Saturday 31 December 2022

Clutching at straws

As the CAS Trust preview states, it's a case of clutching at straws as we face Portsmouth at Fratton Park tomorrow.   We do have quite a good record there and we are joint bottom of the form table, but Pompey managed a 2-2 draw against Ipswich on Thursday:

CAS Trust single out striker Colby Bishop for praise.  The former Leamington ace went into double figures on Thursday, the fourth season in a row he has done this.   When Accrington signed him for £35k, Charlton thought the price was too high and he was too big a risk.

Portsmouth have lost just one match at home, but drawn seven.

Unfortunately, I fear a grim start to 2023 for the Addicks.   

Thursday 29 December 2022

Another poor performance

Charlton failed to win for the eighth game in a row after a young side lost 3-1 to Oxford United tonight.  They are now three points above the relegation places.

Two goals in four minutes midway through the first half helped Oxford beat Charlton.  Billy Bodin converted Josh Murphy's inviting low cross into the roof of the net at the far post in the 20th minute for his seventh goal of the season.

From Oxford's next real attack, Matty Taylor deflected Bodin's shot past goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer to make it two.

Substitute Miles Leaburn pulled a goal back for Charlton in the 67th minute, heading home Corey Blackett-Taylor's cross following the winger's blistering run down the left.

But soon after his 81st minute arrival, teenage substitute Gatlin O'Donkor sealed victory for Oxford by prodding the ball over the line from a yard out, after Maynard-Brewer failed to hold Yanic Wildschut's shot.

991 Addicks fans attended for a dismal end to their football year.

Charlie Methven was seen at the Kassam Stadium tonight.   He is no saviour.

Dean Holden has made it clear he was not happy with the performance, particularly the woeful first half, and there were 'words' at half time:

Louis Mendez provides his four takeaways on the game, noting that Leaburn will attract interest in January:

Keeper options

Joe Wollacott faces another two weeks out with his broken finger.  The surgeon will take another look next week:

He is no longer sure of being first choice keeper after recent impressive performances by Ashley Maynard-Brewer.   Craig MacGillivray is likely to be offered the opportunity to leave in January.

Texans invited to take $75k stakes in Charlton

Rick Everitt has stated: ‘Sandgaard is aiming to sell 80% of Charlton for £11.3m, but contributions as small as $75k are being sought from small investors in Texas (by the potential purchasers, not Sandgaard), which suggests group lacks serious funds and no Valley purchase is likely.

Potential small investors are being told of recent appointments (including Rodwell, Warrick, Holden, Scott) and also that major cost reductions are feasible following bad management.

My take on the latest info is that the intention here is to flip Charlton - there would be some short-term spending but the cost-cutting claims being made (no doubt for the benefit of gullible Americans) are absolutely risible as a business plan.’

Another contributor on Twitter stated: ‘Potential investors are being asked not only to buy in, but also to take on a share of the annual losses.   I can’t imagine many people falling for that, nor blithely accepting glib references to cost reduction opportunities.’

This all looks ramshackle to me and confirms my view that nothing significant is imminent.  However, Everitt has subsequently stated that Sandgaard has signed a deal with the Methven group including an exclusivity deal for due diligence.

Based on what I saw in the Netflix series on Sunderland, Methven is not good news.   Like all old Etonians, he has excessive confidence in his own good judgment.

The esteemed Drinking During the Game blog has unearthed another man of many parts hanging round the club, Simon Lenagan whose father was at one time the owner of Oxford United:

It is difficult to say whether this is a tragedy or a farce, probably both.

Fringe players on their way

Fringe players will be leaving Charlton in the transfer window, says Dean Holden.  (Suggestions welcome). Jake Forster-Caskey is one name that has been mentioned. Meanwhile, the recruitment of new signings is under way:

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Gobby angry with some of his players

Despite Oxford United being 15th in the table, two places above Charlton, Gobby is confident they can challenge for a top six finish.  However, he is angry with some of his players for their performances in the Boxing Day defeat at Ipswich.  He singles out Miles Leaburn and Daniel Kanu for praise:

At home Oxford have won three, drawn three and lost four.

Dean Holden says there has been some sickness in the camp and some players cannot cope with three games in a week because of previous injury histories.  He also provides an update on Chuks Aneke:

Dobbo is new club captain

George Dobson has replaced Jayden Stockley as club captain, a move that will surely be welcomed by almost all Charlton fans.  His tireless efforts and commitment to the cause is widely recognised by fans.

New supremo Dean Holden says that Dobson is 'captain material': 

Holden hopes that the change will enable Stockley to focus on his role as a forward.  We can but hope.

