Saturday, June 30, 2007

James Walker offered new deal

The club has issued a list of players that are being released which contains no surprises, although I had forgotten that Gislason was funded by Valley Gold:

A number of well known figures on the non-playing side are also on their way out as the club seeks to cope with its reduced income in the Championship.

James Walker has been offered a new deal, but this has not been finalised as talks are still in progress.

Peacock leaves West Ham

It has been reported that Keith Peacock has left West Ham 'to spend more time with his family'. This ends a long working association with Alan Curbishley that I once saw as the subject of a feature item on Chinese television. I am sure that he would be very welcome at The Valley as a matchday host.

Charlton have been linked with Birmingham midfielder Neil Danns who played under Parkinson at Colchester. He scored lots of goals from midfield for Colchester but never really done made the grade at St.Andrews mainly due to a long injury. That sounds like a Charlton player.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Double blow for Brakes?

Leamington have lost Jamie Towers who was rated the best player at The New Windmill Ground. Signed from Coventry Sphinx, the wing back made an impression with his pace and penetration. Inevitably a bigger club have come in for him and he is moving to the second level of the non-league pyramid with Nuneaton Borough.

It is also rumoured that Jon Adams may be joining the Nationwide North club which would be another blow for the Brakes as they prepare for Southern League football.

Bryan Hughes departure confirmed

It has now been officially confirmed that Bryan Hughes is to leave the club for Hull City. The streets in SE7 were reported quiet and calm after the release of the news.

In numerical terms at least, there is a need to strengthen the midfield, but no doubt Pards is working on it.

Bent goes for £16.5m

Darren Bent has been sold to Spurs for £16.5m. This fee is near to Charlton's valuation of £17m and represents a hard bargain driven by the club. £15.5m is up front with the rest dependent on appearances and England caps. 20 per cent of the total will go to Ipswich, a nice boost for the Tractors (although their share will be confined to the basic fee).

Hopefully, there will now be some more signings to boost the Charlton squad. Not all the Bent money will be available, of course, but strengthening the midfield remains a priority.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Matt Holland stays

Matt Holland has signed a new one year contract with the club. There were fears that the popular midfielder might go to Portsmouth. Now he might well resume the role of club captain. He is appreciated by the Addickted for his commitment and dedication.

Bent: new twist

Speaking from his office with its leopard skin accessories and Laura Ashley curtains, Charlton supremeo Peter Varney has rebuked his Spurs counterpart for conducting his business through the media. Moreover, in a new twist Newcastle have expressed a renewed interest in the striker:

Bent to go to the Lane

BBC Sport is reporting that Spurs are about to get the signature of Darren Bent. The price will be somewhere between the £17m requested by the Addicks and the £13m offered by the Haringey club. 'Judas' Defoe may leave Spurs as a result. Full story: Bent

Looking 'forward' to next season

The New York Addick has published an excellent analysis of where we are with the squad which is well worth reading: Team .

What it comes down to is that the only positions which look well covered are at centre back. Centre midfield looks particularly thin and I am not that confident about wide midfield, given that I am still not convinced that Ambrose will shine at a lower level, whilst I am not as much a fan of Lloyd Sam as many people are.

Steve Brown warned at the end of last season about excessive expectations and while I am hopeful that Charlton will be 'in the mix' we must hope for more signings to provide a stronger challenge. BTW, it appears that Lisbie is on his way to Gillingham.

Even if we do get up, will we be able to stay up? With the acquisition of a large stake in Birmingham by a Hong Kong businessman, around half of the Premiership clubs are now foreign owned and more will probably follow them. Interestingly, this figure is consistent with the number of companies in Britain that are foreign owned which is also 50 per cent.

The Charlton board have, of course, always claimed a special bond with their fans, but arguably that is being eroded. I wrote to Ben Hayes and Peter Varney about the demise of the women's team and got prompt, reasoned and robust replies from both of them. In essence, the club did consider all of the options carefully before taking the decision.

It could also be arguable that it is better to take a good financial decision that leads to bad PR rather than the other way round. However, in modern marketing 'brands' are seen as all important and Charlton's brand was distinctive. Increasingly, it is coming to be seen as just like any other club.

To be fair, that may be inevitable because of the financial pressures in the modern game. Clubs are not charities - or rather Charlton has sensibly hived off its community activities into a charitable arrangement. Nevertheless, for a club like Charlton that does not have the historic base or financial resources of an Arsenal or Chelsea, a distinctive brand might have been more valuable than for other clubs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Jody Morris

According to the Sub-Standard Jody Morris has been training at Sparrows Lane which is a bit strange given that the players don't return until Monday.

The midfielder started his career at Chelsea and also had spells at Leeds and Rotherham. A former England Under-21 international (quite a big group), Morris has been without a club since the Spanners decided against taking up the option of a one-year extension on him earlier in the month.

