Thursday 28 June 2018

New investor in place?

'Jimmy Seed' has tweeted that a new investor may be in place. The Australians have had difficulty raising the money need for the purchase and the five year development plan.

Ricky Holmes loses his mojo

It hasn't worked out for former Addick Ricky Holmes at Sheffield United and there are calls to get rid: Falling down the pecking order

However, judging by comments on social media, there is little appetite among Charlton fans for the prodigal's return.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Welcome, Lyle Taylor

Louis Mendez has welcomed the signing of Lyle Taylor from AFC Wimbledon, tweeting 'Obviously Taylor comes on a free which you’d assume may well be the way we’ll have to do our business whilst Roland Duchatelet still owns the club, but a good capture nonetheless.'

Bristol Rovers, Wigan and Sunderland were all interested in signing him.

The 28-year old Greenwich born forward scored 18 goals for Wimbledon last season.

He was Wimbledon's record Football League goal scorer with 44 goals: Career details

Andy Marshall has been appointed as the club's new goalkeeper coach. He was a keeper with Aston Villa and Norwich City.

Has Aussie takeover failed?

Drinking During the Game is one of the longest running Charlton blogs and is to be relied on. They are reporting that the Australians are pulling out of the takeover: Aussies to pull out

The essence of the story is that Roland hasn't been able to get the directors with outstanding loans to play ball. That has stopped him hanging on to The Valley and Sparrows Lane and the Australians have realised that unless they have control of those assets, there is no point in going ahead.

The second British consortium may now come into play, but Drinking During the Game is rightly sceptical about that. From all I have heard, it may be more credible than the Trotters Independent Trading bid, but not by much.

An underlying problem with any bid is the £60m of debt built up by Roland.

Drinking During the Game says that next season now looks like a car crash in slow motion. While I have confidence in Lee Bowyer, he needs players of the right calibre to succeed. A goalkeeper is one priority.

There has been speculation about Southend's well regarded keeper Mark Oxley: Shot stopper. However, he has three years left on his contract at Roots Hall and would cost more than Roland is prepared to pay, even if Chris Powell would let him go.

Monday 25 June 2018

That takeover transcript in full

The discussion between Roland and the British consortium has been leaked.

'Is that Roland Du Chat Er Lay?'

'C'est moi qui parle. Bon jour.'

'Bon joor. C'est Derek of Trotters Independent Trading of Peckham. I understand that Charlton Athletic is for sale.'

'C'est vrai'.

'Trez bon.I would like to buy it. We have a long association with the club, Charlton being my kid brother Rodney's middle name.'

'But do you have the readies as they say in Angleterre?'

'Yes, we have been doing well with our luxury imported goods down the market recently, so we are flush. How much do you want?'

'It would be 40 for the club and 60 to pay off my debts.'

'A ton? I think we could run to that. Any more than that and I'd have to get the bank involved and I might get accused of money laundering.'

'Then you would be taken to the cleaners' [Roland laughs at own joke]'.

'Does that include Sparrers Lane?'

'That is a problem, there are former directors who have a veto and are being difficult'.

'Do you know where they live? I know a few faces who could go round and have a word and rearrange their faces if needed.'

'That would be good for that prune face Richard Murray.'

'Nice to do business with you.'

'There are also some Australians interested but now we have a top class British entrepreneur with an offer they will have to put up or shut up.'

Welling friendly moved again

First the start of the season Crown Berger cup match between Welling United and Charlton was set for 14th July, then it was moved to the 7th, now it's back to the 14th again: Moveable feast

Quite what this means for a pre-season tour is not clear. First that was off because Roland couldn't afford it, then it was thought to be on again.

Of course, there could be a cut price tour of Bromley, Dulwich Hamlet and Ebbsfleet where one would encounter some former Charlton fans.