Tyler Walker rumours are a puzzle

I am a bit puzzled by rumours linking Charlton with a loan deal for Coventry City forward Tyler Walker.  He is out injured (cruciate knee ligament) for nearly a month, although one could say that Charlton specialises in acquiring crocked players.  But the Sky Blues are beset with injuries and scarcely afford to let anyone go, not that Walker is rated that highly.

Jordan Cross of the Portsmouth News wrote that "Walker will go down as one of the worst and most expensive loan mistakes seen at Pompey in recent years"

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Holden thinks Ras-Saki will stay

Ras-Sakyi had disappointed in his recent performances, but Dean Holden doesn't think he is going to be recalled by the Glaziers:

Hull City are reported to be interested in him.

DJ's awkward overload

The latest injury for Chuke Aneke doesn't sound too bad, but we all know how injury prone he is.  Meanwhile, DJ has 'an overload in the pubis area':

Monday 26 December 2022

Leaburn scores in Valley draw

Miles Leaburn got his sixth goal in 19 appearances as Charlton drew 1-1 with Peterborough at The Valley to move up to 17th in the table.

Kanu started up front with new supremo Dean Holden saying he wanted energy and power in his attack.

Ashley Maynard-Brewer made an excellent double save to deny Kwame Poku and Joe Ward in the 36th minute.

After a fairly dull first half, the game livened up in the second half.  Scott Fraser sent a free kick narrowly wide then Leaburn scored a fine headed goal in the 49th minute.   The assist was provided by Kanu with a good cross.

Man of the match Sean Clare marauded through the middle before hitting the left post. Only some fine goalkeeping from rookie ‘keeper Will Blackmore and a poor miss from Rak-Sakyi stopped Charlton easing into a bigger lead before a Jonson Clarke-Harris header from a deep Joe Ward corner travelled into the back of the net through Ashley Maynard-Brewer legs after a touch from Lucas Ness in the 66th minute.

Kelland Watts and Poku both hit the bar for Peterborough before Jesurun Rak-Sakyi sent a glorious effort wide after being cued up by Leaburn.

Dean Holden thinks a point was a fair result:

Friday 23 December 2022

Sandgaard preparing 'to hand over the reins'

VOTV website editor Rick Everitt looks at the 'compelling evidence' that Thomas Sangaard is preparing 'to hand over the reins':

The Rickster's sources are better than mine, but I still think there is considerable uncertainty surrounding the prospect of an early departure by Sandgaard.

Everitt says it is unclear whether Methven and his associates have a purchaser lined up.  The involvement of Warrick raises the possibility of selling part of either The Valley or the training ground to facilitate a sale, although my view is that there are real planning constraints at either location.

He also reveals that American and Canadian money men were given a tour of The Valley a fortnight ago.  Whether they were linked in any way with New Hampshire based Carlisle Capital is not specified.

Some hope for Boxing Day

Peterborough United are a team who think they are entitled to be in the Championship, but never manage to stay there very long:

They are currently eighth in the table, but have a far better home than away record.   They have won three away, drawn none and lost eight, conceding 21 goals.   Only two clubs in the relegation zone have conceded more on their travels.

Charlton are bottom of the form table, but Peterborough have lost their last four.  The win over Brighton should give the Addicks a much needed confidence boost.

Hopefully new manager Dean Holden will jettison playing out from the back which has never really worked with the players we have.  He should be more direct and make more use of the wings if he can, although Rak-Sakyi seems to have lost form and interest.

No January fire sale

There will be no fire sale of key assets in January, but one or two players will be moving out and it is hoped that several others will be coming in according to Andy Scott:

There are funds to bring players in, but it is less clear where they are coming from.   Charlie Methven said that he and Ed Warrick cannot fund a takeover but 'would put a few quid in' given the right circumstances.  Some fans would probably be willing to do that.

The SLP had tried to set up an interview with Sandgaard who jetted out before Wednesday's game, but so far without success.  

Possible American bidders named

Unconfirmed reports have linked American private investment firm Carlisle Capital with Charlton.  They are based in Portsmouth N.H. and seek long-term value in their investments:

The bid is being spearheaded by Adam Binnie - vice president of Carlisle Capital - who wants to add a traditional English club to his company’s portfolio. They regard Charlton as an under performing club with huge potential.

Their president was born in Scotland and they have interests in media and real estate.    They were involved in an unsuccessful bid to take Derby County out of administration.   They withdrew because of complications over stadium ownership.   This could be an issue at Charlton.

