Monday, 31 May 2010

Season Ticket renewal

Well, as expected I renewed my season ticket on Friday. I don't think there was really any doubt that I would do so, despite suggestions to the contrary. I believe that I would have switched to paying on a match by match basis had the club sold my seat to someone else, but in the end the club, both sensibly and predictably, failed to sell current season ticket holders seats.

In fact, when I called the club they told me that I probably had a couple of weeks to renew before there was any risk if the seat being sold. I suspect that what they intended to do was hold off until swap week that was due to start on 19th June.

Anyway, either way we have renewed (My Dad and I) and, strangely, I am now getting excited about next season. For reasons I'll discuss later I believe that we will keep most of our current squad for next season, so I think we stand a very good chance of being in a chase for promotion.

Either way we'll be there. It's our 22nd year as season ticket holders.

Up the Addicks!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bye bye

So the first announcement of the 'summer' from the club and it involves the releasing of six players. Leon McKenzie, Matt Spring, Chris Dickson, Dean Sinclair, Jack Clark and Tony Warner will all be leaving. What this actually tells us is that we are likely to make some kind of offer to the other players that are out of contract this summer. At this stage I should point out that I am still suspicious that the club will use PR to misinform us all summer to keep up sale of tickets. I will try not to mention that too much from here on in, but last summer was a PR disaster and permanently changed my trust in those running our club.

Anyway on to the players that have been released. McKenzie is no real surprise. He has demonstrated In the past that he has the ability but he hasn't been able to reproduce the form he showed at Peterborough or Norwich between 2000 and 2006 and has failed in his continuing battles with fitness. There have been a few occasions this season when I thought he might have been useful, but I wonder if there was some kind of contractual obligations to the number of games he played. Over all he has been a failure and questions have to be raised as to why we would have signed a player that wasn't fit and hasn't been fit for over a year. Either way you can make a case for it being an acceptable gambl but, for me, the jury is still out.

Matt Spring was bought in in January 2009 and even commanded a transfer fee (the only player in the squad that Parkinson has paid a fee for). Save for scoring a winner against Palace he hasn't done anything that I have found to be memorable. To be fair to him I'm not sure his best position is defensive midfielder. There is a question as to just why we would have signed him when at the time we had Racon, Semedo, Bailey, Shelvey, ZZ, Ambrose and Matt Holland fighting for the two/three central midfield positions. He made 12 starts in the run in last season and 7 this term. That is hardly a decent return for the transfer fee and wages, but again I'm willing to give Parkinson the benefit of doubt as we did need something to lift us in January 2009, and he did play a few games in that disastrous run in. One good sign of management is being willing to admit when you've made a mistake and to take the appropriate action to fix it. Releasing him now is probably the right decision.

Chris Dickson is another player that should have never got anywhere near our club. Despite desperately wanting him to succeed he has failed miserably to make the grade. What is worse about this bloke is that he has clearly got some talent, but he is just way too arrogant to listen and learn from those that could have helped him make a proper career in professional football. Despite what I think of Alan Pardew the man does know a bit about professional football; Parkinson has managed a team to promotion to the second division; Lennie Lawrence is a legend, having won promotions to the top flight with both Charlton and Middlesbrough; Stimpson I'm not so sure about, but he is clearly an experienced manger. All of these men have, in due course, turned their back on Chris Dickson. In most cases the decisions have been justified on the back of unprofessional attitude. I just can't understand it. If I had some talent and I was given the opportunities he's had I would have worked my backside off and listened to all the advice I was given. As for us, well based on the outcome I cannot understand why we haggled with Gillingham in the summer and didn't just sell him for £50k when they made the offer. As much as I wanted him to succeed I have to say good riddance, we don't need any cocky arrogant players in our third division squad.

Dean Sinclair was quite possibly the worst signing of the summer of 2007. I know he wasn't the most expensive mistake but he hasn't been missing with injuries he was just nowhere near good enough for us. I have had my suspicions for a while as to the motivation for his signing. The fact that we paid over £100,000 for a player from Pardew's old club when he looked rubbish on trial in friendlies makes me wonder if the deal was ever done for the benefit of Charlton. He has never looked like he was going to break into our first team. He was bought when we were aiming for the Premier League and he is clearly not good enough for the third division. Scandalous. When fans are struggling to raise the money for season tickets it is disgraceful that we have a player that has cost is £125,000 plus three years of wages and was never good enough in the first place!

