Monday 31 October 2022

Sunday 30 October 2022

Garner puts Sandgaard on notice

Ben Garner wants to talk to Thomas Sandgaard as soon as possible about the January transfer window, making it clear that Charlton's chances of qualifying for the play offs depend on what happens there:

Fans are seen as simply cheerleaders by owner

CAS Trust have reflected on their recent meeting with Thomas Sandgaard and the overall mood might be said to be one of disillusionment:

They comment: 'As it stands, we should be expecting League One football for a while yet, at best a shot at the play-offs. We were left with the feeling that the owner is focusing first on what he sees as wrong with the club, rather than identifying what is right and building on from there.'

'We are also concerned that his approach and statements run the risk of negating the goodwill that needs to be nurtured in order to build momentum and fill The Valley. It is clear that the owner sees the role of fans and CAST itself as simply one of cheerleading for the team.'

Saturday 29 October 2022

Eight goal thriller

Charlton came back from two goals down twice at The Valley this afternoon.   They went 0-2 down against Ipswich, fought back to 2-2 but then conceded two late goals to make it 2-4.   Thomas then scored his first goal for Charlton to make it 3-4  and Charlton scored again in the last seconds to make it 4-4.

Egbo picked up an early impact injury and was replaced by Morgan.    The game had a lively start.  Charlton kept the ball well in the first quarter of an hour.

Ipswich won the first corner.    An effort by Burns was wide.   At the halfway point Charlton were more than holding their own.

The game became a bit scrappy and low tempo.  Ipswich were being patient and making Charlton chase down.

Following a free kick, Ipswich won a corner.    Stockley headed it away.  

Ipswich won another corner after a good run.   The move ended with a Charlton free kick.  

O'Connell had to defend at the expense of a corner after Charlton had tried to mount an attack.  O'Connell required treatment and had to be helped off the pitch.   Lavelle replaced him.

There were whistles from the crowd and if there was another one the players would be taken off.

Ipswich got a soft free kick against Dobson.  

Six minutes were added on.   Jules put in a shot after poor defending leading to a corner.   Edmundson scored with a free header for Ipswich.   Jules was booked for protesting about an alleged handball.

Steve Brown thought that the two changes had disjointed our performance and Ipswich had grown into it as the half had gone on.

Curbs asked why Morgan was marking Edmundson when we had bigger players.   Lavelle was not marking anybody.   The lack of goalmouth activity by us was a worry.   Stockley was a bit isolated.

HT: 0-1

Dobson got a yellow card for a challenge.   Clare got a yellow card for dissent.   Ipswich got their second through Jules at the near post with another free header.   The initial reaction to the free kick was slow.   Ben Garner was sent off for complaining about the free kick.   Curbs didn't think it was a free kick.   The referee was having a nightmare.

Stockley and Kirk were taken off and Aneke and Blackett-Taylor came on.  Dobson took the armband.

Aneke advanced down the right, Blackett-Taylor's shot was saved but Rak-Sakyi scored in front of the Covered End.   Walton was given a yellow card for holding on to the ball.  After the re-start, Wollacott had to make a brilliant save from a free header by Jules.

Ipswich made a treble substitution.   

Blackett-Taylor got a shot away, the keeper couldn't hold it and Albie Morgan scored.

Ipswich conceded a corner from a Blackett-Taylor cross.   Morgan's corner was not very good.

Edwards had a chance to score after poor defending but he put it behind for a goal kick.

Ipswich turned Lavelle and scored to make it 2-3 from 20 yards out.    They then made it 2-4 on 95 minutes, the shot took a deflection.

Thomas got one back for Charlton on 96 minutes to make it 3-4 after a Morgan free kick.   Blackett-Taylor was on the back post to give his third assist of the game.

Thomas had to make a great tackle to win the ball back for Charlton.   Dobson made it 4-4 on 99 minutes with a header.   Charlton are now 9th. 

Ben Garner it was an incredible game, we had matched the best side in the league for long spells.   'I am incredibly proud of the whole group, the character in the closing stages.   The atmosphere was unbelievable.   We have to use this as a springboard.  We need to work towards getting the depth they've got.   I don't know what I got sent off for, I didn't swear and I wasn't aggressive.   The referee spent all the time before the game telling my staff he was a Championship referee.'