Thursday 22 December 2022

Holden aware of fans' unrest

Dean Holden says that he is fully aware of the unrest among Charlton fans.   It was a big decision for him to come into 'this challenging environment'.  The players need some belief:

Sorting out recruitment will be a team exercise:

United away

Charlton will play Manchester United away in the quarter finals of the Football League Cup.  A good pay day, a great experience for the players and a treat for our many supporters who live up north.

Perhaps Miles Leaburn can repeat his father's goal?

Some fans have expressed concerns about tickets, but Burnley got over 7,100.

Holden to contact Curbs

Natasha Everitt, a Charlton fan, speaks to Dean Holden for TalkSport.

On having any hesitation on taking the role: "You need to do your due diligence. There's been a decent turn around of managers which is par for the course now in football. There's been opportunities to get back in the game but I wanted to make sure it was the right one."

"In January we need to do the business, the right business to push the club forward." Is avoiding relegation a success? "My ambitions for this football club are more than that this season, but in the same time let's get it right in the next few weeks. We're looking upwards."

“I'm going to work with Hayes moving forward. It was important not to bring in an army of new staff, the clubs had a lot of turnover."

Will he lean on Curbs for advice: "I reached out to Minto last night for Curbs' number. I'm going to make contact with him in the next few days and invite him to the training ground and get to grips with what this club means."

Scan for Aneke

Chuks Aneke managed just five minutes on the pitch against Brighton last night after coming on as a substitute and is being sent for a scan:

Holden contract runs until end of season

Dean Holden's contract will run until the end of the season, Andy Scott's runs until the end of January, but he is hoping for longer.  This may depend on any ownership changes.  Meanwhile, Scott sees his role as strengthening the squad by the end if January:

He says he is very comfortable with having an initial contract only until the end of January:

Holden visited the Royal Oak last night.

Steve Gallen will be involved in transfer negotiations.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Charlton through to quarter finals

Pessimists were forecasting a 0-4 or 1-5 defeat by Brighton tonight, but Charlton won through to the quarter finals of the Football League Cup, the only club outside the Premier League to do so.  With the scoreline 0-0 at full time, Charlton won 4-3 in the penalty shootout. 

This is the first Charlton victory over a Premier League club since 2007.

Attendance was 17,464 with 6,264 away fans.

Richard Cawley commented: 'Maynard-Brewer and Dobson both been immense. But it's been a really spirited team display on top of that.'

The Addicks were almost behind in the opening five minutes when Lewis Dunk headed a Solly March corner narrowly wide.

However, former England international Lallana almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion when he collected Tariq Lamptey’s square ball, turned and grazed the crossbar from 20 yards. But Charlton had their chances in the first half too, Jack Payne cutting inside and fizzing a low shot straight at Jason Steele in the Brighton goal.

Steele then came out to bravely deny Miles Leaburn, who was booked for his challenge on the keeper, before Dunk slid in to block Steven Sessegnon’s goalbound shot.

Roberto De Zerbi sent on another of his World Cup contingent, Japan winger Kaoru Mitoma, at the start of the second half in a bid to find some urgency.

It had an effect as Maynard-Brewer quickly had to tip Levi Colwill’s header over before March darted past a couple of challenges into the area only to prod his finish wide. However, it remained a stalemate and Steele looked set to be the hero in the shootout, saving from George Dobson and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi.

But when March blazed over and Caicedo’s effort was saved, Lavelle stepped up to send the underdogs through.

Caretaker manager Anthony Hayes says that Charlton must use their win as a springboard for their League One form:

Methven speaks

Charlie Methven has spoken to the SLP's Richard Cawley:

He denies press reports that he has putting together a consortium of Americans and Qataris to acquire the club.   However, he says that SE7 Partners is the vehicle he and Warrick would use if they thought a takeover was viable in the future.

One of Methven's gimmicks at Sunderland was to change the stadium music, so watch out for the Red, Red Robin (mind you, getting rid of Addicks to Victory would be a plus):

Methven is an old Etonian and a public relations consultant, although chancer and opportunist might be more appropriate:

The Evening Standard reviews Sandgaard's tenure at the club here:

What I am not expecting today

Í don't expect to see the director s' box full of investors wearing new Charlton scarves, least of all some of them wearing Arab headdress.  

The Daily Mail has claimed that Charlie Methven is putting together a consortium of American and Qatari investors.  At the moment that looks like a desert mirage to me.  Charlie Methven is good at talking the talk, but I would not trust him.

