Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Nathan Byrne won't be back

Nathan Byrne, on loan at Charlton since January, won't be back next season. Wigan want him in their squad for next season: Nathan Byrne

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

No Belgian loan deal for Tony Watt

There will be no Belgian loan deal for Tony Watt: Tony Watt

Quite what his future holds remains uncertain. It is difficult to see yet another loan deal being secured, but he does not fit in with Karl Robinson's plans.

Three chase Holmes

Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City have joined Sheffield United in an attempt to sign Charlton winger Ricky Holmes. No fees have been mentioned in any of the reports I have seen.

Hopefully, the club will stand firm. Fans would regard the departure of Holmes as a major blow.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Botaka released by Leeds

Jordan Botaka, on loan at Charlton in the season just ended, has been released by Leeds. It's a bit harsh to describe him as a 'flop' at The Valley as this report does, but I certainly wouldn't want to sign him: Jordan Botaka

In another shock, Roger Johnson has been released by Charlton. As the SLP's Richard Cawley commented on Twitter, 'That won't go down well with the fans.'

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Robinson: 'I do my business in a very private way'

Robinson is upset that Ben Reeves' agent has revealed that there have been talks about a move for the 25-year old attacking midfielder to Charlton. He is a free agent after having been let go by MK Dons: Private transfer talks

I suppose one has to expect that managers will want to hire players they have worked with in the past.

One person commented on Twitter, 'For an experienced manager Robinson sometimes seems exceptionally naïve.

Reeves started his career at Southampton: Career details

Monday, 15 May 2017

Robinson's summer headache

Karl Robinson will not be able to make the fresh start he would like in the summer because he was constrained by past mistakes made by the regime in the shape of long-term contracts signed for players who turned out to be not fit for purpose, argues VOTV editor Rick Everitt: Simmer headache

The Rickster does point out there are a number of players from whom we may benefit in terms of retention, promotion or sell on clauses.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

An important summer

This blog post argues that this is one of Charlton's most important summers (agreed) and that Roland and Katrien can still get it right (possibly, but past performance doesn't give much assurance): Summer of hope?

Illustrating the story with one of those photos of Katrien where she looks as if she has got a wasp in her month doesn't help the story line

Friday, 12 May 2017

Teixeira attracting interest abroad

Jorge Teixeira is attracting interest from foreign clubs. He has three years left on his contract and is one of the highest paid players at The Valley, disposing of him would trim the wage bill: Teixeira

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ricky Holmes likely to stay

Charlton are to hold contract talks with player of the year with Ricky Holmes and it is thought likely they will be successful. He will be offered a boost to his wages: New contract

This is very encouraging news.

Farewell, then, Adam Chicksen

Adam Chicksen has been released by the club: Valete. Thanks for all you tried to do.

The club will be looking for another left back. Lewis Page didn't have the best of starts with suspensions and injuries.

Six top protests of 2016/17

The News Shopper has selected the six top protests of Charlton's 2016-17 season, accompanied by an extensive gallery of photographs: Pitch protests

I would rather recall our six best victories of the season, but that list might be difficult to produce.

Charlton bid for Jags centre back

Charlton are in talks over signing highly rated Partick Thistle centre back 21-year old Liam Lindsay who has a £750,000 price tag on his head, according to the Scottish press Liam Lindsay

However, promoted Bolton are also in the frame and the Jags don't want their keeper to move south of the border for at least another season.

Lindsay is a product of the Partick Thistle youth system: Career details

Leamington 1, Charlton 0

Tony Breeden's crucial penalty save

That was the comment of a Brakes supporter after Leamington won the Birmingham Senior Cup at Molieneux last night by beating Wolves on penalties, the first scored by their Sam Bartram style keeper Tony Breeden.

Leamington's promotion and cup victory is some compensation for another season of disappointment and alienation at Charlton.

Match report here: Brakes

Monday, 8 May 2017

Addicks interested in Rochdale striker

Charlton have expressed an interest in Rochdale striker Ian Henderson who scored 19 goals last season: Striker

This presumably implies that Tony Watt will be moving on (no surprise there) and Nicky Ajose will not be returning.

One Addick has tweeted in relation to Henderson, 'Another Crofts or Novak.'

Jacko would like to manage Charlton

In an extensive interview, Johnnie Jackson says that he would like to manage Charlton. He is confident he could make a good job of it, but so far he hasn't been asked: New role

A cautionary tale

Rod Liddle was writing in the Sunday Times yesterday about the fate of Blackburn Rovers under their current owners, Venky's. He concluded the article, 'I remember, a few years back, a close mate of mine telling me in excited terms that his club were about to be taken over by a foreign owner with lots of money to splash around. Just watch us go! And indeed we did. The club was Charlton Athletic and the owner was Roland Duchatelet.'

Liddle reckons that 'Charlton look set for a long sojourn down below the waterline.' Liddle is, of course, a Millwall supporter, but, to be fair, he has backed CARD.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Ricky Holmes wants a new contract

Player of the season Ricky Holmes wants a new contract. He has twelve months to run on his current deal, but he is not the highest paid player at The Valley, receiving less than Nicky Ajose: New contract

We can't afford to lose Holmes who brings real quality to the team. Indeed, it would be good to make him captain. Over to you, Katrien. Deploy those negotiating skills.

Karl Robinson is keen to bring Stephy Mavididi, recovering from injury, back to The Valley on loan: Mavididi

Friday, 5 May 2017

Takeover talks stall

The takeover talks with the Australian Football Consortium have stalled, but they could yet be revived with Roland Duchatelet willing to listen to offers: Not enough readies

The consortium were prepared to offer £25m, but had difficulty in raising the cash. This does not bode well for their ability to invest in the club.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Watt's future in doubt

The future of mercurial Scottish striker Tony Watt is in doubt. He did not feature in the last five games of the season and Karl Robinson is to hold talks with him: Uncertain future

Meire apologises if she has upset fans

In a question and answer session with the CAS Trust Katrien Meire has apologised if she has upset fans. She also stated that the toxic nature of the club made it difficult to attract players. Other answers dealt with the Jimmy Seed stand: Katrien Meire

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Robinson in for MK Dons keeper

Karl Robinson is planning a bid for MK Dons keeper David Martin: New keeper?

Declan Rudd has returned to Norwich and been granted a one year extension of his contract. However, I have reservations about Rudd (I think Phillips is at least as good) and would not want to make a bid for him.

Martin comes from a football family: Career details

Monday, 1 May 2017

We are going up!

Consolation for Charlton's poor season this afternoon when my non-league team Leamington won the Southern Premier League play off final against Hitchin Town 2-1 in extra time. The crowd was a ground record of 2,108.

So next season they will be just three tiers below Charlton.

Match report here: Brakes Reports

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Emphatic win ends mediocre season

A 3-0 defeat of relegated Swindon at The Valley today saw Charlton finish 13th in League One, not that impressive given a claimed 'top six' budget. If we had taken more of our chances, it could have been a much bigger scoreline.

There was a strange dearth of programme sellers outside the ground before the game, but Rick Everitt was on his usual pitch selling Voice of the Valley, raucously promising a Chrissy Powell exclusive, thus deflecting attention from the absence of a souvenir supplement covering the centenary of the shelling of Ramsgate.

I was quite isolated on my row, with both Steve from Petts Wood and the Bloke Beside Me and his friends absent. However, the Bloke Behind Me kept up a stream of advice, his most frequent shout being 'Play the simple ball.'

A few minutes are kick off black and white balloons hit the pitch, but play was only delayed for a couple of minutes.

The first phase of the game saw Anton Rodgers hitting the bar from a free-kick for the Rocking Robins. But it was Charlton who took the lead on 15 minutes when Chelsea loanee Jay Dasilva's cross was headed home by striker Josh Magennis.

Charlton stepped up the pressure and Nathan Byrne and Magennis came close to doubling the Addick's lead. Charton were dominating and got their second on 43 minutes when Jake Forster-Caskey turned in a Byrne cross from close range.

Charlton seemed a little sleepy and casual after the break and the visitors got into the game more. Johnnie Jackson was then prevented from scoring by Will Henry when the keeper saved well from the Addicks' captain. An offside flag then saw a Islam Feruz goal for Swindon chalked off. Charlton's third came on 66 minutes when fans' player of the season Ricky Holmes slid a shot past Henry from a Byrne pass to wrap up the points.

Johnnie Jackson got a warm standing ovation when he was substituted.

Dire warnings about penalties under the Football Grounds Act were issued over the loudspeakers, although those about throwing objects on the pitch (which had included flares) were redundant by then. A security cordon failed to prevent a good humoured but firmly anti-Roland pitch invasion at the end of the game. Josh Magennis walked over to the East Stand and gave his shirt to an older lady supporter.

Two fire engines were seen heading for the ground after the game.

The rumour mill says that Lee Bowyer is to become assistant manager. Louis Mendez tweeted that Karl Robinson seemed uncertain about his future after the game.

Average official attendances at Charlton this year fell by 29 per cent from 15,632 to 11,162.

Charlton failed to win the 'most draws' trophy which went to Bradford City with 19 as against 18 for the Addicks.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The money wasted on transfer fees

Based on a detailed analysis of the accounts, VOTV editor Rick Everitt (the man that put the 'Ram' in 'Ramsgate') looks at the ten most expensive signings under the current regime and concluded that only one of them offered value for money: How Duchatelet wasted £10m on fees

It's an interesting read. The only disappointment is that the Rickster did not write anything to commemorate the shelling of Ramsgate 100 years ago on Friday.

