Friday, 31 August 2018

Roland: the football business doesn't suit me

Roland Duchatelet has admitted in an interview with a Belgian publication that the football business does not suit him. It is too irrational. Investing in football was the mistake of his life.

Roland draws a parallel with his unsuccessful venture into politics, saying that in both politics and football emotions outweigh logical thinking. An alternative explanation is that Roland is not the visionary he thinks he is.

Certainly his later remarks about teachers and Portuguese who lay cobbles in Belgium would suggest this is the case. He is someone who has made a lot of money in business who thinks he can then sort out everything else.

Thanks to a translation by Heather McKinlay you can read the whole interview here: Roland's big mistake

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Chris Powell thought that Roland would have gone by now

Chris Powell thought that Roland's reign at Charlton would be over by now: Anticipated new owners

The Addicks faced Powell's Southend at Roots Hall on Saturday.

Josh Cullen joins on loan

Josh Cullen has joined Charlton on a season long loan from West Ham United. Fisherman Lee Bowyer did not think he would be able to land the midfielder: Bowyer surprised

Cullen, 22, has made nine appearances for the Hammers since his debut against FC Lusitans in 2009. He has since had two loan spells with Bradford City and spent part of last season on loan at Bolton Wanderers.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

It's a happy Valley, insists Roland

Roland Duchatelet has told a Belgian publication that his employees 'have no complaints' - just as 'unscrupulous' English newspapers disclose that Charlton staff are in open revolt.

Protesting Charlton supporters 'do not know what really happened' claims Duchatelet. Rick Everitt notes that this is a man 'who has not attended a Charlton match in England since 2014 and did his most recent UK interview in early 2016.'

VOTV editor Everitt comments, 'At the heart of Duchatelet’s argument is always the same big lie - he was undone by a powerful conspiracy of supporters (and now media) and a raft of people who let him down from Chris Powell onwards, all pushing a separate agenda. He is just a victim.'

Eunan O'Kane won't drop down to League One

Leeds United midfielder Eunan O'Kane has stated that he will only accept Championship loans and will not drop down to League One, hence he will not be coming to Charlton: Loan blow

Richard Cawley reckons that there will not be decisions on other loans until Wednesday or Thursday with the parent clubs holding back.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

The peasants' revolt

Despite brutal cost cutting and a refusal to listen by Roland Duchatelet Charlton fans will not give up the fight at The Valley declares the Daily Mail. The article, which is almost as extensively illustrated with good photographs as Richard Redden's history of the club, makes an analogy with the peasants' revolt at Blackheath: Charlton fans fight on

The article says that what is holding up the takeover is the question of the price. Roland wants £35m, the Australians want to pay a realistic £25m. This is consistent with information I have received from other sources.

The situation at Charlton has now had sympathetic and extensive coverage in the national media. Roland is no doubt impervious, although the one or two articles in the Belgian press may have had more impact along with the recent leafleting of Sint Truiden.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Crossbar challenge was the highlight

A fan winning £5,000 in the crossbar challenge at half time was the highlight in this afternoon's 0-0 draw with Fleetwood Town at The Valley. It was certainly the nearest an Addick came to scoring.

Charlton (just about) held the visitors at bay, but the front men got poor service and very few chances were created. Taylor also kept being hauled down. We often seemed too slow in getting to the ball.

The game which was held up in the first minute as home fans threw packets of crisps onto the pitch in response to barmy Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet' latest cost-cutting measures. There was a short report about this on Radio 5 on Sunday morning when it was dubbed 'Crispgate'.

Once the action resumed, the two sides produced plenty of endeavour but few chances. The hosts started brightly and Lyle Taylor went close when he tested Fleetwood keeper Alex Cairns after 17 minutes with a shot from outside the box which was well held. The keeper had a curious habit of waving at his players so the Bloke Beside Me (Paul from Bexleyheath) started waving back.

