Perplexed about Charlton

Football is indeed a funny old game. Maybe I’m wrong but it looks to me like Charlton are potentially a stronger team and squad now than when Ricky Holmes was playing. It’s all a bit confusing really. The team have been doing OK without pulling any trees up when we’ve only had one central attacker – following the recent moves and a bit of respite from the injury crisis – we’ve now got pace and power all over the front.

Its really perplexing that it has taken until now to address this and indeed that Karl has been allowed to address this when Rolands regime is (hopefully) in its dying embers. If we had started the season with these or similar options, it is hard to believe that we wouldn’t have been firmly stuck in the Top 2 by now.

I’m not sure what the result at Blackpool will be bearing in mind the emotional tributes to Jimmy Armfield which are likely to motivate both their team and crowd. However, notwithstanding today’s result which could go any way, it is hard to believe that with the array of attacking options now available to us that we ought to at least reach the play offs in May.

You wonder if Roland had actually bothered to come and watch the team, he would have seen the obvious deficiencies and allowed Karl to do something about it in the summer. Anyway, we are where we are as they say so we need to make the best of it now – good luck to Karl and the team today


Entertaining Charlton

I have to say I had a lovely day yesterday . One of those special days where everything goes right. A couple of pints beforehand with mates and my son who was able to come for the first time in a while because he’s injured and wasn’t playing himself. I thought we played really well and thoroughly deserved the win.

There were some standout performances, notably Mavadidi, Aribo, Da Silva, Kashi and the returning Fosu. Credit to Robbo, there is so much pace in the team now, it ought to bode well for the rest of the season. Solly looked completely knackered for the last 15 minutes and probably should have been subbed but hopefully he will be fully fit for next Saturday.

Harry Lennon made a few mistakes, but part of this is because he gets the ball forward quicker with long balls of which , inevitably, more go astray. I am a fan , he is a no nonsense centre half and I think the fans need to be more supportive because we need more long balls to mix up the tactics.

On the way home , I was able to drop in on a friends Dad who is 95 and a lifelong supporter and had a cup of tea and gave him a summary of the game and left him a programme. He normally attends games but yesterday was a bit damp and cold.

Finally, I got home with a minute to spare for the village quiz show, which was great fun, a few more beers and to cap it all , a miserable Palace fan ( a lovely bloke)  was on my team.  All in all a perfect Saturday.

My only disappointment is the continuing low crowds – please come back now, Hopefully the misery of Duchatelet is nearly over now and we need you to help propel us to the Play offs , infinity and beyond……………







Take a Haircut Roland !

I have the utmost respect for the CARD campaigners, Rick Everitt, the Belgian 20 ,WAR and any other peaceful protesting groups and I have supported all the activities and protests so far. I am sure that their activities have had no negative impact on the club or any potential buyers willingness to buy the club.

Personally, I think the decision to protest on Saturday and demand an audience with Richard Murray is wrong. Firstly,without being disrespectful, it is really hard to believe that Richard has any influence over what Roland does or will be able to say anything meaningful about where the club is up to in takeover talks. Secondly, regardless of your view on Richard, he is actually a Charlton fan, unlike Roland, Katrien, Tony Jiminez, Michael Slater, Kevin Cash , etc, etc, etc. and he would like to get the best and most ambitious owners for the club, so he can cheer and celebrate along with the rest of us. Expecting him to say anything illuminating to fans is highly unlikely in my view.

As has been widely reported, the biggest problem with the potential takeover is that Roland wants and seems to think that he ought to get his £50million back. He does not seem to understand the concept that sometimes you have to take a loss on your investments. An asset is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it – not what you paid for it or invested in it.

The fact is that the club isn’t worth £50million and no prospective purchaser is going to complete a deal at that price. In order to sell the club, Roland is going to have to accept a haircut on his investment.

Is this the week ?

There is a very strong view that if we don’t get a deal done this week , then there will be no takeover deal before the end of the season. Let us hope that Richard Murray has positive news for us all.

An excellent result in difficult circumstances yesterday, well done to the team and a particular shout out to Karl. I must say he seems like a thoroughly nice bloke, his post match interview was great. You can argue about his tactics and I often do, but you can’t question his commitment or motivational skills.

Here’s an interesting one for you – Alex Mcleish as Director of Football, Donald Muir as CEO and wait for it – the money is coming from Mike Ashley. How so you ask, well they all know each other from Ashley’s shareholding in Rangers – also he is busy selling Newcastle, loves football , lives in the South , has stopped going to Newcastle games. Look it’s only speculation, it might be nonsense and I don’t know anything, but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise- the money has to be coming from somewhere.

Whoever it is , let’s hope it gets done this week, they keep Karl as manager and give him some more help in the transfer market to finish the job.

Ricky’s Off to Sheffield

Unsurprisingly Ricky has opted for an additional £3k a week to play at a higher level for a more ambitious club with a chance of getting into the Premiership this season. Ricky is 30 years old and this is likely to be his last decent contract – if you were him – what would you do ? The player will want the move and so the transfer fee is also likely to be relatively low.

Regardless of the takeover prospects, bearing in mind the respective league positions of Charlton and Sheffield United at this point in the season, this is a deal that was always likely to happen in January if Charlton were not tearing up the division. I don’t share the view that it would have been stopped if the takeover was well advanced

He is an excellent player, has tried his hardest for us and deserves this opportunity late in his career. We should wish him well.

