Monday 30 May 2022

87 per cent of Charlton fans also support a non-league club

87 per cent of the Charlton fans who responded to our poll said that they do support a non-league club (remember that the bar for support was set quite low), but there was a big range of clubs supported.

Ebbsfleet United was the most supported club, but accounted for just 15 per cent of all responses.

  1. Ebbsfleet United (15%)
  2. Welling United (12%)
  3. Bromley (11%)
  4. Dartford (11%)
  5. Dulwich Hamlet (8%)
  6. Non-league club elsewhere in UK (8%)
  7. Other Kent club (5%)
  8. Maidstone United (3%)
  9. Other London club (1%)
  10. Others (27%)

Bray Wanderers

The 'other' clubs named were: Dover Athletic, 2; Ashford United; Bray Wanderers in Ireland (Charlton played them in a friendly many years ago); Clapton; Cray Wanderers; Concord Rangers; Dorking Wanderers (now National League); Halesowen Town; Hampton; Hashtag United;  Herne Bay; Kidderminster Harriers; Leamington; Margate; Sheffield FC (one of the oldest football clubs); Solihull Moors (who could be going up to the Football League); Southport; Stansted; Sutton United (now in League Two).

Thursday 26 May 2022

Survey on new manager

Give your views on Ben Garner as Charlton manager. Create your own user feedback survey

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Rocking Robins boss is new Charlton manager

Swindon Town boss Ben Garner is to be the new Charlton manager.   Richard Cawley of the SLP says that the deal has been agreed tonight, including the compensation paid to the Rocking Robins.

Garner will bring in Scott Marshall and Scott Lindsey who were his assistant coaches at Swindon.   What this will mean for Jason Euell is unclear.

My initial reaction was that I was a bit underwhelmed, but realistically managers of the calibre of Beale or Warburton are not going to come to a League One club that finished in the bottom half of the table.

Swindon fans are unhappy.   One commented: 'We give a rooky manager a chance to prove himself and he kicks us in the teeth as soon as a new opportunity presents itself.'

Garner started coaching at an early age following a serious injury and came through the ranks at Crystal Palace:

Sunday 22 May 2022

New survey: do you support a non-league club as well as Charlton?

If you support more than one non-league club choose the one you most closely identify with and perhaps add a comment

Create your own user feedback survey

Sunday 15 May 2022

Two relegated clubs we face next season

Of the clubs relegated from the Championship, we have already discussed Derby County whose takeover is still not resolved:

Barnsley have been through the mill,  At Barnsley, where Chien Lee and Paul Conway are co-chairmen, a spokesperson for the Conway Out! campaign group tells Off The Pitch that it has been “a record breaking terrible season.”

They say that concerns about being part of a multi group model were initially overlooked “due to our excitement that we were bought by a consortium with a net worth of £9 billion.”

Billy Beane, the legendary baseball executive of “Moneyball” fame is also a Barnsley shareholder. But the Conway Out group say that the Moneyball football decisions have been disastrous for the club. They allege that the style of play that got Barnsley to last year’s play offs was changed “because there wasn’t enough interest in our players due to our direct style.” They claim this was adopted so the owners “could sell our players for more profit.”

The benefits of being part of a Multi Club Ownership (as practiced by Roland) have been at best opaque. “The only real effect on us is that some of our younger players have been loaned out to Esbjerg and a few of our players who weren't good enough were transferred to Nancy and Oostende. But apart from that, there hasn't been any other effects yet.”

The spokesperson added: “I’d love to think that this is just an exception, and one bad season at Barnsley due to a few bad decisions due to the ownership group. Unfortunately, we aren't the only club in the ownership group that have been relegated this season, with Nancy officially relegated and Esbjerg on the brink of relegation.”

Barnsley may not find it easy next season.

Peterborough United are not one of my favourite clubs, partly because of their very physical tactics at The Valley a few years back when, as usual, we got little protection from the referee.

The Posh have plans to move out of their rather ramshackle London Road ground, but the riverside site planned for the new stadium is controversial and funding is unclear.

They are a club who think they are entitled to be in the Championship, but have great difficulty staying there when they do get promoted.   However, I rate Grant McCann as a manager and they will be a handful next season.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Fans' top picks for next manager

With 190 responses to our poll on the next Charlton manager, Mark Warburton is out in front with 33 per cent.   He and Michael Beale in second account for nearly 50 per cent of the selected responses.   There were a lot of suggestions in comments which I will report on later, but Curbs and Chris Powell appeared a lot.

Mark Warburton
Michael Beale
Darren Ferguson
Neil Lennon
Michael Appleton
Matt Gray
Paul Tisdale
Michael Carrick

Sunday 8 May 2022

50-50 split on Jacko sacking

Our survey on whether Jacko should have been sacked has attracted 162 responses and fans have split 54% - 46% that he should have been.

This is, of course, not a representative sample of fans, but it is not out of line with the balance of comments on social media.

The rights and wrongs of his removal and the way in which it was done is now water through the Thames barrier, although I would like to thank him for his years of committed service to the club.

We now need to look to the future which is why I am running a poll on who fans would like to see as the next manager.   I listed some of the most frequently mentioned names, but it could well be an appointment out of left field.

Both surveys will remain open for a few more days.