As for the march, even a weakened Brighton and Hove Albion side should have not difficulty in winning. Roberto de Zerbi has confirmed that the Seagulls will be using fringe players:

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Holden sets out his stall

Dean Holden says that not everything is broken at Charlton, but there is work to be done:

Richard Cawley outlines the career of the new chief operating officer Jim Rodwell.  Hardly stellar, but I do remember him playing for Rushden & Diamonds:

What is the role of SE7 partners?

As expected Dean Holden has been appointed as Charlton manager and I wish him well in his months with us.  Andy Scott is the new de facto Director of Football.   A new chief operating officer (Jim Rodwell) has been appointed.

What is mysterious is that the new finance director (Ed Warrick) is co-director of a shell company called SE7 Partners with Charlie Methven.   Rick Everitt thinks this could be the beginning of the end of Sandgaard, but we shall see.

I do not have a favourable view of Methven, albeit largely based on the televised series about Sunderland.

Monday 19 December 2022

Is it Dean Holden?

Richard Cawley has stated: 'Nobody denying that Dean Holden is set to be Charlton's new manager, Put it that way. And quite a few calls and messages have gone into people who could easily deny it!' He subsequently stated that Holden will become head coach today. It is expected to be a three and a half year deal.

Cawley is also expecting 'other structural changes'. Anthony Hayes will be in charge of the team against Brighton.

Richard Cawley has stated: 'Indications as well that there is or was set to be staff meeting yesterday, now today. Suggests that even chief executive role could be filled as that would usually warrant some more formal kind of announcement. Another source has confirmed Andy Scott is defo coming in.'

However, other sources have denied there will be a chief executive appointment today.

More from Richard Cawley here:

There are unconfirmed reports that Andy Scott will be Director of Football:,_born_1972)

After a long playing career as a defender, Holden has had primarily assistant or caretaker manager roles at Oldham Athletic, Bristol City and Stoke City:

He is available and presumably not too expensive.

No deal with Mansour

There are conflicting stories on social media tonight but Thomas Sandgaard has denied that there is any deal with Mansour, although a new manager appointment may be imminent.

Richard Cawley states: ‘Thomas Sandgaard has just called me to deny that there is any deal with Mansour. Says he has never spoken to him or ever had any dealings with him. Also adds that Methven [formerly at Sunderland] is not going to be appointed to any role.’  [Rumours that he would become CEO].

Sandgaard also added that there is set to be an announcement tomorrow but "not about investment or change of ownership" but about "a change of personnel". He adds: "I'm hoping the fans will like the appointment."

Richard Cawley has also denied that Lee Bowyer will be returning.

Peter Varney has stated: ‘I have nothing to do with Mansour nor do I know if he has any interest in the club. Please support the team on Wednesday and make it a noisy and positive atmosphere however negative you feel about our current predicament.’

Charlton linked with Egyptian-owned Danish club

Rick Everitt has stated: 'Interesting Charlton have been linked with FC Nordsjaelland as that is a name I’ve heard over many months as possible investors. Does pull together a lot of the strands of the story.'

They are a Danish team from North Zealand playing in their country's Super League:

The club is owned by leading African football academy Right to Dream which has itself seen Egyptian conglomerate Mansour Group acquire a majority shareholding.   Mansour, reportedly worth £2bn, has recently been appointed senior treasurer of the Conservative Party in return for his generous donations and is looking for an English football club to buy:

Meanwhile, Millwall have been linked with a January move for Jes Rak-Sakyi, reports Richard Cawley.

Individual errors are a collective problem

Charlton's play is riddled with individual errors argues Louis Mendez, but that reveals a collective problem.  However, with players returning from injury, he is confident we can stay up:

Sunday 18 December 2022

Elliot Lee's Charlton dream turned sour

Elliot Lee recalls his time with the Addicks for Wrexham Talk: ‘Charlton was a big deal for me, I've always wanted to play for Charlton. My dad played for Charlton, my granddad used to work on the turnstiles at Charlton when my dad played. Playing for Charlton meant a big for me, and honestly we didn't have a great season. ‘

‘We gave it our all but we weren't great for what Charlton fans expected, we weren't great and don't get me started on some of the people above, who own the club and run the club because they did not help at all and the fans actually knew what goes on behind the scenes and they'd probably have a bit more sympathy for us, but as a team we probably weren't good enough but I used to go home after every game and if we lost I'd be like “I've let so many people down".'

‘I'd go home and be like to my missus, to my mum and I'd be like “I'm just letting so many people down, we keep losing, we keep getting abused by the fans”. Charlton fans were great to me as well, they sung a song but then as time went on it started so good and then started to go down a bit and I'd come home and I'd be so down, taking that home like there's more to life than football.’

