Friday 31 July 2020

Meeting seems to have resolved nothing

The EFL claim that they had a 'constructive' meeting with ESI, but once again had to spell out the requirements that need to be met for the takeover to be approved:

The EFL have called for 'patience', but the clock is ticking.

Meanwhile an intervention by veteran CAFC secretary Chris Parkes has not been welcomed by most fans.

Lawyer Chris Farnell has issued a statement complaining about a campaign of abuse directed at him and his law firm by persons claiming to be Charlton supporters:

Sheffield Wednesday have received a 12 point deduction but it will take effect next season:

Birmingham City have appointed Aitor Karanka as their new manager.   There had been fears that Lee Bowyer might have taken the job:

Bowyer set for crunch talks

The shell shocked supremo is concerned about the lack of depth in the squad with only twelve players available.   This makes pre-season friendlies impossible.

Thursday 30 July 2020

EFL meet ESI

Richard Cawley of the SLP reports that he believes that the meeting between the EFL and ESI took place yesterday.

He states: 'Don't believe that Roland Duchatelet or Tahnoon Nimer were involved. RD still owns Valley and training ground but has sold Charlton to ESI. Nimer's line is that he believes he has done a deal for the football club with Paul Elliott.'

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Harsh allegations against Charlton supremo

Paul Elliott is an entrepreneur of the highest probity, but he has accused of being part a consortium that acquired a private school only to close it nine months later.  This has been alleged to be an exercise in asset stripping:

Monday 27 July 2020

EFL wants to know more

The EFL has written to Charlton asking for more information on the takeover and a meeting with the club:

There is an undertone of exasperation in the statement which indicates that the EFL's patience is running out.

A similar statement was made to Bury at the same stage in their demise.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted: 'On balance I still think the ESI game is to ransom Charlton to the highest bidder while keeping the money away from Southall. There seem to be a number of interested parties. It’s a dangerous game because the Duchatelet deal is a serious liability.'

'Also important that they have little or no skin in the game, so the risk is all ours. I expect they can recover any loan cash put in from transfer income if they don’t pull it off.'

The Ramsgate-based fan stated: 'One man who might take a hit from Charlton going under is Duchatelet because the (unmet balance of the) £7m ex-director loans falls back on him. So he might do a deal, just not with PV/AB out of spite. But they have the money. Do others?'

He added, 'If they can keep the ball in play it may not matter to Farnell/Elliott if they never get 
EFL approval, providing they are confident they can sell the club on before the clock runs out.' Sources away from the Isle of Thanet suggest that the chances of Charlton starting the campaign in September are less than 10 per cent. CAS Trust look at the parallels with what happened to Bury here:

Doubts over future of key players

Neither Alfie Doughty nor Dillon Phillips will be signing new contracts because of the uncertainty at Charlton.  A number of clubs are tracking the pair:

Charlton could be expelled from the League

Charlton could be expelled from the English Football League warns Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt.  What the club can't afford is any more time wasting:

The Ramsgate-based fan says it would be better for the club to go into administration rather than slide into oblivion as a result of official indecision and inaction.  The playing side is likely to deteriorate rapidly, Bowyer is likely to leave and there will be heavy losses in League On.

One more goal would have done it

The Daily Mirror notes that one more goal would have saved Charlton from relegation and Lyle Taylor could have scored it:

I realise that players are simply employees and we shouldn't apply standards to them we wouldn't follow in our own careers.  Nevertheless, I was very disappointed - but not surprised - by Taylor's decision.

Sunday 26 July 2020

Sponsorship issues

With the women's team struggling  our sister site have stepped up to the plate and become premium sponsors for keeper Shannell Salgado for next season:

Newport County have an ingenious scheme where supporters can pay into a shirt sponsorship scheme and then vote to choose a charity to appear on the shirt.   That would, of course, only work if we had proper owners who had a real stake in the club.

Finding players for next season is going to be a challenge, but there are two possibilities on my daughter's farm in Spain.

Friday 24 July 2020

The nightmare shows no sign of ending

Richard Cawley of the SLP reviews Charlton's plight in depth and it doesn't make for happy reading:

Dillon Phillips and Alfie Doughty are the subject of serious interest elsewhere and in the last three years we have had to deal with a cumulative deficit of £40m by selling players.