The visitors earned their first chance after 35 minutes when a Ched Evans shot was deflected across the face of goal, following a cut-back from Wes Burns. Burns nearly opened the scoring just before the break when his shot from six yards out was cleared off the line by Patrick Bauer.

The best chance of the match came after 57 minutes, when Dillon Phillips brilliantly kept out a header from Ashley Hunter. He received a score of 8 from the Football League Paper. Charlton should have taken the lead with 13 minutes remaining when Joe Aribo volleyed wide from eight yards after a good cross by Chris Solly.

Igor Vetokele came on a sub, but made little difference.

Can anyone explain what a Fleetwood player meant when he shouted, 'Open up the pitch!'

Charlton remain in 14th place. Saturday's attendance of 8810 v Fleetwood was the lowest Saturday league gate at The Valley since the visit of Watford on 1/10/1994.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Stalemate played out

Friday, 24 August 2018

'Doors have come off their hinges' at Charlton

The Daily Telegraph is the latest paper to write at length about the chaos and turmoil at Charlton: Lee Bowyer turns firefighter

The paper comments, 'Charlton's problems are no longer "behind closed doors". The doors have come off their hinges, with tensions likely to reach boiling point again on Saturday when a protest organised by The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) is planned outside The Valley.'

Speaking on behalf of CARD, Alan Davies said: 'We believe the club is close to being unable to fulfill a fixture, either because the staff will take strike action or the fans will tip over the edge from the good-natured, peaceful protest we've had in the past to trying to get a game abandoned. That's not something we've called for but we believe it's not too far away.'

Bowyer charged with misconduct

Lee Bowyer has been charged with misconduct after his remarks about the referee following Tuesday's match against Peterborough: Bowyer

No charges are to be brought against the referee for bias, incompetence or bringing the Isle of Wight into disrepute.

League intervenes at Charlton

The English Football League has issued a statement on Charlton: 'The EFL continues to note the various comments emanating from multiple sources in regard to matters relating to the day-to-day operations at Charlton Athletic Football Club. Following a number of discussions dating back a number of weeks, the EFL plans to meet with both Charlton Athletic and the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust to gain a full understanding of the current situation that surrounds the club.'

'In the intervening period, as we do with all our clubs, we will continue to monitor developments, offer any practical assistance that is available to us as we seek to protect the integrity and reputation of our competitions. In the context of any debate relating to operational decisions taken by a club, it is important to make the point that these matters are determined by the individual Boards and Executive teams at each our 72 member clubs. We will offer support as required to assist clubs in complying with our regulations and contractual obligations.'

This is a significant development as the League is reluctant to intervene in the affairs of individual clubs. It is not, and has never seen itself as, a fans' representative organisation. The key phrase here is 'seek to protect the integrity and reputation of our competitions.' The volume and prominence of media coverage has been considerable.

Charlton fans in mass crisps protest

Packets of crisps will be handed out at tomorrow's protest against Roland's austerity regime: Giving the protest some bite

According to Rick Everitt, EFL sources are denying that the takeover has been held up by the failure of the Australian consortium to submit two pieces of paperwork.

Charlton look set to miss out on a £3m windfall with Everton keen to hang on to Ademola Lookman who has been linked with a £28m move to RB Leipzig where he was on loan last season: Bid to keep Lookman

That would buy quite a few paper towels and bottles of water.

Bowyer admits interest in O'Kane

Lee Bowyer has admitted an interest in Leeds United midfielder and Republic of Ireland international Eunan O'Kane. However, there are big stumbling blocks on the way, not least that he is on a big wage and wants to play in the Championship, so a loan doesn't look likely: Eunan O'Kane

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Points tally doesn't tell the whole story

Charlton captain Chris Solly thinks that the club's points tally does not tell the whole story so far in terms of their performances and they have been unlucky: Solly speaks

Maybe so, but we need to score more goals and stop conceding late ones.

