Sunday 31 July 2016

Valete, Cristian Cellabos

He has signed on loan for a year with STVV. The Chicago (resident in Bermuda) Addick who spotted what had happened sums it up all very well: Valete

The Chicago Addick suggests that he took the worst ever corner kick in Charlton's history. The streets of SE7 remained calm last night with no reports of fans rending their Cellabos shirts.

More to the point is when the 'Blackpool of the South' will actually make any more signings to help poor out Russell Slade out.

It has just been announced that former Valley announcer 'Big Dave' Lockwood is to perform a similar role at Ebbsfleet United. Former Charton chief executive Peter Varney has a key role at the one time Gravesend & Northfleet. Read more here: Big Dave

Saturday 30 July 2016

Signings reports bring little cheer

Reports from Wiltshire that Russell Slade is about to bring Louis Thompson and Declan Rudd in on loan from Norwich City have done little to comfort disillusioned Addicks: Possible signings

Thompson is a 21-year midfielder of Welsh origin whose career was kick started by Paolo di Canio when he was managing at Swindon: Career details

Declan Rudd would provide the much needed goalkeeper in addition to Phillips. He is now listed on Wikipedia as playing for Charlton: Norfolk through and through

The extent of disillusionment is shown by the fact that there were only 1,409 Charlton supporters at yesterday's final friendly at The Valley with another 217 who had made the trip from the Netherlands. There was a time when this game was a big occasion which I and others would not miss.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw with RKC Waalwijk. They hardly compare with pre-season opponents we once had such as Spurs and Hearts (the latter for Alan Curbishley's testimonial year).

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that this may be the lowest post-war attendance for a first team fixture at The Valley.

Charlton Athletic Museum have responded that it was a friendly, hence not a proper first team fixture, but admitted that it was still a very low crowd.

At least the club hasn't brought any civil legal proceedings against fans yet which is what is happening at Blackpool: Popular owners

There is an excellent post on the Drinking During the Game blog which sums up our desperate situation and Roland's motivations very well: Not a good place

Friday 29 July 2016

Cheesed off

I am now back from Orkney where the football season is reaching its end with the pending Parish Cup final confirming that this is the year of the underdog. Rendell, a scattered farming parish of 100, is in the final and likely to face last year's winner, Athletico Stromness.

Meanwhile, in the top league competition, the Orkney Cheese League, Isles United have zero points and have scored only eight goals

Back to face reality at The Valley and I can never recall a season I have approached with less enthusiasm, although the Sevenoaks Chronicle is trying to show some optimism: Deadliest frontline

Russell Slade is trying to fill the gaps in the team. It looks as if Bergdich is being offloaded to Rennes, while there have been rumours about Morgan Fox joining West Ham. He is a player that divides fans, although I think his problem is inconsistency: very good one minute, error prone the next.

If you want a little light relief, read about the kit disaster at Hearts: Jam Tarts

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Low turnout at The Valley

Kirkwall: Only 2,308 at the Valley this evening and 333 of them Tractors. And Richard Cawley says the seats are covered in.birdshit.0 0 at halftime. The most exciting news is that Louis Mendez has a cat called Solly.

Sunday 24 July 2016

Addicks chase targets

Richard Cawley of the SLP/London Online has tweeted that the Addicks are chasing quite a few targets this week. They certainly need to, not least a goal keeper. Whether the targets are attracted to Charlton is another matter, although for free agents it's a case of any port in a storm.

I am off to Orkney for a few days where football has to be played in a summer. The Parishes Cup will be coming to a climax with interest in whether Athletico Stromness can repeat last season's surprise victory.

I may think I have a long trip to The Valley, but local Rangers fans face a long trip by sea and land or an expensive flight to see games.

Oscar Gobern gets his chance

Oscar Gobern is being brought in on trial as the Addicks search for central midfield options. The 25-year old was let go by the Super Hoops at the end of the season: Gobern

Before that he was at Southampton and Huddersfield Town. It looks a bit like a story of early promise not being fulfilled: Career details

Charlton chase Pearce

Charlton are interested in 28-year old Wigan centre back Jason Pearce: Jason Pearce

Although he is currently 'oop North, Pearce hails from London and may be interested in a return to the capital.