Charlton could reach the dizzy heights

If they beat Swindon tomorrow and results elsewhere go the right way, Charlton could reach the dizzy heights of 12th in League One: Dizzy Heights

For many fans much of the interest will be in the protests before (and probably during and after) the game. We should also remember the plight of fans at other clubs burdened with incompetent owners, exemplified by the match between Blackpool and Leyton Orient: Fans united

Friday, 28 April 2017

Chinese interest in Palace

A reputable Chinese company have expressed an interest in acquiring Crystal Palace: Selhurst

Desports already own Granada in La Liga and are trying to buy a Belgian club so they could almost have a Roland style network but without the incompetence.

New role for Bowyer?

Lee Bowyer may be promoted from his current role to replace the outgoing coaches at Charlton: Coming Man?

Karl Robinson has been impressed by his mentality and his attention to detail in his current assistant role.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Takeover talk bubbles on

There continues to be takeover speculation surrounding Charlton Athletic: Other buyers

How much substance there is to this remains to be seen. It is evident that the Australian consortium were also looking at other clubs and probably did not have sufficient money anyway. However, the publicity given to them may have flushed out other potential buyers.

The Blackheath Addick has an interesting take on the possible stance of the AFC: Site changes

Have you no shame?

That is the question VOTV editor and leading vinegar pisser Rick Everitt puts to Katrien Meire: One final question

Rick also has a little pop at me. I did think at one time that as Katrien Meire is clearly an intelligent woman she might see the error of her ways and learn from her mistakes. Unfortunately, that has not happened.

You can see an excellent new video from The Guardian about the fight against the regime here: < The fight for the club's future

Coaching departures

Charlton's coaching bench will no longer be overstocked with Simon Clark and Richie Barker departing, meaning that the only senior coach left is Belgian front man Chris O'Loughlin: Valete

Andrew Crofts has triggered the contract extension he qualifies for after playing a set number of matches: Andrew Crofts

The news was not greeted with joy by all Charlton supporters.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Robinson gives it large

Karl Robinson is not happy with the fitness level of Charlton players which have not allowed his favourite formation to work. Accordingly, he is instituting a hardline pre-season fitness regime: Tough talk

My worry with Robinson is that his talking outpaces what he actually does, but I think he deserves a chance to build his own side and train them as he thinks fit.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Jackson signs up

Johnnie Jackson is to sign a new contract soon. It is expected that he will lean more towards a coaching role next year: Deal for captain

Fans at Chesterfield were disappointed when he was not allowed to take the penalty. This led to some booing which was not directed at the penalty taker as a regime apologist has claimed.

Charlton strengthen their hold on 14th place

Charlton strengthened their hold on 14th place with a 2-1 win at Chesterfield this afternoon. However, they failed to keep a clean sheet and were unable to score from a last gasp penalty.

Charlton did not start well, finding it difficult to cope with Chesterfield's 3-5-2 formation and in particular with the lively winger Mitchell. They lacked possession with the home side's midfield five dominating,but managed to survive some early scares.

Magennis advancing on goal was denied by a handball, but instead of the deserved penalty, Charlton got a free kick on the edge of the area. A good effort from Holmes was tipped over by the keeper. Aribo got a yellow card for a foul on Mitchell.

Holmes put in a good ball to Magennis. Instead of laying it off to Ahearne-Grant, who was free on his left, he shot straight at the keeper. Ahearne-Grant, making his first start off the season was furious.

A great run by Konsa was unproductive. Aribo fed Forster-Caskey who shot with his left foot into the bottom right-hand corner to put the Addicks ahead. An effort by Holmes went into the side netting.

HT: Spireites 0, Addicks 1

Charlton continued to play with confidence. Great work by Ahearne-Grant led to a free kick from which Ricky Holmes scored on 57 minutes, his shot taking a deflection off the wall.

With a substitution the home side switched to 4-4-2. Charlton made a double substitution with Botaka replacing Ahearne-Grant and Lee Novak replacing Aribo. Former Spireite Novak received applause from the home support. The change broke up Charlton's rhythm and their formation with more space available in the centre of midfield. A home side snap shot crashed against the crossbar.

Pearce had been putting in some good defensive work, but a Botaka shot was well off target. Johnnie Jackson replaced Magennis. Chesterfield scored through Mitchell. Rudd, who had not been having the greatest of games, saved the first attempt, but Mitchell scored from the rebound. Rudd ended up tangled in the net.

In the last minute of time added on, Forster-Caskey was pushed over. He argued with Holmes about who should take the penalty. Holmes walked away disgruntled and Forster-Caskey's shot was saved.

Attendance was 5,657 with about 600 Addicks.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Robinson plays down Wigan reports

Karl Robinson has played down reports linking him with Wigan Athletic. His explanation is that when you are from 'oop north you get linked with any job that comes up there: Happy Down South

Spireites asked to show their mean side

Chesterfield have been asked to show their mean side and display hunger and nastiness as they face what the local newspaper confusingly calls 'The Addics' tomorrow: Time to be mean

Referee Michael Salisbury will have to adjudicate as the tackles fly in. However, the goals could fly in as well as Chesterfield have conceded more goals at home than any other team in League One this season.

Majority shareholder David Allen is fed up and wants to sell up, but no one wants to buy.

For Charlton the race for fourteenth place is on to avoid the dire performance of 1973/74: The race for fourteenth

The Addicks are also in with a chance of topping the League One draws league. At the moment they are level pegging with Bradford City on 18 draws, but it's still all to play for.

The Wharf looks at why the season has been a disaster for the club: Survival for what?

Incidentally, with Gemma Arterton's new film getting good reviews, it is worth noting that she remains a devoted Addick.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Charlton target Marshall

Charlton are interested in Bradford winger Mark Marshall who is a free agent and thought to be keen to return to his London roots: Mark Marshall

Career details here: Non-league start

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

End of term report for Roland

Congratulations to Paul Breen for this excellent end of term report on Roland: End of term report

The Times kindly remarks this morning that 'Charlton Athletic' is a oxymoron.

Congratulations also to Brighton and Hove Albion on their promotion. Twenty years ago they almost went out of business and for a number of years they had to play their home games at Gillingham. I am a member of West Sussex CASC and we have always had good relations with the Seagulls.

I was heartened to hear a Brighton fan say on Radio 5 this morning that what he was most looking forward to next season was beating Crystal Palace.

An interesting blog from the authoritative Swiss Ramble on Brighton's financial strategy: Seagulls

Monday, 17 April 2017

Decisive win for Addicks

Charlton secured a decisive 3-0 win over Gillingham at The Valley this afternoon, with Jay Dasilva coming out for a tunnel jump: Clear victory

Goals from Jason Pearce and Ricky Holmes put the hosts in charge at the break and Josh Magennis added a third for Charlton early in the second half. Gillingham were guilty of missing a number of chances in the game while once again showing their vulnerability at the back.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Challenges for Robinson

VOTV editor Rick Everitt sets a number of challenges for Karl Robinson between now and the end of the season: Easter Rising

The first of these is to avoid defeat, and hopefully beat, Gillingham in the Easter Monday clash. The Rickster rightly points out that descriptions of this as the 'Kent derby' are misleading, with the Gills almost invisible in the Isle of Thanet. Nevertheless, Gills fans from the Medway towns have bought 2,000 tickets in advance, so we can expect to see a lot of caravans in SE7 tomorrow.

Another challenge is to finish 14th and avoid Charlton's worst finish in 91 years.

It really shows how far the Addicks have fallen under the present regime.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Pigs fly but Charlton don't

Flying pigs delayed the start of the game between Coventry City and Charlton at the Ricoh today and a second wave saw the players taken off. The match ended 1-1 which relegated Coventry, but it wasn't an inspiring performance from the Addicks. Coventry's back four didn't look strong and their left back was limping in the final phase, but the Addicks failed to go for the three points.

After the flying pigs, the game got off to a slow start. On 20 minutes an excellent DaSilva cross saw Byrne head against the bar. Magennis beat his man with a lovely turn, but the ball went just over.

Pearce denied Thomas with an important tackle, but the Sky Blues made it 1-0 from the corner. Taken short, the set piece caught Charlton off guard. Panic set in and the defending was sloppy.

On 38 minutes Rudd stopped it being 2-0, saving well from Jones. Magennis drew a save from Burge.

HT: Sky Blues 1, Addicks 0

An early Coventry corner was scrambled away. From a Holmes corner, Magennis flicked the ball on and Bauer equalised with a header on 54 minutes.

Konsa was replaced by Forster-Caskey. Crofts got a yellow card for a foul.

Rudd kept Charlton in the game with a great save from Jones and another one from G Thomas. Aribo replaced Holmes on 78 minutes. Forster-Caskey drew a save from Burge with a powerful shot.

In time added on, Burge came up for a Coventry corner. With the Coventry goal open, Rudd supplied Magennis, but he missed.

Charlton have gone up to 15th.