Hayes denies Garner lost dressing room

Anthony Hayes has denied Thomas Sandgaad's claim that Ben Garner had lost the dressing room, or the changing room as the temporary boss calls it:

Next week: Sandgaard claims that Garner had lost the confidence of the Sparrows Lane tea lady.

Hayes blames individual errors for defeat

Anthony Hayes has blamed individual errors for yesterday's loss to Bristol Rovers and says that Ryan Inniss has held his hands up for his two mistakes which is good of him.  Fans are less forgiving:

Kevin Nolan says that the Addicks' steady decline is no longer merely embarrassing, it has become deeply worrying which needs to be addressed before the threat of relegation becomes a grim reality:

Saturday 17 December 2022

Charlton run out of gas

Charlton remain 18th in the table after failing to hold on to a lead at The Valley against Bristol Rovers.  Ryan Inniss was an initial hero and then the villain.

Rovers goalkeeper James Belshaw twice denied Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and also Jack Payne as Charlton dominated the early proceedings.

The Addicks fully merited their 20th-minute lead, Ryan Inniss heading home Scott Fraser's corner.

Charlton keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer pushed away a shot from the edge of the box by Antony Evans but it was a rare attack by the visitors in the first period.

Rovers striker John Marquis turned the contest around after his introduction in the 55th minute.

He took just six minutes to get on the scoresheet, dispossessing a dozing Inniss on the edge of his own penalty area and emphatically whipping the ball beyond Maynard-Brewer.

Marquis claimed his second of the afternoon in the 72nd minute when Inniss' pass forward was cut out and the substitute made no mistake after breaking into the right of the box to extend Charlton's winless league sequence to six matches.

Richard Cawley commented: ‘Had so many chances to score more than one goal in the first half but once again defensive woes. Now 12 matches without a clean sheet in all comps. That first mistake by Inniss was a huge one, has to be alert to the danger.’

Alan Curbishley described it as a "perfect storm" at Charlton. Mentioned twice post-match about "lack of atmosphere" from home crowd. "If it wasn't for the Bristol Rovers fans, you wouldn't have thought a game was on today."

Friday 16 December 2022

Match likely to be called off

Today's match with Bristol Rovers is almost certain to be called off.   There is a second pitch inspection this morning, but it is a formality.

There is undersoil heating, but it has never been used.   There is also an issue with a broken pipe which could lead to a flood.

After a third pitch inspection, it is being reported that the match is now on.  Congratulations to the ground staff, but we may be less pleased when we hear the result.

Did 'immature' Garner lose the dressing room?

CAS Trust have provided the headlines from the fans' forum meeting:

Sandgaard said the club is not for sale, although he would always consider a really good offer.  He has put in £18m so far and still aims at break even.  He has refused to talk to Matt Southall.

He said that Ben Garner had crossed a line in starting a public discussion about whether he was backed or not.  Garner was a little bit immature and there was a perception that he had lost the dressing room.   The playing budget had increased substantially compared with the previous season and one would expect an improvement on the pitch.

Sandgaard admitted that he had made some mistakes and was willing to do some things differently, but there was also a determination to do thing his way (in particular not how a football club was run 20 or 30 years ago).  It is questionable whether he really understands the Charlton culture or values despite good intentions.

Thursday 15 December 2022

Hayes ready for challenge

Anthony Hayes is not daunted by taking over at Charlton and regards the pitch as his 'sanctuary':

Charm merchant Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton says he 'couldn't give a monkeys' for Charlton and states that a trip to the social spots of Dublin has solidified his squad:

Sandgaard told: sign up or sell up

CAST have launched their fans' charter ahead of tonight's forum which Thomas Sandgaard is expected to attend.   The fabs' trust have warned that if Sandgaard cannot commit to its core principles, they will campaign for him to sell the club:

Leaburn to return

Miles Leaburn should be available for the cup tie against Brighton:

The match against Bristol Rovers should not be affected by the weather because of the undersoil heating at The Valley.  In a rare aqueducts Rick Everitt acknowledges this as a benefit from Thomas Sandgaard.

Takeover talks affect manager search

Richard Cawley reports, ‘I do believe there are discussions ongoing with Thomas Sandgaard over Charlton and that they might be a factor in their managerial search. Too much external noise now that negotiations in play.’

‘I'm not saying anything is imminent but if someone was looking to either invest or buy the club then being in before the January window would surely be a priority. They'd also want a say in the next boss appointment.’

