Well we've heard Parkinson claim that he hasn't been able to build his own squad during the last twenty months, but he won't be able to say that for much longer.
On the basis that we have less than eleven players contracted to the club now, and that three of those were signed by Parkinson we will certainly have his team/squad next season. I, for one, think this is a good thing. Not because I think he has used it as an excuse, as I don't, but it will add that little bit of pressure that he can't, even in the back of his own mind, blame one of Pardew's signings.
Also, while we're on the subject, I actually think that on he whole Parkinson has been better at signing players that Pardew was. Ironic as Pardew kept telling us that he was very good at signing players. There was a suggestion that Brian Clough's success was, in part, to his relationship with Peter Taylor. I wouldn't mind betting that Pardew has some help with his scouting that he claimed all the credit for, but failed to appreciate or recognise when it all started going wrong.
Anyway, we will be seeing exactly what sort of player Parkinson wants to bring in in the next few weeks, and I don't mind twilling you that I'm excited about it all. Sure I'd love to be watching the World Cup wondering if we were going to sign any players competing, like we have in the past, but a new player is a new player irrespective as to how high their profile is.
Clearly he doesn't have the money to literally choose his players and then go and get them, but with so many clubs in trouble right now there will be more free transfers than usual, and despite the fact that we are not going to be offering the highest salaries, we do have some good facilities and, at the end of day, the players, even at this level, are wealthy and would rather have good working conditions, and that includes their place of work.
Much to my surprise it would seen as though we have found a club (manager) that is willing to shell out in excess of £1m for Nicky Bailey. I won't be uncharitable to the chap, and he has given his all for the club so I wish him well, but for the record, despite not expecting to see any of it given to Parkinson, I will be jumping for joy when the paperwork is signed and we have cashed the money.
I honestly don't think that Bailey's absence will cause us to be significantly less successful next season. I'm more worried about the absence of Lloyd Sam, Deon Burton, Sam Sodje (who I think is probably not worth another contract with his injury problems,) Kyle Reid, Nicky Forster and Kelly Youga, for whom the news has gone very, very quiet.
I'm also very concerned about Semedo and Dailly, but as the former is contracted to us for another year and the latter talked like he would like to stay I'm a little more confident that they will be with next season. Fingers crossed and all that.
Basically I think that with a spine of Dailly, Semedo and a goal scorer (I know we don't have one yet) we should be a match for most of the dross that lives in this division. Sure, we failed last season, but we had a couple of poor runs and we finished two points away from second place. In fact for about ten minutes we were in second place on the last day of the season, so we hardly fell short.
I think we should be able to attract decent players in their thirties that don't want to move to a club that does it's training in a public park - especially if they are already financially independent, a bit like Christian Dailly.
Of course, it is possible that we will end up with a load of old rubbish and youth players and in a relegation fight, and even lose the battle, but I'm, at this stage, more confident than that. I predicted that we would finish second last season, behind Norwich, and had we won just one more game that's what would have happened. Even hanging on the the two goal leads we had against ten men Millwall at The Valley in December would have done it for us. Ironic really.
I was very sad to see Steve Gritt leave the club, he was the last member of the staff (players or coaches) that was there when I started going in 1981. He has become a legend. He played for us at the highest level and he was part of the management team when we moved back to The Valley, and he even played in that game. I wish him all the best in what ever he does.
Steve Waggott, not so much.
So, with the World Cup drawing to it's conclusion all eyes now turn to the release of the new Charlton home kit (well the shirt really) and on the basis that we might even have it for two seasons I might just buy one, and the squad rebuilding that Parkinson promises us had already started behind the scenes.
I am sure that we will hold off offering contracts until as late as possible, to save the wages, but once the Bailey deal is confirmed I think we will see a steady trickle of players signing. I can't wait.
Up the Addicks!