Curbs said that Dobson didn't give up.  Dobson said it was 'a mad game, an absolute roller coaster.  It showed where we are as a team.  We've got to use that as fuel now.  I saw the ball loop in, it was a wonderful feeling.  I've been making late runs, trying to get in the box in the last five or ten minutes of games.  They've got the best squad in the league, it was a really good battle.   It's one of those games that comes round every four or five years.   I love it here, I just give everything for the club.'

Friday 28 October 2022

Sandgaard sometimes feels like a 'borderline Roland'

CAS Trust have reported in detail on a meeting with Thomas Sandgaard which covered a number of topics of concern:

I did find some of his answers somewhat vague and contradictory.   For example, he says that the break even target cannot be achieved just by cost cutting, but also thinks that our current cost base is too high (the fourth largest budget in League One).

He thinks there is a potential for revenue growth, but part of that appears to be achieved by creating a new culture in the club which some critics have seen as destructive.  It also surprising that the organisational structure of the club is still not sorted out after two years.

Sandgaard says sometimes he feels like 'a borderline Roland Duchatelet.'  He undoubtedly under estimated how difficult it is to run a football club successfully.

Tractors look forward to 'tough test'

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna reckons that Charlton did not get the results their play deserved earlier in the season.   He notes that we are second to them in terms of possession metrics, but then it is a question of what you do with the possession:

The Tractors beat Port Fail 3-2 midweek to make it six wins away from home and only one defeat.

McKenna is looking forward to a 'good football match' and certainly Ipswich will not park the bus.  We were unable to break down MK's defence or deal with their counter attacks on Tuesday.

Just as one can't read football results off the table, one can't read them off from the last game.   Ipswich say this will be a 'tough test' for them, but it will be even tougher for us.  It's difficult to be optimistic, but often Charlton do better against higher ranked teams.   That is the hope of CAS Trust in their preview:

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Garner defends red card specialist

Many fans were critical of Ryan Inniss after last night's game, but Ben Garner has defended the red card specialist:

Garner admitted that his side needed a little more speed, tempo and cutting edge.   It was a very flat performance.   But then we have struggled with fitness all season with a limited squad.

Garner said it would have been a risk to start Steven Sessegnon:

I don't think that Clare did too well at left back.   The opportunity for MK to hit the bar was really the result of poor decision-making by him.   He is a good player, but he needs to be in the right place.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Valley of Disappointment

MK Dons have not lost on their last five outings to The Valley and tonight they secured three points with a 2-0 win, starting with a disputed penalty.   I warned in my preview about reading results off the table.   Charlton had 64 per cent possession.   They have slipped back to 8th in the table.

Wollacott had to make a double save on three minutes and there was a big of a mix up in defence with Egbo right in front of him.

After 15 minutes Steve Brown reckoned that the visitors had been the better side.   Pushing the ball into the final third was not quite coming off for Charlton.

A counter attack by MK on 40 minutes saw them hit the bar and then Wollacott had to palm the ball away with a good save..

Campbell, who had been quite lively, went down with cramp.

It was a case of two teams cancelling each other out.   When Charlton did advance MK defended effectively in depth with the back three working well together.

Campbell had a great chance in the four minutes added on, but hit the side netting.

Curbs said that MK had made it very difficult for us.   Carl Leaburn said they had come here to sit behind the ball.   Curbs said we had huffed and puffed, got to the final third and had no sparkle.

HT: 0-0

Campbell was replaced by Payne on his 28th birthday.  Payne was on the right, Kirk on the left and Rak-Sakyi down the centre.

A superb ball from Fraser allowed Kirk put a ball across goal, but Stockley was unable to connect.

Rak-Sakyi put in a shot which was palmed away.   Inniss was booked in the counter attack.

A shot from Payne was not too far wide.

Charlton gave the ball away easily and Wollacott had to concede a corner.  Inniss headed the ball away.

MK provided a good through ball, Inniss conceded a penalty and he was sent off for a second yellow - but it was outside the box.  MK Dons went ahead from the penalty spot, although Wollacott dived the right way.

On 72 minutes Aneke replaced Stockley and Sessegnon replaced Kirk.

Fraser conceded a free kick about 28 yards out and Johnson scored to make it 0-2.

On 80 minutes Morgan replaced Fraser.   McGrandles came on to replace Dobson.

Curbs said they'd done a number on us.   We never really had an answer to trying to break them down. We're back to the drawing board.  We gave the ball away on so many occasions.   We started the second half a lot livelier.   They were very quick on the counter attack.