Bowyer close to completing two deals

While confusion reigns over the future ownership of the club, Lee Bowyer is doing his best to shore up the playing staff with two signings nearing completion, one aided by a friendship with an agent he used to play with: Close to two signings

The club has announced that Igor Vetokele will return to Sparrows Lane for pre-season training this week. Whether this precedes a sale, another loan or a return to the club remains to be seen.

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted, 'Charltonm set to appoint goalkeeper coach by the time that team report back on Wednesday for pre-season training. Might not be in building for day one but fitness work to start with anyway. Two candidates for the job.'

Aussies given a deadline

The prospective Australian owners of Charlton have been given a deadline of the end of the week to show that they have the necessary readies and the second week of July to complete the deal: Takeover deadlines

Roland has also being trying unsuccessfully to buy out the loans of former directors at a discount. With no remaining bank debt, they now put the ex-directors at the head of the queue of creditors if the club fails financially - in front of Duchatelet who is owed more than £60m via his Staprix company.

Given that the alternative British bid may have fallen at the fit and proper persons hurdle, all this suggests that a club ill prepared for the new season may still be in Roland's hands come August.

All this and more is in an informative post by VOTV editor Rick Everitt which repays reading.

What we can expect under Australian ownership

James Dutton thinks the deal might be done this week. Well, maybe.

In the meantime, here is a preview of what we might expect under Australian ownership with a player with pace on the pitch: Kangaroo makes good quality pass

Saturday 23 June 2018

Jezza says Charlton 'plaything of billionaires'

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn has backed the call for a fan on the board at Charlton. The Arsenal fan said that he would come to a match if invited by Charlton fans: Corbyn would come to Valley

He said, 'Charlton was a very good club. But now it seems to be becoming a plaything for billionaires who are competing with each other.'

Corbyn is a great friend of John Austin-Walker who was leader of what was then Woolwich Council at the time of the fight to return to The Valley.

Friday 22 June 2018

Bowyer still hopes to be in permanent charge

Lee Bowyer would have preferred to have been appointed permanent manager rather than being renewed as caretaker, but he still thinks that he could be the unquestioned supremo by the start of the season: Caretaker tag could change in August

Roland has told Bowyer that the takeover has been held up for a 'little bit'. To fans, the delays seem interminable.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Charlton could cash in on Pope

Former Charlton keeper and World Cup squad member Nick Pope is being linked with a £18m move to Liverpool. There is a sell on clause which is believed to be over 20 per cent so Roland could collect more than £3m: Mult-million windfall

However, I can't see the Clarets being too keen on letting Pope go.

Bookies favour Charlton promotion

The bookies have made Charlton third favourites for promotion from League One next season: Promotion challengers

It all looks very unlikely to me. While my non-league club is making a series of good signings, all we are seeing is exits at The Valley. While I have confidence in Lee Bowyer, his hands are tied.

We just have to hope that there is a sudden breakthrough in the stalled takeover talks which seem to be beset by more than one issue. Perhaps then we will see Skippy and his friends bounding round the pitch before the start of the season.

There is a rumour circulating that the Australians don't have the cash and are prepared to let Roland retain ownership of The Valley and training ground. I would have thought that Muir and his associates are not short of the necessary readies, but who knows? I don't!

Wednesday 20 June 2018

A lesson in how to say very little

The joint statement on the takeover is a master class in how to say very little whilst purporting to offer reassurance: Takeover update

It says, 'Understandably, negotiations of this scale take time due to the enormous amount of due diligence that goes on behind the scenes, the need to satisfy the regulatory complexities of a football takeover and the challenges of assembling an ownership group.' If that was generally true, all football takeovers would take over a year when most of them are completed in a month or two. Roland took two weeks to complete due diligence, admittedly cutting corners. The BBC says that a price was agreed in February, so that cannot be the issue.

The reference to the 'challenges of assembling an ownership group' does confirm speculation that the size of the Australian consortium is an issue.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted about the statement, 'sets new standard for content-free official announcements - no doubt because they couldn’t agree anything meaningful. But even the fact of a joint statement is progress.'

