Friday, 31 December 2010


I don't want to sound ungrateful, and I am very pleased that any potential administration is less likely following this new takeover than it was before, but I can't help feeling a little deflated following the announcement of the new 'owners' this afternoon.

I have never heard of Michael Slater, and why should I have done? Tony Jimenez, however, is a name that has been around football, and Charlton, in the past. I have no reason to assume that they are not going to be successful for the club, even if it's more modest than we would have dreamt of, but in the back of my mind I was hoping for a big money backer that could literally buy success. I know it's unlikely bearing in mind the club and our position, but after the Zabeel debacle two years ago I think my hopes and aspirations have risen.

The biggest worry is that we have no idea who the financiers are. We must be reassured that Murray wouldn't do harm to the club, but to be honest he is clearly out of options now. It is (or was) getting to point where anyone that could keep us out of administration had to be considered.

On the subject of Murray, the details that have been released so far suggest that he has taken a hit by effectively giving away the club - including the debts, of course.

Thus I suspect that we are in a much better position now than we would have been without this change of ownership, but it is just a little less exciting that I was hoping for.

Having said that there is obviously the possibility that there is serious money available and the new board want to prevent us being taken to the cleaners on new player acquisitions. Quite how easy it is to keep this sort of thing quiet in the football world is anyone's guess, but there are already suggestions that we will have money to spend in the January transfer window.

On the plus side, we have managed a very settled transition on the field while this has been going on. The defeat to Walsall was always around the corner, and (most) clubs have the odd result like is in a long season, and runs can, realistically, only last so long. Avoiding two, possibly three, more games in the JPT look like a godsend with the postponed games that we have to fit in, not to mention any more, or the impact of further FA Cup fixtures for us, or teams we might be playing on the Cup weekends.

I think that, even without money to spend in January, we are in a great position to progress this season. We are goal difference behind second with a game in hand. With the stability that will come from financial security (for a season or two at least) plus the potential tweaking to the first team squad we should be confident of a decent challenge in the second half of the season.

With my conservative business man head on I am actually bursting with excitement that we have long (well realistically medium) term financial security, and there is no impending fire sale to pay wages or bills.

On that note, welcome Mr Slater and Mr Jimenez. Let's hope that in 20 years time we can all look back on this takeover as the start of a new, and successful, era in our history.

Up the Addicks!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Next... The Takeover?

Well it seems like the first couple of weeks flew by from the announcement back at the start of the month. We will have new owners by Christmas Eve, although I think they described tomorrow as December 24th - much more professional.

With Christmas looming I found plenty to keep myself busy without spending time wondering if it would be a Wise Man bringing Gold, or a Dennis Wise gearing up the club, or something else completely.

However, after the last day at School last Friday I have been keeping my son company at home this week, and there is a limit as to how many times I can take part in Pokemon Battles or Bakugan Battles before I find myself telling my Son I have 'work' to do. My Dad used to pull this little stunt on me when I was a little boy and I was determined not to do it myself, but like father like son...

'Work' normally means picking up the iPad and surfing the internet, which means internet shopping (none left to do now) or Charlton Life. The latter has been the focal point of my attentions this week, and despite having what could be described as an unnatural interest in many things not Charlton just because Charlton fans are doing or talking about it, I have found it very uninspiring this week. I have given up on the Official Web Site since the switch over to FLi. I was, interestingly, not too worried about losing our own site when the money involved was disclosed, but due to the sheer weight of adverts, most of which won't sit still, I can't find anything on there worth the hassle.

So Charlton Life it is. To be honest any news is on there within minutes of it being of the Official Site, and due to the adverts pages that you just have to go through to get to the news section, that is probably quicker anyway.

I'm not normally very industrious, in fact I'm rather lazy, but I still manage to actually do some work when I'm 'in the office' so being at home this week I have found myself looking at Charlton Life every half hour or so to see if there is any news, and in actual fact the forum doesn't get updated hat often, so it feels as though I've only looked at it five minutes before.

It is now looking increasingly likely that the 'no later than December 24th' will mean not before. I could have saved myself the bother and not looked for news all week. Of course, it is still possible that that the takeover will not happen tomorrow either. I don't want to tempt fate, but the nearer Christmas Eve got the more I believed that it wouldn't happen on that day at all. I know it's not logical, as that did say December 24th, but the nearer it gets the smaller the time left to get it sorted the more I worry. It's a bit like when you need a win and you are drawing. It doesn't matter if the winning goal comes in the 5th minute of injury time, but as the time ticks past I become less convinced that the goal will come.

Anyway, we might find out tomorrow, and we might not. I have no real axe to grind with the potential new owners. Clearly there is part of me that wants to see very wealthy investors that have no interest in financial return, merely buying success for what ever reason they have. I think this is unlikely simply because there are not many people in the world that have that kind of money, and very few of them would want to spend a lot on a football club, and those that would be willing to do so are unlikely to choose Charlton.

If it is Dennis Wise, as has been suggested elsewhere, then so be it. I have do real empathy with him, he is nothing like the kind of man I aspire to be, but if he is in a position to buy the club, and the club is in a better position after he does so I think I should give him the benefit of doubt - I can't really do much about it anyway.

So it would seem that we are close to the revealing of a secret, good or bad, and that in itself is exciting. Christmas is all about surprises, even at my age, and I'm even excited to see what the Fat Man brings my son, and I already know!

So tomorrow (or later tonight - 23rd) or not. After the supposed takeover last summer 'happening within a week' for three months we should hardly be surprised.

