Aussie takeover probably not good news

It has been widely reported that the Aussies don’t have large financial resources available to them and therefore cannot afford to pay Roland’s £40m valuation.

That ridiculous figure comes from a commercial valuation of the underlying land at The Valley and Sparrows Lane. Since the Aussies can’t afford £40m, it appears that they are enlisting American financial investors to fund (and therefore have ownership of) those physical assets, whilst the Aussies run the club from a commercial perspective.

This has massive downside risk for us fans. The financial investors are likely to charge commercial interest on their loan of c.10%, giving the Aussies an annual bill of c £4m just to use The Valley and Training Ground.  In the medium term, without a very significant investment in players, the most likely scenario is that the club are a mid to lower Championship side and the Aussies will run out of money within 3 to 4 seasons.  If that happens, we then have a football club effectively owned by financial investors with zero interest in owning a football club who just want to liquidate their land asset or sell it on for significantly more than they paid for it. Think what has happened to Coventry City for a parallel situation where they don’t own the ground.

Then we come onto what value the Aussies can actually add to the club. Well, it would certainly be difficult not to run it better from a commercial perspective and fan engagement than Roland, although even that has improved since the idiot Katrien moved on. We already have a good manager and the basis for a good young progressive squad. The one thing we need now is a sensible investment in additional players to push us over the line. That will need additional funding, which apparently the Aussies are fairly short of- which brings you to the fundamental question which is – what value are they actually bringing to the ownership of the club?

Now, I may be wrong on all of this because I don’t know anything for sure and I am only piecing together snippets of info from various sources who claim some knowledge- although Jim White on talksport continues to refer to the Australian led takeover with American investment – so I suspect I’m not far from the mark.

I would certainly be more comfortable if Roland sells to someone who has the resources to buy the football club lock stock and barrel – and then supports the club by investing sensibly and actually coming to matches – surely one of these supposed 5 interested parties fits that bill because it doesn’t sound like the Aussies do .


Did Jim White jump the gun?

Like every other sensible fan I am desperate to see the back of Roland but it does feel like Jim White’s claims last week may have jumped the gun. The feedback I had was that there was nothing imminent and now Lee Bowyer doesn’t think there is anything imminent. Rick Everitt seems to be hearing it may not even be the Aussies after all. Surely one of the sensible broadsheet newspapers would have reported the deal by now, but there has been nothing from them either.

The problem is that like every other transfer window, unless you do the deal early in the window there is no point until the start of the next because you are incurring the monthly losses without being able to influence the results with new player acquisitions.

If nothing happens in the first 3 weeks of January – it seems to me that we have to wait until a new false dawn in the summer – the whole tortuous saga seems interminable.

Anybody who watched the series ‘Trust’ about John Paul Getty will have been given a glimpse into the head of an old man very much like Roland – a man rich as Croesus and a miser ( the duct taped shoes and his 70th birthday lunch in the Belgian equivalent of Nando’s) and convinced of his own rightness , given to irrational and unreasonable behaviour – that’s who any prospective purchasers have to deal with.

Anyway, let us hope my caution is unfounded and Jim White’s predictions come true for Tuesday/ Wednesday next week.

It was a fantastic game and performance and most of all a brilliant atmosphere reminiscent of the better pre Roland days . Let’s hope and pray for release soon. As I have said on here before seldom has one man made so many people miserable over such a sustained period. He owes it to us to go away, involve himself in something he actually cares about and makes him happy so we can all be happy again.

Life is too short for all of us.

Maybe the end is in sight ?

Happy New Year to all Charlton fans and a special thanks to those of you from all over the world who take the time to read my rambles and make comments. I am always amazed at the list of countries, sometimes over 100,  where CAFC fans visit my site from.

The news this morning via Jim White at Talksport that the end of Roland may be near is obviously very welcome- the damage that he has wreaked at the club in the past 5 years is almost incalculable. Nevertheless, firstly I guess we can’t get too excited until it actually happens bearing in mind that we’ve had a few false dawns over the last year or so.

Secondly, if it does happen, let us sincerely hope that the new owners don’t start doing stupid things like Duchatelet did, i.e install an idiot inexperienced and clueless CEO, sell our best players, replace them with rubbish, get rid of an excellent manager and alienate the fans.