By the way, do you fancy our defence tomorrow on set pieces with James Hanson and Peter Clarke barrelling towards our goal – feels like a defeat from a corner or free kick coming our way.

A Strange Calm over Albury

I’m not sure if I’m sickening for flu but after 50 years of worrying myself senseless over the shenanigans at Charlton, a strange calm has descended over me. I am firmly of the ABR ( anyone but Roland) camp. Even if the new owners run out of money within a season or two of buying the club, eventually, we will end up with a properly funded owner – it’s a London Club with a decent ground and great demographic potential. The problem is the wall of debt that has been built up by Roland and his predecessors. We need a clean(er) balance sheet at some point. The only truly bad deal would be one which separates the physical assets i.e. The Valley and Sparrows Lane from the club in a way which leaves them with Roland.

It is difficult to see any other scenario that could be worse than continuing ownership from Roland who has zero interest, zero involvement, zero competence  and zero ambition for the club.

Ricky Holmes is an excellent player and so is Ezri Konsa, but let’s face it we’ve still been losing fairly regularly with them both in the team, even in the 3rd division- so they are hardly irreplaceable.

Let us allow a Zen calm to descend upon us while reminding ourselves that ” the darkest hour is always just before the dawn”

Awful but rot stopping

Charlton were pretty dreadful again today making even Oldham looking like promotion contenders in the second half. I know there is a lot of uncertainty around the club, but perhaps we need a Lennie Lawrence or a Curbs back who had to deal with lots more than Karl off the pitch and just got on with it.

I really struggle to understand what role Ricky Holmes has, don’t get me wrong he is an excellent player , but he’s a bloody winger – leave him on the wing, don’t let him wander all over the place. We brought Mavadidi on, who scored an excellent goal, but he basically contributed nothing else because he was stuck out wide whilst Holmes was pushed up alongside Magennis. Tactically, we look clueless even against Oldham. I like Karl, but I am starting to wonder.

Peter Varney has stepped down from Ebbsfleet tonight. I understand that there is no love lost between Richard Murray and Peter but they are both proper Charlton fans who love the club and it would be fantastic to see a properly funded club with Peter back as CEO. Let us hope that’s a possibility – if so , maybe Chris Powell is currently searching for his tracksuit.

Deadline for Takeover

Unless the takeover is completed by around the 19th to 22nd of January, its not likely to happen until the end of the season at the earliest.

Any new owner will want to have the ability to shape this season with some new signings in the remainder of the January window and any later than the 22nd for completion would not really leave enough time to get deals done. Also, it is unlikely that any new owner would want to take on the monthly losses of c £500k between now and June, when they can’t do anything to influence the results.

Noone at the club seems to have any idea atall about the progress of discussions to date, It seems to be completely chaotic with a couple of potential bidders, maybe even 3. There has been much talk about bidders conducting due diligence, but quite why it seems to be taking so long is a mystery. Charlton is a small business and not really that complex so DD would be a relatively short exercise. It must really be arguing about the price and questioning the bidders ability to make the transaction happen.

If the deal doesn’t get done by the 22nd, in all likelihood this season is a write off unless Stephy Mavididi turns out to be the next Thierry Henry.


Mavididi not the answer

You’ve got to feel for Karl Robinson – we might not like his obsessive one man up front tactical formation but It was always going to be impossible for him to be successful this season with one experienced forward.

Luckily I missed the game today but I spent the entire 90 mins logged in to the twitter feeds. After the Wigan performance I was feeling optimistic today before the game but as soon as I saw the team sheet I told the wife we would lose –  Reeves and JFC together in the middle is too lightweight for this division –  Aribo is stronger, more physical and should have started along with KAG. They both played well at Wigan. Lennon and Sarr were superb at Wigan and despite today as soon as we have Pearce and Baeur back too we are well served in that area – the real problem is up front where we don’t have a single striker who can hit a cows arse with a banjo.

Poor Karl knows that Mavididi is not really the answer – his record is – wait for it – Arsenal -zero goals – Charlton – zero goals – Preston – zero goals.

Im sure he is a good player and let’s hope that more game time and the midfield support at Charlton will help but let’s be honest he’s not really the answer is he ? The suggestion that his signing is going to excite the supporters is really both naive and a bit insulting.

Unless somehow, the Board allows Robinson to sign a proper experienced goal scorer like an Eoin Doyle or a Billy Boden or a Billy Sharp or Yann or similar, the season is toast and we are going to spend it trying to scrape enough points to avoid relegation to the 4th division.

Finally the appointment of Katrien Meire as CEO at Sheffield Wednesday is nothing short of astonishing. You have to marvel at the lack of proper reference checking that must have gone on. In Private Equity where I work we undertake exhaustive and forensic reference checking on prospective CEO ‘s including questioning colleagues , ex colleagues , customers and above all detailed analysis of financial and commercial success. It is inconceivable that Sheffield Weds did anything other than a call to Roland and possibly to Richard. Alienating and losing over 40% of your core customer base through sheer incompetence , rudeness and ineptitude wouldn’t feature highly on my list of desirable characteristics for any CEO I employ – maybe football is different ??