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