Even though we were in a poor league position when Roland took over we had the core of a Premiership team with Hamer, Morrison, Stephens and Kermogant and he just threw it away.

What he didn’t do as a new owner and what we need now is to keep building the team by firstly tying down the best players , ie Taylor, Grant, Aribo, Lapslie, Fosu and JFK and the younger players like Phillips, Morgan , Dijksteel, Stevenson etc.

Bowyer will know which of the experienced pros like Pearce, Bauer, Solly, etc that he needs to retain for the longer term.

Then they need to  recognise that Lee Bowyer is a bloody good manager and continue to support him by spending a bit (not gazillions) in the transfer market. Because of injuries we are desperately short all over the park.

Then they need to articulate some kind of sensible plan to our community that we can all support. It doesn’t need to be ridiculously expensive but it will need to be sensible ambitious and properly funded – let us all hope that any new owners have done their arithmetic so that they have the funding available for us to achieve and then sustain success. 

Charlton were magnificent today

We played like the 3rd divisions equivalent of Man City today. I guess it’s just possible that Wimbledon were quite shockingly useless but nevertheless it was fantastic to watch. When the new Wimbledon manager says that there wasn’t much in it, did he actually  go to the game ?

If there are still people boycotting – for heavens sake – give it a rest and come back – the team are really really good – it’s lovely to watch – pass and move – pass and move – olé , ole.  I have to admit that when I said that Bielik couldn’t play defensive midfield – I was talking complete nonsense – he was quite brilliant today – he ran the game , in fact they all played really well – it’s really sad that there aren’t more people coming to watch it. We all know the owner is an idiot, but the team is really good again – come on down and see

What a lovely day and night !!


Is Gunnar in Nashville a Charlton Fan?

Well obviously I don’t know the answer, but ever since I found out that he came from Sidcup I thought well he probably ought to be even if he isn’t. He’s an excellent singer regardless of his football loyalties.

Well let’s face it we don’t want to think about Blackpool away do we ? When I watched the Burton away game last week I thought that we were so unbalanced with centre halves all over the pitch – I was pretty sure we would lose today – we deserved to lose at Burton. We let them take the ball from the edge of their box to the edge of ours without a challenge.

Beliek is a top class centre half but he’s not a defensive midfielder, at least not yet. The biggest problem we face is the loss of Josh Cullen. I’m a bit worried how we will cope without him.

I don’t agree with Lee that we need a new left back. I think we need a loan centre midfielder and a loan striker.




Use of Agency staff at CAFC

It was an excellent result today – but if we want to get promoted we will need a Jimmy Melrose or a Mark Bright as an impact goalscorer to push us over the line in January as we have in previous promotion years.

My blog tonight is about the use of agency staff behind the bar and on the food stand in Legends. I’m not opposed to the use of agency staff and I don’t want to be critical of the individual staff who try their hardest. It’s just that week after week after week after week no one knows how to work a till, pull a pint, work those hand held credit card machines or indeed catch the eye of a prospective customer. It’s Groundhog Day every Saturday.

Ive no idea whether Charlton actually care about the bar and food stand revenues if they’ve outsourced the lot , revenues and costs then maybe not – but I ( or anyone who really knew how to organise staff)  could increase revenues by at least 50%, probably more. It’s a shambles and needs to be sorted.

One night in Walsall

as the song goes- is like a year in any other place

Well OK maybe not but what fun we had on Tuesday night. A magnificent performance from the team, somewhat Barcelonaesque  I thought full of lovely passing and flowing movement. I wore every piece of warm clothing that I could locate only to find that it was unseasonably humid and I was sweating more than the players.

You have to say that when the team is on a going day they really are a pleasure to watch. Apart from the train service back from the Bescot to New St – what genius planned a train in the 90th minute followed by one 45 mins later- it was a great night out.

Its hard to believe that there are even 2 better teams than us in this division let alone 6, but consistency has been the problem and the injuries to Igor and Josh Cullen are bad news. Cullen in particular was brilliant on Tuesday night. Also its no coincidence that since we paired Pearce and Bielik we haven’t let a goal in for 3 games.

I can recommend the Eggs Benedict breakfast in Virgin 1st class ( senior railcard discount) back to Euston on Weds morning. Very tasty.