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Roland is still very much in the picture

Some people see the Roland era as something of a golden age.  However, he is still very much in the picture at The Valley and, as this in depth report from Charlton Dossier reminds us, he is in a position to cause us a great deal of grief.  Having looked at what happened to the clubs he owned across Europe, they conclude that a Duchatelet exit is never smooth and never serene.  There is a trail of destabilisation, value destruction and fan (customer) misery inflicted on football clubs:

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Majority of fans blame Sandgaard

A majority of the fans who responded to our poll blamed Thomas Sandgaard for  Charlton's current plight (55 per cent).  However, 28 per cent selected the 'all of the above' option - Sandgaard, Garner and the players.  Eight per cent chose Sandgaard and Garner and three per cent each Garner, the players and other (see below).

58 per cent said it was not the right decision to sack Garner while 38 per cent said it was (four per cent other).

Specific comments on Garner were: 'He made his position untenable once he opened up questioning club culture. At that point he lost the dressing room'; 'Sacking managers every six months doesn't work;; 'Shouldn't have been appointed in the first place!'; 'Wrong plan, wrong manager from the start'.

In terms of general comments, one respondent put the principal blame on Roland.   Another comment was: 'All of the above. Witness the lack of continuity against Stockport last night save for a few minutes. Witness also the Stockport side being the same as the one which won on Saturday and were professional in everything they did. Quite easy to turn us over really; a good level of skill plus effort and commitment to the cause.'

Monday 12 December 2022

One way relationship with Sandgaard

CAST's opening statements at tonight's forum say that they hoped to have "constructive relationship" with Thomas Sandgaard but that gradually over time it has become "very much one way" and that it has been "challenging" to get him to take onboard their comments.

Rick Everitt, one of the panel tonight, doesn't believe protests are helpful at this stage. Says it gives perception that "we will never accept any ownership if they are not immediately successful. I don't think that's a good narrative to be creating for the media or accurate."   [I agree]

Fan advisers Lucy Bishop and Lewis Catt have had update from TS on managerial search.  TS told them it is likely to "take weeks rather than days." TS described story about football agency looking to buy club as "garbage".

Some have interpreted this as indicating that TS does not intend to sell.   I never thought that he did, although I think he is interested in minority investment - but most potential buyers would want a degree of control, at least over how their money was used.

TS will provide more insight into Garner's dismissal at Thursday's fan forum [which he evidently intends to attend despite claims to the contrary].  Richard Cawley has commented, 'Has been a few things mentioned to me that I haven't put in the public domain yet, so wonder if those will be aired!'

CAS Trust are working on the development of a fans' charter.

Crucial few weeks says Varney

Former chief executive Peter Varney says the next few weeks will be crucial for Charlton, but reminds fans they need to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem:

Ben Garner has issued an anodyne statement in which he thanks all and sundry and expresses regret at not being able to finish the job:

Sunday 11 December 2022

Agency takeover a non starter

I don't attach much credence to a report in today's Current Bun that an international football agency wants to buy the football side of Charlton to showcase their players.

Football agencies are not allowed to own clubs and the idea of getting a front man in to get round the rules is likely to be unacceptable even to the EFL.

Needless to say it would be a bad idea as it would involve a constant turnover of players with little commitment to Charlton and a loss of the club's  identity.

Saturday 10 December 2022

Gilbey recall?

Alex Gilbey could be recalled from Stevenage in January, having not been part of Ben Garner's plans:

He has been doing quite well in League Two, but I doubt whether he is the answer to our problems.

Garner speaking his mind helped to earn a P45

Richard Cawley reflects on Ben Garner's tenure at Charlton, noting that no manager has survived more than twelve months under Thomas Sandgaard.  He says that Garner's outspoken comments didn't help him, but his exit was executed messily.   Steve Brown comments, noting that as manager you feel like the fall guy:

Friday 9 December 2022

Treat buyout rumours with caution

The problem with rumours on social media is that it acts like an echo chamber and the reports gain momentum and get exaggerated.   Current rumours that a takeover of the club is imminent have not been endorsed by any reliable sources.

The one version is that at least plausible is the suggestion that Peter Varney is putting together a consortium.  It is at least consistent with his recent posts on Twitter about the Brighton game.

However, any consortium would need deep pockets.  As well as buying the club, they really need to buy The Valley and the training ground off Roland.  Then they will need to invest in the squad.

I don't buy into the argument that sacking Garner was required by prospective new owners.  Sandgaard has a track record of appointing managers, finding them unsatisfactory and sacking them.

I see that one or two people have floated the idea of a fan takeover again.   Even if fans could raise the purchase price, which I doubt, they could not fund the unavoidable losses.   Remember that the supporters trusts at Portsmouth and Wycombe had to sell out to conventional buyers.  (Read about the Wycombe case here:

Rick Everitt has stated: 'There is more than one takeover in motion for Charlton. Understand TS has been in talks with Americans but a potential problem has been that he has wanted to retain a stake and a role. If anything is in front of EFL it’s likely to be this.

