Saturday 30 June 2012

Why I turned down Charlton

Former Northampton midfielder Michael Jacobs explains why he chose Derby County over Charlton after both clubs had talked to him alongside Peterborough: Jacobs

He explained, 'The managers are a big factor and all three of them are top managers at what are progressive clubs. I went and spoke to them all and it was a very difficult decision at that point.'

'Before going to look around, I was undecided but I went to Derby first and their facilities, their ground and their set-up took my breath away. It’s a Premier League set-up and they could easily be playing at that level and they’re bringing a lot of young lads through. Charlton had a good set-up too but it didn’t top Derby and I had my heart set on them as soon as I looked around there.

His decision certainly had nothing to do with rumours circulating about fallings out and consequent financial difficulties at The Valley which I have been unable to verify with any reliable source.

Friday 29 June 2012

Pay as you Play

The book Pay As You Play by Paul Tomkins and his co-authors attempts to assess the true price of success in the Premier League era. Charlton comes out of the comparison well.

Over the Premier League's history it has cost £854,323 (adjusted to current prices) to win each point in terms of transfer fees. For Charlton the average cost per point under Alan Curbishley was £436,007, just over half the figure for the Premiership as a whole. This figure was pretty steady year on year. But in 2006/7 under Dowie, Reid and Pardew the cost per point soared to £723,856.

The authors argue that Darren Bent was our most successful purchase. Signed for £3m (£5.5m) in June 2005, Bent started 68 out of a possible 76 league games for the Addicks, finishing as the club's top scorer in both of the seasons he spent at The Valley. He left Charlton with a 89 per cent start ratio when he was sold to Spurs for what would be £17.5m in today's money.

Hermann Hreidarsson was also good value. Signed from Ipswich Town for £800,000 (£1.3m) he started 130 out of a possible 152 league games at Charlton, a start ratio of 86 per cent.

Less good value was Madjid Bougherra who was signed for £2.5m (£4.3m) from the Massives, but started only two league games (5 per cent) for the Addicks. Gary Rowett also had a low start ratio (17 per cent).

Hapless signings after Curbs left included Soulemayne Diawara, Djimi Traoré, Amdy Faye and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The section on Charlton concludes, '"doing things the Charlton way"' ended up as a cautionary tale.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

New coach talks about role

Nathan Jones has joined the Addicks from Yeovil Town where he was assistant manager to become development coach for the under 21s. Here he talks about his new role and his excitement at joining Charlton: Jones

Chris Solly has confirmed that he is staying at The Valley: Solly

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Charlton miss out on Lawrie Wilson?

Reports are claiming that Charlton have missed out on target Lawrie Wilson and that the Stevenage right back is joining Peterborough United instead. As this report claims, this story has also been heard in South London: Wilson

It's not a great miss as presumably he would have been cover for Solly, unless Solly leaves (and that story seems to have gone cold). So far, however, we do seem to have been beaten by other clubs to targets but it should be addded that some of these targets may not have been real ones but rather dreamt up by agents to boost their client.

I was at an event in London yesterday where I met a fellow Addick (another one was there but we were unable to meet up). We were discussing the departure of Peter Varney, but agreed there was nothing sinister in it, rather it was a case of 'job done' and this was an appropriate time for him to go.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Shackell bid rejected

Charlton are one of three Championship clubs that have made bids for Derby County central defender Jason Shackell, but they have all been turned down by the Rams. The highest bid was for £1m, but this is well below Derby's valuation. Leicester City are also said to be interested. More here: Shackell

Shackell was originally a product of the Norwich City youth academy: Jason

Thursday 21 June 2012

Addicks may be outbid for Aluko

Sone Aluko has now returned from international duty in Nigeria and is having 'crunch talks' about whether there is future for him at Rangers, now destined, it seems for the Scottish first division. Charlton have assembled a 'tempting package' to lure him to the Championship, but it appears that there may be other, more tempting offers on the table: Aluko