The SLP also says that Adam Matthews is leaving.   He has been one of our better players this year, showing skill getting forward, but also doing his defensive duties well.   The shell shocked supremo is resigned to losing Matthews:

Bowyer himself is likely to go soon.  I do not think that the club has been in a worse state since the return to The Valley.   I try to be positive and optimistic, but it is becoming more difficult.

Thursday 23 July 2020

Bowyer in the depths of despair

Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer has told Talksport that he has never felt so low in his life:

He is going to have showdown talks with owner Paul Elliott today amid fears that the club could be plunged into administration and start next season with a 15 point deduction.

According to possible replacement manager Johnnie Jackson it was like getting blood out of a stone with this season's group of players.

Ramsgate fan spells out the challenges

The economist John Maynard Keynes asserted that being in Ramsgate was enough to send anyone into a deep state of gloom.  However, one cannot ignore the wisdom of the warnings delivered by VOTV editor Rick Everitt from his Ramsgate fastness and at this time of year he will not be confronted by the grey heaving sea that upset Keynes one Christmas.

The Rickster has tweeted: 'Remember that Charlton’s operating loss in L1 in 2018/19, inclusive of play-off income, was £11.9m. Covid-19 is likely to reduce turnover in 20/21 significantly and offset any wage savings. Cuts and player sales won’t hack it.'

On a slightly more optimistic note, he commented: It’s likely to get very messy over the next few weeks and months. However, there are people with big ambitions for Charlton ready to step in. It will take time and it will be painful but we can put this right and we will.'

Charlton fans have always shown their willingness to fight for the club they love regardless of the clowns who take charge of it.

Lockyer can leave for nothing

Tom Lockyer has a relegation release cause in his contract and can leave the club for nothing:

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Late Barnsley goal seals Charlton fate

A goal scored in time added on by Barnsley at Griffin Park saw Charlton relegated to League One tonight.  Charlton lost 4-0 to a superior Leeds side.

One consolation is that it makes it more difficult for Roland to insist on a ridiculous price for the club's assets, but the ownership position is so confused no one knows what will happen.  Czech Addick Richard Hunt tweeted, 'This is a relegation that happened off the pitch.'

On the debit side, Lee Bowyer will probably leave, something that will please a small minority of supporters.  Richard Cawley of the SLP tweeted:' If you want my opinion, I can't see Lee Bowyer sticking around. Just feels like the chaos off the pitch has taken its toll on him.'

What we saw this evening were the limitations of a team made up largely of youngsters recently playing in the non-league and players nearing the end of their career.  Doughty made a great run but was unable to score when one on one with the keeper.

If it hadn't been for Dillon Phillips, Charlton could have conceded six or seven. 

It's a sad night, but we've been here before and hopefully the club will survive.  One fan tweeted, 'Whatever our first game is after lockdown, I'll be there.'

Sombre supremo Lee Bowyer said, 'I'm not in a good place tonight, but this is what happens if you cut corners.'

He added, 'But I love the club. I've been loyal and I gave my all. I could've left on more than one occasion.'

Coverage will switch to the Third Division Diary in a few weeks' time.

Wigan points deduction tonight

Richard Cawley of the SLP reports that Wigan's 12 point deduction will be enforced immediately after the conclusion of tonight's games.

The administrators have cancelled a press conference that was just about to start to announce the preferred bidder for the club.

Wigan are currently 10 point ahead of Charlton.

Prospective owner Andrew Barclay has tweeted: 'I wish Lee Bowyer and the team all the best for the game at Leeds this evening. Whatever the outcome, our interest in acquiring The Valley, Training Ground and Club remains.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted: 'It's worth underlining this point. Farnell says Barclay hasn't progressed matters. They signed an NDA weeks ago, but report Farnell hasn't supplied a single document. Yet CF is seeking to undermine Barclay with nonsense about AB/PV's intentions.'

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Bowyer criticises EFL decision-making

Appearing on TalkSport, Lee Bowyer has criticised the way in which the EFL has handled appeals against points deductions for Wigan Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday:

Bowyer recognises that Leeds won't take their foot off the pedal in tomorrow's vital clash:

Any announcement about continuing or enhanced sanctions against Charlton will also come after the end of the season.

