcer Brian Cole was there and our friends at the Association of Canine Match Analysts were pleased to see one dog featuring.

Charlton entered the field of play by descending the steps from the hospitality area in the West Stand.

The Addicks were fluent in the early exchanges, but the final ball was missing.  Then from a Cullen cornet Pratley put in a header which was deflected by the keeper on to the post and into the net.

A shot from Hemed was blocked.  Oshilaja put in good defensive work.  Cullen was busy, providing good touches and also contributing in defence.  He was later judged to be man of the match.

Bonne won Charlton a corner after good work by Hemed, but a shot from Morgan was blocked.  Some drizzle turned into rain.  Matthews provided good defensive work throughout the half.   In two minutes added on, Albie Morgan put in a poor cross.

Half time: Addicks 1, Super Hoops 0.

A blue sky greeted the returning players.  QPR stepped up a gear and Dillon Phillips had to make a vital early save and a second one from the rebound.  As the Hoops increased the pressure, the reliable keeper was called on again to make a save.

McGeady turned provider for Bonne, but his header was judged to be offside.

Hemed who had taken a knock was withdrawn, along with McGeady, who had not been that involved.  Aneke and Doughty came on.  They both enhanced Charlton's play, Aneke making a nuisance of himself with his physical presence and Doughty showing silky skills, winning the Addicks a corner.

The referee remembered he had cards and booked Pratley for a lunge.

As the 80 minute point approached, QPR stepped up the pressure, but Purrington won Charlton a corner.  Bonne and Morgan came off and Field and Green came on, the idea being to pack the midfield.

After a rare mistake by Cullen, Lockyer cleard well.   Doughty's tenancity drew a key save from Kelly, one of QPR's best players.

In five minutes added on Aneke made a nuisance of himself and won Charlton a corner which was not taken.

Barnsley and Millwall drew 0-0, Wigan won at home and Boro won at Stoke under Neil Warnock.  Charlton are 18th, three points above Huddersfield in the first relegation place.  Of the bottom sides, four won, two drew and only one lost today.  Tuesday's opponents, Cardiff City, won 3-1 away.

It was the first back-to-back win for Charlton since Augsut.  Paul Elliott was at the ground and the BBC focuses on the new owner's winning run: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51811758

Another report here praising Lee Bowyer as Charlton's greatest asset: https://www.football.london/charlton-athletic-fc/lee-bowyer-charltons-greatest-asset-18500077

Friday 26 June 2020

Theo Foley

I am sorry to report the death of former Charlton manager Theo Foley at the age of 83.

Foley was initially appointed Charlton manager in April 1970 (he had been assistant manager) and was given a two year contract in July of that year.    He was sacked on 23rd April 1974.

He was given the job of managing a club short of cash and told to get on with it.  He had a great eye for talent, signing Killer, Mike Flanagan, Colin Powell and Arthur Horsfield for just £29,000 who were sold on for a total of £1.1m.

Appointed originally as a player/chief coach, he played six matches for the Addicks.

In 2018 he published Theo, Give Us a Ball: A Life in Football, written with his son.  It is currently out of stock on Amazon..

Signings are welcome

The new contracts signed by Albie Morgan and Josh Davison are welcome for two reasons.   First, I am pleased that they have committed to the club.   Albie Morgan had a good game at Hull and has attracted interest elsewhere.

Second, as Steve Gallen says, it is a sign of a step forward by the club: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53183794

It is an indication of greater stability at last.   Whether there is anything in social media rumours that Peter Varney will join up with Paul Elliott, I don't know, but I am feeling a little more positive - possibly just because we are playing football again.

Tomorrow we face the Super Hoops who have lost two key players, including their captain, because of their financial troubles.  Louis Mendez has noted, 'QPR have the 3rd best attack in the Championship, as well as the 3rd worst defence.'

BTW, it is good to see the doom and gloom merchants at CAS Trust pour cold water on the idea of Sparrows Lane or The Valley being redeveloped.   I always thought that it was nonsense, but some of the typically gloomy Charlton supporters always come back to the idea of a property play: https://www.castrust.org/2020/06/could-they-build-houses-on-the-valley/?fbclid=IwAR2VwhmXEV95Lf4ic-Sj_2s9FJXTLqmKTzgCjtx4p-rTm25Fdu04dc900kU

The only point I would add to those made by the experienced planning consultant who has written the article is that access to any redevelopment of The Valley for residential purposes would be a key issue given the location of the railway line.   It just might be possible to put a few 'penthouses' on top of a redeveloped Jimmy Seed stand.