I don't think that Millwall rejects are the solution to our admittedly pressing midfield problem.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Possible saviour for women's team

The club are in talks with a possible sponsor for the axed women's team whose support may allow it to continue: Women

The statement reveals that the cost of running the team was £306,000 in 2006-7 and that the lowest cost at which a downsized team could be run was £100,000 and even that figure has no certainty attached to it.

The club admits that it has received 'vociferous' criticism over the issue. Even I received an E mail from a casual work acquaintance describing the decision as 'shoddy' and damaging to the club's image.

The club makes the point that there have been cuts across all aspects of its operation and that the women's team has not been singled out, but then it is proposed to shut it down altogether which is not (as far as one knows) the fate of other loss-making operations like the reserve team.

I appreciate that many fans consider that the club has had to take a tough decision in difficult circumstances, but this has not been a public relations truiumph. To be fair, the club was constrained in what it could say for legal reasons after the story was leaked.

Let's hope that the possible sponsorship deal turns out to offer a way forward. Did the sponsor only come forward after all the publicity?

Addicks linked with Earnshaw

The Eastern Daily Press has reported that Charlton may be about to make a bid for Canaries striker Robert Earnshaw.

Even given that I do not think Darren Bent will stay, is another striker the top priority now? We still need a second goalkeeper, but above all we need to strengthen the midfield which was our main problem last there. However many good strikers you have, they can't score many goals without decent service. And if the midfield goes awol and totally loses its shape, as it often did last year, the defence is put under needless pressure.

The Forest Hill Addick has reported that Bryan Hughes may go to Hull City. No great loss many would say, although perhaps he could have done a job for us at Premiership level. But his departure would make strengthening the midfield even more urgent.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New blog available

Addick's Championship is now set up in provisional form. Visit it for the latest news of our dog reporters. Any comments on layout welcome: Championship

This blog will be kept ready for next season and our posts will still go on here at least until the Crown Berger cup match at Welling.

Semedo signs

Portugues under 21 defender Jose Semedo has signed for Charlton. This is a free transfer from Sporting Club of Portugal.

He shares my birthday of 11th January, but 1985 not 1947. Perhaps I'll sponsor him. Sorry, I'd forgotten. The club hasn't decided what to do about player sponsorship.

Live Sky games

Stoke away 5.20pm kick off 18th August
Preston away 5.20pm kick off 24th November

Overnight stay in either of these venues anyone?

BTW, we will (unfortunately) be switching to a new Addick's Championship Diary in a few weeks even though we only hope it is just a year's stay.

Controversy rages over women's team

The scrapping of the Charlton women's team (yet to be confirmed by the club) has certainly provoked controversy among the Addickted. It's difficult to work out the balance of opinion, but it's probably around fifty-fifty.

Main arguments in favour of scrapping

1. Our only priority is to get back to the Premiership, nothing else matters.
2. The women's team has always run at a loss.
3. Once one discounts relatives and hangers on, attendances are only about 50.
4. When the team was set up, it looked as if women's football might be going somewhere, but this hasn't happened.
5. Many junior managerial and other staff at The Valley are losing their jobs and no one seems to be too worried about them.
6. Many of those complaining have never been to see the women anyway.

Main arguments against scrapping

1. The women's team have achieved more than the men and shouldn't be punished for their relegation.
2. It's poor public relations in the context of the club's community strategy.
3. It will undermine attempts to build up our support base among younger women.
4. It's a small sum (stated to be £250k) compared to the parachute payment.

I don't think it's the end of Charlton as we know it, but I do think it is an unfortunate decision. We wouldn't be in this position at all if so many errors had not been made over the past year.

Has enough consideration been given to downsizing? At one time there was quite a good sponsorship deal, but it went sour. Has the possibility of sponsorship been fully explored? Of course, we don't know because all we can rely on is statements of 'friends of the board'.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Women's team scrapped

As part of its economy drive following relegation from the Premiership, Charlton has scrapped its women's team:

I know that many people do not take women's football seriously. But our team has been a relatively successful aspect of our operation in recent years. I went to the league cup final at High Wycombe and greatly enjoyed the discomfiture of the assembled Gooners at being denied what they thought was their rightful and inevitable victory.

It was also an important part of Charlton's community presence. Did it really cost more than the salary of a fringe player?

Bent saga continues

Some sources are insisting that toughie Peter Varney is holding out for £17m for Darren Bent, others that a deal with Spurs is imminent.

The Haringey club is believed to have agreed to pay about £13 million rising to a possible £16m for Bent. This would break Tottenham's transfer record of £11m, which they paid to Dynamo Kiev for Sergei Rebrov seven years ago, and pose questions about the future of Jermain 'Judas' Defoe.

Bent is believed to be willing to accept a weekly salary of about £48,000, considerably less than the £75,000 he was offered by the Hampsters.

Personally, I would take about £14m and I think that we will settle for less than £17m.

Back home

Back home after a few days away to see that the Darren Bent saga is continuing and that we have signed the French Under-21 captain which sounds like good business. As a right back, he will provide cover for that slot when Luke Young eventually goes. Will Sankofa be first choice in the slot?