Unconfirmed reports state that Karl Robinson will not see out his contract, but will join Wigan.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Takeover speculation 'unhelpful'

An anonymous club spokesman has stated, "The rumours and speculation regarding the sale of Charlton Athletic are unhelpful. There are many people, mostly intermediaries, who approach us regularly asking whether the club is for sale."

"Whilst we understand Charlton Athletic will always generate interest from potential investors, our priority is to focus on the remaining games this season and planning for a successful 2017/18 season."

Not as unhelpful as Roland and Katrien have been.

It will be noted that the statement does not say that the club is not for sale.

Rickster puts his cork hat on

VOTV editor Rick Everitt did visit Australia many years ago. I'm not sure whether he has kept any souvenirs, but if he has, he may well be putting his cork hat on again.

Rick has written an article on the prospective Australian takeover which makes a number of very good points: Glimpse of sunshine from down under

He makes the point that there was just too much detail in the Mail story for it to be a journalistic invention. He also knocks on the head the idea that Roland has a scheme to redevelop The Valley. The fact is that it would be a very difficult and expensive site to redevelop.

He hasn't thrown any light on the talks that two leading Charlton fans were having in Melbourne last month, but no doubt more will emerge about that in due course.

Rumble at the Ricoh

Charlton and Coventry City fans will be engaging in a joint demonstration against their owners at the Ricoh Arena tomorrow. With Charlton now judged to be safe in League One, the Coventry Evening Telegraph has asked the SLP's Richard Cawley why the Addicks have not made further progress this season: Brothers in arms

Odds: Coventry 2/1, Draw 21/10, Charlton 13/10.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Good day!

Getting away from Roland

An Australian consortium is in talks to buy Charlton: Oz buyers

The UK chairman of the Australian Football Consortium is the chairman of construction firm Balfour Beatty.

Charlton would become a conduit for Socerroos. Charlton would become 'Australia's football club.' The price is said to be £20m.

It seems likely that this rather low price is just for the club and not the ground and training ground which would be rented out. It is believed that a ten year lease will be offered. Alternatively, the new owners might additionally have to service and pay down the debt.

It is hoped to secure a return to the Premier League in five years.

Melbourne-based Henslow pty ltd. is undertaking the capital raise process. Deloitte Sports Business undertook a feasibility study: Australian Football Consortium

'Takeover news coming'

There have been rumours throughout the day that a takeover of Charlton is imminent, but five minutes ago VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted that 'takeover news is coming'. Is the long Nightmeire over at last?

Sceptics insist that nothing is happening, but it is being suggested that a national newspaper (The Mail has the story.

The national news outlet that has the story is not expected to release anything until this evening.

The club has denied that it is for sale and that speculation is wide of the mark.

Monday, 10 April 2017

'That's your opinion'

Katrein Meire seems to have got a rougher ride at last Saturday's question and answer session than she did at the one I attended last Tuesday: Stonewalling

Charlton in financial comparison

All Championship clubs have now published their financial accounts for 2015/16 (apart from Bolton Wanderers) and the author of the authoritative Swiss Ramble blog has tweeted a series of tables.

Here are some key comparisons for Charlton:

  • 9th in terms of wages-turnover ratio, 111 per cent (recommended figure is 50 per cent)
  • 6th in wages growth at £2.1m
  • But 5th from bottom in terms of wages bill (£13m)
  • Commercial income 2nd from bottom at £2.4m (MK Dons bottom)
  • Broadcasting income 6th from bottom

Jason Pearce's injury hell

Jason Pearce talks about his first bad injury and warns the Addicks about complacency after the victory against Southend: Injury hell

There is speculation that Tony Watt may be leaving Charlton, after he removed references to the club from his social media accounts.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Step towards survival

Charlton took an important step towards survival with a 2-1 win over playoff hopefuls Southend United at The Valley this afternoon. The Addicks are now five points off the relegation zone and have eight teams below them.

Ricky Holmes opened the scoring for the Addicks on six minutes. The visitors equalised five minutes later, but Forster-Caskey created the winner on 74 minutes.

Holmes picked the ball up on the left flank and, with Jason Demetriou backing off, he advanced into the penalty area and unleashed a low, left footed shot which seemed to fly through the legs of Blues’ on loan goalkeeper Christian Walton at the near post before nestling in the back of the net.

After the break, an Addicks corner caused chaos in the Shrimpers' penalty area as Josh Magennis' overhead kick deflected off a Southend player which had to be cleared off the line. After 61 minutes, Stephen McLaughlin was put through by Simon Cox but Declan Rudd did well to deny the midfielder.

Charlton then took the lead after 74 minutes when Nathan Byrne's cross was flicked on by substitute Jake Forster-Caskey before the ball came off Southend defender Thompson to concede an own goal.

The Addicks threatened with Josh Magennis seeing a close range effort ruled out for offside. In reply, McLaughlin then sent a low shot straight at Rudd before the Irishman’s 25 yard free-kick was pushed wide of the left post by the keeper. But, right at the death, the Shrimpers wasted a clearer chance to score when Nouble headed McGlashan’s left wing cross wide of the right post from inside the six yard box.

Karl Robinson thinks that training at The Valley helped and has declared that none of the players took the piss in today's match. just as well with so many vinegar pissers in the crowd: Robinson jubilant

The battle continues

Giving a presentation at Cass Business School yesterday I was introduced as a Charlton Athletic supporter which brought a ripple of sympathetic laughter from the audience. Today the Addicks face another tough test against the promotion chasing Shrimpers.

Karl Robinson admits that he is on a steep learning curve and faces the toughest challenge of his career: Vertical curve

Chris Powell will be on Channel 5's football programme tonight and here he talks about Southend as a 'brilliant' club: Blues made me

The Times does not even think it is worth mentioning Charlton its listing of League One relegation prospects this morning. Coventry City and Chesterfield are judged to be already effectively down (99.9 and 99.8 chances respectively). Swindon have a 37.2 per cent chance, Shrewsbury Town 26.2 per cent, Oldham Athletic 11.6 per cent, Gillingham 11.2 per cent, Port Vale 10.4 per cent and Bury 3.8 per cent.

Odds are: Charlton 7/4, Draw 23/10, Southend 31/20.

The last Voice of the Valley for this season will be on sale around the ground before the match. Alternatively, you can order it online and get a Ramsgate postmark and a IoTA (Isle of Thanet Addicks) souvenir envelope. As well as the usual crew of vinegar pissers, Matt Wright interviews Chris Powell: Latest issue

Incidentally, Charlton spent £608,000 on agents' fees in 2016-17, by far the largest total in League One and a substantial proportion of the League One total of just over £3m. Did we get value for money?

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

'We are going down'

That was the chant that rang out around The Valley yesterday evening after Charlton lost 0-2 to MK Dons, having been outplayed by the visitors. Fortunately, Port Vale and Shrewsbury both lost, so we remain four points above the drop zone.

However, we have got one win in fourteen and, if we carry on playing like this, it is difficult to see where one is coming from. When I looked at the team, I thought it looked quite strong, but that was not evident on the pitch.

Our last four matches are going to be six pointers against bottom teams.

I have some difficulty last night in working out what our formation was, eventually concluding it was some kind of diamond. However, the team kept losing its shape. Watt was a disappointment, Forster-Caskey was anonymous and Chris Solly seemed to lack pace. Only loan player DaSilva looked up for it.

Voting for Player of the Year takes place on Saturday and it is difficult to think of a deserving candidate.

The Franchisees went ahead after seven minutes following a defensive mix up. Holmes did have a chance on 19 minutes to equalise, but put the ball wide. Their second half goal from Barnes was well taken, creeping just inside the post, and attracted applause from some Addicks.

The tributes to PC Keith Palmer were carried out in a dignified manner and reflected credit on the club. It was also good to hear the crowd chanting, 'PC Keith Palmer, he's one of our own.'

Valley Gold meeting with Katrien Meire

Meire came across as pleasant and I don't have any personal quarrel with her, I just think she is the wrong job. She tried to answer the questions put, although understandably when asked what would happen if Roland kicked the bucket, she said she hadn't discussed this issue with 'upstairs'.

Quite a lot of time was spent on the sale of Lookman, but I don't really have a quarrel with the regime about this. I think that different owners would have made the same decision. Lookman wanted to go and it would have been unfair to deny him the opportunity. If he had stayed as a loan player, his play might have been affected by the fear of getting injured.

Meire is clearly worried about the possibility of relegation. She said that at the end of January it was still thought there was a chance of the play offs, but after a poor February, Robinson was instructed to go for safety. The team was clearly under performing and, following the disappointing result at Peterborough, she had spoken to Robinson on the phone on Saturday and Sunday. I did not get the impression that Robinson was in jeopardy: rather he is being asked to plan for next season. Wingers, a striker and a goalkeeper are on the priority list.

Their most expensive acquisition, Ajose, had been on the recommendation of the then manager. They had not realised that the whole system at Swindon had been built around him which was not possible at Charlton. One would have thought this would have been looked at more carefully before signing him.

Asked what pleasure Roland had got out of his ownership of Charlon, she said that he was obsessed with the detail of the training ground project. They were also trying to build up the women's team.

Asked whether the club was for sale, she said, 'We're her for the long term', but Roland may not necessarily tell her what is going on.

Points needed

Charlton need to win against MK Dons tonight to try and keep clear of the relegation zone. Whether they can given recent form is open to question. One might take some hope that our three home matches against the Franchisees at this level have all ended in wins, one by a 5-1 margin.