A friend has done a spreadsheet of remaining results and forecasts Charlton finishing seventh from bottm with 52 points.  Let's hope he's right.

Monday 22 June 2020

Skipper speaks out

Match winning skipper Jason Pearce discusses the absence of Lyle Taylor and other Charlton players.  He understands where they are coming from and praises the work of Bonne and Hemed at Hull: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-skipper-jason-pearce-i-understand-their-decision-but-as-a-player-i-want-absent-teammates-to-play/

With his wife Charlotte expecting their third child any day now, the committed skipper had to travel up to Hull on the day: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/family-man-jason-pearce-on-his-last-minute-dash-to-score-priceless-winner-for-charlton-athletic-at-hull-city/

Please note that the kick off time against the Super Hoops is now 12.30.

Saturday 20 June 2020

Charlton secure the points

Charlton won all three points in a key Relegation League clash at the KCom Stadium this afternoon, beating Hull City 1-0.  The Addicks had their chances to get a second, but didn't take them - Bonne put a free header wide in the second half. 

Inevitably this led to a nervous close to the game given Charlton's ability to concede in time added on (five minutes), but Dillon Phillips stood firm, as he had throughout the match.

The multiple substitutions, the drinks break and absence of a crowd made it seem like a training game and the Tigers were hardly roaring, but Charlton were workmanlike and relatively error free.

The goal came after 18 minutes from Pearce who scrambled it in from a free header after a flick on from Hemed.   Six goals for Charlton, six wins.  According to Loui Mendez. his wife is due to give birth any day now.

Charlton have gone up to 19th with both Huddersfield and Boro losing at home.  Millwall lost at home to the Rams.

Albie Morgan sparkled in the first half.   McGeady put in a decent shift, although his decision-making could have been better.   Lockyer made some good defensive intervention, as did Matthews.   Jonny Williams came on after 81 minutes and took a yellow card for the team as did Pratley in time added on.  Cullen showed once again that he is a quality player.

Lee Bowyer said that the win was well deserved and Charlton now had week to prepare for the visit of the Super Hoops.  Report from the man in the mask,  Louis Mendez ,here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charltons-survival-hopes-back-in-their-own-hands-as-lee-bowyers-side-return-with-win-at-hull/

Hump on the Humber

It will be a strange start to the resumed season at Hull today.  Hull's owners were one of the only clubs that wanted the season voided, I wonder why.  The CAS Trust preview is here: https://www.castrust.org/2020/06/a-football-match-at-last/

Black Lives Matter and Charlton

Charlton author Paul Breen reflects on the club's relationship with race: http://www.votvonline.com/home/the-2019-20-blogs/19-6-black-lives-matter-at-charlton-too/

Friday 19 June 2020

Roland will have to lower valuation say bidders

The Sub-Standard reports: 'After further talks with Elliott this week, it is thought Varney and Barclay are now seeking further documents to gain a greater understanding of the situation behind the scenes as they make background checks before deciding whether to press ahead with a takeover bid.

'They hope Duchatelet would be willing to co-operate if a deal is on the table but the Belgian would need to lower his valuation of the Valley and the training ground.'

The full reports is here: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/charlton-takeover-news-roland-duchatelet-championship-a4473866.html

It will be interesting to see what the football coverage at this paper will be like when Gideon Osborne becomes editor-in-chief at the end of September and Dave Cameron's sister-in-law takes over the role.

Using your CAF cash

Quite a lot of us are finding this difficult.   Despite following the instructions in the help video, I was unable to buy a streaming package until the Ticket Office helped me and suggested I change my password.

However, I still haven't got an activation code.   Judging from comments on social media, I am not the only one.  One person said they come after 24 hours, but one person has been waiting three days.

From what I hear from friends, no one is buying a season ticket yet.   This is partly because of uncertainty about the future of the club and its ownership.   Even if that was resolved, it is by no means certain that we will be let in the ground to watch matches in 2020.  I face the additional problem of a 200 mile round trip by public transport.

Thursday 18 June 2020

Bowyer circumspect on Brum job

Lee Bowyer says that being linked with the managerial vacancy at Birmingham City is a tribute to his players.  He is very careful in his wording on the issue, saying that his focus now is on Charlton.  But would his focus be elsewhere at the end of the season?  https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-manager-lee-bowyer-talks-about-birmingham-city-job-link/

I think a lot will depend on if and when the ownership confusion at The Valley is sorted out and also what sanctions the EFL decides to apply against Charlton.  My hunch is that the Paul Elliott consortium wants to sell on at a profit in the latest round of 'pass the parcel'.

