Mid Table Fare

After the holiday delights of Cornwall and France, it was back to the home of football in SE7 yesterday. My first game of the season and a chance to see the new recruits in the flesh.

We looked OK and Russell certainly has them trying hard . Holmes is the best player by a mile,but it’s difficult to run the game when the opposition know you are the only real threat. I don’t think there are enough goals or creativity in either Bolton or Charlton to go up automatically, although as ever we are waiting on tenterhooks for a couple of 11.59 reinforcements. As every fan knows,we are woefully short of creativity and energy in the middle. Personally, I would have given El Hadji Ba a chance this season. He is young and has the legs – last year when he played at Fulham when Cousins was injured he was our best player. A noble shout out for Chris Solly here, who frankly can play anywhere on the pitch and still be one of our best players. The poor bloke really deserves better than a one club career !

We had a couple of decent chances in the first half, both Ajose and the BFG should have scored, but the second half was woeful and apart from the Lookman goal, we created nothing. Charlton fans seem to love the BFG and he certainly  looks the part, but yesterday as at Brighton and Reading last year, he made an awful mistake, allowing the forward to turn him, which put Bolton straight through on goal. It was a Bobby Zamora moment all over again.

The news in the Belgian press that our owner,Dr Strangelove, takes football and transfer advice from his very own football Rasputin,Thomas Dreisen,a twenty something year old fan of St Trudien will not be surprising to any Charlton fans.

Lets hope young Thomas has been combing the Dutch,Belgian and French leagues for another Reza or Anil Koc

Best Wishes & Thanks to Richard Murray

I was very sorry to read the news about Richard Murray’s ill health . As I have mentioned on a number of occasions on here, in my 50 years of watching Charlton, he is really the only Chairman to have delivered us a consistently successful team.

Our 2 promotions to the Premier League were delivered under his Chairmanship and we had the joy and privilege of watching 11 or more international players in a Charlton team, playing at the highest level in English Football  – who would have ever thought that ?

I think that as a Chairman, and I have done it myself, there is a danger of staying too long in the role and a shake up in the Charlton Board Room now would be a good thing, particularly if it resulted in the appointment of a new CEO who knows how to run a business.

As an aside, If I was the CEO and I had just lost 4,000 paying season ticket customers, rather than inventing vacuous new forums and pretending to interact with supporters, I would be focussed on phoning every single lost customer individually, as well as calling as many as possible myself.  Two decent call centre people for a month would cost c £3k ( one weeks wages for Josh Magennis)  and could contact about 1200-1500 ex customers in a month. I’m not saying they will all renew and that some won’t be abusive !, but its the right thing to do and sometimes in business thats just what you need to do. As everyone in business knows, its a lot easier keeping existing customers than finding new ones. To give but one example, I failed to renew my car park pass and one of my 3 season tickets. Thats £1200 of revenue and noone from the club has bothered to call me to ask why or persuade me to renew either. Its just basic common sense, isn’t it ?  

Anyway, rant over, back to Richard who is a true Charlton fan , he goes to support the team every week and he has ploughed lots of his hard earned into the club with little or no return. Thank you Richard for the Premiership, the Wembley Play Off and the best Charlton team I have ever seen. I wish you a speedy recovery and a quick return to the Valley, and if you don’t fancy the Directors box, come over and sit with us in the East Stand – the language is quite restrained and we have a laugh !!!!

Waging War on the customers

I sit in my seat on Saturday with my friends , with whom I have visited all the corners of England over the last 48 years. Carlisle [ several times ] Portsmouth , Plymouth , Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol. Blackburn, Blackpool, to name just a few. Generally , you name the ground and we’ve been there , we were Charlton.

We went to school , we went to college or university , we got married , we had kids we bought houses , we got fired , we got made redundant and had jobs. All through this, for 48 years, we stood on the covered end terrace together, we stood on the vast East Terrace together, sometimes with our fathers and mothers who are now passed away. Now we sit in the East Stand together. All that time, we were Charlton. We’ve endured pretty poor owners, Michael Glikstein, John Sunley, Mark Hulyer, Tony Jiminez and all that time we were Charlton.