Friday 6 May 2022

Next Charlton manager

You can vote here. The list is lrgely based on quoted odds, but excludes Seane Dyche (no hope), Hasselbaink and Curbs at 25/1

Create your own user feedback survey

Sandgaard lists Jackson faults

Thomas Sandgaard admits that many fans were upset by the sacking of Johnnie Jackson, but defends his decision:

Sandgaard said: 'There are the fans who understand that maybe we could do better in terms of how we show up at games, the formation we play, our flexibility if a game develops differently to what we expected – how quickly can we transform and adjust to those things? Substitutions etc, there are many things that some fans have picked up on that maybe we could do differently.'

Fans are deeply divided on the issue.   Our Survey Monkey poll which has attracted over 100 responses is showing a 50-50 split.

You can still vote here:

I hope to run a poll on possible candidates for manager over the weekend.

Wednesday 4 May 2022

The case for and against Jacko

Without doing a poll it is difficult to judge the balance of views among Charlton supporters on the removal of Johnnie Jackson as manager.

Let's consider the case for and against.   One fan tweeted: 'Maybe not a popular opinion but Jacko was out of his depth. Will always be a club legend but as a manager the style of play was boring, performances were average at best, tactics were weak.'

Whilst I think the complaints about the 3-5-2 formation were overdone, his obstinacy in refusing to change it or having a Plan B was a concern.   It meant that the opposition knew what they had to do: get in behind a weak defence.

On the other hand, Jacko inherited a poor results platform from Adkins.   Things did get better and the poor run was as much to do with the absence of a forward line as anything.

I was a bit more sceptical about his appointment than some people because I think the preference for a 'Charlton man' means that sentiment often gets in the way of clear thinking and good decision-making.

On balance, I would have let him build a team over the summer and prepare them pre-season, but I also understand why Sandgaard took the decision he did.

However, a great delay in selecting a replacement would be damaging.   New players will be reluctant to sign until they know who the manager is going to be.   Remember that because of the World Cup the League One season starts on the weekend of 30th July, so there won't be much of a pre-season.

I do think the vitriol directed at Thomas Sandgaard is unfair.  The club was on the verge of disappearing when he took over and I don't accept that there was queue of prospective buyers.   If I put £12m into  a business, I would expect some say in what happened.

The concern is, of course, that he does not understand League One football and a number of his immediate aides don't either or don't display much judgment.   But like it or not, he is the owner.  Some fans may not renew their season tickets, but that was likely anyway.

CAS Trust chair Heather McKinlay reflects on the decision here:

Vote here:

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Exhaustive search for Jackson successor

Thomas Sandgaard explains his decision not to extend Johnnie Jackson's contract:

Richard Cawley of the SLP comments: 'Fairly clear indications that the style of football that Thomas Sandgaard wants, he didn't feel was aligned to the way that Johnnie Jackson felt was best way to win promotion.'

Terry Skiverton has also left as coach, but this has not led to any rending of shirts.

Sandgaard says he is looking to next season.   Whoever is chosen should  have no previous connection with the club and can take a long, cool look at things.

However, supremo Sandgaard has said that it will be an exhaustive search, but in the mean time will not affect recruitment:

The decision was a bolt from the blue and the initial reaction from supporters has been predominantly negative.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt commented: 'The detail about Jacko’s contract got very confused but my understanding is final league position this season determined the level of severance pay he’d get. So finishing 13th made sacking him a cheaper option. It wasn’t about an extension this summer.'

Steve Brown commented on BBC London Sport: ''I don't think Johnnie has done badly enough to warrant being sacked. We're so quick in this country to pull the trigger on young managers we put in charge of a football team."

'The best Charlton could have hoped for when JJ took over was 6th and it would have taken a championship winning run to get 6th. I don't look at JJ as the reason they've finished 13th. I look at the squad, recruitment, lack of leadership within the players.'

Monday 2 May 2022

We won't play these clubs next season

Now that Charlton are something of a League One fixture, who will we miss next season?

There will be six clubs leaving League for promotion and relegation this season with a seventh to be decided.

After a traumatic time, Wigan spent well and wisely to secure the championship, also making good use of existing players like Max Power who often tormented us.   They have, however, been something of a yo-yo club over the years.

Not so mich as Rotherham who have had six successive promotions and relegations.  I thought they played the best football in the division.   Paul Warne is an excellent manager.

It will be interesting to see who secures the play off place.   The Franchisees clearly have the momentum, although just failing to secure automatic promotion may undermine that.  The Massives are clearly a possibility as they head for the staging post of the Championship back to their rightful place in the top flight.

Sunderland always seem to go through a play off trauma, although they don't have to face us this year.  In many ways I would like to see Wycombe Wanderers go up as I have a lot of time for Gareth Ainsworth, but they are probably outsiders.   A shout out for Plymouth's Green Army who were denied at the death.  They were probably doomed when a friend who is an Everton fan who lives in Exeter went to watch their last game as he was so fed up with Everton.

At the other end, Doncaster Rovers have declared they will bounce straight back, but I have my doubts.  Crewe never matched up to the challenge of League One football.   I am not sorry to see the back of AFC Wimbledon.  I know they have a squeaky clean image as a fan owned club (a format I oppose), but I think they are not as nice as they make out.

I am very pleased to see the back of Gillingham and the so-called Kent derby.   'Chopper' Harris was very outspoken about what is wrong with that club, although he didn't mention the temporary stand.  At least we will be spared caravans clogging the roads for the home fixture.

Morecambe turned us over and have survived.   They have never been relegated as a club   Fleetwoood Town will continue to offer an enticing away trip in the depths of winter.

What I didn't realise is that Fleetwood are building their own international empire like the City Group. They own Fleetwood United in the UAE's third tier and Western Cape Fleetwood in South Africa's Fourth Division.