He started his career at Portsmouth and has been at Bournemouth and Leeds United: Career details

Arsenal scouts keep their eye on Lookman

Ademola Lookman may feature in Tuesday's game against Ipswich after returning from England Under 19 duty. Arsenal have always been the most likely purchaser of the promising youngster and their scouts continue to track him closely: Lookman

Provided a suitably good offer is received, I would expect Lookman to be on his way before the end of the season.

Chris Solly is doubtful for Tuesday and has had to have his 'usual little injection' to keep him going. I wish a little injection would sort my knees out! I am now paying the price for my chosen sport of orienteering.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Russell Slade's despair

Russell Slade sounds like an angry and frustrated man with the Charlton squad 'miles away' from where it needs to be and over reliant on young and inexperienced players: Fed up

All this contrasts with the optimistic tone of the letter sent by Slade to fans renewing their season tickets. No doubt it was written for him, but would benefit from some decoding.

After emphasising the need to get as many people (a more neutral term than 'customers' or 'fans') back at The Valley, Slade says 'I can already see what huge potential there is here.' Translation: 'This club couldn't sink any further and must eventually bounce off the bottom.'

'Steve Avory and I are already in regular discussion about our youth players.' Translation: 'The squad is so thin, some of them will be on the pitch.'

'The ultimate goal for the coming season is to get the club back into the Championship.' Translation: 'Getting back to the Championship is a dream, avoiding relegation is the real goal.'

'I have always seen Charlton as a strong community club with great tradition and I can't wait for my first experience in front of the Valley crowd.' Translation: 'I didn't wreck the club, so don't direct your protests at me.'

'2016/17 is shaping up to be a great one here and I'm looking forward to getting started and welcoming you all back to The Valley in August.' Translation: 'I haven't been able to get started yet, and it looks as if I won't be staying beyond September.'

Phillips move stalled as keeper crisis grows

Dillon Phillips was keen to return to Cheltenham Town where he was a regular between the sticks last season until suffering an injury late in the season. However, the young keeper has been told to stay at Sparrows Lane as the Addicks currently lack a senior goalkeeper: Keeper crisis

Some wags have posted a picture of 'Charlton keeper warming up' which shows an empty goalmouth. However, hopes persist that Isle of Wight international keeper Simon Moore will come to the club's rescue.

With the start of the season looming, the squad looks thin, although the real squad that counts is one that is available on the first day.

Former keeper Nick Pope has talked about what a difficult year it was last season and has questioned the character of some of the Addicks squad [shurely not Roland's imports, ed]: Pope spills the beans

Friday 22 July 2016

Addicks swoop for Crofts

Charlton have signed 32-year old midfielder Andrew Crofts who was released by Brighton and Hove Albion this summer after an injury plagued four seasons with the Seagulls. One for the treatment table then: Signing

After Stephen Henderson celebrated his signing for Notts Forest, the clear out of keepers was completed with a network move. Marko Dmitrovic has left The Valley for Spanish side AD Alcorcon.

Slim chances of getting Burke

Charlton are interested in 19-year old West Ham defender Reece Burke who was Bradford's player of the year last season. However, he looks unlikely to make the journey across the river. Newcastle are prepared to offer him a bench warming opportunity in the Championship: Burke

Thursday 21 July 2016

A small piece of good news

My season ticket arrived yesterday. According to a tweet from the club, I am in the company of 5,500 others. This means that there will always be a minimum home crowd of 5,500, as League rules require season ticket holders to be counted whether they are there or not.

I renewed reluctantly. However, I knew that if I did not renew, I would stop coming. Those around me have all renewed.

One piece of good news I have had recently is that the West Sussex branch of Charlton Athletic Supporters Club is not to fold, as new blood has joined to take up the duties from an ageing leadership. Of course, there isn't a CASC as such any more, but the branch has kept going.