Odds are: Charlton 31/20, Draw 21/5, MK Dons 33/20.

I will be setting out early for The Valley as I have been invited to a Valley Gold meeting with Katrien Meire. It will be interesting to see what she has to say and how she says it.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Addicks closer to relegation zone

Charlton's position is looking increasingly perilous after a 2-0 defeat at Peterborough. Report from Louis Mendez: Drop fears

Last night Match of the Day showed Shaun Barlett's goal of the season, including Alan Curbishley celebrating. Happier times.

The latest edition of Four Four Two has a long report with many photographs on the protests in Sint Truiden. The tone of the report is very positive and supportive.

The conduct of Sue Parkes as an apologist for the regime is giving rise to increasing controversy. Many fans think that her latest outburst has gone too far: Mocking the fans

Friday, 31 March 2017

Fresh start for club

Charlton Athletic are looking forward to making a fresh start in partnership with the offshore developers who failed in their bid to build around Millwall’s ground. Three options for the future of the club are being considered and will be voted on by members of a new True Supporters’ Club (details below).

Option one would see the Jimmy Seed stand demolished and replaced by housing. This would create a three sided ground which would be sufficient for League 1 or 2. Away supporters would go in the top tier of the Covered End where they could exchange banter with home fans in the lower tier.

Option 2 would see The Valley demolished for housing and a new 9,000 capacity stadium built in the vicinity of the 02. A site at Herne Bay was considered, but it was thought that this was too near core trouble makers on the Isle of Thanet.

Option 3 is the one favoured by the club. A club spokesman said, ‘What we need is a fresh start with a new fan base. Many Charlton fans are not the brightest kids in the class and they are easily led astray by hotheads.’

The club did consider taking over Rushden & Diamond’s stadium at Nene Park (now being demolished), but it was thought to be too dilapidated, although it is hoped to use part of the site for a new training ground.

Instead the club will move into the home of modern franchise football, stadium mk, providing local fans with home football every week. If the move worked out well, the two clubs might merge as MK Dons Athletic.

As a concession to Kent supporters, a couple of home games will be played each season at Gillingham. There will also be a coach which will leave The Valley at 10.30 a.m. Travelling via Eltham, Welling, Bexleyheath, Bromley and Catford, it will arrive at stadium mk in time for the kick off. On the way back fans will be home for Match of the Day.

Membership will open soon for the True Supporters’ Club. Each member will receive a lapel badge with a picture of Roland and Katrien. There will also be exciting competitions. One prize will be a trip to watch Sint Truiden play, preceded by a lunch of moules et frites with Roland. Another will allow a fan to spend a night with Thomas Dreisen as he works on his statistical analyses of players (slice of pizza and soda of your choice included). Fans can also win a personally autographed copy of Karl Robinson’s Big Book of Excuses.

Members will also receive their own fanzine Voice of the Silent Majority which will give them the alternative facts they have been asking for. This will be produced by some of the country’s leading PR consultants. Each issue will cost at least £20k to produce, but will be free to members. A regular feature will name and shame the ‘vinegar pissers’ who have been undermining the club. First up, VOTV editor Rick Everitt.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Club reports £13.5m loss

Charlton Athletic has reported a £13.5m loss for the 2015-16 season, up by £9.5m from the previous twelve months. The high losses are attributed to attempts to maintain the club's Championship status in what turned out to be an expensive relegation: Unsustainable loss

The debt to Baton 2010 is £55.6m and the total debt £61.7m.

Yann Kermorgant to carry on

35-year old Yann Kermorgant is to carry on for another season at Reading before retiring: Kermorgant

When he retires he has plans for an investment or banking career.

He has had a very successful season at Reading and letting him go was surely one of the biggest mistakes made by the current regime at The Valley.

Reactions from Charlton fans on Twitter can be found here: Charlton fans react

Monday, 27 March 2017

Joint protest with Sky Blues fans

CARD has announced a joint protest with Coventry City fans for the Good Friday match at the Ricoh Arena: Joint protest

It looks as if the Sky Blues are going to have to share a ground with the local semi-professional rugby club and non-league side Coventry United after next season.

CARD have asked Charlton fans to delay renewing their season tickets. 40 per cent did not renew last season.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Some season tickets to go up

Some season tickets at The Valley are to go up in price next year, while some season ticket holders will have to move due to closures. The price increases were leaked ahead of the official announcement: Price increases

Saturday, 25 March 2017

'A waste of a season'

That is Jason Pearce's frank verdict on his own season and that of Charlton. The Addicks have under achieved and could easily go down: Brutal assessment

Pearce hopes to be fit for next Saturday's trip to Peterborough. He has been missed.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Chief scout leaves

Chief scout Steve Head has left the club after less than a year in the role: Headless

Apparently it's all part of a restructuring plan devised by Karl Robinson, but short stays at various roles in the club are a familiar phenomenon.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The end of days for the regime

Despite denials by the club, VOTV editor Rick Everitt is convinced that Charlton Athletic is being sold. It is a complicated process which will take some time, for example because of outstanding loans to six former directors. But it is now the end of days for the Duchatelet regime: Exit Duchatelet

The question now is, to whom is the club being sold? If the Rickster has any idea, he isn't letting on. I certainly don't know. Whilst we all be glad to see the back of Roland, a note of caution is necessary about any new owners, even though they can hardly be any worse.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Ricky Holmes expresses his frustrations

Ricky Holmes expresses his frustrations about the season at Charlton. The work ethic has been there, but decision-making has sometimes been poor: Work ethic

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Defeated by top team

Charlton lost 2-1 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane today. Ricky Holmes put the Addicks ahead on three minutes, but O'Connell equalised for the Blades on 14 minutes. It was 1-1 at half time, but the home side took the lead on 48 minutes. At least it's a better scoreline than the 6-0 or 7-0 the pessimists in the row behind me were predicting.

Holmes’ perfectly executed set-piece from just on the edge of the 18-yard box, after Paul Coutts had brought down Forster-Caskey, put Charlton ahead. He lifted his free kick up and over the wall and beyond the reach of the keeper. Watt then hit the woodwork before the home side equalised. On the half hour mark he drew a good save from the keeper.

Forster-Caskey was the catalyst behind Charlton’s best moments. Pressing, probing and perfectly willing to take on his marker himself, the 22-year-old caused United all sorts of problems throughout a difficult first-half for the home side. As the interval approached, United finally began to establish a foothold in the game.

After the break Rudd pulled off a superb save to keep out a header from Lafferty but he could stop him tapping home from on the line.

Charlton are 15th, six points above the drop zone.

Football League Paper player ratings

Rudd, 6; Byrne, 5; Bauer, 6; Teixeira, 6; Chicksen, 5 (DaSilva, 84, 5); Ulvestad, 5 (Bokata, 80, 5); Konsa, 6; Forster-Caskey, 6 (Crofts, 74, 5); Holmes, 8; Watt, 8; Novak 6.

Roland causing damage elsewhere

This blog post tells how Hungarian club Upjest has suffered under network ownership, although in this case it is Roderick Duchatelet who is in day-to-day charge: Great Hungarian club suffers

Charlton to be put to the blade?

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has urged his fans to get behind the team today, warning them that Charlton have had good results against teams at the top of the table. It will be the last Saturday game of the season at Bramall Lane: Get behind the boys

The CAS trust preview is here: Sharpening shooting boots

Odds are: Sheff Utd 4/9, Draw 7/2, Charlton 13/2.

Konsa has signed a new deal at Charlton, but he is being tracked by Premier League clubs and Charlton may not be able to hold on to him in the summer with the prospect of another player farm profit for Roland: Konsa

Friday, 17 March 2017

Club not for sale

Karl Robinson has been assured that the club is not for sale: No sale

Ronnie Rosenthal was apparently shown round The Valley because Katrien Meire knows his Belgian wife.

So it looks as if hopes were raised only to be dashed once again, although there are still one or two things left unexplained.

Robinson: I want to keep Rudd

Karl Robinson would like to keep on loan goalkeeper Declan Rudd on a permanent contract next season: Permanent deal

Some fans have been critical of recent errors by Rudd and would like to see Dillon Phillips given another chance. Phillips is unlikely to stay as No.2 if Rudd is given a permanent contract.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Page injury blow

It looks as if Lewis Page has suffered a major hamstring injury: Injury blow

Secure data room created at Valley

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt has revealed that a secure data room was created at The Valley two weeks ago and has been occupied by an unknown female lawyer.

They could be going through Thomas Driesen's statistical assessments, but it is more likely that they are going through the accounts and player contracts.

Bauer intends to stay

Patrick Bauer intends to stay at Charlton after the summer despite a disappointing season. He says that the half time talk by Karl Robinson last night led to an improved second half performance: Pep talk

He is confident that Charlton can beat Sheffield United on Saturday. Sometimes Charlton can be at their best against a top side.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Draw specialists draw

The two teams in the Football League with the most draws to their name, Charlton Athletic and Bradford City, recorded a 1-1 draw at The Valley tonight. However, after a pulsating second half, Charlton could justifiably claim that they deserved all three points.

The Bantams dominated the opening phase of the first half. On three minutes Vincelot was narrowly wide from distance. Charlton's diamond formation was not working well and Chicksen was uncomfortable on the wrong side.