The current embargo means that contracts cannot be offered to senior players:

Nornal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Apologies for the absence of blog posts in recent days, in particular a report on the Wigan game, but I had an emergency admission to Warwick Hospital on Friday night.  

As it was completely unanticipated, I did not have any sort of device with me but managed to get the score from a Spurs fan on Saturday.

Thanks to the care and attention of the NHS, I am now back home.

These are once again perilous times for the club, perhaps the most serious since 1984, and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Friday 17 July 2020

Bowyer wants to stay up on merit

Sanguine supremo Lee Bowyer wants Charlton to stay in the Championship on merit, rather than rely on points deductions from other sides:

Whether the EFL will get their act together to rule on Sheffield Wednesday is a moot point.

Being on 20 per cent wages has only increased the determination of Wigan players to ensure survival, although goal difference should ensure their safety:

Around 60 expressions of interest have been made in taking over the club and new owners are expected to be in place by the end of the month:

Southall has to pay up

Costs of £17,500 plus VAT have been awarded against Matt Southall in the High Court in Manchester.  In addition, he will have to meet his own costs.  He has also been made subject to a 12 month court order because of his illegal behaviour in making changes at Companies House.

The report from the BBC says that the judge found Southall's actions to be entirely unlawful:

Thursday 16 July 2020

Injury blow for Charlton

Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer has revealed that Darren Pratley will be out for the two remaining games.  Even leading moaners respect his battling spirit and ability to put in a shift:

In a response to critics drawing on their experience of online management games, Bowyer said that he had wanted to keep Jonny Williams and Alfie Doughty on, but they were unable to continue.  

Responding to the 'Bowyer out' crowd, one Charlton fan has pointed out that last night's team was made up of five free transfers, three loan players, two youth players and M.Bonne, a £200,000 transfer from non-league.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Late grief for Charlton

Charlton were denied all three points at St. Andrews this evening by a Blues goal in time added on.  Phillips had saved a penalty in the first half and Bonne put the Addicks ahead in the second.

The Addicks made a nervy start in the first half and were under a lot of pressure from the home side, but managed to withstand it.  On 33 minutes Phillips got a yellow card after a trip.   He saved Hogan's shot and the rebound went over.

Doughty made a great run down the left but was unable to pass the ball to McGeady to he latter's frustration.

Great work by Williams on the left set up Doughty who passed to Bonne to score the Charlton goal.

Young ace Jude Bellingham came on for the Blues, I remember his dad as a Leamington striker.  It was his work that set up the Blues goal.

Phillips made a great save after a Blues free kick.  Hemed was replaced by Aneke.  McGeady hit the post after great work by Doughty.

Bowyer made three substitutions on 76 minutes and on 83 Sarr replaced McGeady.  Some fans were critical of making thee substitutions and think that he should have held one back to break up time added on.

Seven minutes were added on and the inevitable Blues goal came after three minutes.   Phillips had to make one more save to claim the draw.

Charlton remain in 21st place, two points ahead of Hull and Luton.   The Addicks have now conceded seen goals after 90 minutes this season.

Once again Bowyer refused to deny any interest in the Birmingham managerial vacancy, saying that he had enjoyed a good relationship with their fans, but all his focus was on Saturday now and keeping Charlton in the Championship:

The vociferous 'Bowyer out' crowd might get their wish anyway.   I wonder how they would have coped with unstable ownership and what is essentially a League One squad.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Court date for Southall

Former Charlton chairman Matt Southall will be appearing in court in Manchester on Friday to answer questions about his actions over the weekend.

Southall was ordered to hand over the code to the club owner's Companies House account after trying to oust five directors.   The previous board took action at the High Court in Manchester to force the changes to be reversed.

Director Claudiu Florica said: 'We have obtained a court order that forces Southall to revert all the unauthorised changes in Companies House records.'

He added: 'We still consider these attempts to intimidate us as criminal and reserve our position for possible future legal actions.'

Bowyer gets tough with his players

Lee Bowyer is prepared to get tough with his players to improve them.  He would have taken Bonne off at half time after his miss against Reading if he had had other options:

Albie Morgan is something of a fans' favourite, but Bowyer says that he has to learn the other side of the game and not let his man run past him at the expense of a goal.

