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.