However, Charlton then started to the get in the game more. A Holmes free kick was flicked on by Bauer and Teixeira headed into the top corner to make it 1-0.

Following a Bradford corner on 43 minutes, Marshall put in a powerful strike and Dieng headed home from the rebound to equalise.

In time added on Watt broke into the area and turned well, but his effort was saved.

HT: Addicks 1, Bantams 1

After the break the Addicks won two corners in succession. A dipping Crofts half volley from 35 yards was just over.

Just after 60 minutes, Charlton pressure created three chances to score which were not taken. First, Novak missed; then Watt missed; and Ulvestad was a couple of yards wide.

On 68 minutes Johnnie Jackson had to head clear from a threatening corner.

On 70 minutes Page's hamstring gave way. Dasilva came on and did well, while Crofts was replaced by Konsa.

A good Charlton break saw a shot from Holmes blocked. From a free kick, Teixeira headed straight at the keeper. A Johnnie Jackson free kick skimmed over the bar.

In time added on a tiring Holmes received a standing ovation for his efforts as he was replaced by Forster-Caskey.

Official attendance 9,326 with 932 from Bradford. Katrien Meire was there.

One sure prediction

One confident prediction that can be made about tonight's game against Bradford City is that the attendance will be low. Leaving aside how fans feel about the regime, the season is effectively over for Charlton. There has also been a succession of home games.

The Bantams come into the game fourth in the table and fifth in the form table. They are on an unbeaten run of ten games. At home they are even more of draw specialists than Charlton, but they have a good away record: won eight, drawn five and lost just five.

Bradford manager Stuart McCall has a grievance about the fact that the only time he was sent off in his career was at The Valley (seventeen years ago). However, he thinks that the good pitch will suit their style of play: Hoping for a happier outcome

Chris Solly and Jordan Botaka will both miss the game with calf injuries. Jason Pearce will also not be involved even though he managed 60 minutes in an Under-23 game on Sunday. Josh Magennis is still very doubtful as he nurses a hamstring injury and Jake Forster-Caskey will play no part due to an ankle injury. Kevin Nolan argues that Karl Robinson needs to be cut some slack given the injury problems he faces: Crippling injury list

The bookies are expecting a Bradford win: Charlton 21/10, Draw 9/4, Bradford 13/10.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Club not for sale 'at present time'

A statement from Charlton Athletic has said that 'at the present time the club is not for sale'. 'At the present time' is an important qualification, as the club could be for sale tomorrow or next week: Not for sale

In an interview with BBC Radio London, Richard Cawley of the SLP said that he had thought there had been a softening of stance by Roland Duchatelet. Previously the sale price had been £50m. Although he was not ready to drop to a specific figure, he was prepared to listen and those interested needed to make an offer. It did not mean that something was going to happen imminently.

Cawley thought that a combination of factors had affected Roland's thinking. He had hoped that appointing a British manager and players would allow the club to challenge this season, but that had not happened. Falling attendances at The Valley were having an impact, as had the demonstrations on his doorstep in Belgium.

Apparently Katrien Meire is attending a hen party in Portugal.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Rosenthal involved in takeover

Former Liverpool striker Ronnie Rosenthal is involved in the projected takeover of Charlton Athletic, according to the SLP's Richard Cawley. Rosenthal is now a football consultant, so could advise any prospective purchasers. He has been shown round The Valley by Katrien Meire.

Rosenthal is Israeli by origin, but that probably has no relevance to the identity of the buyers. Some sources are claiming that Chinese money is involved, which is quite possible.

His wife is Belgian and he is linked to a Belgian sports management firm.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Takeover rumours swirl round Valley

Rumours that Roland Duchatelet may sell Charlton have been circulating from multiple sources including Richard Cawley of the SLP and VOTV editor Rick Everitt. The Rickster printed a picture of white smoke yesterday.

He emphasised that the rumours had nothing to do with Katrien Meire's absence from The Valley yesterday. Richard Cawley noted that the price asked for by Roland had always been a problem.

Nothing is known about the identity of the prospective owners, but I thought it would be opportune to reproduce below an article I wrote for Voice of the Valley recently.

Charlton fans have understandably given little thought to what might follow the current Belgian regime at The Valley. They just want to get rid of Roland Duchâtelet and his failed experiment, along with his unpopular chief executive Katrien Meire. They want someone with a better understanding of the demands of English football who is prepared to engage in a constructive dialogue with fans.

Whoever eventually takes over is going to face a big reconstruction task. Not all the fans who have given up their season tickets are going to come back. They have broken the habits of a lifetime and have found other things to do with their Saturday afternoons. For example, the husband of an old playmate from my cul-de-sac in Plumstead Common has exchanged his Charlton season ticket for one at Maidstone United where they now live.

There is no indication that Roland Duchâtelet is going to sell up any time soon. The reputational damage that has been inflicted on him has not deterred him from his chosen course. Indeed, it may have made him more obdurate. That is not to criticise the efforts of CARD who have run a sophisticated and energetic campaign.

There are also indications that any asking price may be unrealistic, given that the amount of debt that has been accumulated by a company under the owner’s control. Nevertheless, a bid may arrive that is too good to refuse. It is very likely to come from abroad and most likely from China. Wealthy British individuals are well aware of the adage that if you want to make a small fortune, start with a large one and invest in a football club. Overseas owners may consider that any financial losses will be offset by the profile and prestige associated with owning a football club.

The most active investors in football clubs at the present time are from China. In the Premier League, China Media Capital owns a 13 per cent stake in Manchester City, acquired for $400m. It is hoped that they will help City to raise their profile in the key Chinese market. On his visit to Britain, China’s President Xi Jinping visited Manchester City and had a selfie with Sergio Aguerio.

Lai Guochan bought West Bromwich Albion for £150m-£200m. Fosun International bought a majority stake in Wolverhampton Wanderers for £45m. Tony Xia bought a majority stake in Aston Villa for £75m. Midlands football has been in a bad way and has been eclipsed by the London and Manchester clubs. It will be interesting to see whether Chinese investment can revive their fortunes.

In Spain Dalian Wanda bought a 20 per cent stake in Athletico Madrid for $52m. Rastar Group spent $56m on a 56 per cent stake in the No.2 Barcelona club, Espanyol. The two leading Milan clubs are now under Chinese control. Suning Holdings bought a 70 per cent stake in Internazionale for $307m. Haxia Capital bought AC Milan for $835m from the Berlusconi family. [This deal subsequently ran into problems and is yet to be completed]. The controversial former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi used his ownership of AC Milan as one of the stepping stones to political power.

In France IDG Capital Partners bought 20 per cent of Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais for $112m and OGN Nice is majority owned by Zheng Nanyan and Chien Lee. ORG Packaging thought it was worth paying an admittedly small $7m for a 60 per cent stake in Ligue 2’s AJ Auxerre.

Much of this activity is politically driven. The 21st century has been earmarked as the Chinese century. China is building its military power, not least through contested actions in the South China Sea. Its economic power is evident, even if its growth rate has slowed and there are concerns that domestic financial arrangements have elements of a house of cards.

Under the Cameron Government, George Osborne as Chancellor seemed willing to go a long way to please China. Brexit would seem to make Britain more reliant on Chinese goodwill. However, Theresa May is more sceptical about the value of a dependant relationship and called in the Hinkley Power nuclear plant plan for review, to Beijing’s evident displeasure. The real prize here is China’s ability to construct a nuclear plant on the site of the decommissioned Magnox plant at Bradwell in Essex.

One constant that is unlikely to change in China is the existence of a party state regime. There is a plurality of ownership structures and ambiguity in the status of business. This is not accidental. A successful economy is a key requirement for continuing effective party rule, but business also needs to be kept in check in case it develops as an alternative power centre to the ruling party.

Business is profit seeking as it would be in a market economy, but it is also taking political orders or at least seeing the way in which the political wind is blowing, as with football. To some extent there is competition to extract favours from the state. This may involve seeing the mapping of bureaucratic rivalry on to business competition which may create risks of corrupt behaviour.

Although China is in part a market economy, no one should underestimate the power of the Communist Party. This was demonstrated to me by an environmental conference I attended in Kunming in the south-west of China. A bitter dispute broke out between the pro-bamboo and anti-bamboo factions, not helped by the projection system breaking down and depicting rolling pictures of pandas who are big consumers of bamboo. It seemed as if the factions were going to come to blows. Suddenly the provincial governor arrived and everyone fell silent.

President Xi Jinping is a football fan and is determined to make China a leading soccer nation which will stage the World Cup and eventually win it. Considerable investment is being made in football training in primary schools. Chinese companies know that investment in football clubs abroad will be viewed favourably by the party.

As clubs looking for buyers and investors welcome the new wave of Chinese investors, it is as well to remember that not all of them may be of high quality. The tale of Birmingham City is a cautionary one. Acquired in 2009 by Carson Yeung, a former hair salon proprietor, the team was relegated to the Championship and remains there for now. Yeung was jailed in Hong Kong in 2014 for money laundering and the club remains barely known in China.

The fact of the matter is that there are A list Chinese investors like Wanda and Fosun which have plenty of funds at their disposal and a strategic plan to develop their sports and media businesses and B or even C list investors. The latter group have less money to spend and the source and extent of their money is difficult to trace.