Vetokele on the bench

Igor Vetokele is expected to be on the bench for Saturday's encounter with Fleetwood Town who demolished Scunthorpe 5-0 on Wednesday. Jason Pearce, Tariqe Fosu and Ben Reeves are about to return to full training: Injured players returning

Charlton meet in the dark

Charlton staff have been told to hold meetings in the dark to save money on the electricity bill. A member of staff who wanted to eat a packet of crisps at his desk had to get permission from HR because of the mess it could cause. Such is the mixture of tragedy and farce at The Valley: Roland's austerity drive

Interest in Josh Cullen confirmed

Lee Bowyer has confirmed that Charlton are interested in taking West Ham United midfielder Josh Cullen on loan. When Darren Pratley looked tired on Tuesday night, the interim supremo only had inexperienced youngsters available as substitutes: Midfielder target

Discussing Tuesday's game on Quest last night the pundits agreed that the Peterborough penalty was very dubious. A long clip from Lee Bowyer's after match comments was shown with the commentators agreeing that Bowyer was a very 'emotional' individual.

Quest should be praised for introducing a midweek roundup show for the EFL.

Situation at the club 'falling apart'

The Football League Paper has published an article online describing the situation at Charlton as 'falling apart'. Last Sunday they published a good article by Charlton fan and journalist Hugo Varley in which he called for being made a supporter of the club 'a special experience once again'.

The Times also has an article this morning that values the unpaid staff bonuses at £50,000 - £100,000.

The Fans' Forum last night was told that both takeover bids are still in play, although there was no apparent explanation of why it is taking so long for the Australian consortium to submit outstanding paperwork to the EFL. It doesn't bode well for the efficiency of their operation if they do acquire the club.

The other bid has also been revived. I don't know very much about what I call the 'Trotters Independent Trading' bid, but what I have heard doesn't fill me with confidence, particularly in terms of the readies needed to revive the club.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Staff wlll not get bonuses

Staff at Charlton have been told they will not be paid their bonuses because the club had a very bad financial year. That is, of course, the result of the parlous management of Roland: Bad financial year

Staff are meeting this afternoon and a statement will be issued later. There is talk of strike action at Saturday's game against Fleetwood Town. CARD are also organising a demonstration for Saturday.

Rick Everitt has tweeted, 'About 20 staff left at The Valley. Includes ground staff, accounts, IT, comms, tickets, commercial, matchday safety and disabled liaison. Current dispute involves all areas.'

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Penalty punishment

Charlton went down 0-1 to Peterborough at The Valley last night after a harsh late penalty was awarded to the visitors. Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer, who had been shown a yellow card, launched an outspoken attack on referee James Linington after the game which may yet get him into trouble with the FA: Scathing attack

Unfortunately, it all went wrong when Linington broke his bottle of hair restorer in the dressing room before the game and he knew he would not be back in the Isle of Wight until today to visit his supplier.

However, Peterborough charm merchant Steve Evans, who was himself given a yellow card, thought that Charlton should have had a number of red cards during the game instead of four yellows: Should have had men sent off

The 89th minute penalty came after a spell when the Addicks had been putting some pressure on the visitors. Charlton competed well against table topping Posh in what was a good game apart from the result. However, although some of the passing was excellent, and the pace of the team was good, we shouldn't overlook the fact that we didn't put the visiting keeper under any serious pressure for much of the game until late in the second half.

In the 20th minute Steve Evans' team were nearly took the lead when Ryan Tafazolli's close-range header beat Phillips, hit the crossbar and was then cleared off the line by Chris Solly. Tafazolli was the only survivor from the last visit of Peterborough to us.

Charlton then threatened when Albie Morgan, making his full league debut for the club, broke at speed and fed Lyle Taylor, who struck at goal but saw Aaron Chapman save via a deflection.

The visitors started the second half fired up and Siriki Dembele burst clear to go one-on-one with Phillips, who produced a fine save when he shot on goal, before Colin Daniel worked his way into a promising shooting position before sending his finish wide.