So Santa, if you're listening, you can keep the socks, pants and handkerchiefs, all I really want for Christmas is a Multi-Billionaire to buy Charlton Athletic, and I've been a very good boy.

Up the Addicks!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Just thought I'd share a few of the Christmas views out of my window in Kent. I know it's hardly exciting, but it's probably better than reading the drivel I normally write.

It looks lovely, but it does make the last minute shopping a bit tricky.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Up the Addicks!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Brentford 0 - 0 Charlton

It's strange how many Charlton fans rubbished Jose Mourinho's comments after we won there on penalties in the League Cup a few years ago (it seems like a lot more than a few now) but I still consider last night's game as a draw.

If it had been a league game I would have been perfectly happy with a clean sheet and a point away to the other 'form' side in our division.

In the end it is a cup game and no official draw is allowed so you progress or you don't and we didn't.

I was quite excited about the JPT as I thought it offered us a realistic opportunity to play at Wembley again, something that might not happen any other way during my lifetime (not to mention my Dad's who is clearly older than me), but in the end I suspect that even this round has cost us points in the only competition that really matters.

I have no idea if we would have won on Sunday if we'd not had the distraction of this game hanging over us. even last night we were just a one game away from a two legged tie that would have sent us to Wembley. This could well have had an impact on some of our players as it is unlikely they would have even dreamt about sitting their grandchildren down to tell them the story about how they were lucky enough to be in the side that beat Walsall at The Valley on a Sunday in 2010.

In actual fact my enthusiasm for this competition completely dwindled about three weeks ago when I realised that the Final was taking place while I was going to be in the air flying to Orlando to take my six year old to Disney World and the other attractions that are on offer there. I have arranged, and re-arranged, many social events over the years, but there was no way this was going to be avoided. Thus I wouldn't have known about the result until four hours after the game finished - and would have missed out on the big day out.

I was still, honestly, hoping that we would get there as it is good financially and it is a good day out for other Charlton fans, but I was hardly devastated. It was hardly the same as the playoff semi-final defeat in May. to be honest, after a second successive missile throwing event by our fans I'm not sure I'm all that bothered about all Charlton fans missing out either.

I know we need all the fans we can get (well their money anyway) but I really am happy to do without those that throw missiles. While I'm on the subject those that insist on singing the word c**t can stop coming too. Ah, and that stupid incest song. The thing is if I was uneducated, unintelligent and uncivilised I would go out of my way to keep it to myself. These people seem to be pleased to advertise that they are are the lowest members of society. normally I am reluctant to criticise people on here for fear of a backlash, but I'm confident that those I'm talking about can't actually read so I have little to worry about.

Anyway, back to the game last night. It was hardly a classic, but I don't think we were particularly lucky, and we did keep a clean sheet against a team that has been in good form, and it was away. Also, let's not forget that we lost there 2-0 in the league a few weeks ago (our last away defeat).

I am, therefore, pleased with the result, not disappointed with the performance, and very excited about what we saw from Carl Jenkinson. He looks a real prospect, which is good as Francis is a real liability (on occasion) and Solly is unreliabile (can't seem to be fit enough to play when needed).

The fact that I wasn't going to the Final in any event means that I have't lost out on a day out at Wembley, and we have avoided two more midweek games on the hard pitches that winter provides.

Not exactly what we were hoping or, but a lot better than Walsall, and it gives me a little hope that maybe, just maybe, we might be able to claw enough results together this season to make it a success - maybe.

Up the Addicks!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Charlton 0 - 1 Walsall

Well, it was hardly pleasant watching was it?

What is most strange is that had we won this game 1-0 against a poor side, that clearly wanted it more than us, we would have congratulated ourselves on 'Just beating what's put in front of you'.

When you think that we finished just two points short of automatic promotion last season it is painful to see us lose a game that we so clearly could have won. I'm not going to say 'should' have won as we shouldn't, but we may well come to really rue those three dropped points in May.

I don't want to be disrespectful to Walsall because they played the more adventurous football, and deserved their win based on the 90 minutes, but we were a little clueless and just looked tired and/or believed that all we needed to do was turn up and the game was won.

Hopefully, if it's the latter it is a mistake that we will not make again. Maybe it would be best if we could lose at Brentford on Tuesday and then play our U18 side at Spurs so that the players can concentrate on the promotion that the club so desperately needs?

Again let me say that is with full expect to Walsall, but they are tailed off at the bottom of the division for a reason. We ought not face an easier home fixture this season, apart from Luton that we only drew, and Barnet, that we won 1-0, but you get my point.

We have looked like a blessed side on a few occasions this season.
We shouldn't have beaten Notts County (we should have lost) and we were probably a little lucky against MK Dons. We were also a bit fortunate to get back into it against Yeovil with ten men. On that basis we must have known that we either needed to raise our game, continue to be incredibly lucky, or lose a game we would, otherwise, have expected to win.

In all honesty I'm more than happy to continue to win games against the run of play and I'm more that happy to be promoted at the end of the season with a string of 'lucky' results. My worry is that old saying 'class is permanent, form is temporary'.

Parkinson got us close last season, and he got Colchester promoted from this division. Maybe the way you it is to play average to rubbish football and just keep winning games you deserve to lose. If that's a winning formula then I'll have some. If not then at some point we are going to have to start looking like we can actually play a bit at home. Otherwise the crowds will fall and in all likelihood we will be stuck in the god awful division for at least another season.

Up the Addicks!