Jack Clark hasn't made it and I have no problem with giving the youth a chance. I assume that he has been earning a modest wage, and it is sad for him that he is not going to make it at Charlton. I do wish him all the best and I hope that he does make a decent career in professional football. Unlike previous seasons, unfortunately, if he is not good enough for us in our current situation I suspect that he will struggle, but either way he goes with our best wishes.

Tony Warner was clearly brought in as cover for our run in and it is neither surprising nor disappointing that he is being released now. I don't consider this to be a bad signing, but we probably don't need him next season. Thanks for coming.

As I mentioned already that means that we have a number of players that we would like to keep that we will consider offering new contracts to. I guess this group are just the 'we don't want them under any circumstances' players. The real test is going to be just how many players will want to stay based on what we offer them. Richard Murray thought that Jon fortune would be willing to stay last summer on third division wages based on how we had looked after him while he had been injured. I thought he was mad to believe that a player on Premier League money (and he was on proper good money) would stay on third division money. I was proved to be right. I fear that a similar situation might arise this summer, but we have to offer what we can afford and if it's not enough we have to find replacements. For completeness I should point out that Jon Fortune has made just 5 appearances this season suffering more injuries, so no great loss anyway.

My vote for player of the year, Christian Daily, would be the player that I'd most like to keep of those out of contract. I know Lloyd Sam has a lot to offer at this level (despite the fact that he cannot last 90 minutes) and there are other talents that I'd like to keep, but Daily has been a real inspiration this season. I would prefer to have Daily as Captain next season. I suspect that no one will make the kind of offer (transfer fee and wages) that will lead to Bailey leaving so this will not happen, but for me Daily was our most outstanding player this season, followed closely by Semedo, who I would offer a contract extension to right now!

Anyway the news will come in drips and drabs this summer and it has only just started. The release of players that we don't want was never going to be too upsetting, it's those that we want to keep choosing not to stay that will hurt. I'm including those that are under contract that end up moving on. I believe that any transfers out will happen later as the clubs signing (assuming they are not Premier League) will want to avoid paying wages over the summer. Let's remember that all the clubs out of (and some in) the Premier League are struggling for money. Using the same logic I suspect that we will not be bringing in many new faces (if any) until the end of the summer.

Time will tell.

Up the Addicks!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Charlton 2 - 1 Swindon

After a disappointment it is often better to take a period of reflection before airing ones thoughts to prevent the risk of being a little emotional.

Today I don't feel particularly angry or disappointed I just feel a little numb. That may have something to do with the fact that I sat up until the early hours drinking after I got home thinking about what I had experienced during the evening.

I made a decision on the way home that I wouldn't get involved in the mud slinging that always seems to follow a disappointing event. It is only human to look to apportion blame as you need somewhere to vent your anger. There are a big list of candidates for that but in the end it just doesn't matter. What does matter is what happens next, and I suspect it will be weeks, if not months, before the real consequences of last night become apparent. One point to note, that had slipped my attention until late night, is that the TV money for the Championship is much bigger next season.

It is ironic that Peter Varney was a champion for a Premier League 2 for so many years (when we were in the Premiership) and Steve Waggot referred to the new deal as a Premier League 2 in 'all but name'. The article came across as though we didn't approve of it. The irony is that we only wanted it in the first place as it was in our best interests. Now it is not in our best interests we are condemning it as destroying the lower league clubs. How hypocritical?

Anyway on to last night. All the things that I wanted to see were there. The fans got behind the players for the full 120 minutes. We gave it everything. We scored the two goals we needed, and we were cruising at 2-0 with an extra man. Then it all went wrong.

I don't like to blame players for individual mistakes, but last night was as good an advert as you will see for Nicky Bailey not playing in the centre of our midfield. Nicky Bailey is, in my view, a good example of what's wrong at Charlton, and with football in this country in general.

I should point out that my love affair with Nicky Bailey was severely tainted when he announced last summer that he would stay and help us get promoted this season if he had to. I know all footballers want to play at the highest level, but he had been with us for one season, he had, presumably, been rewarded when he joined us with a pay rise and at the very least he should have pretended that he had some loyalty to us for giving him his chance.