Varney talks continue

Peter Varney has tweeted: Andrew Barclay and I had further constructive talks with Paul Elliott and Chris Farnell today and are considering their position further. Both sides have agreed to maintain an ongoing dialogue in the best interests of the football club.

Charlton may still not end up at Cemetery Gates like Reg Varney.

Monday 15 June 2020

Blues in for Bowyer

Both the Sub-Standard and normally reliable Birmingham sources are reporting that Birmingham City want to recruit Lee Bowyer as their manager at the end of the 'season' when there will be a vacancy: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/charlton-manager-lee-bowyer-wanted-by-birmingham-city-a4469131.html

The view at St.Andrews is that 'the lad done well' in a difficult task at Charlton.  Bowyer was a player there for two years, so there will be no need for a dialect coach.

Sky Sports says he is 'interested' because of the instability at The Valley, but this could mean anything or nothing.

Taylor U-turn report was fake news

I was cautious about a report in the Currant Bun claiming that Lyle Taylor had changed his mind and would be playing for Charlton for the rest of the season.

Louis Mendez of the SLP reports, 'Lee Bowyer has just told TalkSPORT that Lyle Taylor has NOT made a u-turn and will still not be playing out the season for Charlton.'

'Punish individuals not the club'

CAS Trust have asked the EFL to punish individuals not the club as their investigation into the purchase of the club by East Street Investments nears a conclusion.  Echoing a concern expressed by Heather McKinlay on BBC Radio London, they ask that the club not be turned into another Bury: https://www.castrust.org/2020/06/punish-the-individuals-not-the-club/

How much sympathy there is at the EFL for Charlton is open to question.   They have a lot on their plate and Charlton are just another problem like Macclesfield.

It is well to remember that the EFL is a limited company answerable to its club shareholders and its main task is to run a competition.   It is not set up to be a regulatory body and does not really have the resources such a body would need to do its job properly which is why that task should be done elsewhere.

Saturday 13 June 2020

Taylor to return claim

The Currant Bun is claiming that Lyle Taylor has decided to return to help Charlton with their Championship survival fight after talks with Lee Bowyer: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/11852529/charlton-lyle-taylor-championship-restart-lee-bowyer/

I am cautious about this report as I have no independent confirmation and there has been a social media claim that Taylor has denied its veracity.  It would certainly be quite a U-turn.

Friday 12 June 2020

Southall launches insolvency action

Former Charlton chairman Matt Southall has launched an insolvency action against Charlton over unpaid fees: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/11841942/matt-southall-charlton-high-court-fees/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebarweb

The action will not be heard until December.   His Sports Investment Group are claiming a seven figure sum.

The action has not been well received by Charlton fans and does not appear to have enhanced his standing among them.

It is not for me to predict what learned counsel might say about the matter, but consideration might be given to asking for the application to be struck down as vexatious.

Thursday 11 June 2020

Elliott group paid wages

According to a reasonably reliable source, it was Paul Elliott and his group who paid Charlton wages last month.  They will do so again this month even if the EFL test has not been passed.

Elsewhere, Birmingham City have been reprimanded for breaching an EFL business plan, but will not experience a points deduction sanction: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-reprimanded-after-efl-18401669

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Varney to meet new owners

Peter Varney is to meet face-to-face with the new owners of Charlton in London: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/charlton-takeover-championship-peter-varney-east-street-investments-a4465136.html

Varney told the Sub-Standard: 'Chris Farnell and Paul Elliott have kept us up to date with what has been going on all the way along, and have made it clear they would like enter into dialogue to have an open discussion about where the club is going.

We are very keen to do the same and both sides are committed to having an early meeting.'

Consortium purchase confirmed

The official site has finally confirmed the purchase of the club by a consortium led by Paul Elliott: https://www.cafc.co.uk/news/view/5edf3aa26a41c/consortium-led-by-businessman-paul-elliott-purchases-east-street-investments

Further analysis to follow, but my initial reaction is that it doesn't look as if there will be an early sell on to the Varley/Barclay bidders.

Once again, the new owner seems to be talking the talk, but we have been there before so a certain caution is understandable.

