Friday, October 20, 2006

Rick Everitt on Charlton and The Valley

Former Valley Party activist and author of a book on Charlton's return to its home ground Rick Everitt has spoken out in a personal capacity on the question of whether the club should move to a stadium elsewhere:

'"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," said philosopher George Santanya. That's about the only excuse I'm prepared to allow the men who took
Charlton to Selhurst Park in 1985. But the switch to SE25, like the abortive move to Catford in the 1920s, was a disaster. Each would have killed the club had it not been reversed.'

'That's why chief executive Peter Varney's recent hint that the Addicks might consider moving again has proven explosive. I am not privy to boardroom discussions, but let me make clear that unlike fans' elected director Ben Hayes I remain a "Valley

'The issue has always been about identity, not practicality, but as it happens the facilities at The Valley now are excellent and reasonably proportionate to the numbers who presently want to watch the team. I hope a 40,000 capacity will be required one day and therefore Charlton are right to consider how it could be achieved.'

'But television is football's biggest paymaster and it wants packed crowds, whatever the stadium size. These are more likely for Charlton now at 30,000. And while many other clubs have moved since 1985, none has abandoned a stadium as modern and suitable as The Valley.'

'Unusually, I have some sympathy for Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts, who has attacked Hayes for comments he made about the council. Cllr Roberts is right to protest that Greenwich's position has been misrepresented in the media and legally the council must act with caution on planning matters.'

'But neither he nor anyone else should imagine that Hayes is the board's stooge. And fans who have concluded from all this that Charlton are plotting to abandon their history should have more faith. For I can guarantee that the current directors remember Selhurst all too well.'

Well said the Rickster. The one note I would add is that I would give the board credit for being transparent about the fact that they are discussing other options, although at some stage it would be nice to know what those options are.


Post a Comment

<< Home