They often offer fewer synergies than the A list conglomerates. For example, Lai Guochuan, the new owner of West Bromwich Albion, previously built a company he described as 'the IBM of landscape gardening.' In the case of the Baggies, as many as a dozen Chinese investors looked at the club, but only four had the financial capability and a good rationale to proceed with the deal.

Many smaller Chinese companies have no experience of football and appear to be acting on a whim. They may think that they will win favour with Communist Party bosses by signing up to President Xi's ambitious plan to make China a leading football nation. Guanxi or connections are everything in China, not least connections with the ruling party that can grant entrepreneurs the space to operate or decide to make life difficult for them.

Feng Tao, chief executive of Chinese sports marketing company Shankai, a Chinese sports marketing company, told the Financial Timesthat some entrepreneurs believe they can make quick profits by buying underperforming European clubs with a large fan base and turning them round, eventually capitalising on a higher valuation by injecting them into Chinese listed companies.

Blogger Mark Dreyer from China Sports Insider says 'the idea that clubs will be big in China just because they have a Chinese owner is nonsense. Some of these purchases are going to end in tears.'

However, it should be noted that Chinese owners do tend to favour a consensual approach and like to build bridges with fans. Any prospective Chinese owner is going to note that the team already plays in red. Whether a Chinese company makes a bid, and whether the current owner engages seriously with them, remains to be seen.

Carry on Drawing

Charlton drew 1-1 with Walsall at The Valley this afternoon to retain 14th place in League One. A 4-4-2 formation having succeeded against Scunthorpe, Karl Robinson decided to revert to 4-5-1. When events forced Charlton into a 4-4-2 in the second half, their performance improved.

Walsall took the game to Charlton in the first half with the Addicks defence looking vulnerable to balls over the top. Having missed chances to score, the Saddlers went ahead in the 44th minute.

Charlton improved in the second half and Tony Watt equalised, having pounced on a loose ball. The Addicks applied their strongest pressure in the last ten minutes of the game, but in the seven minutes added on it was the visitors who looked more like scoring.

On two minutes, a shot from Watt went just over the bar from 20 yards. On five minutes, Jackson had an open goal but the ball over. Aribo had to clear off the line.

Ricky Holmes was looking one of the better Charlton players. He put in a great run and a good cross, but Walsall were able to clear.

On 44 minutes Jackson broke the offside trap, found himself one on one with Rudd and scored. The referee then blew up during a Walsall attack.

HT: Addicks 0, Saddlers 1

Could Walsall secure their first away win of the year? Konsa went down in a lot of pain and Johnnie Jackson came on, Ulvestad moving to centre back.

Page was replaced by Novak. Watt put the ball in the left-hand corner of the net to make it 1-1. Charlton defended well at the expense of a corner, leading to a second. Osbourne at last got a yellow card for a foul on Holmes.

On 75 minutes a Watt shot was tipped over by the keeper. From the corner, an Aribo shot was tipped over. Byrne was unfairly booked. Bakayoko was not far off target, but there was offside in the build up.

On 83 minutes a Holmes cross nearly sneaked in but was tipped over. An Aribo shot hit a defender's arm, but the referee waved play on. On 88 minutes Watt was replaced by Ahearne-Grant. In time added on, there was great defensive work from Chicksen.

Notional attendance was 9,900 with 316 from Walsall, although the ground did look fuller than on Tuesday. One absentee was Katrien Meire who cancelled meetings arranged with fans, but it was rumoured that she is on holiday in North Korea.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Novak: my worst season ever

Lee Novak says that the current season has been his worst ever in football, plagued with injuries: Worst in career

However, he thinks the team was never in danger of getting sucked into a relegation struggle.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Police hunt for Shaun Newton

Merton police have posted a picture of former Addick Shaun Newton in their gallery of 'most wanted' suspects after he failed to turn up in court to answer burglary charges. A warrant has been issued for his arrest: Police hunt

'Newts' made a considerable contribution in his time at Charlton, not least in the play off final against Ipswich and it is sad to see his current circumstances.

The last Voice of the Valley hade a feature on Charlton 'bad boys' and it was quite a long (and far from exhaustive) list.

Forget Barcelona, Charlton's comeback was the best

The Currant Bun makes the point that the most impressive comeback of all time was not Barcelona defeating Paris Saint Germain, but Charlton's 7-6 win over Huddersfield: Greatest comeback

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Watt penalty secures three points for Charlton

A Tony Watt penalty at the end of full time secured three points for Charlton as they beat Scunthorpe United 2-1 at The Valley tonight.

The start of the game was delayed for fifteen minutes. At first it was thought that this was because of overflowing urinals caused by vinegar pissers, but then it was stated to be because of traffic problems. In fact staff were searching the streets for passers by they could get into the ground. The official attendance was 9,088 with 301 from Scunthorpe, but there were probably about 5,000 Addicks in the ground.

Charlton dominated the first half and Johnnie Jackson put them ahead on 32 minutes.

Charlton started brightly and on three minutes, after a free kick from Holmes, Teixeira hit the crossbar. On six minutes Rudd had to palm the ball away. A spell of Charlton pressure ended with a Holmes cross being cleared. Teixeira was clipped in the box, but the referee waved played on. On 31 minutes Magennis put a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal.

A Charlton corner from Holmes found Jackson in the vicinity of the penalty spot, and with Scunthorpe focusing their attention on Magennis, he scored with a volley.

On 43 minutes Holmes put the ball across the six yard box for Aribo, but he was blocked off.

HT: Addicks 1, Iron 0

There was a scrappy start to the second half. Then Magennis went down injured and was replaced by Crofts. This forced Charlton into a change of formation and allowed Scunny to apply more pressure. Konsa dealt well with Hopper, but the visitors hit the inside of the post. Teixeira defended well at the expense of a corner.

Then on 75 minutes with Rudd out of his goal trying to palm the ball away, Van Veen was able to score into an empty net making it 1-1.

Watt replaced Novak. Byrne got a yellow card for a foul. Ahearne-Grant replaced Holmes on 86 minutes. Then Teixeira was pulled back in the box and Watt scored a good penalty, jumping into the Covered End to celebrate. Chicksen got a yellow card but Scunny were unable to take advantage of their free kick.

Charlton are now 14th in the table and nine points above the first relegation position.

Dip in form for Scunthorpe

Even before Saturday's defeat at home by Fleetwood, Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann was urging the club's fans not to panic. The team has suffered from injury problems and a virus, but he denied reports of unrest in the camp: Don't panic

Can Charlton take advantage in this postponed fixture? Probably not, given their recent poor run of form, although a win or even a draw would be a morale boost as a relegation battle threatens.

Charlton are now bottom of the League One form table and Scunthorpe third from bottom. Indeed, they are ranked 92nd in England.

Odds: Charlton 31/20, Draw 9/4, Scunthorpe 7/4.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Konch signs for Billericay

One time Addick Paul Konchesky has signed for Ryman Premier League club Billericay Town. They have been splashing the cash since a new owner took over in December.

The 35-year old had played for Gillingham 29 times this season, but found himself out of favour with the new manager.

Konchesky owns a pie and mash shop called Konch's Kafe in nearby Brentwood and will start taking his coaching badges.

Down the Football League We Go

Charlton are 16th in League One, although still six points off the relegation places, after losing 2-1 at Northampton today. At half time it was 1-1.

A goal from Jordan Botaka was not enough for the Addicks as they lost to the Cobblers. Charlton made three changes to the team as boss Karl Robinson looked to find a winning formula. Lewis Page, Patrick Bauer and Frederik Ulvestad were all drafted back in to the side and they take the place of Jorge Teixeira, Johnnie Jackson and Joe Aribo.

Charlton came under pressure early on but, backed by 1,424 vociferous fans they got a foothold and Jordan Botaka's run down the left, skipping past three challenges, was the promise of things to come.

A header from Michael Smith from a superb Aaron Phillips centre on 32 minutes gave the Cobblers the lead. But Charlton were level just three minutes later when a Holmes corner from the left saw Patrick Bauer force a save from Adam Smith, only for Botaka to volley in from close range. Holmes and Botaka both let fly from distance, their efforts missing the target.

It was a frenetic start to the second half, Northampton attacking with urgency after Botaka had smashed narrowly over after working some space. Then Lee Novak fired over as the Charlton fans rallied their team with some tremendous backing.

But in the 62nd minute Northampton took the lead for a second time. A cross from the right from Phillips on 62 minutes was only half headed out by Nathan Byrne at the back post and John-Joe O'Toole thumped in for 2-1. Charlton simply had no answer and couldn't come back with an equaliser, although they didn't do enough to deserve one.

The Addicks in Northampton showed their solidarity with those marching in Belgium with a chant of 'We want Roland out.'

Shell shocked supremo Karl Robinson took the blame for the results, saying 'we are in a fragile place.' He added, 'It's been a long season.' Yes, it has been for every club, but particularly for Charlton's long suffering fans: Taking the blame

Charlton's struggle continues

With the number of travelling Addicks depleted by the reunion of former club employees in Belgium, this is Charlton’s first league visit to Northampton since January, 1967, when they drew 1-1 at the County Ground in the old division two. The Addicks haven’t played at Sixfields, their most recent visit to the Cobblers being in the League Cup in September, 1988, when the teams drew 1-1 in a first-leg encounter. Charlton won the second leg at home 2-1.