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Byron did not have Palace season ticket

It now appears that Croydon Council told a few porkies in their attempt to gain the benighted borough city status. They have had to admit that Lord Byron whom they included on their list of 50 'notable people' associated with Croydon, admittedly a difficult list to construct, was in fact born in Marylebone and may never have come anywhere near Croydon. All references to the poet have now been removed from their official literature

This also means that the poet never held a season ticket at Selhurst Park where he is alleged to have enjoyed watching 'the poetry in motion' on the pitch. Indeed, some ill intentioned people have objected to Palace being described as a 'football club', let alone 'a top ranked one with serious aspirations to Premiership status.'

Monday 18 June 2012

Charlton to sign player from Club No.12?

Unconfirmed press reports are linking Charlton with winger Sone Aluko: Aluko

Following the dissolution of the old Rangers club and the uncertainty about which will be 'Club No.12' in the SPL next season, Rangers players are free to leave and join any club they choose. Aluko is highly rated.

If he did come, it would have implications for Green and Wagstaff, but for now it is just another summer rumour.

Interesting interview here with third choice keeper Nick Pope: Pope

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Addicks chase Hoyte

Charlton are hoping to lure Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte back to the smoke. Originally from Waltham Forest, Boro signed him from Arsenal four years ago for £3m. Now he has been told that his contract will only be extended at the Riverside if he accepts reduced terms: Hoyte

The defender is a versatile player who can operate either on the flanks or in central defence.

Elsewhere Sheffield United are hoping to sign striker Stuart Beavon from Wycombe Wanderers as they aim for promotion. He was seen as a possible Charlton target, although I was uncertain how he would do against Championship defences.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Former Addick to manage Bees

Former Addick Mark Robson is to take over as manager at Barnet: Robson

The bios mention that he was a former Charlton player, but not a rather unhappy spell he spent at Sparrows Lane: at least it seemed to end unhappily. To be honesty, I'd forgotten how long he was there and how he moved up the hierarchy under different regimes: Robson Most recently he has been coach at Peterborough United.

Addicks may remember him scoring from a free kick in a cup replay at Newcastle United. I remember him as Player of the Match when I celebrated my 50th birthday at The Valley. We lost 1-2 to Stoke City and he commented, 'Why do I always get Player of the Match when we lose?

Managing Barnet is a bit of a bed of nails, I hope it goes well for him. Note the comment made by one disgruntled fan about the chairman.

Friday 8 June 2012

Solly to join Hammers?

According to unconfirmed reports from an unofficial West Ham website, the Hammers are interested in Player of the Year Chris Solly. Charlton are claimed to want Sam Baldock in exchange for Solly. Discussions, it is said, are taking place between both clubs.

Baldock is a striker who comes from Buckinghamshire and at one time played for MK Dons. Injury and the arrival of other players have limited his opportunities at Upton Park: Baldock

We do need a striker, but if Solly went we would need to find another right back. In any case it's all very speculative.

Wednesday 6 June 2012


Cardiff City have got one over Charlton by rebranding their kit from blue to red. That means we will have to wear a change strip when we visit the Welsh capital. Mind you, one Bluebirds fan has complained on Twitter that blue never suited him anyway!

Cardiff can now claim to be the only massive Welsh team in the Championship.

How would fans feel if Charlton turned out in blue in the interests of brand repositioning? Tom Morris reminds that a kit of white with red epaulettes was very unpopular when it was used for two years in the 1960s, especially when the team ran out to Old Father Thames!

My colleague Sue Bridgewater argues here that changing football brands is particularly challenging: Brands

Andrews Air Condtioning are the new shirt sponsors at the club. Quite a lot to get on the shirt, but they have a major presence in Charlton and previous links with the club. Fans will have the chance to win a portable air conditioning kit for their home. We just need some summer weather to go with it.