Over the course of last season Bailey was caught in possession many times and due to where he plays those incidents were normally expensive. That didn't seem to bother me too much before he made it clear he wanted to leave. However, coming back to my bold statement about Bailey being what is wrong with Charlton and football in general. This season Bailey has, in my view, demonstrated that he is a very capable third division player. I don't think he is as good a player as Semedo, and to be honest on his day Racon would give him a run for his money but Bailey is, in my view, a good third division player, yet he is on (I'm guessing) good second division money. Even if we ignore the fact that he actually wants to leave to play for a 'bigger' club and to, presumably, earn more money, he is already being paid more than his current position justifies.

I know that view isn't held by all Charlton fans but it is difficult to make a case that he is good enough to play on the wing in a decent Championship side, and his frequent losing of the ball in the middle would make it difficult for him to establish himself in a Championship midfield.

I'm perfectly happy for others to believe that I'm wrong about this, but if we look at the evidence I think I have a case. Thus he is contributing to the fact that we are unable to cover our running costs based on our current league position. If he was earning average third division money (and if the rest of the squad were also) we might not have the financial problems we have right now. The impression I get from his interviews is that Nicky is not a member of MENSA, not that that's a problem, so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is his agent that keeps encouraging him to seek a move to a larger contract.

This is where I think football in general relates to our Captain. There are entirely too many players earning what they should be if their club were where it wants to be. Portsmouth have a total wage bill that can clearly not be sustained by 'just' being in the Premier League. I have a feeling that Liverpool will struggle to balance their books outside of the Champions League, and you have to say that on the basis of this season they truly don't deserve to be in it.

Just to clarify though, until Nicky Bailey made that slip up about leaving last summer I liked him a lot. I still think he is a great player (especially in this division) and have no ill feeling towards him. He has contributed a lot this season, and even though he did give the ball away for their goal last night, he was man enough to continue to go looking for the ball for the rest of the game, and he had several shots that on another day would have gone in. As for the penalty, sure he missed, but he was there to take it, and that shows a lot of courage. Let's not be bashful it was a terrible penalty. He didn't just miss, it was nowhere near, but one thing about Nicky Bailey is that you know you always get 100% from him and, in a world where many footballers don't, that is a great quality.

Overall I would rather have Nicky Bailey in our squad than not, and it would be fantastic to have him come out in the next couple of days and make a pledge to do everything he can to help us win promotion next season - even if he doesn't actually mean it and leaves a few weeks later.

We have entirely too many players at our club that are earning more than they are worth, we have Pardew to thank for that, but with so many contracts coming to an end this summer I suspect that trend will be reversed.

Anyway, as I said earlier, there can be no real complaints about last night, and the journey home was a lot better than it would have been from Wembley had we lost to Millwall.

The summer is going to be painful, there will be a lot of speculation and the likelihood is that the squad will gradually be weakened piece by piece, but either way we will all be back in August full of enthusiasm and excitement, and massively unrealistic expectations of the season ahead.

Up the Addicks!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Next... Swindon at home

So it all comes down to the last home game of the season!

There have been a number of blogs about this game and the main theme, of which there seems to be 100% agreement, is that it is a pivotal point in the history of the club.

Clearly we still need to win at Wembley (assuming we get through tonight) so it's not exactly make or break, but a defeat tonight would obviously heap much more gloom on a very troubled four year period following almost unlimited growth in the decade before it.

There is something different about winning and losing, obviously. The trouble with this season is that promotion would not have seemed like the victory that it was in 1998 or 2000. When you secure something that you don't perceive to be yours it is cause for celebration. If you manage to lose something getting it back seems a lot less of an achievement.

In fact, as I see it, this season had the potential to be acceptable (promotion) or a total disaster (no promotion). Thus, tonight's game is merely the opportunity to avoid total devastation. I am talking about the season not the club as a whole, but I guess you get my point.

Anything less than a victory tonight (over two legs) and the season will have been an unmitigated disaster. We failed to make any impression on the cups, including the JPT where we should have been one of the favourites to get to Wembley, and another season in this division is likely to lead to many more in this, if not a lower, one.

I know this is probably not the place to get all negative, but I think it is important that we all know what is at stake.