Why am I in the West Sussex branch when I live in the Midlands? When we were in the Premier League, their minibus would come up the M40 and come off at Warwick to pick us up. One one occasion they missed the turning and we had to scramble down the M40 embankment, to be greeted by a line of fans relieving themselves.

Our genial host on the coach was Brian Cole who was pitch announcer until he was sacked for insulting Crystal Pal****. Brian did a lot of the driving himself, but there was usually a relief driver. One one occasion Brian brought in someone who drove a hearse for his day job. This gave a new meaning to the term 'slow lane'.

Over at our sister site, the political economy of football, we are recalling Chinese coverage of Charlton when we were in the Premier League: Middle Kingdom

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Valete Stephen Henderson

It looks as if the deal for Stephen Henderson to join Nottingham Forest is about to be finalised. Henderson's wages are too high for a League One club: Henderson

Roland has been quite smart on the financial front and may be close to recouping many of the losses he has made with the sale of Ademola Lookman yet to come.

It is looking increasingly likely that the Addicks will swoop for Isle of Wight international goalkeeper Simon Moore who is available on loan. I have made many enjoyable visits to the Isle of Wight, but I have never rated it as an international class football centre.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Isle of Wight international to join Charlton?

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that Simon Moore of Cardiff City is being considered as a possible replacement keeper with Nick Pope now training with his new team, Burnley. Born in Sandown IoW and a former Brading Town player, he has represented the Isle of Wight at 'international' level: Local hero

Presumably he featured in the needle derby with Hayling Island?

Coming next: Charlton scouts the two teams on the Isles of Scilly.

Is that a Charlton scout I see in the distance, asks Isles of Scilly keeper Merryn Smith

Watt returns to his native heath

Addicks striker Tony Watt is return to his native heath with a loan to Hearts. Rotherham United had been interested, but Watt wanted to be nearer to his family. What is unclear to me is why there could not be a sale deal. Watt's that?

Salvete, Kevin Nugent

Kevin Nugent has been appointed as Charlton's assistant manager. Until now first team coach at Luton Town, he worked with Russell Slade at the O's so presumably he is the manager's choice: Nugent

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that this was Slade's long-term plan, but the issue of compensation had to be settled.

Very slowly, with the start of the season three weeks away, a team is being assembled.

The article also reveals that Plymouth has been annexed by Cornwall. This will put a different complexion on things the next time I go over Brunel's bridge, mind you I am usually still asleep then as it is a couple of hours to Penzance and Lands End International Airport.

Monday 18 July 2016

Big Dave goes

The latest casualty at The Valley is 'Big' Dave Lockwood who has been match day announcer for 24 years. He has resigned and has joined the protests against the regime: Big Dave

Charlton 'through and through' is a much used cliché, but it certainly applies to Big Dave. He once gave me a collection of Charlton videos when his sister emigrated.

Big Dave's full statement is here: Sadly time to go

Sunday 17 July 2016

Roland, I thank yew

The transitional period when posts were being made both here and on Addick's Third Division Diary has come to an end and all future posts will be made on the League One site in recognition of our diminished status. Thank you, Roland and Katrien, for screwing up the club.

The signs that they are learning are still limited, notwithstanding the appointment of an English manager and a few new signings, offset by quality exits. Nick Pope is having his medical at Burnley today. I think he would have been good enough for League One, instead he will have to sit on a cold bench at Turf Moor.

I have renewed my season ticket, because I know that if I didn't have a season ticket, I would stop going. Five hours travelling is quite a bit, even though I can read, sleep and use my tablet. All those around me have renewed. Whether I would renew after another season, I don't know.

However, I do think that the club needs to kept going so that there is something left for a new owner to build on. I don't buy into conspiracy theories that Roland wants to run down the club to redevelop The Valley. It would be a very expensive, perhaps impossible, site to develop.

The considerable reputational damage inflicted on Roland by the CARD campaign has not shifted this obdurate eccentric. Sometimes it feels like we are the victims of a failed social experiment.