Leaburn thought we were riding our luck.

Careful about reading results off the table

Some Charlton fans have been forecasting a 3-0 or 4-0 win against MK Dons at The Valley tonight, but one must be careful about reading results off the table.

The Franchisees have had a poor start to the season after their successes last year.   They are currently bottom of the table and second from bottom in the form table where Charlton are suxth.   They have won two games away from home, as against one at home, but have lost four.

One must be careful about basing too much on what is shown on The Football League Show as League One teams are usually limited to their best or worst minute, if that.   However, MK Dons seems to like playing out from the back.  That is all very well if you are Manchester City, but not if you are a run of the mill League One club.

Manager Liam Manning put their defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday down to a failure to take chances because of a lack of confidence.

We should win tonight provided we take our chances, win the midfield battles and avoid defensive errors.  Not that easy, then. 

Monday 24 October 2022

More to come from Sessegnon

Ben Garner thinks there is a lot more to come from Steven Sessegnon whom he rates as a 'really talented player' with fitness being the key:

In relation to the break clause in Rak-Sakyi's contract, Garner insists that these are now routine (which doesn't mean they won't be used, remain Conor Gallagher) and that Palace are happy with his development at Charlton (hopefully not too happy):

They were china in our hands

Ramsgate-based fan Rick Everitt celebrates the win at Shrewsbury and analyses what has gone right in attack and defence:

However, the Rickster is less happy about the drop in home attendances which is costing the club £30,000-£50,000 a game and adversely affecting the atmosphere.

Good news on Leaburn

Miles Leaburn will not require surgery on his ankle, but he will take time to get fit, the same applies to DJ:

Saturday 22 October 2022

A win on the road

A 69th minute goal from Rak-Sakyi gave Charlton a 1-0 win at Shrewsbury this afternoon to take them 7th in the table.

The Addicks took the lead when Jack Payne got the better of Shipley to get to the byline, and his low cross was swept home by the Rak-Sakyi, who was in the thick of the action all afternoon.

The best chance of the first half came from Charlton - a cross from Steven Sessegnon found Rak-Sakyi who passed it into Marko Marosi's arms from a few yards out.

After the restart, the Shrews missed a sitter of their own - a volley from Jordan Shipley found Tom Bayliss at the far post who failed to connect well and send it over the line.

532 Charlton fans saw the win.

Scott Fraser was named man of the match by the Football League Paper, but fans had praise for Kirk and debutante Campbell.  Wollacott and O'Connell were in the League One Team of the Day.

Corey Blackett-Taylor could be available for Tuesday:

Friday 21 October 2022

Cause for concern

One should never underestimate the capacity of football fans to engage in negative hyperbole about their clubs.  A Leeds United fan was complaining on Radio 5 this morning that her team were worse than a Sunday league or pub team against Leicester last night.   The Leeds team I saw giving Arsenal a game on Match of the Day on Sunday looked well above that level.

One might think that with people facing so many other challenges in their lives at the moment they would try and be a bit more positive about their football team.   Nevertheless, it has to be admitted that the many pessimists at Charlton have cause for concern.

Thomas Sandgaard's break even objective is no more realistic than unfunded tax cuts.   It can only be achieved at League One at the expense of success on the pitch.

There is also grounds for concern about the churn of backroom staff at The Valley.  Finance director Emma Parker is the latest to leave.   Something is clearly not right behind the scenes.

Two home wins should at least have boosted the team's confidence, but we now face two difficult away matches.   Charlton are now the only team in League One not to have won an away match, having drawn four and lost three.

Shrewsbury Town are tough opponents.  Eighth in the league, they are third in the form table while Charlton are sixth from bottom.   They have done slightly better away from home, but have still lost just two home games.   Could they be the best thing to come out of Shropshire since T'Pau?

The short excerpts on The Football League Show can be misleading, but they look fluent and well organised.   Such is their commitment that even their physio got booked at Fleetwood last Saturday.

Manager Ben Garner has been described as 'clueless' by one fan, but the use of a 4-4-2 formation has helped as it is uncomplicated and players know where they should be and what they are supposed to do.