Tonight is a time for heroes. There can't be a more important fixture for a football club to play at home. Sure the home leg of a Champions League Semi-Final is important, but I doubt that the result of that could be as significant as tonight could be.

Tonight is for heroes. There needs to be a lot of heroes tonight. We need them in the North Stand, the East Stand and the West Stand. If you have anything left after a day at work; if you have anything left after a long season of third division football; if you have any passion and desire for out club to succeed now is the time to let it out!

There is a feeling in modern football that the players have so much money that they are obligated to give us the performances and/or results that we demand. Tonight it is for us all to show just how much we want this, just how much it matters and just how much we care.

Sure the players need to do their bit. I would like to think that we are going to get 100% effort and commitment, and I expect we will. I hope we will get 100% concentration - this cannot always be guaranteed. I also hope we get a fair proportion of luck, as this is a massive variable in the potential outcome of any game.

However, even if the players give 100% there is the potential for our support to build on that. We need to make the Swindon players perform at less than their potential 100%. I have been to a number of games at The Valley over the years where I honestly believe that the crowd have influenced the game, both good and bad. For the record the best atmosphere I remember at The Valley was the second leg of the playoff semi-final in 1998.

Let's remember that when we file out of The Valley, even if we can find a scapegoat (assuming we don't leave happy) we will all be left to suffer the disappointment. When I was at school my parents always told me "Do your best, and then you can have no regrets". In fairness I think that was because they thought my best would be good enough. Tonight we all need to do our best to lift our team and to intimidate theirs.

If we all do our best then after the game we can have no regrets. If we all do our best then we will be able to hold our heads high as we face what ever challenges come our way. More importantly, however, I believe that if we all do our best it will be good enough.

So let's forget about the money worries, let's forget about the disappointments of recent seasons, let's get behind our team and let's win that place at Wembley. Let's really win it!

Up the Addicks!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Swindon 2 - 1 Charlton

Well it could have been a lot worse. In fact it could have been a lot, lot worse.

I'm not in the habit of writing match reports, especially when I am in the second row and behind the goal.

The atmosphere seemed rather subdued. I suspect that had more to be with being on an uncovered terrace and the fact that there were lots of empty seats as most fans decided to stand at the back together. The game was nicely balanced at half time, despite Swindon having several chances that on a good day (for them) would have gone in.

I was more than happy to take a goal less draw, but was, strangely, confident of a 2-0 win. We looked second to the ball in the first half, and all of our players looked nervous on the ball, none more than Sam Sodje who looked like he was limping from about twenty minutes in. We were beaten for pace at the back so I can understand why Llera wasn't brought on, but I have to question playing an unfit player.

Anyway we managed to survive the onslaught and kept a clean sheet to half time.

After the break one of those chances that we'd been keeping out by 'hook or by crook' went it. That should have been the signal for a period of calm and 'keeping it tight'. Instead we went mad and threw everything at Swindon and conceded a second with a full half hour on the clock. Just why we would have been so reckless in attack (something I expect to see in the last ten minutes at The Valley on Monday) is beyond me, but it was suddenly 2-0.

At this point I thought it was as going to be too much. I feared another goal, and also thought that it would be more than we can overturn in the second leg. One needs to be conscious of the fact that we just don't score enough goals. I spent ages calling for a more structured line up so that we could keep the goals out and snatch wins. I'm happy with that approach, but it does mean that we are unlikely to score three goals without reply.

Anyway the worry that I had of it ending up 3-0 or even 4-0 were quashed with a brave header by Dion Burton. At that point I was convinced that there would be another goal. I had no idea which way it would go, but it was going to make a massive difference to the approach to the second leg. Anyway that goal didn't come and we find the game very evenly poised.

You would have to say that Millwall are favourites to go through having kept a clean sheet at Huddersfield, but I wouldn't like to call it at The Valley on Monday.

My fear is that we will end the 90 minutes a goal in front and then concede in extra time and fail to lift ourselves to get back into it again. It is at times like this that the sheer disappointment of the last three seasons prevents me from believing that anything good can happy to us. It is silly because with Paynter missing and with just one goal to overcome in front of a packed Valley we should really fancy ourselves, but I don't.