It is believed that the sum involved is in the 'mid six figures'. As one well-known fan commented, 'It's not all that sexy, but then Charlton is not all that sexy.

Monday 4 June 2012

Three way interest in Keith Andrews

Charlton are one of three clubs expressing an interest in 31-year old Irish defensive midfielder Keith Andrews: Andrews

Andrews was signed on a six month contract with the Baggies in January after a peripatetic career. He has found the net for West Brom and put in some solid performances, but everything is on hold at The Hawthorns until a new manager is appointed who can run the rule over him. In the meantime Celtic have also expressed an interest.

I am not saying that this will come to anything, but it is a realistic piece of speculation in the sense that he would be on a free and would probably not be able to demand massive wages if West Brom let him go. The new Keith Jones?

Bench numbers back up again

The Football League has agreed that seven substitutes will be allowed on the bench again next season, thus reversing a false economy measure: Substitutes

I never liked the change as I always thought that getting on the bench, even if there was little chance of playing or at best a cameo, was an important part of the development of Academy players. It was a 'benchmark' to be reached, particularly in the absence of a proper reserve side (a decision I hope will be changed one day).

Incidentally it is amusing on the comments on the link above to see Burnley fans already slagging each other off and predicting relegation.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Jubilee memories

One of my earliest memories is of the death of King George VIth (my earliest 'political' memory is the of the outbreak of the Korean War). Radio programmes were curtailed and the Radio Times came out in a restricted version, as I recall. Charlton played the next day at Derby County and drew 1-1 and there is no record of whether the players wore black armbands or whether there was a minute's silence. Leary scored what would have been a winning goal in the final minute, but after awarding it, the referee changed his mind after speaking to both linos and judged it offside.

The Coronation was, of course, after the end of the season. I still have my Coronation mug. The person opposite us in our road decorated his house with red, white and blue lamps which can't have been easy to buy in 1953 but was regarded as being OTT. Like many people, the Coronation was the first time I saw television, a ten inch black and white set at my aunt's house.

My uncle used copies of the Radio Times to make a patriotic display in his newsagents in Lakedale Road. In those days it was by far the top seller of any magazine, but he made a killing on the Coronation issue with many people buying extra copies as souvenirs or to send to relatives who had emigrated.

1953 also had a broader significance as it was the year when I started going to The Valley, although I am still not sure which was the first match I saw.

Friday 1 June 2012

Egg chasers consider Valley matches

Saracens are considering holding matches at The Valley while they wait for a new ground to be completed. The idea is to tap into a new fan base in Kent: Saracens

The London Broncos experiment attracted relatively few Charlton fans, although those that did go liked the fact that you could take a drink to your seat, something you can always do at ice hockey. In the case of the latter game, the violence on the rink is offset by good rapport between opposing fans (Sheffield being a possible exception).

I'm not a great fan of egg chasing myself, ice hockey being my second sport, although the writer of Drinking During the Game is one Addick who is (and he has the misfortune to support Scotland). In my view it cuts up the pitch and you can usually still see the different lines even when they have been painted out. But this would only be for a few games.

The Orange One Is Back

There's a two page interview with Simon Jordan in The Times this morning plugging a book he has written about his time in charge at P****e. Apparently he's fallen on hard times, having his homes and cars repossessed, and the book is part of the way back, although very few authors earn decent royalties from books, even more so with the arrival of the e-book.

The interview is full of asterisks and it's not just the 'P' word. He slags off a number of former players, but manages to get through the interview without mentioning Charlton, although a 6-0 loss at Millwall is referred to. Of the book, Jordan concludes with the following charming message: 'If people don't like it, f*** 'em.

Elsewhere, Leeds United are bidding for massive status with an American takeover in the offing. However, whether England's 'Mr Football', Ken Bates, will be willing to sell at a realistic price remains to be seen. Leeds fans take the view that the Whites have been 'languishing' in the Championship for too long.