What can we expect of the season ahead? Those who like wallowing in gloom and doom, and there are always plenty of those at Charlton (or any club), think that we will be relegated to League Two, and then to the Conference. In that case, given its infrastucture, the club would no longer be viable and would have to be closed in its present form.

Some optimists think the play offs might be possible. My hunch is that we will turn out to be a solid, mid-table League One club, punching below what should be our weight.

Older readers will know that the 'I thank yew' in the headline refers to the comedian Arthur Askey.

Saturday 16 July 2016

Both keepers to depart?

Burnley have improved their offer for Nick Pope to around £1m and a deal is close to being finalised: Nick Pope

It has been good to see Pope to develop from a non-league player to one capable of performing at Championship level and I am sorry to see him go. The Chicago Addick is more critical: Not up to it

Stephen Henderson may also be on his way out, with Nottingham Forest interested: Henderson

The Addicks will need to find a new first choice keeper. Who was that guy the Belgians brought over? Ah, yes, Thuram-Ullen, the maestro of punching the ball.

Thursday 14 July 2016

It's not so grim 'oop north

With the president of the NFU at the Great Yorkshire Show

Having spent a day this week at the Great Yorkshire Show, I can verify that. More to the point, the latest Swiss Ramble blog takes an in depth look at Huddersfield Town which in normal circumstances we might think of as a comparator. All the tables and graphs include data on Charlton: Huddersfield Town

Of course, their chairman has pumped in £45m, admittedly to no great effect.

New triumph for Daft Ideas Department

One of Katrien Meire's innovations at The Valley has been to create a Daft Ideas Department. Its role is to think up ideas that will upset the fans even more than they are upset with the regime already.

This time it has excelled itself. Fans will have to pay an extra £2.50 to buy tickets at the ticket office rather than online. Even worse, prices will go up by £3 in the two hours before kick off: Fan friendly

I suppose the idea behind that is to encourage more fans to buy season tickets, given that sales have been poor (3,500 is one figure that I have heard). However, many fans don't want to buy season tickets under the current regime. In any case, there is always some 'walk up' traffic. There are people who just go to a few games a year and might decide, on the spur of the moment, 'I've got nothing on this afternoon. I'll go to The Valley and be bored there instead.'

It's not clear how this affects away tickets, but I would have thought that at many League One grounds you could turn up on the day and hand over some readies at the gate. Indeed, I believe that at Fleetwood Town you get a free cod throw in. No good for Charlton fans: we like haddocks.

The views of the Supporters Trust on this development can be found here: Insulting

Rickster backs critique of regime

This is hardly a surprising headline: the real shock would be 'Rick Everitt decides regime is a good thing after all.' However, there are some signs that some fans are getting weary of the protests against the current regime, or at least the disruptive ones. Hence, from his den on the Isle of Thanet, the Rickster has selected a post on Charlton Life by 'Grapevine' which he thinks sets out the case against Roland and Katrien rather well. It's rather long, so I have edited it a little.

Personally, although I think that it is well written and makes some good points, it overdoes the doom and gloom. One cynic commented, 'Isn't this just a long way of saying you lose your best players when you get relegated and the owners are just in it for the long term belief they can make some cash. Plus the team is still a bit rubbish.'

Anyway, the post follows.

Can we please stop this endless comparison of the current regime to those of 30, 40, 50 yrs ago? The money for the last two decades in the game driven by television and particularly Sky has transformed the entire industry landscape. It is akin to the comparative pursuit of warfare over the same period while ignoring the technological advances in armaments.

The days of the local builder, baker, butcher and timber merchants dipping their hands in their pockets each and every season have long passed into history. If you do not recognise the distinction then it is not surprising you do not recognise the fundamental flaw in the argument so many seem so desperate to hang on to. Positioning any regime against what you see as the worst regimes is not an endorsement. It is the very definition of "damning with faint praise". The overriding theme through all of them, no matter their failings, was their intent to produce a first team able to compete successfully at the highest possible level. This regime possesses no such aspiration.