Nevertheless, I would settle for an away point tomorrow.  CAS Trust points out that the Shrews have played all five teams in the bottom five and hopes for three points:

One unnamed first teamer is not available through a minor injury tomorrow (not Rak-Sakyi):

Midfield maestros

Scott Fraser discusses his performance with George Dobson and notes that the league is stronger than ever:

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Ryan Inniss 2.0

Ben Garner says that Charlton have benefited from a more settled defence and singles out Ryan Inniss for praise, saying that there has been a nice shift in his mentality and he has matured as a person and a player:

Monday 17 October 2022

Defenders score twice in convincing win

Charlton moved up to 10th in the table this evening with a convincing 3-0 win at The Valley over Portsmouth which left pessimists grasping for a narrative.

Goals from Ryan Inniss, the recalled Corey Blackett-Taylor and Eoghan O'Connell made it seven home league games without defeat for the Addicks, their best start at home since 2015.

Pompey's Marlon Pack was sent off red midway through the second half after receiving a second caution.

His side have taken only two points from their past four matches to lose ground on the promotion places in League One, while the Addicks are now within two points of the play-offs.

Portsmouth started brightly enough and former Leamington ace Colby Bishop saw a powerful header from Joe Morrell's guided cross acrobatically tipped over by Jojo Wollacott after just nine minutes.

Eight minutes later they were behind, however, as Inniss notched his first home goal since February, rising highest at the far post to meet Scott Fraser's deep cross from a short corner routine and power home a header from six yards. It was the Addicks' first set-piece goal of the campaign.

Tottenham loanee Dane Scarlett saw furious appeals for a penalty after an apparent tug from O'Connell in the area waved away at the other end and, just before the half-hour, Blackett-Taylor, the only change to the side made by Ben Garner, cut in from the left and ghosted past two defenders before dragging a low shot narrowly past the post.

Just 60 seconds later he was on the scoresheet when Pompey lost possession in midfield, allowing Charlie Kirk to play a perfect slide-rule pass through for Blackett-Smith who held his nerve to outpace Conor Ogilvie and slot low through Josh Griffiths' legs.

Pack curled a free-kick inches wide for the visitors while Jesurun Rak-Sakyi's fierce left-footed strike was smartly turned around the post by Griffiths before the interval.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley made two changes at the break but Charlton came close to adding a third with Blackett-Taylor's stinging angled drive drawing a fingertip save from England Under-21 keeper Griffiths.

Charm merchant Pack saw red for a second booking 25 minutes from time and the Addicks made it 3-0 from the resulting free kick, with the unmarked O'Connell nodding in from close range from another superb Fraser delivery.

It was the 16th goal Charlton have scored in their seven home games in League One, while it was just Pompey's second blank in 18 league games.

Griffiths was called on to deny Alfie Morgan a fourth with a low save to his left late on as Pompey lost consecutive away games for the first time since February.

Official attendance 13,456.

Ben Garner discusses the work Charlton have done to improve at set pieces:

Garner wants Henry to stay

Ben Garner wants Aaron Henry to stay at Charlton and sign a long-term contract:

12 first team players have contracts that run out this season, including Clare and Dobson, but the club have an option on Dobson.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Why Sandgaard is less popular than Truss

VOTV editor Rick Everitt provides an in depth critique of what has gone wrong at The Valley under the stewardship of Thomas Sandgaard - and it has to be admitted that it is a formidable charge sheet.  Indeed, the Thanet Labour group leader compares the popularity of the hapless Danish-American with that of Greenwich resident Liz Truss (she got married at St. Alfege's Church):

Everitt doesn't mince his words when he says: 'Like the beleaguered prime minister, the Charlton owner’s credibility has been left in tatters by early failure and the lack of a persuasive plan to get back his regime back on track. Like her, his attempts to shift the blame on to others have proven unsuccessful.'

Making her loyalties clear

With everything else on her plate we can't expect the Norwich City fan to swell the numbers at The Valley any time soon.  Her near neighbour Kwasi Kwarteng has more time on his hands, but don't expect him either calling for 'kamikaze' attacking play.

The one encouraging piece of news imparted by the Rickster is that: 'And as with Truss, there are people willing to replace him. Voice of The Valley is aware of a new interested party with access to funds to relieve the US businessman of the liabilities and buy back the ground. However, the current owners remain an obstacle to progress. It isn't going to happen yet.'

After analysing the financial problems at Charlton, deep in the article Everitt admits: 'it is strongly arguable that the majority of the problem is structural and rooted in the game’s own financial contradictions, and therefore can no more be changed by him than but it could by the more diligent past boards of directors.'