Charlton are 15th in the table and Northampton 17th. However, the Addicks have slumped to 22nd in the form table, while the Cobblers are a more respectable 15th.

The Cobblers have won seven, drawn two and lost seven at home. Charlton will, however, need more than 'kinky boots' to get something out of today's encounter as they head towards the relegation zone.

Odds: Northampton 8/5, Draw 9/4, Charlton 17/10.

Friday, 3 March 2017

'Not a hooligan expedition'

The Guardian features today's protests in Belgium with an interview with VOTV editor Rick Everitt who emphasises that that is 'not a hooligan expedition'. Certainly the club has more disgruntled ex-employees than I ever realised: Off to Sint Truiden

According to Twitter, Roland has called the protesters 'vinegar pissers' which I must admit is a new one on me, but perhaps it means something in Belgium.

Post mortem should have been earlier says Holmes

Wednesday's post mortem on Tuesday's result as Shrewsbury should have been held a fortnight ago according to Ricky Holmes. Players were divided into two groups (it's not clear whether these were 'sheep' and 'goats') and analysed each half of the game: Post mortem

Karl Robinson does need to look at himself as well as the players. After all, he makes the player selection and chooses the formation. Playing Johnnie Jackson at left back on Tuesday was not the best idea.

However, I am against any change of manager. As Rick Everitt has said, it would be rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. There is no guarantee, rather the contrary, that Chris O'Loughlin would be any better.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Belgian protest numbers increase

At least 250 Addicks will be taking part in the Unity protest in Belgium in Saturday and it may be more as some fans are travelling independently. Recent results have boosted the numbers: Protest numbers increase

With such a large number of disgruntled ex-employees heading for Belgium, accompanied by their hot heated mates looking for a ruck, Belgian security forces have been put on high alert. There are concerns that Belgian millionaires hoping for a cheap and cheerful lunch of moules et frites will be not be able to go out for fear of being confronted by critical banners.

It is being reported from Belgium that Sint Truiden is one of four Belgian clubs attracting the interest of Chinese investors.

A dead man walking?

VOTV editor Rick Everitt assesses the situation of Charlton manager Karl Robinson who, according to the Rickster, looks increasingly out of his depth: Robinson flounders

Chris O'Loughlin is a ready made successor waiting in the wings, but S.E. London pizza parlours are placing their hopes on Thomas Dreisen.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Robinson blames the players

Karl Robinson has turned to Volume 2 of his Big Book of Excuses and blamed the players (the subtitle of the chapter is 'How to Lose the Dressing Room'). Some of them are insufficiently brave, lack bottle and don't deserve to wear the shirt: Players lack bottle

Robinson said that he wished he could say how deep problems Charlton were. We can all agree with that and 200 disgruntled ex-employees will be making the point in Belgium at the weekend.

According to a tweet from Richard Cawley of the SLP, Johnnie Jackson has said that some players are 'not giving their all.'

Stephy Mavididi is out for the rest of the season, a great shame as he looked useful: Mavididi

Holmes hat trick can't save Charlton from defeat

An impressive Ricky Holmes hat trick could not save Charlton from a 4-3 defeat by Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow tonight.

After going 1-0 behind, the Addicks were 2-1 ahead at half time, but two home side goals in quick succession put the Shrews 3-2 ahead. Charlton then equalised, but fell behind.

The Addicks seemed to be unable to deal with Shrewsbury counter attacks.

On 13 seconds Novak drew a good save from Leutwiler in the Shrews goal. Good play by Botaka saw Holmes on target from a tight angle. Aribo played in Botaka whose good effort was saved at the expense of a corner. A home corner saw Rudd beaten to the punch, but the ball went over.

On 12 minutes Dodds created Shrewsbury's opener out of nothing. He was given too much space on the edge of the box.

Magennis then made use of a Botaka cross and Leutwiler had to make a great save clawing the ball from under the bar. With Shrewsbury counter attacking, Rudd had to make two saves before a shot was blocked.

Magennis fed Novak who turned provider for Holmes who put a great shot into the top right-hand corner to make it 1-1. Following a handball, Charlton won a free kick on the edge of the D and Holmes put a powerful shot into the top corner of the net.

HT: 1-2

A Teixeira header from a Charlton corner was cleared off the line. A Holmes cross was turned behind. From a Holmes cross, Teixeira headed straight at the keeper.

A long ball came over the top and a Roberts shot across goal was not dealt with by Rudd: 2-2. Shrewsbury countered from a Charlton corner and Whalley made it 3-2. Rudd saved from Roberts.

Jackson got a yellow card for a foul. Rudd made a good save from Yates. Rudd saved from Whalley's long range effort. Shrewsbury had two corners in succession, but Rudd punched the ball away.

On 69 minutes Botaka and Magennis were replaced by Ahearne-Grant and Watt. Holmes made use of an Ahearne-Grant cross to make it 3-3. Holmes has scored five goals against Shrewsbury this season.

Novak put a Holmes cross over. A Novak back heel was saved. Shrewsbury counter attacked and made it 4-3 through Dodds. After that Charlton lost momentum and struggled to get the ball. DaSilva replaced Jackson. Aribo and Watt got yellow cards.

In time added on, the keeper just got to a ball from Holmes. Rudd save from Whalley to avoid further humiliation.

Karl Robinson was busy looking in the index of his book of excuses for '4-3 defeats'. 351 Addicks witnessed this shambles.

Shrewsbury look for win over 'beleaguered' Charlton

Charlton make their first visit to Greenhouse Meadow in nearly seven years tonight and Shrewsbury, who have won their last four home games, are looking for a win over the 'beleaguered' Addicks: Salopian preview

Shrewsbury are currently 18th in the table, but 9th in the form table where Charlton are fourth from bottom. Apparently, we haven't beaten Shrewsbury away since 1972.

Odds are: Shrewsbury 19/10, Draw 2/1, Charlton 11/8.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Football League's top talent factory

The Evening Standard has been to Sparrows Lane to find out how Charlton have created the Football League's top talent factory: Talent factory

Roland has certainly had a number of financial successes from his player farm recently, it would have been nice to see a bit more of them at The Valley.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

'Now you know what you've been missing'

This was the comment of Steve from Petts Wood after I witnessed my first live game at The Valley since my operation in December.

The goal conceded to Bury was a defensive shambles, and I did not see how we were going to score a reply. Admittedly, as Karl Robinson commented after the game, we created some chances, the best falling to Lee Novak in the second half, but we were unable to take advantage of them. Robinson, however, thought that we did enough to win and that the team's mentality was better than against Oxford: Created enough to win

There seems to be a lack of pattern in the play and organisation in the team. The midfield seems to disappear completely at times. If one is going to play with one up front, the support needs to arrive more quickly. Novak looked increasingly frustrated as the game wore on.

Mavididi was the one play on the pitch with a touch of flair and some pace and it was not good to see him stretchered off at the end with a hamstring injury. Forster-Caskey has also picked up a hamstring injury.

Curiously, the announced attendance was the same as for the football for a fiver match against Rochdale. Clearly the programme which generates the attendances had a glitch.

Karl Robinson said that we are now hitting the post or the bar an average of two times a game. Unfortunately, there are no prizes for that unlike the £6,500 nearly won by the fan who came close to hitting the bar at half time. It was one of the best moments of the game.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Robinson reflects on three months and the cycle of failure

Karl Robinson reflects on three months at Charlton and what needs to be done to break a cycle of failure: What needs to be done

Robinson says that there needs to be a change of culture and he doesn't mind upsetting people if it helps Charlton to be successful. Robinson makes his customary argument that it will all take time, forestalling the threat of the dreaded vote of confidence.

No Charlton content - yet

I have written the first chapter of a online 'book' about growing up in South-East London after the war which may be of interest to some readers. There isn't any Charlton content yet, but a later chapter will be dedicated to Charlton: Growing Up in S.E.London

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Red cards outweigh wins

Charlton went down 0-1 in a dismal defeat to Oxford United at The Valley this evening. Red cards are now outweighing wins with Chris Solly sent off. 9,101 allegedly watched the spectacle (699 from Oxford) but that figure includes season ticket holders who had the sense not to turn up.

Charlton started brightly enough with Byrne hitting the crossbar from 25 yards on three minutes. Mavididi, making his first start at The Valley, then had a good run on eight minutes but fired straight at Eastwood.

Former Charlton loan player McAleny put in a snap shot from 25 yards on 12 minutes and it went in off the post.

Charlton had a lucky escape in 19 minutes when Edwards put a free header over the bar. He displayed similar inaccuracy later in the game.

Forster-Caskey put in a cross, but the effort from Magennis went over the bar. Forster-Carskey got a yellow card for a challenge.

On 36 minutes Magennis won a free kick which led to a Charlton corner. A header from Teixeira was just over. Just before the break Crofts and Lundstrom got a yellow card for a disagreement.

HT 0-1

Charlton continued to show a lack of creativity in the first phase of the second half, but things livened up for a while after a double substitution. Watt replaced Forster-Carskey and Aribo replaced Byrne. Mavididi hit the post on 59 minutes.