Taylor twice went close as the hosts came into it but after Toney avoided a potential penalty for a handball under pressure, he then had a significant hand at the opposite end in Cummings securing all three points with Lewis Page penalised for his challenge on Toney. Phillips had no chance with the penalty.

Charlton are now 14th in the table. Gobby's Oxford United are bottom with no points.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Posh owner wants return on his money

Writing in the Football League Paper Peterborough United manager Steve Evans states: 'The last four seasons have seen our chairman Darragh McAnthony invest big sums of his personal wealth and all he got was a points tally that fell short of what was the agreed objective. Why continue to do something you know will fail?'

'He agreed that it was time to build a new team and that's why we let 18 players go. Even so I must admit I had hoped to keep some of the players who have left for sizeable transfer fees.'

Striker Jack Marriott went to Derby County, but 'Marcus Maddison is now back with us after a very unsettling period when two - not one - Championship managers spoke to the player's agent about taking him and then didn't see it through.'

Posh have won their first three League One games, scoring nine and conceding three.

Steve Evans is ready to break up the starting eleven that has driven Peterborough to the top of League One. The Scot wants to keep his players fresh and is weighing up starts for striker Ivan Toney and midfielder Louis Reed for the Charlton trip.

Peterborough were one of my promotion tips for this season.

Odds: Charlton 13/10, Draw 12/5, Peterborough Utd 2/1.

Staff may sue over unpaid bonuses

Junior staff at Charlton may sue Roland Duchatelet over unpaid bonuses. They met targets which should have given a 10 per cent boost to their wages and brought them up to a barely acceptable level: Legal action considered

Matthew Pennycook MP has tweeted, 'The situation at CAFC is utterly shambolic and it now appears that staff at The Valley are also being targeted. Fans are telling me that they're genuinely concerned about the future viability of the club if the takeover process fails. Enough is enough Roland Duchatelet, just go.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted, 'Now being suggested that Footscray Rugby Club have issued a writ against the club for failing to complete works on its site.'

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Charlton need to be more ruthless

Charlton need to be more ruthless in both boxes says Joe Aribo after the away draw at Accrington Stanley: Ruthless streak needed

Charlton face table topping Peterborough at The Valley tomorrow evening.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Charlton hold mighty Stanley

Accrington Stanley were favoured by the pundits for an instant return to League Two, but they have shown they have more about them. Grant put Charlton ahead on 15 minutes, but the home side equalised through Clark on 78 minutes.

Charlton fans unfurled a big banner in the away end: 'EFL, not fit for purpose.'

Charlton opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Lewis Page raced down the left wing and played in a cross, finding the head of Karlan Grant. The forward's header hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down with the assistant referee judging it had crossed the line.

Grant could have doubled Charlton's advantage with a shot from 22 yards which was narrowly wide while Billy Kee came close for Stanley after 44 minutes but his header was just the wrong side of the upright.

Stanley pressed for the equaliser after the break but Charlton were dangerous on the breakaway, with Darren Pratley forcing a good save out of Middlesbrough loan keeper Connor Ripley.

The home side's pressure finally told when Sam Finley's ball caused chaos in the area and both Sean McConville and Offrande Zanzala had shots before Clark fired home from close range to secure a point.

Charlton are now 12th in the table.