Monday 13 July 2020

Bowyer: we can't do any more to score goals

Lee Bowyer and his coaching staff think there is nothing more they can do to end Charlton's goal drought. The players are creating very good chances, they just aren't taking them:

Are people trying to disrupt our camp?

Lee Bowyer is not happy about a national newspaper report that Charlton want just £750,000 compensation for him.  Given that one of the clubs reported to be interested in him is Birmingham City who play Charlton in a relegation clash on Wednesday night, the smarting supremo is concerned that someone is trying to disrupt his camp:

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has contributed from his Ramsgate fastness.  Somewhat sardonically he asks 'Who would be putting out such a detail? Surely not Elliott/Farnell/El Kashashy as they are not EFL approved owners and cannot make decisions on CAFC's behalf.'   Of course, as the Rickster well knows, no one is in charge at The Valley and they could be briefing against each other.  Equally, it could be some journo in Birmingham stirring the pot.

Richard Cawley has reported that the EFL are aware of the weekend developments at Companies House and will be making a statement.

Sunday 12 July 2020

A tangled web - even for 'Big Dog'

The Sky Sports story about Matt Southall trying to take back control of Charlton was withdrawn, possibly for legal reasons.  The most authoritative account is available from the BBC, with Chris Farnell alleging it was a legal stunt:

However, the tireless Richard Cawley from the SLP has been doing some investigating and is promising to do some more tomorrow.   He has said that it is very difficult to get answers (from anyone involved).  However, he notes that the Companies House shenanigans just underlines the absolute lack of clarity.  

He has submitted questions to ESI, but they decided not to reply, given that they were waiting for a response from the EFL.   He asked whether it was lawful to own a football club and not inform Companies House.   He also asked whether Mohammed El Khashasy was involved before the recent ownership change when Tahnoon Nimer was in control.

His understanding is that the EFL have gone back to ESI.  He is not sure what was said, but there has been a response.

The filing history for ESI, formerly registered at The Valley and now at 62-66 Deansgate, can be seen here:

What is evident is that a tussle is taking place over a club that is in serious difficulties.  VOTV editor Rick Everitt thinks that the chances of administration have increased and that might lead to Roland being forced to accept a more realistic price.  

However, there is also a risk that we could be back to 1984 and the club could be liquidated.   The EFL is running out of patience with Charlton given their stretched resources in the face of the pandemic, although it is likely that there will be a ruling from them this week.

Those who argue that the EFL is not fit for purpose should remember that it is a limited company whose primary legal duty is to its shareholders (the clubs).  It is not set up to be a regulatory body, nor is it is capable of being one, which is why that function needs to be given to an independent body.

It is not all that interested in the fans.   It is often said that football is nothing without the fans.  However, hardly any Premier League clubs earn more than 25 per cent of their income from match day and for many it is as little as five per cent.   The world wide followers are more important in revenue terms.

With some Premier League games free to air, I have been able to watch them (Sky is banned by the local council).   I can't say the absence of crowds bothers me all that much.

Saturday 11 July 2020

Charlton pay the penalty

A second minute penalty gave Reading a 1-0 victory over Charlton at The Valley this afternoon.  Late in the second half, Forster-Caskey was pulled down for what looked like a nailed on penalty, but the referee judged that it was dive and gave him a yellow card.

A first half goal from Aneke was ruled offside when it probably wasn't.  It just wasn't Charlton's day and may condemn them to the drop.

Having said that, our quality up front was poor.   Of 16 shots, only two were on target.  We have to take our chances and Bonne failed to make use of an excellent McGeady cross in the first half.   

Moreover, as Larry Wilson pointed out, our corners are not very imaginative (we had eight to one for Reading).

The penalty was conceded by Oshilaja and there was no doubt about the decision.   Puscas powered past Phillips.

Charlton tried to be positive throughout the game, but Michael Morrison was outstanding in defence for the Royals.

Richard Cawley tweeted: 'A third defeat in a row for Charlton but I'd predict Bowyer is going to be raging at those couple of big calls by Darren Bond. Home side didn't create enough. LB making his thoughts known to the officials before he leaves the pitch.'