The focus of this regime via its Belgian Corporate vehicle as evidenced by its policies, actions and decisions over 31 months is to trade profitably from player acquisition, development and sales. Nothing more, nothing less. Anecdotal evidence from the € 20mn pulled out of Standard Liege which probably funded our purchase and the recent sale of the young Belgian striker by Marseille to Chelsea earning/ repaying Staprix circa £10mn testify to this approach. Sadly so badly have they misunderstood their UK venture they consistently ignored the market needs and opportunities increasing our debt to nearer £45mn whilst now losing circa £5mn p.a. revenue in getting the club relegated to a level at which the current "Chairman" has long stated the club is not sustainable.

The consequence of these "club failures" is any "profit" which may finally accrue to the club on player turnaround (Gudmundsson will be the first) will for the foreseeable future merely reduce the debt including the ever accruing interest to Staprix created by an appalling performance overseen by the common key shareholder. The club has become no more than a vehicle for the Staprix P&L. The entire ambition and consequent strategy is determined by a financial business model which at best pays mere lip service to the underlying principle of producing team striving for sporting excellence. It is a recipe for stagnation and decline.

I understand and commiserate with the regular churn about the decades of supporting your club but regrettably the fundamentals of the club you supported for all of those years no longer exist. It is your club in name only no matter how fervently you may wish it otherwise. It is almost uniquely (Oyston and Blackpool seem to be on the same journey) a fundamental betrayal of the national game.

The current key shareholder is entirely ambivalent to the success of the first team. That is not an accusation you could levy at Gliksten, Hulyer, the Sunleys, the multiple iterations of Murray, the S&J duo all of whom sought first team success within their financial capacity. Each administration regularly sold players for financial survival but at the same time did their best to support the manager of the day by reinvesting in the first team squad.

It matters not whether you are at Level 1 or Level 8 of the football pyramid that has to be the minimum expectation of the players, coaches, managers and supporters of any professional team organisation. I repeat it is not the case today. So no, in sporting terms the club has not been in a worse state. I could argue with an unprecedented level of debt it has never been in a worse financial position either.

For those wishing to embrace the "new approach" of an English manager and the arrival of the first 3 English senior professionals direct from other English senior clubs the club, now into its 2nd week of the preseason, is still grossly under prepared for the season ahead. Our season starts just 4 Saturdays away. How many senior operating positions across the business remain unfilled? Preparation is key to building the foundations of a successful season.

Even if I concede there is an intent to change, and it is at this stage a huge assumption the manager will be properly supported in structuring an appropriate first team squad, there is little evidence to suggest the necessary competence to successfully deliver such change exists. I do not suggest managing a relegation is easy. It isn't but in preparation for a new season it is important you generate and sustain a new momentum. An experienced, focused CEO will have recognised the need to make things happen to drive such change, to create momentum. I regret there is little indication our corporate ownership even recognises such requirement let alone has the competence to deliver.

At the time of writing we have circa 42 professionals under contract of which 21 have minimal if any League experience. Of the other 18 outfield players Bauer, Diarra, Lennon, and Kashi are not match fit.

Of the remaining players; - Gudmundsson and Bergdich will certainly be enjoying pastures. - Cousins, Texeira and probably Lookman are on the trading block - Solly and Jackson carry repeating injury profiles

So within 4 weeks we face having to build on the core of Johnson, Fox, Ba, Holmes, Novak, Ajose, Watt of whom 3 have only been at the club for a matter of days. The squad despite its change in resourcing today carries a very great many of the pitfalls we have seen over the past 2 close seasons. The core of the squad in defence and in midfield looks as fragile as ever. If such a framework represents to you a serious and competent attempt by the executive of the club to support Mr Slade in his endeavours to achieve success on the field on behalf of all of us then I seriously beg to differ.