Report from the News Shopper here: Forced to settle for point

The report from Louis Mendez of the SLP is here: Addicks settle for point

Lee Bowyer was not happy with the team's performance and warned 'they have to be better than they were today otherwise they’ll get thumped (on Tuesday against Peterborough)'. The shell shocked supremo slammed his side's decision making, saying 'We weren't good enough': Unacceptable draw

Friday, 17 August 2018

Coleman draws up his battle plan

Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman is not bothered by Tuesday's 6-1 defeat in the League Cup by Mansfield. The focus is now on their first league game against Charlton. He admits that Charlton are a good team with good players, but is formulating a battle plan to defeat the Addicks: No alarm bells

Thursday, 16 August 2018

No further interest in Nicky Ajose

There has been no further interest in Nicky Ajose who is one of the highest paid players on Charlton's books: Bowyer update

Lee Bowyer has expressed his admiration for the job that John Coleman has done at Accrington Stanley on a tight budget: Admiration

Krystian Bielik (which translates as Chris Eagles) has joined Charlton on a season long loan. The Valley has been a good proving ground for Arsenal youngsters: Loan signing

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Krystian Bielik is Charlton target

Arsenal's Krystian Bielik is a Charlton loan target, reports Richard Cawley of the SLP.

The 20-year old centre back was signed by Arsenal from his Polish club for a fee of over £2m. He was on loan at Walsall for the second half of last season: Career details

He can also play as a defensive midfielder. However, he is only one of a number of targets Charlton are looking at.

Richard Cawley has also reported that Nicky Ajose's potential move abroad now looks like a non-starter.

The Duchatelet football empire

An interesting in depth look at the Duchatelet football empire from Hungary: Empire builders

A key to their approach is seen as reducing the staff to the absolute minimum possible on the cheapest wages possible. It doesn't matter if they know nothing about football. The same minimalist approach is taken to the squad. Focus on selling players.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Young side need to learn from mistakes

A young Charlton side went out of the League Cup in a 3-0 defeat at Milton Keynes last night as a result of a number of mistakes that included a Dillon Phillips own goal. Johnnie Jackson said that their inexperience showed and they need to learn from their mistakes: Lessons of defeat must be learned

Jackson said that it was still possible that the club would make loan additions before Saturday's game at Accrington: Working hard on targets

Monday, 13 August 2018

Could Lapslie have a sell tag round his neck?

Writing in the Football League Paper David Connolly says, 'Charlton are a side I really like. I watched them numerous times last season and again in pre-season against Brighton and they were full of running and endeavour, with a nice blend of experience and youth.'

He reckons that the Charlton Academy is one of the best in London. However, if they are going to continue selling they will need new candidates for what he calls not unreasonably 'the conveyor belt'. He suggests that Lapslie looks like a promising sales prospect.

Back Bowyer with loan signings

Darren Prately has called for Lee Bowyer to be backed with loan signings. He would back Charlton's first eleven against anyone but there are going to be more injuries and suspensions, he warns: Back Bowyer

Karlan Grant's goal against Shrewsbury with a Pratley assist has been selected as League One Goal of the Week by The Times.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Youngsters show their mettle

By my reckoning seven of the eleven players on the pitch at the end of Charlton's 2-1 victory over Shrewsbury Town at the Valley today were Academy products. Morgan was particularly impressive after he replaced Marshall at half time who had had a mare.

Arriving at the ground, Rick Everitt was selling Voice of the Valley in shorts to signify that he was pitch ready, but if this was a confidence building measure, it didn't work for me. As it was, Charlton started with just six substitutes.

It was interesting to see the kit man coaching the players in the warm up. This dual role must save Roland a few euros, particularly if he is paid just for looking after the kit.

The directors' box was largely empty, but fans' friend Richard Murray was there sucking his too good to hurry mints.

The first half was mostly dull fare with the only real chance falling to a visiting player, Beckles, who put the ball wide when he should have scored.

Only a superbly-timed tackle inside the box by Ryan Haynes prevented Grant from pulling the trigger five minutes before the break.

Phillips got down low to keep out Aaron Amadi-Holloway's 47th minute header and deny Shrewsbury what would have been a dream start to the second half. Chris Solly was perfectly placed to scramble Docherty's 55th minute shot off the line, while Beckles saw a goalbound effort deflected behind by team-mate Gilliead as the visitors continued to press.

It was Charlton who opened the scoring on 62 minutes, as Taylor rose high to head home from George Lapslie's right-wing cross.