Seething supremo Lee Bowyer said: 'The officials have cost us the game today, it's plain and simple. Chuks Aneke, his goal is a goal. And I said to the fourth official, "the linesman can't just guess".

You have to be 100 per cent right on these decisions, these are big moments, there are careers on the line.'

'If their penalty was a penalty then so was ours, because Jake got dragged to the floor, and it's a penalty.  Something has to be done, because that wasn't up to scratch, all of them, the ref and the two linesmen."

Former Addick Mark Bowen said: 'I felt a bit sorry for Lee Bowyer, it was one of those days when they were screaming for everything, and got nothing.There were decisions that I raised my eyebrows at too. Maybe on another day you get a few decisions that they didn't today.'

'You hope that these things even out over the season, but obviously it's tough for teams down at the bottom of the table.These things have happened to us in the past, and we have to take what we can get.'

The simmering supremo's post match interview with Louis Mendez is here:

Charlton remain 20th, pending Stoke's game in hand.

Friday 10 July 2020

Alfie Doughty offered new contract

Charlton have offered Alfie Doughty a new contract.  He was a Fulham target in the January transfer window:

The Valley is to be used for testing the return of fans to stadiums when the new season starts on September 12th.  No Charlton fans will be involved:

Well done, Jason Pearce

Congratulations to skipper Jason Pearce are being named Championship player of the month:

As Sky point out, he helped Charlton keep three clean sheets and scored a key goal.  Above all, he left his heavily pregnant wife to drive up to Hull on the morning of the game.  No abandoning ship by him, just guts and dedication.

Bowyer finding life difficult

Lee Bowyer is finding life difficult with everything up in the air and no playing budget for next season.  Once again one can read into his remarks the implication that he might be interested in the Birmingham City job if there is no stability at Charlton:

The shell shocked supremo also admits that 'managing the minutes' of his squad is one of the biggest challenges he faces.  Those who complain about his substitutions should reflect on whether they could do a better job:

Even if we had more stable ownership that was prepared not to sell all our best players and only buy players below Championship standard, staying up was going to be a big challenge for Charlton.  The Championship is a de facto Premier League 2 distorted by the generous parachute payments some clubs receive (£270m of the £400m given by the Premiership to lower leagues).

Most of our squad are not Championship standard, although some have improved during the season, notably Dillon Phillips.  But I am happy with the players who are prepared to put in a shift like Darren Pratley and Jonny Williams.

Thursday 9 July 2020

Decision day nears

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted: 'The EFL have to make a decision publicly on whether Paul Elliott's consortium are able to pass their various tests and I'd say next week could be very, very significant in that respect.'

'At the moment Roland Duchatelet's stance is that he has a deal in place - with ESI - so he doesn't need to come to the negotiating table. But if PE's group did not get EFL approval then I'd imagine Duchatelet would sit down with Barclay and Varney.'

Cawley added: 'My understanding is that ex-directors only likely to step up their legal action if things play out the wrong way.'

From his Ramsgate fastness, VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted: 'that the Varney/Barclay deal for Charlton is virtually done isn’t accurate, unfortunately. Interest is very much ongoing but until the EFL gives a decision on the current “owners” the approach can’t progress.'

Bowyer gutted for defender

Andre Green is a doubt for Saturday's crucial game against Reading says sombre supremo Lee Bowyer.  He also talks about injury ravaged Lewis Page whose days with the Addicks are coming to an end:

Bowyer and Pearce nominated for awards

Lee Bowyer has been short listed as Championship Manager of the Month and Jason Pearce as player of the month:

For those who regard such awards as unlucky, Bowyer is thought unlikely to get it, but it is a recognition of what he has achieved with a side which is largely not up to Championship standard.

Following Boro's win at the Toolbox, Charlton are just one point and one place above the relegation places.  Fortunately, Hull City lost at Bristol.

I wouldn't rely on Wigan's 12 point deduction as there has been an understandable outpouring of sympathy for their plight, although people are queueing up to take over.   Wigan Warriors rugby club must surely be favourites.

Why are so few people interested in Charlton?  Because it's a much more expensive buy than Wigan which may go for £10m.  