That is why many of us favour an independent regulator for football as I argued in my book Political Football, but the Truss Government appears to be satisfied with a regulator under FA jurisdiction.

Leaburn out for several weeks

Ahead of Monday's clash with Portsmouth, Charlton have suffered a severe blow with the news that Miles Leaburn will not be available for several weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage:

After yesterday's results, Charlton are back to 14th in the table and they are only that high because of goal difference.   There are five clubs on 16 points and the relegation zone is only four points away.

Ben Garner admits that Portsmouth did really well in the transfer window:

I am going from memory on this, but I think we have played Portsmouth more than any other team in league matches, reflecting the fact that we have often been in the same division.

Friday 14 October 2022

Clubs are watching Leaburn

Miles Leaburn has become a hot property and other clubs are watching him: 

Ben Garner insists that he is not ready to move on yet, but the club might find it difficult to resist an attractive offer.   Of necessity Charlton has always been a selling club, but I would particularly regret his departure.

Happy Birthday to Jorge Costa.   You know who he hates.  

Thursday 13 October 2022

Trust want to meet Sandgaard

CAS Trust want to meet Thomas Sandgaard to ask a number of questions about the direction of the club, including whether expectations have to be adjusted: 

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Now bring on Pompey

Ben Garner appreciates Charlton fans not showing any negativity last night and is now looking forward to the clash on Sky with Pompey next Monday:

Some fans nevertheless managed to be negative on social media, one calling Garner 'clueless'.  I thought that his substitutions were well chosen and well timed.

Exeter's interim supremo thought that it was a wake up call on the harsh realities of League One (although Devon Live thought that the better side was unlucky):

There is still uncertainty about the seriousness of Leaburn's ankle injury:

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Charlton's first win in nine

The tunnel jump was back as Charlton beat Exeter 4-2.  Charlton are now 11th in the table.  As Curbs said, let's enjoy tonight.

An early effort by Rak-Sakyi was not far wide.   Charlton started quite brightly, but Exeter looked dangerous on the counter.

Charlton went ahead on 19 minutes through Leaburn, the ball taking a deflection after an assist from Dobson.  Brown came close to equalising for Exeter.

Charlton went 2-0 ahead on 23 minutes through an own goal after great work by Fraser on the edge of the area.

A shot by Harper from distance was not too far over.

A snap shot by Exeter on 36 minutes put them back in the game.

I thought that the right wing-back Caprice was being allowed too much space.

Curbs thought it was the best we had seen of Charlton this season in the first 20-25 minutes.   Scott Minto thought that Leaburn was fast becoming our number one striker.

HT: 2-1

Sessegnon managed to prevent Stansfield getting through on goal on 58 minutes.

Charlton were in danger after Fraser lost possession in midfield.

Leaburn required treatment and hobbled off.   Morgan came on.   Clare replaced Sessegnon.

The game became more open.  After an Exeter corner, the ball cannoned off the crossbar.

Steve Brown said we were giving away balls we shouldn't be giving away, but there were tied legs out there.

Kirk came off, along with Rak-Saki.  Payne came on along with Backett-Taylor.

On 81 minutes Aneke replaced Stockley.   Blackett-Taylor advanced on the wing, Dobson controlled the ball and Aneke scored off the post to make it 3-1.

In time added on, good work by Blackett-Taylor and Aneke allowed Payne to make it 4-1.

The referee gave a penalty against Aneke allowing Exeter to make it 4-2.   O'Connell was booked for kicking the ball away.

Curbs said it was a thoroughly deserved win.  Blackett-Taylor was devastating when he came on, he caused all sorts of problems.   The only downside was Miles.  Dobson was his man of the match.

Ben Garner reckons that Charlton would be six or eight points better off if Aneke had been fit all season:

£140k Academy cuts denied

Thomas Sandgaard has denied that a cut of £140k is being made in the Academy budget: 

However, he does admit that 'a few opportunities' to cut spending have been identified.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt comments: 'Not that “not accurate” is a significant form of words here. It doesn’t necessarily mean the academy cut is less than £140k.'

Sandgaard implies that the cuts are a few per cent.

Grecians bring no gifts

During the two years I lived in Exeter I remember walking past St. James's Park when supporters were gathering for an evening game and experiencing complete indifference.   That won't be the case tonight when Charlton badly need to take three points off the Grecians.

