It is today the 4rd of June (Thursday). The deadline for Season Ticket applications to keep your seat was Monday. Thus the club has now had three days to count up how many tickets have been sold. This is on top of the fact that many will have come in before this week.
I read that the swap week starts on 20th June, so maybe we have another 16 days before the club announce the total number of sales as they are unlikely to give away existing seats until then, so they could take their time to count up the applications. Having said that they cashed the cheques sent in for my Dad's ticket and mine the day it was received, so it mustn't be at all beyond them to announce the number soon.
In the meantime, however, I read that two more youth players have been released - Arter and Thomas. This is on top of the press coverage of Josh Wright's 'demands' for a free transfer. This could, of course, be little more than posturing for a 19 year old who has been earning £62,400 a year while making less than 2 (that's two) starts in a team playing above the third division of football. If we assume that he has been on that money for two seasons that's £62,400 for each start. That's probably more than any other player outside of the Premier League.
I would guess that Josh's Agent, and his father if the rumours are to be believed, are a little concerned about what the effects of the recession are going to have on a very young man that has not been at all bashful in the press yet has actually looked less than spectacular in the worst side in the division. To be fair to him he is young, he is talented and no one made the club give him the contract that is just about to expire. However, despite what John Terry earns, £1,200 a week for a young player with virtually no experience is what the Premier League teams pay. It is not what a third division club can be expected to pay for a player that hasn't established himself, less than five months before his 20th birthday, yet has had several swipes at the club in the press.
If Josh can get himself a better contract than we are willing to pay him then good luck to him. I have, clearly, little experience of youth players, nor do I watch our youth side, but if Pardew didn't want to play him, and if Parkinson doesn't want to play him (and he looks like he is staying - more below) then I'm happy to let him leave, rather then be held to ransom on a level of income that is not commensurate with his current performances in a Charlton shirt.
So we have allowed Ambrose to go (no surprise, nor any disappointment based on his income); we have allowed Arter and Thomas to go; we are clearly not bending over backwards to keep Josh Wright. Not that I have any reason to disagree with any of those decisions, but I would like to know who's making them.
I read that Steve Waggott told the Fans Forum that those that are holding off buying a season ticket until the club remove Parkinson should renew, as if enough do the club will be able to afford to sack him. Let's, for a moment, forget just how unprofessional that sort of comment is in a public meeting, it does sound like they are making even more promises, with get out clauses, to sell tickets. How many do we need to sell Steve? If we don't sell enough and those that wanted him gone ask for their money back can they have it?
So, if Parkinson is going to be sacked if the club can afford it, and the CEO has made this pledge/promise just who is making the decisions about players for next season? If it's Parkinson then that would be potentially irresponsible. If it's not Parkinson and we don't have enough money to sack him that would be even more irresponsible.
Parkinson made the comment that the time during which the success of next season is determined is the six weeks after the season finishes. That is a total of 42 days. The clock started counting 32 days ago. Thus Phil Parkinson (or his successor) has ten days to define our season in the third division. Is anyone else worried yet?
Assuming that the rumoured takeover is not a figment of our imagination that would suggest that we have just over a week to finalise it, sack Parkinson, review the options re his successor, approach his current employer, agree terms with them, open discussions with the new man, agree terms with him, appoint his backroom staff, do a little scouting (this will have to be via videos of last season), approach the players' agents (to see if they are interested), approach the players' clubs, agree fees, open discussions with the players, agree terms and sign them up.
The only person that I have ever read about who achieved more in a week is in the Old Testament, and I'm fairly sure that we cannot afford his wages.
Thus I'm getting to the stage where I hope that Parkinson is staying and the club have known it all along, otherwise next season could be an even bigger disappointment than this one. It doesn't answer the question as to just how much we may or may not have been mislead again this summer?
Just how many season tickets have we sold? Is it enough to sack Parkinson? If not, how many would have been?
Over to you Steve?