This Saturday's Relegation League fixtures see Hull at home to the Spanners.  Barnsley entertain Wigan while Huddersfield are at home to Luton.   Boro are at home to Bristol City and Stoke meet a weakening Birmingham City.   Three points against Reading are vital for Charlton.

Gallagher transfer decision discussed

A serious blow this season was the disappearance of Conor Gallagher to Swansea City at the turn of the year.  Now Cymru Ar-lein has explained some of the background to the decision:

Gallagher reckons that Swansea get more of the ball than Charlton.  It is evident that he is focused on his future career at Chelsea.  It's another reminder that footballers, especially loan players, are employees and we shouldn't identify with them too strongly.

Wednesday 8 July 2020

'Big Dog' tries to get answers from the EFL

Trying to get information from the EFL is like getting blood from a stone and even Richard Cawley of the SLP makes little progress.

He tweeted: 'Contacted the EFL earlier this week about the latest on Charlton Athletic's ownership. They say they cannot comment on the change of control at any club and that there is no update at this stage.'

Cawley added: 'I'd asked if there had been any response from them regarding the owners + directors test and the source and sufficiency of funds. Paul Elliott said that an application had been made for EFL approval.'

He continued, 'My understanding is that the EFL are expecting a figure between £15m-17m to be available to cover the club's running costs for the next couple of seasons.'

It would be nice to know from whom as the club badly needs some stability.

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Bees collect their honey

As anticipated, Charlton were defeated by Brentford at Griffin Park tonight.  The scoreline was 2-1 instead of the 3-0 in some forecasts and Charlton were ahead for most of the match.  However, the Bees showed quality all over the pitch.

A breakaway by Williams on the left took Brentford by surprise and Forster-Caskey turned provider for Bonne who headed home on seven minutes.

Cullen made a great tackle and Phillips tipped the ball over the bar.

Charlton won a corner after an outstanding pass from Phillips.  Pearce grazed the bar with his effort.

Following a Bees break, the ball went just over and then a shot was narrowly wide.

Brentford made a lively start to the second half, but Charlton survived the onslaught although one shot was just over the bar.

At three quarters time manager Frank got his board out and all the red discs were around the Charlton goal.  A soft penalty allowed Brentford to draw level.

Oshilaja was on target, but the keeper saved.   Phillips had to make the save and then Brentford hit the post.  Pearce made a firm clearance after Phillips pushed the ball out.

Poor defending of a Brentford corner on 84 minutes led to a goal claimed by Pinnock, although it was probably a Pearce own goal.   Brentford then controlled the game until the final whistle.

Phillips made some good saves and Matthews put in some good work in defence.  Naby Sarr made some precision passes and a great tackle late in the game.

Luton and Barnsley and Reading and Huddersfield both drew, Charlton remain 19th.

BBC Sport think that Charlton could have got more out of the game if they had taken their early chances:

Richard Cawley tweeted: 'Lee Bowyer reckons Brentford will be a Premier League side next season. Felt his side just ran out of steam at the end.'   The sublime supremo was pleased that Bonne ended his goal drought and explained that Hemed was rested:

The satisfied supremo was proud of his team who gave a very good Brentford side a real scare:

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank noted that his team were the only one in the current top four that had defeated Charlton:

Sky Sports says that Lee Bowyer is on the short list for Bristol City, but Chris Hughton and Mick McCarthy are interested in the role.   Lee Johnson was sacked after the club slumped to 12th in the table.

McGeady 'fitter and sharper'

Aiden McGeady has come back from lockdown in superior condition says satisfied supremo Lee Bowyer:

Personally I haven't been too convinced by his performances, but what do I know?   We need all the options we can get.

Monday 6 July 2020

My grandmother and women's football

CAS Trust discussed the plight of the Charlton women's team last week.  I must admit that I did not know that they had a separate owner who has to fund them to the tune of £50k a year:

Our sister site at is stepping up to the plate with some modest sponsorship.

I have done this for two reasons.  First, in writing my book on football (now overdue) I have reached the chapter on women's football and uncovered a great deal of information on its origins in the 1880's and 1890's.