Valley Floyd Road commented, 'Not sure what fans were expecting from statement, a date ? A planned organisation structure when the Aussies takeover? The financial worth and tax contributions? Come on be realistic. This was the best we could expect, confirmation RD is expecting to sell to the Aussies.'

At least the takeover is not off, as was feared last week.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Australians to release statement

The Australians are to release a statement tomorrow (Wednesday) on the current state of play in the takeover negotiations. Having received this news, James Dutton will no longer withdraw the Jimmy Seed bust from The Valley.

Rick Everitt's take on the situation can be found here: Fire sale?

Richard Cawley has tweeted that the statement will come via the club. He commented, 'It's going to be along the line that talks are progressing but taking longer than anyone would like - buyers and seller.

Some better news

Better news as it is revealed that contract negotiations are ongoing with Aribo and Fosu and a price tag of £2m has been put on Patrick Bauer to scare buyers off: New deals offered

Ahmed Kashi's career at The Valley is, however, over: No return

Lee Bowyer has told Roland Duchatelet that he can get rid of five players if he can bring four signings in: Bowyer has four targets

The priority position is a centre forward and a few options are being considered.

Seed bust to be removed from The Valley

Jimmy Seed's grandson is going to The Valley tomorrow to retrieve the bust of his grandfather. It is outside the boardroom when it is supposed to be inside the main entrance where it can be seen by fans.

James Dutton said, 'The family loaned it to the club in happier times, but while this regime seems intent on wrecking the club the bust can come home, and I'll return it when the new owners are in place. It's a small gesture, but one that I hopes make a point.'

Farewell, then, Harry Lennon

Harry Lennon is in advanced talks to sign for Southend United: Lennon

It won't save much off the wage bill, but as far as Roland Duchatelet is concerned, every little helps. Not having a chief executive and other key posts filled also saves money.

Lennon never really established himself in the first team, although he had bad luck with injuries. An Academy product, the 23-year old made 36 appearances for the Addicks in the league and cups, the greatest number in the 2013/14 season. He also had periods out on loan.

Monday 18 June 2018

No pre-season tour for Charlton

There will be no pre-season tour for Charlton as owner Roland Duchatelet seeks to cut back on expenses. The opening Crown Berger match against Welling has also been put back by a week, although apparently this was at the request of Lee Bowyer: More doubts about takeover viability

Richard Cawley subsequently tweeted, 'Think if we do see any more player exits in the next week or two that it is a pretty sure sign that the takeover is not happening any time soon. Both parties maintaining stance that deal is not off.' It isn't off, but it doesn't seem to be progressing which indicates that there is a major issue to be resolved.

If the Belgian does stay as owner, there will be cutbacks in outgoings which means players and wages. This could mean a relegation battle next year rather than a challenge for promotion.

Blackburn interested in Bauer

Blackburn Rovers are reported to be interested in signing Patrick Bauer: Eyeing swoop

A fee of £500,000 is being talked about which would cover a fortnight's losses.

Friday 15 June 2018

Muir still targeting takeover

The Evening Standard reported last night, 'Andrew Muir still expects to complete a takeover of Charlton and a source close to the Australian insists the proposed deal has not collapsed.'

Fans watching yesterday's World Cup game between Iran and Morocco were shocked to find that Iain Dowie was co-commentator, offering such pearls of wisdom as 'that wasn't far off target.' Do ITV want the curse of Dowie to descend on their World Cup coverage?

Thursday 14 June 2018

Murray speaks

'Last man standing' Richard Murray has spoken to the Supporters' Trust about what he knows about the takeover negotiations, which seems to be less than the full picture: Still negotiating

Both interested parties are still in negotiations and he assumes that the outstanding issue is the sale price. For what it is worth, I have been told that the second (Britrish) offer is much less well founded than the Australian one and may have been kept in play just to pressure Muir and his colleagues.

According to the 'Belgium 20', 'One of the potential buyers stormed out the meeting on Wednesday! Roland playing hardball.'

