...is a win!
No seriously, I'm writing to Father Christmas, Jimmy Saville, the tooth fairy and the genie in the lamp to ask for my wish to be fixed for me.
If they can't manage to get us a win then I seriously doubt that that our Caretaker, his debts and the dross that his successor signed can manage it. Did I say debts, sorry I meant to say loans.
During 2008 we have played 45 competitive games (this includes two FA Cup games with WBA - both officially finished as draws and a Carling Cup game with Yeovil). Of these 45 games we have won 10 drawn thirteen and lost 22. Take the cup games out and that reads Won 10, Drawn 11 and lost 21. That's 41 points in a total of 42 games played. At home we have won 7, drawn 7 and lost 9.
That really sums it up for me. I cannot be bothered to calculate the appropriate proportion of the cost of two season tickets nor can I remember what I paid for the cup games (besides my Dad normally pays), but in terms of value for money, or more worryingly value for time and effort spent going, Charlton has failed to deliver in 2008.
With the large number of empty seats at The Valley recently I suspect that I am not the only one that has looked at the relationship between what you get to see and what you have to 'sacrifice' to go. I say sacrifice as there is still the cost of transport and the time you spend travelling and at the ground.
The cost of football in 2008 is ridiculous. Ignoring the recent 25% discount in the club shop; football shirts are £40 (£39.99). You can buy a Liverpool shirt in Bluewater for £26, and designer shirts from many department stores for less than £40. A program at The Valley is £3.00. An M&S employee working as a Christmas temp earns £6 an hour. That means that they have to work for half an hour (before tax) to buy a 'magazine' with interviews that are probably on the internet, and there is no free CD or DVD. To be fair there is the Manager's page. "I'd like to welcome the players, directors and fans of xxx FC for what will be an important/exciting/tough (delete as appropriate) match."
Even a burger (always burned), chips and a bottle of Coke with no lid (how are you supposed to stop it falling over when you get to your seat) is £7.50. That's an hour and a quarter at M&S, and they taste like sh.. (not very good).
I've come to the conclusion that you would get better value for money if you pumped all your cash into HBOS shares. Granted they will pay no return for many months (probably years) and many of the employees earn a fortune and regularly under perform, and those that leave are rewarded with huge pay offs (sound familiar?), but you don't have to sit in the freezing cold while people ridicule you. "You used to be good, and now your sh.. (not)." "Premier ship and you fu.. (messed) it up!" What a great way to spend your limited time off from working eh?
You may have detected a slight tone of disappointment regarding my love affair with Charlton Athletic. However, I am beginning to feel the same contempt for football in general. The Premier League, the fan's choice (me included) is awash with clubs that are lining up to sack their managers, or have done so already. The Sky TV "Sunday Supplement" program used us as an example of why yesterday. The reference (the first since we were relegated) was that you could end up like Charlton Athletic if you are relegated from the 'Gravy Train'. Quick sack the manager or we could end up like Charlton Athletic!
I have to admit that while we were taking the TV cash I didn't care at all about the rest of football. "I'm alright Jack!" As long as we were not relegated I really didn't care. Now suddenly all the promises about us taking the Championship by the scruff of the neck and winning the division sound like the dreams of a certified nutter.
Relegation or not, this season has been a complete disaster. The impact on ticket sales for next season and beyond is now unavoidable. The "Free Season Ticket in the Premier League" offer last summer probably distorted the sales for this season. Take that out of the equation and even if we stay up you'll probably be able to bring a sleeping bag and lie down to watch the game next season. If you bother to turn up at all.
It's strange as I felt this enthusiastic about Charlton just before we played Coventry at home last season, and that was probably one of the most memorable games I've been to. Not just because of the result, but of the emergence of Jonjo Shelvey and that goal scored by Chris Powell. Maybe we are going to re-ignite my passion for all things Charlton tomorrow? Maybe we are not.
We now have five games left in 2008, and ignoring the close season, we haven't won back to back games for over a year. I don't remember us going a whole year in the Premier League failing that feat, let along in the second tier of English football. I'm becoming ashamed to talk about football with my friends now. "We're sh.. (rubbish)." is all I'm willing to say about it.
So, I'm going along tomorrow night expecting us to manage to extend our run without a win to the same number of games that we won back to back under Curbishley in 1999-2000. I'm confident that we will not fail to achieve that landmark, we seem to have everything we need to.
I just wish someone would tell the players that what we really want is 12 games without defeat, not 12 games without a win.
Twelve games without defeat did you say, well why didn't you say so before?
Please could you fix it for Charlton Athletic to win a match.
Kings Hill Addick
Up the Addicks!