Exeter are currently without a manager, former Charlton player Matt Taylor having gone to Rotherham.  However, being without a manager does not lead to under performance, often the opposite.

The Grecians are currently eight in the table, having won two, drawn two and lost two away from home. They are capable of finding the back of the net, having scored ten goals away and the same number at home.

In the Badger League I predicted this as a 2-2 draw, but my prediction record this season has not been good.

Monday 10 October 2022

Hoped for run of victories a mirage?

The timing of Tuesday night's match with Exeter City does not allow Ben Garner to conduct his standard debrief on the Lincoln game with the players, he claims:

Garner believes that Charlton's lowly league standing can be improved by a run of victories - true, but how much confidence does recent performances give fans:

Chuks Aneke will be in tomorrow's squad and, perhaps more important, George Dobson is fit after a touch of cramp at Lincoln:

Owner and players among manager's woes

Ben Garner wants a 'review meeting' with Thomas Sandgaard and son to discuss recruitment in particular and there is an underlying tone of exasperation in his remarks:

Garner also feels that there is a need for a clamp down on the behaviour and standards of some of the squad, naming Corey Blackett-Taylor as a 'psychological challenge':

Richard Cawley comments: 'Johnnie Jackson certainly felt discipline and conduct was an issue when he took over. Think there would have been another clampdown in pre-season....if he'd still been at Charlton.'

Sunday 9 October 2022

Garner sounds like a man under pressure

Ben Garner sounds as if he doubts whether he will have the time he needs to turn Charlton around, emphasising that it is not a quick fix:

Garner is trying to find a system that suits the players he has (which implies they are not good enough, which is the case):

Louis Mendez points out just how well Charlton would have to do in the rest of the season to achieve a top six finish:

Saturday 8 October 2022

Charlton close to drop zone

Charlton confirmed their status as draw specialists with a 0-0 at Lincoln City today.  They fell to 18th in the table, just two points above the drop zone.

Each side had just one shot on target.

Louis Mendez commented: 'Thought Lincoln were awful and we weren't much better. Pretty naff game. Fair play to those who made it up here through the train strikes.' (658 Addicks)

In time added on in the first half there was a tremendous stop from the Addicks keeper, Joe Wollacott. Low and to his right.

The Addicks had their best spell after the restart as Charlie Kirk headed Jesurun Rak-Sakyi's corner wide before Steven Sessegnon blasted over.

Ben Garner defended his team, saying 'that performance didn't deserve to be booed':

He said 'we are still early in the process,' but for many fans time is slipping by.

BTW, the account tweeting yesterday under the alias of Joachim has been confirmed as false.

Friday 7 October 2022

Ramsgate fan challenges Sandgaard

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has said that Thomas Sandgaard needs to make a major change if he is to be a successful owner of the club.  The Ramsgate-based fan insists that you can't cut your way to success:

Richard Cawley has undertaken a long interview with Rick Everitt about Voice of the Valley

Forster-Caskey left out for 'footballing' reasons

May fans have been puzzled by the absence of Jake Forster-Caskey from a faltering Charlton squad, but Ben Garner insists that it is a footballing decision and nothing to do with any payments per appearance clause in his contract:

CAS Trust underline the importance of the Lincoln game in their preview, but are careful not to make any prediction of the outcome:

The Imps are one place above Charlton in the table.   At home they have one won and drawn three games, doing better on the road.   Charlton have not won any away games this season, but have drawn three.

Richard Cawley has undertaken a long interview with Rick Everitt about Voice of the Valley

Thursday 6 October 2022

Aneke back in training

Chuks Aneke is back in full training as Charlton head for Lincoln tomorrow where they have not won a league match since 1958:

Charles Clayden has joined Bromley on loan:

Club makes £6.8m loss

The accounts for club holding company Clear Ocean Capital for 2020/21 have been published.   Once interest depreciation and amortisation are taken into account, the loss before taxation for the year was £6.8m on turnover of £6.32m for a 10-month period.   After taxation it was £5.1m.   Football finance guru Kieran Maguire has pointed out that the operating loss was £210,000 a week.

66 per cent of income (£4.2m) came from Premier League and EFL central distributions.   Commercial (£1.6m) accounted for 25 per cent.  There was a large increase in streaming income, but this was offset by a decrease in sponsorship and non-matchday events.  Other (including Valley Gold, £163k)) was £380k and match day was £232k (Covid).