But then John-Lewis, who came on as a substitute, scored the equaliser in a move started with a free kick. Charlton did not defend well, but as the Bloke Beside Me said when John-Lewis came on, it was unfair to have a whole store against us.

Then just as five minutes of time added on were announced, Grant scored the winner (there were two Grants on the pitch, one for each side). Darren Pratley put in a cross from the right which was deftly headed in by Grant.

Charlton are 11th in the tentative table. Shrewsbury are not the team they were at the end of last season, but it was still a creditable result.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Welcome, Jed Steer

Keeper Jed Steer has signed on loan for Charlton from Aston Villa. Originally with Norwich City, he has had an injury plagued career with Villa: Jed Steer

In five years with the club, Steer has managed only eight senior team appearances with a single league match to his credit.

Charlton expressed an interest in him last summer.

Dulwich chairman blasts Charlton

Dulwich Hamlet's Charlton has blasted Charlton for trying to get out of a first team friendly to which they were contractually entitled: Hamlet

The first Voice of the Valley of the season will be on sale around the ground tomorrow. The usual crew of vinegar pissers have been dragged out of their drinking holes to produce copy. As usual, it is also possible to buy the Voice online for delivery in a plain wrapper by the Royal Mail, but postal copies will not come with the sachet of vinegar provided with copies sold at the ground.

There have been rumours of a loan signing today, but no information about position. Shrewsbury Town made two deadline day signings, breaking their own transfer record with the signing of Oliver Norburn from Tranmere Rovers for over £170,000.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Why are fans protesting against owners?

This article from The Guardian provides extensive coverage of Charlton, but also looks at Blackpool, Blackburn and Coventry City: The Agony and the Ecstasy

The article notes that the Charlton protests have been the most vocal of all. Richard Wiseman, chairman of CAST, refers to 'a toxic mixture of arrogance, incompetence and stubbornness' on the part of Roland.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

How Charlton compare financially

The authoritative Swiss Ramble has been taking a look at League One finances based on the 2016/17 accounts. In some cases clubs publish only abbreviated accounts so the information available is limited.

The results are not a great surprise as far as Charlton are concerned (most tweets have been on the debt figure), although it is interesting that the club is still ranked quite high on match day revenue, suggesting that the potential to grow is there under new leadership.

11 of the 24 clubs in League One made money, though the amounts are very small – the highest were Swindon Town and Rochdale £1.4m. The largest reported losses were Millwall £5.8m, Sheffield United £5.7m and Scunthorpe United £5.6m.

Profit on player sales was below £3m for all but two clubs in League One. The exceptions were relegated from Championship: Charlton £16.2m (Lookman to Everton, Gudmundsson and Pope to Burnley, Cousins to QPR) and Bolton Wanderers £5.6m (Holding to Arsenal, Clough to Forest).

The three clubs promoted from League One in 2016/17 had the highest revenue: Bolton Wanderers £14.7m (though this includes £6.5m from the Whites Hotel), Sheffield United £11.4m and Millwall £10.0m. Next highest were Charlton £7.6m, Oxford £7.0m, Walsall £6.6m and MK Dons £6.6m.

At this level, match day revenue can be a critical differentiator with Sheffield United leading the way with £7.9m, followed by Millwall £5.2m, Charlton Athletic £3.2m and Bolton Wanderers £3.2m.

Highest attendances were at two Yorkshire clubs: Sheffield United 22,000 & Bradford City 18,000. Sheffield United crowds would have placed them in the top 10 of the Championship. Followed by Bolton 15,000, Charlton 11,000 and MK Dons 10,000.

Three of the four highest League One wage bills were at the promoted clubs, though these were inflated by promotion bonuses. Highest was Bolton £13.8m (including £1.1m for hotel), followed by Charlton £11.1m, Sheffield United £10.0m & Millwall £9.4m, then large gap to Scunthorpe £6.0m.