This in turn has helped me to understand something that has always been a puzzle to me.  My grandmother had a strong interest in football in general and Charlton in particular.  Because my uncle was a newsagent, various football publications were sent to her which I was then able to read as well.

But there was a paradox.  Here was a lady who was born in 1872 and who in many respects was a typical Victorian, yet was very keen in her eighties to discuss football with me, especially prospects for promotion and relegation.  She was acute enough to realise that one had to look not just at the manager and the team, but broader socio-economic trends.

Yet she was 16 by the time the Football League was established.   What my research has uncovered is that large numbers of women were already going to games, particularly in London where a lot of the impetus for women's football came from in the 1890's (a North v. South London game in 1895 attracted a crowd of 10,000 - 12,000).   Some of these women spectators became interested in playing football.

My grandmother never did that, but she did follow the game enthusiastically.  And, along with my father and mother, both keen Charlton supporters, she transmitted that enthusiasm to me.

Why Smith had to go

Lee Bowyer has revealed why it was not thought a good idea to extend the contract of Manchester City loan player Matt Smith.  To cut a not very long story short, he was a nice lad but a crock, not an unfamiliar story at Charlton where we seem to specialise in signing players who spend most of their time with us in the treatment room:

Why Morgan was substituted

Sagacious supremo Lee Bowyer has explained to Richard Cawley of the SLP why Albie Morgan was substituted at half time.  It was simply a tactical decision:

Some fans have expressed unhappiness with the decision on social media.   I thought it was the late substitutions that were more problematic.

Little chance for Charlton at the Honeypot

Hull and Boro did Charlton a favour by losing yesterday and we have to hope that Millwall can beat Boro at the Toolbox on Wednesday.

People say we shouldn't rely on the results of other teams, but you can't ignore them when you are in a relegation dogfight.   Luton play Barnsley on Tuesday and the best result for us would be a 0-0 with two players sent off from each side.

The Bees are currently making football honey as they eye occupying their new stadium as a Premier League club.  This preview forecasts a 3-0 defeat for Charlton:

Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer went to watch them and now reckons they are on a par with Leeds in terms of quality:

I can't see our defence holding out for 100 minutes and I doubt whether we will score, but 1-0 with a goal in time added on seems more likely.  If we get a point I will be over the moon.

Saturday 4 July 2020

Down the Football League we go

Charlton fell to 19th in the Championship today.  Stoke beat Barnsley 3-0 and go above the Addicks on goal difference.  Huddersfield drew 0-0 at home with Preston and have the same number of points as Charlton but a worse goal difference.

As well as Barnsley losing, Luton took a drubbing at home from Reading.   Luton have a goal difference of -32 and it would be surprising if they stayed up.  Barnsley also seem to be trouble (goal difference -21 compared with -9 for Charlton).

If Boro beat the Super Hoops tomorrow, as is quite possible, they will go above Charlton, but a draw would seem them one point behind.

One would think that the Baggies could beat Hull at home, but both of these sides are capable of upending the form book.  If Hull win as well as Boro, Charlton would go down to 21st with Karlan Grant's Huddersfield pushed into the relegation places.

A draw for Hull would keep them behind Charlton on goal difference.  Where they ended up after a defeat would depend on Boro's result, but they would be behind Charlton by one point.

Friday 3 July 2020

Spanner in the works

Charlton lost 0-1 to Millwall on a rainy, windy and cool evening at The Valley.  Cooper scored in the 81st minute.  Phillips saved well, but Cooper got the ball back and put it in the top corner.

It had been more or less honours even up to then and a 0-0 looked possible.  Charlton started brightly, but there was then twenty minutes or so when Millwall were on top.  The midfield gave the visitors too much space during this period.

The Addicks got back into the game as half time approached with a shot from Hemed going inches wide.

The substitutions may not have helped that much, harsh to take Albie Morgan off at half time for Sam Field, although McGeady was disappointing.

Charlton were not good enough in the final third.  Crosses were often disappointing and the final ball was poor.  Blalkowski in the Millwall goal was rarely tested.

Lee Bowyer commented, 'Macauley [Bonne] was one on one with their goalie - you can't be missing those chances.'

Sad supremo Lee Bowyer told BBC London Sport: 'I thought it was harsh that we didn't get anything from the game. It was quite an even game but I thought we edged it in the second-half.'