Profit on transfer fees amounted to £5.6m, but amortisation reduced this to a net profit of £3m in the accounts.   Selling on fees were obtained in relation to Lookman, Grant, Dijksteel and Pope. £1.9m was paid out on transfer fees, termination payments and agents' fees.

Total staff costs were £7.1m or 112 per cent of turnover

Having loaned the club £10.5m in 2020, T Sandgaard provided an additional £5.4m.  The loans are interest free and repayable on demand.

A third party provided a loan of £350k in December 2021.  This was investment in the fixed assets of the Academy with a view to achieving Category One status.  The loan attracts below inflation interest of 2.5 per cent and is repayable in December 2024,

The report notes: 'The Group derives a significant amount of revenue from ticket sales.  Gate receipts are dependent on match-day attendance, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed how highly clubs are dependent on such income.  Gate receipts are dependent on the team's performance on the pitch, and in turn the team's performance is reliant on the quality of coaching and the ability to attract the right players to compete competitively.'  Indeed.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Down the Football League we go

The significant development last night was not the 2-1 defeat at Colchester in the pizza trophy, but the fact that results elsewhere meant we fell to 16th place in League One.

If we win in the pizza trophy, it's seen as irrelevant.  If we lose, it's a disaster.  The Colchester paper has a full and balanced match report:

Thomas Sandgaard's break even objective is not compatible with success on the pitch in League One.  However, football supporters do expect a lot of a benefactor in terms of backing something they value.

The 'it was better under Roland' crowd are now out in greater force.  They seem to forget his treatment of Chris Powell and the hapless managers he foisted on us.  The money he put in was in the form of loans attracting interest, albeit not an excessive amount.

If anything gets me down it's the pessimism and negativity of Charlton supporters.  Even so, confidence is now an issue for the team and Saturday's fixture will be a tough one.

Big changes tonight

Charlton are expected to make wholesale changes for tonight's pizza trophy match at Colchester with the elusive Jake Forster-Caskey among those expected to feature:

Colchester have a new coach, but whether either side will get extra toppings remains to be seen.

Sunday 2 October 2022

Ramsgate fan's verdict on Charlton's past, present and future

Rick Everitt talks about the end of the Voice of the Valley fanzine, the shortcomings of the Sandgaard regime and why he finds Ben Garner less irritating as a manager than Gobby or the Adkins diet:

It took over four hours for the Rickster to get from his Ramsgate fastness to The Valley yesterday so sales around the ground started late, but copies will be on sale again at the Exeter game.

There's also some additional material for coach fans here:

Gobby thinks boos were tame

'Gobby' thinks that the half time booing at Charlton was tame compared with the Duchatelet era (when some fans think times were better):

Robinson was full of praise for Charlie Kirk.

Ben Garner thinks three at the back can work, despite switching to 4-4-2 at half time yesterday.  However, players have to commit to it and do what they are supposed to, remarks that are quite critical of the players:

Saturday 1 October 2022

Draw specialists

Charlton are joint top draw specialists with Fleetwood in League One after a 1-1 result against Oxford United at The Valley this afternoon.  Stockley equalised for the Addicks on 55 minutes after Oxford went ahead in the first half.   Charlton remain 14th.

There was a change in shape at half time with Leaburn and Kirk on for Lavelle and Payne.  Louis Mendez commented: 'we return to a shape that allows Rak-Sakyi and the other wide man (Kirk, today) to flourish and we become a threat.'

Both sides had big chances in added time.  Oxford substitute Billy Bodin lashed over following a deft turn inside Ryan Inniss before goalkeeper Simon Eastwood raced off his line to deny Charlton midfielder George Dobson.

This means no league wins in seven for Charlton.   The Covered End sang '****ing useless' and 'Garner sort it out'.

Louis Mendez summarised: 'One bad half, one good half. Miss some chances. Look suspect at the back at times.'

Richard Cawley commented: 'Second half was more entertaining. But some boos again at half time.'

Ben Garner said: 'The less said about the first half, the better. I’m struggling to find positives with that. Absolutely justified (the reaction from the fans). Fortunately we did react."

Charlton had four shots on target against three for Oxford.

Official attendance 12,086 with 1,058 away fans.

At least I had the consolation of winning £100 in the draw.