One fan commented, 'Seems good to have, hopefully, seen the back of the shambles of Tahoon and Southall. Paul Elliot seems to be saying the right things, but then he would wouldn't he and we've heard it all before - many times. Maybe cautious optimism, rather like a faithful old dog that keeps coming back for more abuse, poor old thing.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has posed an important question: 'Next question is whether new consortium actually wants to acquire The Valley now and if so why?'

Tweeting from his Ramsgate fastness, Everitt added: 'It’s quite possible that the January deal with ESI also allows RD to reverse the sale of Charlton to ESI on the basis the takeover was never fully ratified by the EFL. But that would probably force him to pick up liabilities incurred since, at least initially.'

The Ramsgate-based fan also retweeted the following message: 'As per ESI takeover agreement with RD, the latest ownership change means he can now immediately ask for the £50m owed for transfer of the Valley and Training Ground. I’m told by someone who spoke to RD yesterday that he’s "furious" so expect that debt to be called in.'

Roland Duchatelet has so far issued no statement on the matter.

Richard Cawley of the SLP has commented: 'It's the second time the ownership of Charlton Athletic FC has changed hands without it being approved by the EFL. Shambles.'

Whilst I agree, it should be remembered that the EFL is a private organisation that runs a competition for its member clubs.  It is not set up as a regulatory body, nor does it have the staff resources to carry out that function which is why another entity needs to be created for that purpose.

Charlton rubber ball bounces on

Tahnoon Nimer has confirmed on Instagram that he has ceded control of Charlton, or at least his 65 per cent share, to a consortium led by Manchester-based businessman Paul Elliott.

The normal convention when someone departs with a mixed record is to use the words of the newsreels when Churchill replaced Chamberlain as prime minister: 'Thanks Mr Chamberlain for all you tried to do.'  Chamberlain was subsequently castigated as one of the 'guilty men'.  

I regret that I cannot make a comment about Mr Nimer that would be acceptable in a blog read by children.  The best I can do is say 'I thank yew' in the manner of the classic comedian Arthur Askey.

The new owners may well take a profit by selling on to someone else.   Charlton remind me of a song from my childhood about a bouncy rubber ball as they go from one owner to the next: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5jrqe8ryJ8

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Steve Gallen interview

Charlton director of football Steve Gallen talks to BBC Radio London Sport about recent developments at the club: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08ggd86

Fourth set of owners in a year

According to the Daily Mail, Tahnoon Nimer has sold Charlton to a consortium headed by Manchester-based businessman Paul Elliott, originally from Hammersmith in London: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8400475/Charlton-owners-agree-sell-club-Manchester-based-businessman.html

Unconfirmed social media reports suggest a price of £500,000 which is a nice profit on a £1 investment  Roland, of course, continues to own and lease out The Valley and Sparrows Lane.

Some reports suggest that Chris Farnell may have acted as an intermediary in a sale, but I have no independent confirmation of these claims.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has commented that this could mean that Charlton will have its fourth set of owners in a year.

Peter Varney has tweeted: 'Andrew [Barclay] and I have been kept fully informed by the new CAFC owners and discussions between us are progressing.'   So the club may change hands again to the owners many of us want.

Monday 8 June 2020

Danny Mills backs Taylor

One time Addick Danny Mills has come out in support of Lyle Taylor's decision not to play again this season, saying that he has to put his career first as he makes his last big move: ttps://the72.co.uk/171403/danny-mills-backs-charlton-athletic-strikers-decision-on-refusal-to-play/

Mills joined the Addicks in 1998 from Norwich and played in the Greatest Game before being sold to Leeds after Charlton were relegated from the top flight.

Charlton in mortal peril

'Relegation would put Charlton in mortal peril' reports the Sub-Standard.  I guess we knew that anyway without the golden guidance of George Osborne, but it's a good summary of the club's plight: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/relegation-charlton-future-peril-a4462656.html

One thing I did learn was that the Portuguese consortium has put in two bids, although it is not clear why the first one was unacceptable.  

I - and I think many other fans - would prefer the Barclay/Varney deal, but it faces a number of obstacles. 
As one source commented, 'The Barclay deal would be very good and I think fans will be very pleased with it if it comes to fruition. The difficulty is that ESI reached a ridiculous deal with RD, probably because they had no intention of following it through, and of course he will want to stick to it.'

Saturday 6 June 2020

First pre-season friendly ends in defeat

Louis Mendez of the SLP reports, 'Badly kept secret that we've been having a friendly kick around against Arsenal today - score didn't quite go our way. Arsenal 6-0 Charlton.'

