Saturday, September 30, 2006

New stadium shock

Buried away in Peter Varney's programme notes is an announcement that Charlton may consider moving away from The Valley, although it must be emphasised that such a shift of venue remains unlikely even though the Valley stadium extensions have been put in hold.

The context is the board's decision to put on hold the East Stand re-development for a variety of reasons including cost, pushed up by higher steel prices to £20m and planning uncertainties surrounding the south stand. Faltering attendances are not mentioned.

However, another factor was that 'The board was also made aware that there are other possible stadium options which should be evaluated, even though as committed supporters they want to remain at The Valley and see it developed to its full potential.'

Where might this other stadium options be? Some supporters have been uneasy about the emphasis on the club's Kent base, even though the Valley Express service makes good commercial sense. Are rumours about a stadium near the new transport hub at Ebbsfleet just rumours? We joked once that Charlton would be re-branded as Thames Gateway, but the population expansion there might seem attractive.

Or is a new stadium near the Dome a possibility? I would be interested to hear what you think. Given the struggle to return to The Valley, moving away would be a considerable wrench for many of the Addickted and might lead to the loss of some of the support base.


Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

Emotionally it would be very hard to leave the valley after the efforts that bought us back and the celebrations that have commemorated the return, however much economic, environmental and catchment sense it may make. Personally, I would not be oppossed, although my preference would be the dome site rather than Kent, if for no other reason than to keep out the hampsters, who are the media darlings and would eat into our support. The board, should not be hiding this in program notes but be up front and commence discussion, with the first stage being to perusade the former back to the valley supporters, i.e. Rick Everitt, Richard Hunt, Mick Gebbitt etc and also use the Fans Director to carry the cause. What we don't want is Richard Murray to be put along side Fryer, he has done too much for the club for that. Consult, consult and get consensus - not forgetting keeping out the rodents.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Inspector Sands said...

It's been said before - the Olympic stadium at Stratford.

(Which West Ham fans seem convinced they'll move to, and Spurs fans covet.)

Unless they want to move us out to become Chatham Athletic, of course.

12:08 AM  
Blogger worcestershireleaburn said...

Absolutely cannot believe the club are seriously thinking about this again. Remember a few years ago all the talk of going to a 40000 seat stadium on the Dome site? If Charlton leave the Valley again, we might as well all pack up and go home.

11:07 AM  
Blogger se7oaks said...

Charlton have been through too much over the years to up sticks and leave The Valley although I would always support them redardless of location. Even though I come from Kent, South East London is the only place for us. As we don't even sell out against the big 4 it would surely make more sense to stay put and tinker around with what we've already got. Personally i would love to see the East Stand kept at one level and extended through the Jimmy Seed stand and both corners. It would give us a really cool wrap around stadium, a mini version of St James Park. We would end up with an increased capacity but nowhere near the very unrealistic 40,000.

1:30 PM  

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