I would love to be proved wrong, but I'm looking forward to Monday with more trepidation than excitement, where as I was bursting with excitement before yesterday's game. Maybe it's just as well. Maybe we'll get an early goal and then take a 2-0 lead before half time and Swindon will fall apart in the face of Fortress Valley in the second half and we will win easily.

At the very least it will emotional

Up the Addicks!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Swindon tickets

Today the club have made a proper 'official' statement about why the ticket arrangements for Friday's game have allowed many tickets to end up with fans that have shown a lot less loyalty and/or support than those that have not got one.

I have also heard that there a number of tickets available at well above their face value.

What a disaster? But could it have been avoided?

There has been a few blog posts about this subject, some that have been sympathetic from those that have tickets, and some that have been very agitated from those that haven't.

From my point of view the club should be looking to use these situations to reward those that they want to call upon in the future. Sure they should reward those that have been loyal to the Club. For example I have had a season ticket since 1989. If you read comments on Charlton Life, and elsewhere, you could be forgiven for believing that we've had thousands of season ticket holders since 1970. When I bought my season ticket we had (from memory) about 2,500 season ticket holders. Thus I should be in the top 2,000 for 'length of service' on the basis that some of those 2,500 will have died or just given up. So if you are going to reward long term support I should have been allocated a ticket for Swindon.

If, however, you are going to reward immediate support then the 500 five-year season ticket holders should have been first in the queue (especially as part of the deal was for preference for away games). The other 5,500 that have already committed for next season should have been next. Neither of these groups include me. Is that fair? A season ticket for 20 years or the promise of coming next year?

You could reward those that make the biggest financial contribution to the club. I guess I'm talking about Valley Gold. However if you are merely talking about pounds spent then presumably an East or West Stand ticket costing £475 has higher priority than one in the North stand that costs less. NB I don't know the price of the North Stand as I sit in the East Stand. Do you also reward those that pay for a car park? How about those that have access to one of the lounges? How about executive boxes? How about replica shirts? How about Programs?

You could try to reward like for like, and this was rather popular with some of those on Charlton Life. The "I've been to all the away games this season" comments must be heard and respected. However, you could make the point that Charlton make no money from fans attending away games, so from a purely commercial perspective you would have thought that attendance for the home JPT match with Barnet would make you a more rewarding fan than attending every single away game this season. I also have to question just how many fans have been to every away game this season as there have been restrictions for some games, and in fact we've had 2 games that have had less than 400 travelling Addicks. We've had 6 matches where we've taken less than a third of the 2,046 tickets that Swindon offered us for this game. In fact, out of 23 away League games, and including all three of our cup games, a total of 26, we have only managed to take more away fans on 5 occasions, and one of those was 2,066 - 20 more.

Out of interest those five games were Orient, Colchester (2,066) Gillingham, Southend and Millwall. None of these games are anywhere near as far as Swindon, for whom we only took 1,073 in February.

What does all this mean? I have no idea, but it does put into perspective the demand for weighting for away games.

There will, doubtless, be crossovers in some of those categories. For example there could be as many as 399 (the away attendance at Tranmere in August) five-year season ticket holders that have attended every away game, had a season ticket for, say 20 years, been paying into Valley Gold since it's inception and attended all the home cup games for, say, 10 years. Those 399 have every right to be fed up if they didn't get a ticket, but it is a bit rich if, like me, you have only attended half a dozen away games this season.

Should the club have had a priority system? Of course they should. Ask 10 fans how that priority should have been organised and you would probably get at least 8 different answers. You see, we all believe that we are the most loyal and deserving people in the world. I don't think this is limited to football tickets either, just look at the levels of consumer debt in this country and you can see that very few believe that they are not deserving of just about anything they want. Clearly a discussion for another day, but does highlight the problems the club had about how to sell these very, very limited number of tickets.

I'm in favour of a system like the FA use for England tickets. They award points (called Caps) for every game that one attends. The bonus with this system is that you know where you are in relation to everyone else. The problems with this, at Charlton, are, as mentioned above, how you award 'Caps'. For me I'd like the biggest weighting to be on how long you've had a season ticket - but I would wouldn't I? I'd probably come out near the top on that basis, but I have never been a member of Valley Gold and I don't attend many away games. The six I've managed this season (it would have been seven had Wallsall not been called off when we were less than an hour away) would probably put me way below the top 2,000 - Brighton being the only game I went to (861) that had less than 1,618 Charlton fans there, and three of my six had over 2,046.