The club is still to even appoint an assistant for Slade and a replacement Doctor. I fully hope those who have chosen to invest in season tickets for the coming season enjoy the experience but at present it remains a huge leap of faith there has been any material change in the underlying management of the club. There is a very great deal to be done.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Relegation was last straw for Cousins

Jordan Cousins admitted that relegation was the last straw in his decision to leave the club and join the Super Hoops: Cousins

The fee of £1.5m has been seen as on the low side by some fans, although apparently £900,000 was refused for Nick Pope.

Monday 11 July 2016

Slade looks the part

Ramsgate resident but one time Welling mayor Rick Everitt gives his verdict on the 4-1 win for Charlton at Park View Road which included a Nicky Ajose hat trick. It is not a case of shades of Joe Pigott, suggests the Rickster: Match report

The VOTV editor reckons that there are still a number of questions about Slade's squad, but thinks that the manager looks the part.

New mood music at Sparrows Lane

Johnnie Jackson reckons that there is new mood music at Sparrows Lane following the appointment of Russell Slade and three new signings: Morale boost

Of course, he's not going to say that everyone is down in the dumps, but I think his statement is genuine.

Saturday 9 July 2016

Three central midfielders needed?

This article suggests that Charlton need three new central midfielders: Wish list

No doubt, but it isn't Christmas yet.

Valete, Joe Pigott

Joe Pigott has been signed by Cambridge United on a one year deal following his release by Charlton: Pigott

In all honesty, he has probably found his level. Thanks for all you tried to do.

Charlton retained the Crown Berger Cup with a 4-1 win over Welling United at Park View Road. Full report tomorrow.

I saw Leamington go down 1-4 to rivals Stourbridge at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium. Match report and my programme article on the battle of the Somme here: Brakes versus Glassboys

Friday 8 July 2016

The doctor's diagnosis

I made a rare visit to the doctor this morning. Invariably, this means that more of the time is taken up talking about football. He is a Manchester City season ticket holder and is excited about Guardiola. We also agreed that it would all go wrong with United for the Special One.

He wanted to know all that had happened at Charlton. His diagnosis: Charlton's natural level was Championship. His prognosis: there would be no cure until the Belgians left.

Meire's latest mistake?

The excellent Drinking During the Game blog is reporting that the University of Greenwich is to be replaced as shirt sponsor by online gambling firm Betdaq: Shirt sponsors

Admittedly, many clubs are sponsored by betting companies and people are entitled to bet if they want to. However, it is also clear that an increasing number of people are getting into financial difficulty because of online and other forms of gambling. According to Gambling Commission figures, British bettors lost £12.6bn last year with the amount rising because of online gambling.

One Addick commented, 'Of course, as a socially responsible, ethical community club we have previously resisted these kind of firms for the shirt, although we have had official betting partners. However, it's another blot on this regimes copybook and I guess no one is really surprised any more.'

The club has now confirmed the decision: New sponsor

A spoof Katrien Meire twitter account says that the choice of a gaming company is deliberate as she treats fans like mug punters.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Thanks, but no thanks

In a rare show of unanimity, both Charlton and Millwall have turned down the free offer of released Fulham midfielder Jamie O'Hara: Thanks, but no thanks

He was dubbed the 'Putney Piro' [shome mishtake shurely?] but faded towards the end of the season.

Andrew Crofts to appear in Crown Berger Cup

Midfielder Andrew Crofts is training with Charlton today and is expected to feature in the Crown Berger Cup at Park View Road on Saturday: Andrew Crofts

The 32-year old played with Brighton and Hove Albion and Gillingham, but is now a free agent. He is a former Wales international.

Some Charlton fans think that he is not the midfield playmaker we need, others that we could do worse. Needs must.

Jonathan Acworth has claimed that this was a recommendation made by him, so possibly we will see him in the dugout at Park View Road.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Charlton boost defensive options

Charlton are looking to best their options in central defence and 32-year old Lewis Buxton, formerly with Stoke City and the Massives, is training at Sparrows Lane. He was with Rotherham United last season, but is now a free agent (i.e., out of a job): Buxton

There are rumours that Jordan Cousins may go to QPR, but I have no confirmation at the moment. It would appear that QPR have made a bid, but it was rejected as too low Perhaps they need to add on the tube fare.