Murray said that the club was losing £1m a month and would need £100m of investment over a five year period.

Charlton are still paying for financial mistakes that were made in the Championship - Igor Vetokele was signed for a seven-figure fee in 2014. The striker has not played a competitive game for the Addicks since May 2016 after spending the last two seasons on loan at Belgian clubs Waregem and Sint Truiden. He is one of Charlton’s top earners and still has one year left on his current deal - and it is unclear whether the club would want to pay his full wages in League One next season (although there have been rumours that he might return).

Rick Everitt has tweeted, 'Sheer number of investors doing paperwork on the Aussie side seems to have caused delays, leading Duchatelet to lose patience.'

It looks like we are facing a further period of frustration. In the circumstances it is sensible to appoint Lee Bowyer as continuing caretaker manager, although it is not clear how much freedom of action he will have or how attractive prospective players will find the set up.

Lee Bowyer to continue as caretaker boss

Lee Bowyer is continue as caretaker boss at Charlton: Lee Bowyer

As Louis Mendez has commented, we could end the season with a caretaker boss and start with a caretaker. Mendez added, 'It’s an absolute shambles - whenever we think the club can’t get any more mental, it keeps proving us wrong.'

None of this uncertainty bodes well for effective preparation for next season.

Authorities should step in says Rickster

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has called for the authorities to intervene in the latest shambles at The Valley. He specifically appeals to local MPs Clive Efford and Matthew Pennycook: Time for intervention

Everitt says, 'It is now time for the football and political authorities to intervene publicly and do what they can to hold this dangerous idiot [Duchatelet] to account.'

On the whole politicians are reluctant to get involved in football issues unless they can see some clear payoff for themselves, although Millwall fan Efford may at least be sympathetic. The English Football League takes a restricted view of its regulatory responsibilities.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Barmy Belgian in London taking decisions

Roland Duchatelet has been in London this week starting to make decisions about next season, including the sale of Ezri Konsa and the managerial vacancy: Duchatelet takes the helm

Richard Cawley tweeted, 'RD definitely wants to sell but I don't believe that Australian-backed consortium expected Konsa to go. Does get to a point where RD has got to start making some decisions on manager etc if this doesn't get resolved.'

'Got to say that the information I'm getting is that Andrew Muir's consortium still in for the club, deal not collapsed etc etc, but you have got to question how close it now is if RD is selling a prize asset.'

'In terms of why this takeover has taken so long, I think you'd find that both parties will blame the other. It is hard to pull apart some of the info because it comes from multiple sources.'

'In terms of where that puts a deadline, I'm not sure who knows. Definitely not me.' A despairing Cawley added, 'Would anyone mind if I just step out of writing the takeover stuff and focus on the thriving local bowls scene?'

'Jimmy Seed' has commented, 'Was yesterday the first meeting between Roland Duch√Ętelet and Andrew Muir? I have a feeling it may have been. Well that went well then didn’t it?'

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Fit and proper persons test passed

Rick Everitt has tweeted that the new owners have passed the fit and proper persons test according to EFL sources.

If the announcement is made on Friday, I will be in London for a funeral!

Ezri Konsa buzzes off

It had long been expected that Ezri Konsa would leave this summer, but the anticipation was that he would be joining Everton or Brighton. However, his performances are seen as solid rather than spectacular and he is going to ply his trade at Brentford: Konsa joins Brentford

The fee is undisclosed which probably means that it is not that large. However, I have heard subsequently from the Chicago Addick and others that is £2.5m plus add ons which is fair enough. In particular with a player with potential it is important to get a share of any future deals.

Completion by Friday?

Richard Cawley of the SLP reviews the takeover situation, pointing out that had Charlton been promoted, other bidders might have materialised: Completion by the end of the week

Charlton are ready to listen to offers for Josh Magennis: Departures

The Mercury has called for the return of a supporters' director: Fan on board

I am a little more sceptical. The fan director was never on the main decision-making board, as I recall. What they could tell fans was constrained by commercial confidentiality. A proper fans' forum might do more.