The other problem with introducing such a scheme is that the club are probably not able to recall when fans started buying season tickets. If they really have databases that hold ticket information from the 1960s then I'd be questioning their administration.

So the distribution of the tickets was a disaster but could it have been avoided? Maybe, maybe not. The decision to allow two tickets for every season ticket was probably the worst error. My Dad went down to The Valley to buy our tickets in person, and he told me that there were some people in the queue with many season tickets buying two match tickets for each one. No wonder there are tickets available above face value. It should have been one per season ticket. I am inclined to suggest that anyone who doesn't have a season ticket (irrespective as to how many away games they've been to) should also have been excluded. Just my view!

However, in the club's defence, I would suggest that what ever system they had used there would have been a group of 'deserving' fans that failed to get a ticket. This is the basic economic problem, finite resources and infinite demands. There were just too few tickets for the number that wanted to go. There is an argument that says that, as we had more demand for this game than for some of the other fixtures that are as far away, some of those wanting to go are just 'Glory Boys'. We may well have been able to take in excess of 5,000 to this game, where as our largest away following this season has been 3,119.

The lack of infrastructure is probably genuine, but there is no reason as to why the club couldn't have pre-sold tickets for the away game in the same way they did the the home game. Irrespective as to who we were going to play we probably would have sold out our full allocation, so if the club had set up a priority sale they could have organised the criteria two weeks ago. Sure it was not known at the time if it was necessary, but it would have allowed for the current infrastructure to produce a result other than 'First come first served'.

My own thoughts, however, were that this was always going to happen. I spent much of the weekend playing with my new iPad and checking the official website at regular intervals to see when the tickets would go on sale. I suspected that they would have done exactly what they did, and they did. Unfortunately I had a meeting on Monday morning that I was unable to move, so my Dad went down to The Valley and queued. Even though I knew he was going to get there early (and he did) I was fearful that we would miss out. A total of 40 years ownership of a season ticket and the only way to secure a ticket was for a Pensioner to literally stand outside in a queue for two hours.

What makes that so disturbing is that when he got our tickets we felt lucky and excited.

Charlton Athletic, the Family Club, The Community Club. The club that allocates tickets for big games not to those that have had a long record of support, not to those that have been very dedicated in the current season, not to those that make regular donations in return for nothing more than a chance to win a small sum of money (Valley Gold), no. Charlton Athletic, the Family Club, The Community Club allocate tickets for big games to those that have a spare Pensioner able to queue outside for two hours.


Up The Addicks!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Next... Oldham away

Well, if you'd offered me the chance to finish second in the last game of the season back in May last year I'd have ripped your hand off.

To be fair I did expect mass sales in the summer, and as that didn't happen and based on where we were at the end of September, I am inclined to think that if we fail on Saturday it will be a missed opportunity, but on the whole I don't think I can complain too much.

If we are all honest none of us think that we will finish second, but stranger things have happened.

I do think, however, that we will get a win. It is actually imperative that we do. We really want to avoid sixth, and Huddersfield could still catch us, and if it is at all possible we want to play the second leg of the playoff semi-final at home.

Thus it is just like the last few weeks, we have to take care of our own result and hope for the best elsewhere while expecting the worst.

It does remind me of 1998. We went into the game at Birmingham needing a win and Middlesbrough to lose and Sunderland to not win. We drew that game and finished fourth. The rest is history.

I was at St Andrews in 1998, but I'm not going this weekend. My Dad has decided to go, just in case, and as I'm not able to go he is taking his wife. She is no excited, not!

Anyway we have booked our Playoff tickets, and I'm very much looking forward to that clash, who ever we end up playing. Having drawn with Swindon twice (once with 9 men); beating Leeds and Huddersfield at home and drawing away we should have little to fear going into the playoffs.

I've deliberately avoided mentioning Millwall, but surely it must be time for us to beat them. From what I've read we matched them right up until we conceded at the Den, and we could easily have won the home game, which was probably the most erratic game I've seen since that playoff final in 1998.

In some respects I'd prefer to be in the playoffs as it is the most exciting thing in football. For a whole season to come down to one (or two) games is fantastic.

Having said that I'd take second right now.

Up the Addicks!