Other clubs said to be interested include Norwich City, Ipswich Town, Reading and Fulham. We knew he was going to go, but I don't want him go to the Super Hoops.

Farewell, then, Johann Berg Gudmundsson

Clarets and Charlton sources, most significantly Richard Cawley of the SLP, are reporting that Charlton have accepted an offer of around £2.5m for Johann Berg Gudmundsson. It will be the first signing of the summer for the Clarets: Burnley move

It had been hoped for around £3m, but they are careful with their money 'oop north. I have great respect for Burnley as a well run club that punches way above its weight. I think that Charlton fans showed that when they applauded the 'Burnley champions' banner after the last match of the season. Burnley fans then joined those from Charlton to protest against the current regime.

Whether Gudmundsson will be a first team regular at Turf Moor remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we say 'Valete' and use the traditional formula of 'Thanks for all you tried to do.'

Personal terms have now been agreed. The fee is £2.5m, plus £1m in add ons: Gudmundsson

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Brexit and Charlton

Apparently there is going to be a Voice of the Valley out early in August and there has been an unconfirmed rumour that Nigel Farage is to start getting his life back by writing an article on Brexit and football. The fanzine is, of course, published from Ramsgate which was in the Thanet South seat contested by Farage in the last election. VOTV editor Everitt is thought not to be well disposed to UKIP, but a celebrity contributor may be too good a chance to miss.

Meanwhile, our sister site The Political Economy of Football has looked at some of the consequences of Brexit for football: Uncertain times

One thing I am certain of is that if Charlton fans had been given a chance to vote on whether Roland and Katrien should leave, one would have seen a vote in one direction that would rival the results achieved in the former German Democratic Republic. I once had to sit in West Berlin watching DDR news and it gave a new meaning to 'boring'.

Interest in Gudmundsson

Not surprisingly, there has been interest in Johann Berg Gudmundsson since his return from international duty. Norwich City are among those interested and a price of around £3m is expected: Man in demand

Many Addicks are quite critical of Gudmundsson and his performances this year have been rather sulky and inconsistent. But then one can understand when one looks at coaches like Karel Fraeye and some of the dross in the rest of the squad.

Monday 4 July 2016

Barmy platoon?

You can probably count the number of Addicks in Warwickshire on one hand. Apart from me, I know of one near Warwick, one in Stratford and one in Coventry. One of the leading lights emigrated to Canada a long time ago, but at least I was able to get a ticket for him for the Greatest Game.

Yesterday I was giving a presentation at King Henry the Eighth School in Coventry and I started with a joke about Charlton because everyone in Coventry thinks you are barmy to support Charlton when you could be supporting the glorious Sky Blues (at least that's an easy away game for me). Somehow or other, sitting in his Ramsgate fastness, VOTV editor Rick Everitt picked up on what I said and tweeted about it.

Having tea in the staff room afterwards, one of the teachers asked me incredulously if I was really a Charlton season ticket holder. I pointed out that for each home Saturday game I would be setting off from Coventry Station adjacent to the school.

It is crazy when you think of what Roland has done to the club. Fans have been heartened to some extent by the appointment of Russell Slade. If Roland really wanted to mend bridges, he could find Katrien Meire a suitable job in his Belgian operations. He could then appoint a chief executive with relevant experience and less of a reputation for offering contentious versions of reality.

Roland's whole scheme was premised on the assumption that financial fair play would kick in and create a level playing field. Even someone who is not a lawyer like me knew that this was likely to be challenged as a breach of competition law, as it has been.

Katrien Meire is a competition lawyer. She is a graduate of University College London and has been an intern at some leading law firms. Before she came to Charlton she had a post at Standard Liege that involved responsibility for legal affairs. Why didn't she warn Roland? Or did she think it would be unwise to speak truth to power? I don't know, but I am puzzled.