Clubs in League One have to comply with the Salary Cost Management Protocol, so the wages to turnover ratios are normally better (lower) than those in the Championship. Nevertheless, still some clubs above 100%: Charlton 146%, Scunthorpe 145%, Fleetwood Town 109% and Southend 104%.

The highest financial debt by far in League One was £65m at Charlton Athletic, mainly owed to owner Roland Duch√Ętelet’s company, followed by Coventry City £37m, mainly owed to hedge fund owners SISU Capital, then Bolton Wanderers £22m, Millwall £20m and Southend United £18m.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Another player speaks out

Patrick Bauer has tweeted, 'I just wanted to take this opportunity to clear up some confusion regards my future at Charlton Athletic Football Club. As long as I am wearing the Charlton shirt I will give my everything for you Addicks and the Football Club to be as successful as possible.'

'Nevertheless I have not been offered a new contract, and would not extend my current contract which terminates in 2019 with Charlton Athletic FC.'

Charlton a under 23 side

Charlton are basically fielding an under 23 side at the moment says Lewis Page. He is full of praise for debutante Goerge Lapslie, but clearly implies that the situation is not viable: Reinforcements needed

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Bitter blow for Charlton

A Sunderland goal in the sixth minute of injury time saw a battling Charlton side defeated 2-1 by Sunderland today.

The Addicks had gone ahead with a Taylor penalty on 10 minutes. After being in charge in the first half, they were under the cosh in the second.

Despite the result, Lee Bowyer was impressed by the performance of his weakened squad: Late heartbreak

Forster-Caskey injured

Reports are coming from a variety o sources, including the authoritative Roker Reports, that key midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey has been injured and will not play in front of the Sky cameras at Sunderland today. It is feared that the injury is a long-term one.

I cannot remember such a bad injury crisis at the start of a season. If you are going up to Sunderland, take your boots.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Austerity regime at Sparrows Lane

Bottled water is being rationed at Sparrows Lane and the air conditioning is barely on. The Independent takes an in depth look at the plight of Charlton and the challenges facing Lee Bowyer: Charlton

Thursday, 2 August 2018

It's a tough opening game says Sunderland supremo

In his press conference today, Sunderland manager Jack Ross was asked about Charlton: 'Well, I think first of all, it’s a really tough opening game for us when you look at the teams that filled the top positions in the table last year, it’s a team that obviously reached the playoffs and a big club as well. Probably that has went through some sort of turbulent period in recent times and they’ve also had injuries to contend with during pre-season.'

'So, there’s a little bit of synergy between the two clubs in that respect, the one difference being that they obviously enjoyed a relatively successful period season last year and we didn’t. So, I think it’s a tough game for us and I would imagine that they’re a club who believe that they will challenge again in those automatic or playoff spots.'

'Aside from that, we’re quite thorough in our work and our preparation in terms of dealing with the opposition and that’s been new for me because normally when I’m doing that I’ve been very familiar with the players I’m looking at. So, I’ve had to educate myself in that respect, but we’ve worked hard to be as well prepared as we can, not just for this game but for every game moving forward.'

Of course, much of this is just expectations management and getting your excuses in first. He needs to motivate his squad by telling them they are up against tough opposition.

Holmes takes a step down

Former Addick Ricky Holmes has failed to impress at Sheffield United so he has taken a step down and gone on loan to Oxford United where he will join his former supremo 'Gobby': Loan deal

One Charlton fan asked, 'Does Robinson sign anyone he hasn't worked with at one of his old clubs?'

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

It's still happy Valley for Bowyer

Despite long hours, no permanent position and the uncertainty surrounding the club it's still a happy Valley for Lee Bowyer: Happy Valley

One fan commented, 'He's hardly likely to say otherwise, not if he wants to keep his job.'

Bowyer is using 'old school' training methods to get his players fit and is optimistic about the season ahead. I am glad someone is.