People are aggregating this with the recent tweet of Peter Varney, but that’s not correct. Latter interest is also substantive but not at that stage. Both would look to reunite the ground with the club if they proceed.'

Thursday 8 December 2022

Two more available at Morecambe

Ryan Inniss, back from illness, and Jayden Stockley, back from suspension, will be available for the match at Morecambe on Saturday:

This is an all ticket match and one or two supporters have already been caught out, sales having closed.

Bottom of the table Morecambe have won only one game at home, but have drawn five and lost four.  They have scored just seven goals at home, but Stockton has started scoring again.

CAS Trust are not very optimistic in their preview:

The match has been called off because of a frozen piich.

Notice served on Sandgaard

CAS Trust say that Charlton fans have lost all confidence in Thomas Sandgaard and are holding a Zoom meeting on Monday to prepare for the fans' forum on Thursday when the owner should be present: 

Poll on the current state of Charlton


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Wednesday 7 December 2022

New boss will have a 'job on their hands'

'Whoever comes in has got a job on their hands' was the verdict of the ITV4 commentators after Charlton went down to a 3-1 defeat in their FA Cup replay against Stockport County at Edgeley Park.  It confirmed my view that the problem is as much the players as the manager.

The commentators rightly said that Charlton were second class in every department.  The substitutes made little difference with DJ being particularly ineffective.  Aneke was only on for the first half and achieved little then.   The commentators said that the Addicks players lacked desire and commitment.

'A Thomas Sandgaard out' banner was shown twice on television.  However, after four unsatisfactory owners, can one be sure that a fifth one would be any better?

Charlton took an early lead as an error from County keeper Ben Hinchliffe saw him flap at a corner and the ball bounce in off his own defender Akil Wright.

Stockport began to take control of the tie with Collar side-footing an equaliser as County spurned a number of good first-half efforts.  Ryan Rydel's free-kick hit the Charlton post early in the second half before Collar blasted home his second from eight yards out before converting a penalty soon after.

The game was a first in charge for Addicks caretaker boss Anthony Hayes and the Irishman made seven changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Cheltenham.

Despite an unchanged side from the one that won 5-0 at Hartlepool on Saturday, Stockport found themselves a goal down from the first corner of the game. Hinchliffe was unsighted as he palmed away a waist-high ball which bounced off defender Wright and dribbled over the line.

County began to get back into it with Macauley Southam-Hales looking dangerous down the right and his cross saw Craig MacGillivray pull off a wonderful one-handed save from Paddy Madden's diving header midway through the first half.

But MacGillivray could do nothing to stop the equaliser as Rydel's powerful low shot from the left corner of the 18-yard box came back off the foot of the right post and straight to Collar who made no mistake from six yards.

Charlton were lucky not to concede a 30th-minute penalty when Sean Clare appeared to push over Myles Hippolyte while MacGillivray did well to keep out two Paddy Madden efforts in quick succession five minutes later.

Collar saw a header go wide before Rydel struck the upright in the 50th minute as Stockport began the second half as they had ended the first.

But they had to wait until the 73rd minute to go ahead when Hippolyte's ball into the box was knocked into Collar's path by Kyle Wootton and he blasted home right-footed.

Collar completed his hat-trick from the spot after Ollie Crankshaw had been fouled in the box by George Dobson, and although Jack Payne went close during nine minutes of stoppage time, Charlton's woes continued.

Lambs to the slaughter?

It is difficult to know how players will react to a new interim manager.  Some of the Swindon imports brought in by Ben Garner may be disgruntled at his departure.   We don't know whether Anthony Hayes will feel confident enough to make needed changes in formation and playing style.

Stockport County come to tonight's match on the back of a 5-0 away thumping of Hartlepool, albeit a club in trouble.    Even so, the Hatters are fourth in the League Two form table and still hopeful of two successive promotions.

Our record in front of the TV cameras is patchy to say the least, but let's hope we at least avoid disgrace tonight.  The £35,000 appearance fee should make a small dent in Ben Garner's pay off. 

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Could Hayes be the answer?

Anthony Hayes has ambitions to be a manager, but the Charlton caretaker claims he has not given a thought to the Addicks job with his attention focused on the short term:

He will be assisted in the caretaker role by Jason Pearce, a popular figure.