Sunday 10 June 2018

Takeover update

'James Seed' says that rumours that the EFL has blocked the takeover of Charlton have no foundation in fact. It is a process which may be completed later this week, consistent with his earlier prediction that the return of Andrew Muir from Australia was the key.

Richard Cawley of the SLP tweeted on Monday morning, 'It is hoped - and I must emphasise that word - that the takeover will happen this week. But, but, but - there are variables that mean this is not definite.'

Cawley added that Muir flew back into the UK before the weekend. Roland is not holding things up, he wants to offload.

Sometimes I think that I will have joined Sam Bartram before this takeover takes place.

Friday 8 June 2018

Am in a denial?

My doctor is a Manchester City season ticket holder and every time I go to see him the first topic is what is happening at Charlton. I am finding it increasingly difficult to say why there has been no takeover.

It was pointed out to me that maybe I was in denial about a long running condition, suffering delusions about mythical Australians taking over the club who, even if they existed, might not be fit and proper persons.

Some surprise greeted my statement that I had no symptoms. When I asked what symptoms I should have those listed were fatigue and a nauseous reaction to Belgian beer and chocolates.

In the meantime the advice is to keep on taking the tablets.

Thursday 7 June 2018

Congratulations to Nick Pope

Congratulations to former Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope on his debut appearance for England. He came on as a substitute 25 minutes from time in the game against Costa Rica.

He didn't have a lot to do but was composed with his kicking and made a smart, if routine, save at his near post from Ronald Matarrita in the final minutes.

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Charlton with biggest debts in League One

Kieran Maguire of the Price of Football has been taking a look at the finances of League One. It's perhaps no surprise that Charlton have the biggest debts, but it is striking by how much they out distance other clubs.

Charlton's debts are £65.3m. Next in line are Coventry City, owned by hedge fund Sisu, followed by Bolton Wanderers at £22m (remember these are last season's figures). Rochdale and Shrewsbury are debt free.

Charlton also paid out £140 in wages for every £100 of income, a 'distinction' matched only by Scunthorpe.

Figures like these remind us why the sale of the club has not been straightforward. There have also been rumours that the Football League has raised queries during the fit and proper persons process, although I cannot confirm these.

Monday 4 June 2018

Everton renew interest in Konsa

Newspaper reports are suggesting that Everton have renewed their interest in signing Ezri Konsa, but Brighton and Hove Albion are also said to be interested.

It's difficult to see how decisions of this kind can be taken when we don't have a long-term manager.

Saturday 2 June 2018

Charlton in race for former Brakes ace?

The rumour mill says that Charlton are in a race for the signature of Danny Newton with QPR and Blackburn Rovers. The former Leamington player was a prolific scorer for Stevenage last season.

One always gets many false rumours at this time of year, but the real puzzle at the moment is who is making decisions at Charlton. Someone clearly is, given the invitation to Mark Marshall to leave.

Perhaps the tea lady is making the decisions and starting the rumours.

Another rumour links Patrick Bauer with a move to Blackburn.

Friday 1 June 2018

Former Charlton player is new Grecians boss

One time Charlton captain Matt Taylor has been appointed manager of Exeter City after the departure of Paul Tisdale after twelve years in charge at St. James's Park. Taylor is also a former Grecians player.

Taylor signed a two-year contract for Charlton on 1 July 2011, moving on a free transfer from Exeter City. In August 2011 he was appointed vice-captain by manager Chris Powell. He quickly established himself in the centre of defence alongside Michael Morrison, and scored his first goal for the club in an FA Cup 4–0 away win at FC Halifax, in November 2011. He was released by Charlton at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Farewell, then, Mark Marshall

Mark Marshall has a year left to run on his contract, but has been told he can leave if he can find another club in the summer: Summer exit available

It's clear that Lee Boywer didn't rate him.