Report from the BBC here, noting that we haven't beaten Millwall since 1996:

It could all come down to the final game away at Leeds.

The fog rolls in from the Thames

Paul Elliott has responded to questions from the CAS Trust but even they admit that 'all is not clear' and some key financial questions have not been answered.  But make your own mind up:

What is evident is that he is not interested in a 'land deal', i.e., acquiring the stadium and the training ground.  This may make sound business sense, but it raises doubts about what will happen in the longer run.

Charlton v. Millwall preview

A Tipster writes: Lee Bowyer has been clearly been trying to engineer a siege mentality into his squad, and it appears to be working out well thus far. The Addicks have kept three consecutive clean sheets since the return despite the absence of talisman Lyle Taylor, while Aiden McGeady looks to have been a shrewd signing though [less sure about that] and there remains plenty of life left in Charlton.

Given their struggles this season it might surprise some to note they are only 10 points behind Millwall in the Championship table, and they have to have a chance in this match.   [If only, given our record against them].

The Lions have won just two points from their three matches so far since the resumption – drawing with Barnsley and Swansea, and while they did well enough against Swansea, the other two were pretty poor performances.

At 5/2 Charlton are too long here for me. There remains plenty at stake for both sides and I think Charlton will soak up the pressure and look to win the game on the break. A 1-0 wouldn’t be an enormous surprise to me, so if you fancy an interest at 7/1, its probably not the worst bet.    [I'd take a 1=0].

Cullen: it won't be the same without the fans

The Charlton v Millwall derby at The Valley tonight will not be the same without the fans, Josh Cullen has told Richard 'Big Dog' Cawley of the SLP:

Cullen talks about how much he has enjoyed being at Charlton.   He likes it as much as the fans have liked him and he will give everything until the last minute of the last game.

He won't be drawn on how many points will be needed for survival, but none of us can calculate that.

Dills: survival is the motivation

Charlton head a tightly packed Championship relegation league and need every point they can get as they face Millwall at The Valley tonight.   Dillon Phillips reckons survival is all the motivation that they need:

A keeper is only as good as the defence in front of him and Phillips said they had kept things so tight he had only had to make two or three saves a game so far.

The big question is who can score goals, particularly if we go behind.

Thursday 2 July 2020

Second Championship club faces administration

Begbies Traynor are experts in handling administrations at football clubs and Gerald Krasner from the firm thinks that another Championship club is about to go into administration.

There have been 12 expressions of interest in Wigan Athletic, although I suspect that some of these are not worth the paper they are written on.   The administrators may appeal against the 12 point deduction, but say that there is a one in four chance that the club will not complete the season:

Clubs will come in for Cullen

Josh Cullen has been an outstanding player for Charlton all season and has been even better since losing weight in lockdown, often being the choice of man of the match for many fans.   He is a really professional footballer who fulfils his role quietly but effectively.

Sanguine supremo Lee Bowyer expects a number of clubs to bid for the West Ham loan player:

Cash strapped Charlton are unlikely to be able to afford him, more's the pity.

Matthews a doubt for Millwall clash

There is uncertainty about whether Adam Matthews will be fit for tomorrow night's clash with Millwall reports Richard Cawley (for it is he) of the SLP:

This is concerning as Matthews has been one of our better players, good going forward as well as in defence.

Welcome back from furlough Big Dog Richard Cawley!

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Bowyer: 'I was hurt'

Lee Bowyer has told Talksport that he was 'hurt' by the decisions of Lyle Taylor, Chris Solly and David Davis not to finish the season.   Bowyer sounded more than usually shell shocked when ace presenter Jim White raised the issue.

However, he also said that if it was not for the pandemic they would have done and he moved on very quickly: 'Once that got announced then I had to move on and focus on the group I had, the group I have I know they’ll always give 100 per cent for the club and that’s the most important thing for me.  That’s what I needed to know moving forward. That’s the past, and the players who have stepped in are doing really well and fighting for the cause. That’s old news for me.'
He implied that each of the players had their own particular reasons for the decision they took.
Rangers move for Taylor?
Lyle Taylor may be the latest former Charlton player to wear a kilt as he is being linked with a move to Rangers.