We stood in the crowd of 3,001 against Halifax at home at the Valley on a Tuesday night. We went to the Friday night and Sunday afternoon experimental kick offs in the 70’s .We hired a coach and went to Wembley for the members cup final and lost to Blackburn in the 80’s and we hired a room and had lunch in a hotel before the glorious play off final in the 90’s .We were Charlton.

We nominated a nearby pre match pub and went to Upton Park & Selhurst Park every week when many others faltered. I got married the day we had our first game back in Division One ( at Selhurst after 29 years out of the top tier). We were Charlton.

We made it to the Premier League, it was wonderful, our team was fantastic, the Valley was full. It was our dream, we were Charlton.

It fell apart in time but we had Chris Powell and he was Charlton and we were Charlton too. He rebuilt our pride , gave us a proper team again  and we loved him.

Then Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire arrived and it doesn’t seem like we are Charlton any more. For the first season in a half century, some of my friends have given up. I’d really like to have it back but it feels like it is broken.

The owner and management at Charlton hate the customers and we hate them back.


FA insult every Charlton supporter

Katrien Meire has been appointed to the FA council as a representative of the English Football League .

Despite orchestrating the total destruction of our football club, sacking 6 managers in 3 years,repeatedly lying to supporters, losing over 50% of the support base, waging war on the club’s own supporters by asking for Scotland Yard to investigate them, presiding over staff turnover exceeding 100%, arranging a simulated sex video to promote the club and having zero interaction with or respect for the customers of the football club, she has been selected as a representative of the English Football League

Absolutely unbelievable .

Losing this game is a good thing

that’s what my wife said . She went on to say that now they will realise that you can’t play 3 non creative 30 something aged midfielders and expect to get anything from games in this League.Didn’t Chrissey Powell  say 3 years ago that Jacko couldn’t play left side midfield  anymore. I guess there is no one left who remembers that ? She said didn’t Russell Slade read your blog about what Peter Varney told you.

Oh alright, she only said the bit about about losing being a good thing because it will make Roland realise that we won’t get anywhere with this team.

I applaud all those who went to Bury , you are indeed heroes.



Russell, we are all behind you , we want you to do well, the few of us who are left will cheer the team to the rafters if they try hard for us – win, lose or draw. You will be a lasting hero if you give us promotion.

We will cheer you and support you as much as we can, we will encourage and urge our friends and family who used to come to the Valley to return but for heavens sake don’t expect us to give any credit to the owner and his CEO.

Your statement in tonight’s Evening Standard ‘ It was time for a fresh start. The owner and [chief executive] Katrien [Meire] saw that and all credit to them for that. There needed to be change.’

Russell, mate, you are our seventh fresh start in 3 years since these stupid people sacked an excellent manager and dismantled an experienced, capable team. Do not, under any circumstances, give them any credit.

You might want to read this email I received yesterday from a fellow season ticket holder, who has sat with me for 40 years , but has decided not to renew his & his wife’s season ticket. He is one of 5 of our Group of 10 , who after 30-50 years have decided to stop coming. It makes me sad and angry.

”It is getting really dire.We have all supported the Club, which has generally had mediocrity running through it for our 50 plus years 

In those times when we underperformed as a team, we still all pulled together because there was a common cause and a united  belief that we could improve, grow and re-scale the league ladder.No longer. The Owner and CEO have alienated the vast bulk of all stakeholders let alone the supporters. Their goals are unclear – but certainly flawed – and their mismanagement of every aspect of Club business and conduct is driving people away. Some for good, no doubt.The home match-day experience is no longer enjoyable.  Much like the protests.Something significant needs has to change, very soon – as there is not much left to dwindle away.”

Understandably some supporters are fed up with the negativity around the club and I get the odd email telling me to stop moaning.

But the poor treatment of fans and mismanagement of the club is not a trivial issue. It is disgraceful and it breeds real visceral anger, even from old mellow softies like me, which Russell needs to understand.

Success on the pitch will be very welcome and we will all hope and shout for that, but the best present for the supporters would be a new CEO and Owner as soon as possible.