The formation was 4-4-1-1-1 and fans are speculating whether the same group of players will start against Hull.   Hemed was up front with Aneke in the hole behind him.

Sanguine supremo Lee Bowyer was pleased with the fitness shown by his side.  The Addicks did not pick up any new injuries and Bowyer thinks it was a good workout: https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/lee-bowyer-delivers-verdict-on-charlton-athletics-friendly-defeat-to-arsenal/

Gooners over the moon
The game was behind closed doors at the Emirates which must have been an eerie experience.  
Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were both on the scoresheet

The other Deal Addick

There are two prominent Deal Addicks: leading whinger Desmond from Deal and author, podcaster and broadcaster Charlie Connelly.   Desmond refuses to accept that Charlie is a real Addick as he is never on the Deal Rickshaw, but I can remember a sighting of him being reported at Bradford City.   Charlie, who is one of my favourite authors, has now done an interesting interview in which he talks about his association with Charlton and also with Bromley FC: https://www.daverobertsbooks.com/six-questions-1

His favourite all time Charlton player is Allan Simonsen: 'Allan Simonsen. Picture Charlton in 1982. Skint, moping about in the lower fathoms of the old Second Division in front crowds of 4,000 in this vast, disintegrating concrete bowl ostensibly capable of housing 66,000, going nowhere except possibly Division Three and a tour of some local loan sharks. Then we sign a former European Footballer of the Year, from Barcelona (and his first game? They put him in the reserves. The reserves).'

I think one story that I can reveal about Charlie is that he once played in a Ryman League reserve game and was exhausted afterwards.

Another connection is that Charlie was a uni contemporary of one of my children.

I like all his books which are sometimes out of left field, but perhaps my favourite is the one about the Liechtenstein international football team which has the early statement: 'I don't feel like speaking English today.'

Friday 5 June 2020

The latest revelations from Bucharest

The Sage of Bucharest, Marian Mihail, has been asked questions by a number of entities this week, even including the Reminiscences Group and East Kent Addicks: https://www.cafc.co.uk/news/view/5eda157c04654/director-marian-mihail-answers-questions-from-supporters-05062020

As always, we are grateful for his insights.  On the terms of the leases of The Valley and training ground between Roland and ESI, he informs us 'Unfortunately both are confidential matters.'

He emphasises that his main role is to keep the club running.  Hopefully not into the ground.

Big beasts need to collaborate

They're rolling out the artillery down in Ramsgate and Voice of the Valley contributor Jonathan Miller says that the big beasts of Charlton need to collaborate to back the Varney/Barclay takeover bidwww.votvonline.com/home/the-2019-20-blogs/5-6-for-charlton-the-day-of-reckoning-has-arrived/

Miller gives it large when he says: 'The stage is set for Peter Varney, Richard Murray and the former directors to save the day. Hatchets need to be buried, the greater good needs to be embraced and, perhaps, some small-time opportunists also need to be paid off and seen on their way.'

I am not a big beast nor, hopefully, a small time opportunist but I still think that the Varney steered bid represents the best hope for the club in these difficult times.

CAS Trust say they are not wedded to any particular model for running the club and they are only trying to make contingency plans for a worst case scenario.   The wish to prevent the demise of the club is perfectly understandable and justifiable, but it may also serve as a distraction from more realistic opportunities.

Whilst CAS Trust does not have a preferred alternative model, it is clear that many of its activists individually prefer the Bundesliga model.  Indeed, this is the conventional reformist wisdom.

Having worked in Germany and at one time speaking German well enough to pass off as a German, I think that there are often rather optimistic readings in Britain of how things are organised in Germany, but that is all for another day.   For now let's rally behind PV and hope he is successful.

Taylor: So long, and thanks for all the fish

Clearly the manner of Lyle Taylor's departure from Charlton has provoked a range of views among fans. All I would say is that I remember Andy Hunt ('he plays up front') saying once that players are at a number of clubs during their careers and (most) try to do their best for the club while they are there. I think one can't ask for much more than that.

It would have been good if he could have completed the season with us, but I wouldn't want to get injured if I had prospects of a better job.  Fans are loyal to their clubs (although the evidence shows there is more churn than many people assume).   One can't expect  that of players, although displays of badge kissing do irritate me.

