Wednesday 24 May 2023

'That game was not a bit flat' - Curbs on the Greatest Game

The latest Four Four Two has a special feature article on then Greatest Game with interviews with Curbs, Clive Mendonca, Sasa Ilic and Mark Kinsella.   Curbs said: ''Finals are normally an anti-climax and a bit flat. That game was not a bit flat.'

Clive Mendonca recalled: 'Really I wanted to sign for Sunderland.  I'd come down to Charlton, spoken to Alan Curbishley, and was really happy with what he said.'

When Sasa Ilic didn't concede in either leg of the play off semi-finals, it extended Charlton's streak of not letting in a single goal to nine matches.   Ilic comments: 'Your mindset becomes "There's no way I'm going to concede."  You need loads of luck, but when things go well and you're thinking positively, things happen.'

At Sparrows Lane, 'coach Les Reed changed the dimensions at their training ground to match the playing surface at Wembley.  Mendonca commented: 'Wembley - honestly, it's like an ocean.  It's huge.'  Meanwhile, Mark Kinsella was concerned that Mendonca was preoccupied with arranging tickets for his Sunderland supporting family and friends.

Curbishley admits: ''We were the underdogs that day, I suppose.  But we were confident because we hadn't let any goals in and it was a settled team.'

Sunderland charm merchant Niall Quinn recalls: ''Charlton all had suits with flowers on the lapel.  I think we turned up wearing tracksuits, we were the North East tough guys who were going to take down the soft southerners in their suits.'

Curbs observed: 'We had Sunderland where we wanted them.  Because they were a very offensive team and we were quick on the counter attack.  If they committed bodies forward, as I knew they would, we could hit them on the break.'

Quinn recalls ruefully, 'Richard Rufus' goal is the one thing I still insist should have been avoided.'  Curbs states: 'When Rufus scores, you think "Blimey, perhaps our name's on it."'

Had Charlton not won, Curbs believes that the team would have been broken up.  Mendoca says: 'I wish I could have done it against any other team in the league.'

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Friedman edges in front in takeover battle

An increased Joshua Friedman offer for Charlton has been accepted, subject to contract.  Richard Cawley led to believe Thomas Sandgaard and his associates are continuing to talk with other parties including senior figure at MSD finance group, American businessman Marc Spiegel and Armenian businessman Roman Gevorkyan.

Cawley warns: ‘But this is multiple wealthy people and their lawyers involved. A call to the club earlier this week just got a response of "talks are ongoing" without specifying any more than that.’

'Essentially if the paperwork can get done in time then the plan is that Charlton would be under new ownership by the very early part of June - in time (pretty much) for the opening of the transfer window.'

More here:

Monday 8 May 2023

Armenian interest in Charlton

David Ornstein of The Athletic reports in relation to the Charlton takeover: ‘There are other interested parties, including two with considerable experience in club ownership. Robert Platek, a partner at American IT billionaire Michael Dell’s investment firm MSD Capital, is looking at Charlton as he is interested in adding an English club to his personal stable of European teams. He already owns Serie A’s Spezia and Portuguese top-flight side Casa Pia, as well as Danish second-tier team Sonderjyske.

But Platek is not the only multi-club suitor with his eye on the Addicks, as Armenian businessman Roman Gevorkyan is strongly considering a bid to make Charlton the flagship of his Noah Football Group fleet, which is comprised of Armenian Premier League side FC Noah and stakes in Hungarian top-flight team Debreceni VSC, French second-tier outfit Paris FC and Siena in Italy’s Serie C.'

Both of these proposals are reminiscent of Roland's network model, not necessarily flawed in principle, but meaning that Charlton's interests are subordinated to a wider plan.