Friday 19 April 2024

The draw of London

Poor health has kept me from The Valley for longer than I would have liked, but I have bought a ticket in the Stand of the Living Dead for tomorrow and am going to make the five hour return journey to London.

I am anticipating another draw and am looking forward to the presentation of the draw specialist trophies for both the EFL and League One.

Shrewsbury drew at Bolton on Tuesdaty.   Shropshire's finest may not be mathematically safe, but they are as good as.

Away from home, the Salopians have won five, dawn five and lost twelve.

After last Saturday's home loss to Wycombe shell shocked Shewsbury supremo Paul Hurst said: 'I can see and hear the fan's [sic] anger a little bit in this game, but I can't stand here and say I don't agree with them.  It is hard to put into words what we have witnessed this afternoon.  It was a nothing performance.'   But then there have been a few of those at The Valley.

The CAF Trust preview suggests there may be reason to hope for a win: https://www.castrust.org/2024/04/will-we-see-an-upbeat-ending-to-the-season/?v=79cba1185463

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Valete Portsmouth, Salvete Stockport

Congratulations to Portsmouth on their promotion to the Championship, that's one less worry for pitch announcer Brian Cole.

Inevitably former Leamington Colby Bishop scored for Pompey last night.   We could have had him for £50k but he was snapped up by Accrington and then by Portsmouth.

Portsmouth's departure is not altogether good news for us as we were a bit of a bogey team for them, unbeaten against them this year.

I believe I am right in saying that we have played Pompey more than any other club.   More about their resurgence here: https://footballeconomyv2.blogspot.com/2024/04/pompey-did-play-up.html

Stockport are the only club whose ground I have visited both for Charlton and for my non-league club Leamington.   Their fans were a lot of trouble when they came to Harbury Lane and one got on the pich and poured a pint of beer over our then goal keeper. the Barmy Binman.

Stockport see League One as a way station to their rightful place in the Championship so they will be in confident mood.   Confidence is important in football, but it is also possible to be over confident.

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Salvete: Wrexham

Wrexham will be joining League One next season and there is no doubt that they pose a real threat.  They show that even a club in an obscure location, albeit now a city, can be globalised with the right backers and a third Disney+ series.  Under former Addicks manager Phil Parkinson they will benefit from momentum.  Football finance guru Kieran Maguire thinks they will be competitive: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68819844

Monday 15 April 2024

Salvete: Rotherham United

As one of the longer lasting League One clubs, one of our tasks is to ‘welcome’ the seven new opponents who will be joining us next season.   Rotherham United have already been relegated from the Championship.   In the season so far they have won just four matches (none away) and have conceded 85 goals.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Rotherham has had its economic and social challenges since the decline of the steel industry.   It is very much in the shadow of a more vibrant Sheffield.

When I was an undergraduate (nearly sixty years ago) one of my flat mates had a girl friend who came from Rotherham.   Not only that, her family owned the leading (probably the only) department store in Rotherham.  When he went up there he was given a tour of the department store with every member of staff bowing and scraping to Miss X.  

I can’t give her name because she is still alive and I had a bit of a run in with her which looks bizarrely amusing in retrospect, but annoyed me at the time.   What was evident was that the family were not short of money including a big house in an even then expensive Cornish resort.  The point here is that Rotherham was once a prosperous working class community.

Now, ‘Rotherham has been ranked the unhappiest place to live in England according to a survey. Rightmove asked 21,000 people to complete a study based on their overall happiness with their area and what makes a place feel like home. Out of 221 cities, towns and villages surveyed, Rotherham came bottom of the list.’

Many years back after seeing Charlton play an early kick off at Huddersfield, some of us went over to see Brighton play at Millmoor, Rotherham United’s then ground.   I thought it was a typical old style Third Division North ground, atmospheric but not 21st century.

Now the Millers have a smart new stadium, the New York Stadium (actually named after a local area), but they keep yo yoing between the Championship and League One, although the training ground is a swamp and apparently frequently under water. They have been relegated in four of the last eight seasons, owner Tony Stewart refusing to splash the cash and put the club into debt.

Stewart owns a local lighting manufacturing firm.

Former supremo Matt Taylor missed all his summer transfer targets and ended up signing players who were too old or injury prone to attract interest elsewhere.

They might be better off trying to consolidate in League One, taking advantage of not paying Championship wages to improve the infrastructure.  A decent training ground is a key to success.

Match day attendances are a constraint: the record at the new stadium was 11,758 against local rivals Sheffield United in 2013.

However, the owner and the fans will expect them to compete so they could well be in the running for promotion.   In other words, they are a potential thorn in our side as we seek to escape from League One.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Jones insists it's the players to blame for defensive errors

Charlton are now mathematically safe after yesterday's draw at Cambridge.  But as the draw specialists prepare ro claim both the EFL and League One draw specialists trophies, Nathan Jones says that three managers cannot be responsible for the defensive blunders, it's the personnel: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/sport/three-managers-cant-be-that-inept-at-coaching-defensive-responsibilities-nathan-jones-on-the-tough-decisions-to-make-after-charltons-draw-at-cambridge/

However, Charlton cannot beat the all time third tier draws record which is 23.

The Addicks scored first after 23 minutes when George Dobson's pass was taken down on the edge of the box by Connor Wickham, who then fired low beyond Will Mannion to mark his full debut with a goal.

In added time Mannion made an excellent save to deny Tyreece Campbell, and soon after the break he also pushed Tyreeq Bakinson's shot wide.

Instead Cambridge hit back after 50 minutes through Macauley Bonne (yes, him), who struck a powerful shot on the turn from the edge of the box and celebrated his first U's goal against one of his former clubs. His fellow players stopped him from going to the away end as the big lump cupped his ears.

Charlton missed a huge chance to go back ahead 13 minutes from the end when Dobson played sub Alfie May through on goal, but the division's top scorer saw his shot come back off the far post.

In the final seconds of the game Mannion again came out on top, denying May at his near post.

Charlton lose £100k a week

A grim financial picture at Charlton is revealed by the club's latest accounts as analysed by football finance guru Kieran Maguire.   I will review them myself given a few days.

Charlton have now submitted their 22/23 accounts.  Revenue at £9.8m no change.   Wages £10.3m up 8%.    Operating loss for year was £9.9m up 2%.  Player purchases £113k.   Player sales £565k. Club was sold after end of season

Charlton are losing about £190k a week as no money left after paying wages for the day to day costs of the club.

Charlton total losses from all the seasons it has been in existence now exceed £57 million. No cash at end of 22/23 in the bank.  Charlton borrowed £8.5m in 22/23 to provide working capital to pay the bills.

Over half of Charlton’s income comes from ticket sales. Payoffs (to manager?) were £148k in the year.

Charlton paying £678k rent in 22/23 (to Roland). Wage bill down but still £105 for every £100 of income.

Charlton squad by end of season cost £2.4m. Player write downs were over £100k.

Loans from owner in year took total Charlton borrowings to nearly £28m.  Charlton could still have to pay money to Roland’ DuShatalay’ if promoted to Premier League.

Old owner of Charlton controlled club via a company in that bastion of transparency, the Cayman Islands.