Monday 5 December 2022

So, farewell then, Ben Garner

For once the rumours were right.  Ben Garner was sacked as Charlton manager this morning after taking training.  When Richard Cawley tried to contact the club yesterday, he got a formal denial.

Garner's tactics and team selections were criticised and I am not claiming that he was a genius.  However, any manager would have found it difficult to achieve the goals he was given on the budget he was provided with.

A balanced appraisal by supporter Ben Hayes was: 'Garner seemed to place his football philosophy above winning games. He wasn't backed financially and had ridiculous injuries but he was not getting the best out of what he had,'

Our greatest success has come with managers in place for some time: Seed, Lawrence, Curbishley.  Since Curbs left in 2006 we have been through 14 managers in 16 years.

There is a great deal to be said for managerial stability.  Apart from anything else, sacking managers costs money that could be spent on players.  At my non-league club we have had the same manager for 12 years and he has delivered steady performance on a small budget.

It will be interesting to see who wants to take on this poisoned chalice now.   Whatever happens, the owner can't be sacked.    Unfortunately, more fans may become disillusioned and cease being active supporters.

Louis Mendez has said on BBC Radio London that he would be surprised if Lee Bowyer wanted to come back.  Given the emphasis on the style of play maybe they would want another young manager who played it around at the back until everyone got bored and went home.

Richard Cawley commented: 'Kenny Jackett has been at recent matches. Not saying this with any info that he is in the frame at all, but he is out of work and available. Equally, Tom Watt might get a short-term crack at it.'

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has also been mentioned (groan). If you have any good suggestions, put them in comments and I will organise an online poll in a few days.

Richard Cawley's take on the sacking is here:

Comments from CAS Trust are here:

Sunday 4 December 2022

Could it be Kwasi?

Social media reports have been suggesting that Ben Garner has been sacked or that at least Charlton are talking to out of work managers.  These reports have no independent confirmation, not least from Richard Cawley who is the authentic sources on all things Charlton.

There is a simple solution.   Kwasi Kwarteng has lost his job and lives down the road in Greenwich.  He could offer kamikaze attacks and back of the envelope solutions.

Getting rid of Garner would cost Sandgaard so it is not a decision he will take lightly.   Not many good candidates will want to come to Charlton with a limited budget.

Radio 5 have been poking fun at Nigels this morning, unfortunately I don't think they know the local context.

Charlton always have an error in them

Louis Mendez supplies his four takeaways from Friday's defeat at The Valley and unsurprisingly they do not make for happy reading.  He notes that Charlton are always minutes away from a calamity at the back:

He has some interesting comments on Ben Garner.   The manager's comments about Lavelle were a classic foot in the mouth moment.

Saturday 3 December 2022

Using young defenders no reflection on Lavelle

Defenders Lucas Ness and 17-year old Zac Mitchell made their debuts for the club last night and Mitchell attracted praise from some fans.  I saw Ness on TV when he was at Torquay playing in the FA Cup and he looked useful.

Ben Garner insists that this selection was not a reflection on Sam Lavelle who was consigned to the bench:

Friday 2 December 2022

Club's cultural problems

Ben Garner has only had a brief conversation with Thomas Sandgaard so far about the January window, but hopes to have further talks.   He says that changing managers will not solve the cultural problems at the club:

We did have a strong culture at the club, but that has been eroded over the years, particularly by Roland.

Defeat in front of the owner

The Sandgaard family were at The Valley tonight and a photograph showed them looking grim faced at another dismal performance by Charlton.  A 0-1 defeat by Cheltenham Town saw the Addicks 16th in League One.

Alfie May scored the only goal as Cheltenham stretched their unbeaten League One run to five games.

May pounced late to grab the three points following a mistake by goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray.

The only action of note in the first half fell to the visitors as they were denied three times in quick succession.

May's lob hit the crossbar and fell for Dan N'Lundulu but his effort was blocked by Lucas Ness.

With the ball loose, Ryan Inniss had to clear off the line following another follow-up from James Olayinka.

Charlton were brighter after the break and forced a number of corners to test the Cheltenham defence before the visitors started to apply some pressure of their own.

They netted the winner with six minutes left when May pounced after MacGillivray lost the ball on the edge of the area.

Garner and his team were booed off the pitch, but he insists that it was not a poor performance:

Win ratios of recent managers: Jackson 47%; Bowyer 42%; Adkins 30%; Garner 26%

Thursday 1 December 2022

Garner shrugs aside reports of owner pressure

Ben Garner has denied media reports that he is under pressure from Thomas Sandgaard, having last had a review with him five to six weeks ago:

Sandgaard is now in the UK and Garner has had a brief conversation with him about the January window.