A disappointed but realistic Heather McKinlay writes about Taylor from north of the border: https://www.castrust.org/2020/06/lyle-taylor-last-impressions-count/

A well-known and well-informed Addick from Prague has suggested that Taylor's agent completely misunderstood the value of the offer made by Charlton in January.   Given the implication that the agent is one sandwich short of a picnic, I can say no more.

In any event, Taylor has tweeted: 'This is not how this chapter was supposed to finish, but sometimes we have little control over it. I’ve had so many messages of support from fans, teammates and other players and coaches. For those, I thank each and every one of you.'

As I continue to struggle with idiomatic Spanish, the many Addicks who live in Spain may wish to correct this: BorrĂ³n y cuerta nueva.

Thursday 4 June 2020

Varney gives grounds for hope

Peter Varney has stated, 'The statement put out by Mihail today is misleading, as I have been in contact with Chris Farnell (Nimer’s lawyer) for two months.'

In an encouraging tweet, Varney said: 'Constructive day today with the club, but I hope Charlton fans understand that discussions need to be kept private for now.'

Meanwhile, some CAS Trust supporters are saying that the intention is just to act as a caretaker until a suitable owner could be found.   That is a much more feasible plan, but it leaves open the question of where the money from the initial purchase is coming from.

As Peter Varney says, 'It’s crucial in my opinion that whoever buys CAFC also own The Valley and the Sparrows Lane training ground.'  Just buying the name of the club and its EFL share is insufficient.

However, it is clear that uncritical adulation of the Bundesliga model is widespread.  Of course, if you challenge the model, you are making assertions, whereas its defenders claim that their arguments are evidence based.

That is not to say that it is without merit, but a more balanced appraisal is needed.

CAS Trust are barking up the wrong tree

CAS Trust have stated: 'We need to be ready in case fans have to step up to own the club we love.  Will you join thousands of others and sign-up?'

'We will, of course, keep members informed about the campaign, but it helps the cause if we have many signed up. We don't want to presume to count you in and sometimes we will send out specific updates to those who have signed up and would like to include you.'

The Varney/Barclay potential offer seems a good way forward for the club to me, although ESI are once again playing silly buggers.

As a member of CAS Trust who has not signed up, I will now not receive some updates on what is going on.  Of course, CAS Trust are not asking for any money.   

However, it is not providing funds that worries me.  After all, I have seen investments in start up companies wiped out.  Even so, I could probably only divi up a few k before my family asked what I was doing with their inheritance.  It is the whole concept that is problematic.

I think that the supposedly successful models that are reported are often treated in a very uncritical fashion, while the serious difficulties that have arisen at some clubs are brushed aside.   However, more than specific difficulties,  I think that the whole idea is flawed.

There is a problem about the way football fans are treated and ownerships are transferred, but substituting a different type of owner is not the answer.   More effective regulation is and some interesting ideas about how this might be achieved have been put forward recently.

British pair swoop for Charlton

Former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney and investor Andrew Barclay have made an offer for Charlton including the training ground and stadium.   The news is revealed in a Voice of the Valley exclusive by editor Rick Everitt: http://www.votvonline.com/home/the-2019-20-blogs/3-6-british-pair-ready-to-rescue-charlton/

The Rickster was writing from his Ramsgate fastness.  He formerly worked with Varney at The Valley on projects such as the Rickshaw.   There has been speculation that they have remained in contact despite occasional differences of opinion when they were working together.

Peter Varney is respected and liked by Charlton fans from the Premier League era, including me, even if he did reprimand me once (justifiably)!

Work has been proceeding on an offer for a number of weeks but East Street Investments have proved elusive.  According to one source, Barclay's interest was known about by a few people in March.

According to the report Barclay 'has funds of his own after a career investing in technology companies and real estate. In 2018 he sold a stake in the online estate agent YOPA, which he co-founded in 2014 and is now the second largest estate agent in the country. '   

Rick Everitt has recently tweeted: 'Marian Mihail has now claimed that the first “the club” knew of Varney’s approach was through my VOTV article yesterday. Yet I know Nimer’s lawyer Chris Farnell has been in contact with Varney for weeks. How very strange...'

Marian Mihail is taking the line that Varney has missed the bus and he is not referring to the symbolic Rickshaw he took from Sevenoaks to The Valley: https://www.castrust.org/2020/06/peter-varney-in-purchase-bid/

It is clear to me that the current owners of Charlton have an agenda of their own.  It is all reminiscent of Roland's claim that he thought that Varney wanted to buy a billboard at The Valley.