Bauer got a yellow card, but the free klck on the edge of the box was cleared. Solly got a red card for taking out Lundstrom. Aribo got a yellow card for a trip on McAleny. Crofts was replaced by Botaka.

In six minutes added on, a last gasp Charlton corner was cleared off the line.

Here's to you, Karl Gobinson. And, thank you, Roland.

Karl Robinson said after the match that he knew what had to change, but he couldn't put it right immediately: Fans weren't wrong to boo us

Lee Bowyer has now joined Charlton as a permanent assistant coach, giving the Addicks more coaches than Valley Express.

'Hot heads' heading for Belgium

A coalition of Charlton protest groups is heading for Belgium on March 4th to stage a joint protest with Sint Truiden supporters against Roland Duchatelet.

Duchatelet claimed the protesters are 'a few hot heads who previously worked directly or indirectly for the club and who were shown the door due to their rebellious and rowdy attitude”'.

He added: “They also don't like the fact that I give [chief executive] Katrien Meire my support.”

The vast majority of the protesters, as far as I am aware, have had no direct or indirect connection with the club other than as supporters. VOTV editor Rick Everitt was formerly a club employee, but the club agreed a financial settlement with him on the day his case came to an employment tribunal.

Oxford's selection dilemma

Putting together Oxford's team at the moment is like assembling a jigsaw according to their manager Michael Appleton. The U's have thirteen games to play in just over forty days, starting tonight at The Valley: Selection jigsaw

Their manager has urged the U's to move on from their 3-2 defeat in the FA Cup away to Middlesbrough: Move on

Oxford are one place above Charlton in the table, but are third in the form table. However, they think there is little hope of reaching the play off places. Away from home, they have won five matches, drawn three and lost seven.

Odds are: Charlton 6/4, Draw 23/10, Oxford 9/5.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Tex wants more game time

Jorge Teixeira would like more game time. He was sidelined under Russell Slade, although there was speculation at the time that that was because he was being prepared for sale. He has got more action under Karl Robinson, but not as many starts as he would like: Teixeira

I think he has a case. He is a committed player who can score goals as well as defend.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Three draws in four games

Charlton drew 3-3 at Rochdale yesterday, their third draw in four games, enabling them to secure thirteenth place in the table. Manager Karl Robinson said that the chances the Addicks had missed in the first half had been criminal.

Niall Canavan's opener was cancelled out by Jordan Botaka, while Jorge Teixeira put Charlton ahead before the break before Calvin Andrews' leveller. Substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing gave the home side the lead again, but Teixeira got his second just before full time.

Rochdale went ahead after four minutes following an error by Declan Rudd. He failed to claim McDermott's free kick, allowing Canavan to tap home. However, Rudd did well on 25 minutes with a diving save to keep out Andrews' header.

Five minutes from the break Botaka broke free and though his effort hit the post, he made no mistake with the rebound.

Substitute Stephy Mavididi ran past several home players in a 66th minute run, only to be denied by Wilson. From the corner Bauer nodded down for Teixeira to give the Addicks the lead. Once again Charlton showed they could not hold on to a lead when Henderson's cross was headed past Rudd by Andrew.

Mendez-Laing put a curling shot past a diving Rudd on 84 minutes but Bauer nodded down for Teixeira to score the equaliser two minutes from the end.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Testing time for Robinson

Criticism of Karl Robinson is mounting with his record at the helm of Charlton no better than that of Russell Slade. Both his formations and team selection are open to doubt: Fading hopes

The underlying problem is that, taken collectively, the team are really not good enough to maintain a sustained play off challenge. Tomorrow at the Crown Oil Arena (aka Spotland) they face a Rochdale side who have had a dip in form recently, but are still ahead in the table (9th). In the form table they are 21st while Charlton are 10th.

Rochdale have been relaying their pitch this week after it deteriorated and was no longer conducive to the quality football to which they aspire.

No surprise that the bookies have Rochdale as clear favourites: Rochdale 5/4, Draw 23/10, Charlton 11/5.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Unbeaten run comes to an end

Charlton's unbeaten run came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at Oldham tonight. The home side went ahead with a snap shot on four minutes. Charlton managed to win 16 corners over the game, but were unable to convert any of them into a goal. They were unable to repeat the feats of their recent opponents by scoring a last gasp equaliser. The Addicks stay in 13th place in League One.

There were four changes in the side with Magennis starting up front, Mavididi making his first start, Forster-Caskey and Botaka starting in midfield.

Magennis had a great chance to score in the opening minute. He was one on one with the keeper, but put the ball over the bar. Banks then scored for Oldham from 20 yards.

Rudd saved well from McLaughlin on 11 minutes. After an uninspiring opening phase, Charlton did apply some pressure in the middle part of the half, but then faded again. A tackle from Konsa halted a run from Erin on 32 minutes.

Early in the second half a Magennis header was just wide. Botaka, who had not been that prominent, was replaced by Holmes on 58 minutes. Forster-Caskey put the ball over from 30 yards. A Konsa tackle halted an Oldham break. A free kick was conceded on the edge of the box, but the shot went over the bar.

Solly was hauled down in the box and there was a clear claim for a penalty. Forster-Caskey was replaced by Watt. Rudd saved well from Taylor. Novak replaced Mavididi who had been lively. A Bauer header from a corner was tipped over the bar. A Novak volley was caught by the keeper.

Six minutes were added on, but by then Karl Robinson was thumbing through his big book of excuses. He put it down to poor finishing: Broken record

Report from Louis Mendez here: Play off hopes badly hit

Monday, 13 February 2017

It's Shezurrection at Oldham

The Times has a full page interview with Oldham manager John Sheridan ahead of tomorrow's clash with Charlton at Boundary Park. It's his third stint with the club, having saved them from relegation last season, so fans are hoping for another 'Sherzurrection'.

On Saturday their 3-2 win over Coventry City was a fourth win in seven games since Sheridan's return, one more win than Oldham had previously managed in the league all season, lifting them out of the relegation zone.

Writer Gregor Robertson describes Sheridan as 'one of a dying breed in football with an edge, nasty streak, fire in the belly, or whatever phrase you care to use, for whom winning seems to mean that little bit more, and whose drive to succeed can shake the very bones of those around him.'

Sheridan is not afraid to tell officials what he thinks of them. During a short stint at Notts County, he called Eddie Ilderton a 'disgrace' and 'useless', adding that his kids 'wouldn't get any ****ing Christmas presents because of ****ing you.' He then told the fourth official, 'You really are a c***. I'm gonna knock you out, you c***.'

Sheridan explained, 'It's just a winning mentality, trying to push us over the edge and get a result.'

Following an ankle injury, on form Charlton midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey is a doubt for tonight's game: Injury doubt

Odds: Oldham 29/20, Draw 21/10, Charlton 2/1.

Results in earlier years: 2009/10 Oldham 0 Charlton 2; 2010/11 Oldham 0 Charlton 0; 2011/12 Oldham 0 Charlton 1.

Late goals a big problem for Addicks

Conceding late goals is a big problem for the Addicks. Without them in their last two matches they would be two points off the play off places with two games in hand. Karl Robinson thinks it's a mentality rather than a fitness problem: Costly concessions

Stunning start by Charles-Cook

On loan Charlton midfielder Regan Charles-Cook made a stunning start to his spell at Solihull Moors, helping them to a 3-0 home win over FA Cup giant killers Sutton United.

On 90 seconds a jinking run took him into the area and although his shot was saved, Shepherd Murombedzi pounced on the loose ball and fed Charles-Cook who tucked the ball into the net. Charles-Cook then netted his second on the stroke of half time. Afolayan turned in Charles-Cook's cross on 70 minutes to complete the scoring.

Moors boss Liam McDonald said of Charles-Cook, 'He's high energy and athletic and he can play football. But he also knows when to express himself and when to keep it.'

Charles-Cook celebrates his 20th birthday this week.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Draw specialists do it again

Charlton confirmed their status as the draw specialists of League One with a 1-1 result at AFC Wimbledon today. Ahead at half time, they once again conceded in injury time.

Play offs? I don't think so. The Addicks are now 13th.

Elliott scored a dramatic late equaliser before being sent off. Wimbledon's pressure finally paid off with almost the last kick of the game when Elliott finished well - only to be shown a second yellow card (he had already been booked for a foul on Solly) for over-celebrating the goal.

Ricky Holmes' excellent free-kick looked to have been the difference between the two sides as he curled home expertly after Joe Aribo had been fouled. Aribo almost doubled the Addicks' lead five minutes later but his effort curled just the wrong side of the post. He was named Man of the Match by the Football League Paper.

The Wombles finished the half better and goalscorer Holmes was lucky not to see red after a vigorous tackle on Lyle Taylor was deemed only a caution by referee Carl Boyeson.

Lee Novak spurned a glorious chance to double Charlton's lead just after the break, but found the side netting.

Supremo Karl Robinson, who was the subject of an unflattering banner from the home support, took umbrage at something said by a member of the ground staff at the end of the game and had to be restrained from going over to him.

Dons manager Neil Ardley said that action would be taken against a member of their staff: Verbal abuse

Friday, 10 February 2017

Forster-Caskey feeling at home

Jake Forster-Caskey feels that he has settled in well at Charlton and likes being close to home, he tells the SLP's Richard Cawley: Feeling settled