It's been a busy few days. I had to stay in London Tuesday night as I had a 8 a.m. meeting at No.11 Downing Street. The only thing I will say is that they must have the same caterers as Buck House as I was offered a thin 'shoulder' of toast and marmalade. Still the coffee was good.

I then went to Paris for my first ever visit to France - the first time I have ever been invited which shows how quickly things are changing under Sarko (and I've been invited back, whereas it doesn't look as if I am going to get the invite to No.10 when the move takes place).

It is a beautiful city. Hordes of English speaking tourists and I just wonder how they all manage when everyone speaks French to you. When I got to the hotel I had to explain that my surname was 'Grant' not 'Wyn'. My French isn't good but I could just about to do that, but how do all those people on the Eurostar manage?

Now I have a long paper in French to read ....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Transfer rumours

Charlton are interested in signing Stephen Clemence, the Birmingham midfield player who would cost about £500,000. The Addicks have also been linked with highly-rated Portugal Under-21 defender Rolando from Lisnon-based Belensenses.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

In the matter of Everitt verus Larkin

In the High Court before Mr Justice Cocklecarrot:

1. The Valley Express is a fleet of coaches hired by Charlton Athletic Football Club (hereafter 'the club') to convey supporters to and from home games at their stadium, The Valley, SE7.

2. The service is organised for the club by Mr Rick Everitt, the special projects manager. He reports to the chief executive of the club, Mr Peter Varney. Mr Everitt is assisted in his task by Ms Wendy Perfect and a team of elves.

3. Mr Everitt is a well known figure at the club. He was the club's communications manager. He also used to publish and edit a 'fanzine' known as The Voice of the Valley. A 'fanzine' is a magazine whose content is designed to appeal to supporters of the club and was this in this case sold by hawkers around The Valley before matches and by postal subscription.

4. The magazine contained, inter alia, articles on players and former players, club history, items of a jocular character and letters from readers, principally a Mr Jonathan Acworth who advocated the employment of players from the nearby Welling United club.

5. There was a history of rivalry between the club and two other professional association football clubs playing in South London, Crystal Palace (nickname 'The Glaziers') and Millwall (nickname 'The Spanners'). This rivalry was sometimes reflected in the pages of the magazine. The magazine has ceased publication and since then something more of a rivalry has developed with the West Ham United football club (the 'Irons'). This relates to matters currently before the European Court of Human Rights in Sheffield United versus the Premier League, Uefa, Fifa, the European Commission and the Lords of the Universe. This case is not pertinent to the matter under consideration.

6. Mr Eric Larkin lives in a hamlet on Romney Marsh which has poor public transport services. He has a widowed elderly sister, Violet, who lives some five minutes' walk from The Valley.

7. In his evidence Mr Larkin said that he saw the provision of the Rickshaw [sic] as affording him the opportunity to make regular visits to his sister during the playing season.

8. The Rickshaw is a nickname for the Valley Express and is a play on Mr Everitt's name and a jocular reference to a means of transportation employed in Far Eastern Countries, although a version can now be observed on the streets of London. In evidence it was stated that the nickname was invented by an 'Inspector Sands', a sobriquet for a 'blogger'. A 'blogger' is a person who writes an electronic diary about their life and the events in it or on matters of public interest on which they comment.

9. 'Inspector Sands' was called to give evidence and seemed somewhat displeased at being so called, but in the event had nothing to contribute to the matter at hand.

10. In his evidence, Mr Everitt, who has a certain dry humour, said that whilst he appreciated the wish of Mr Larkin to see his sister, the Valley Express was not a form of welfare provision. Although it was cross subsidised by the club, its objective was to encourage existing season ticket holders to renew their tickets and to encourage other persons to become supporters of the club, to its general benefit.

11. Counsel for Mr Larkin said that use of the Valley Express required the purchase of a ticket for the relevant game. However, the implicit contract did not require the ticket holder to enter The Valley to observe the sporting contest. Purchase was sufficient.

12. On the day in question, Mr Larkin was 'caught short' (as he put it) whilst walking back to the Woolwich Road where the coaches are marshalled for departure. He therefore entered Floyds to avail himself of the facilities. Floyds is a bar and is an integral part of The Valley stadium. It is a play on the name of the adjacent road. On match days a person dressed in an animal costume representing 'Floyd' cavorts on the pitch before matches take place.

13. Having entered Floyds he encountered a Mr Cyril Portch, an old school friend. Mr Portch said, 'They were terrible today. I couldn't stand any more of it. They should have held on to Lisbie'. Mr Larkin, wrongly, inferred that Mr Portch had left before the end of the match and stayed in Floyds with him for several minutes during which time he consumed a pint of ale.

14. One returning to the Woolwich Road, no coaches were in evidence. One of the elves was about to board a 180 bus. Mr Larkin enquired of him as to the whereabouts of the coaches, whereupon the elf replied somewhat brusquely, 'They will be on the ****ing A2 by now mate'.

15. Mr Larkin had to return to his nearest station by train and then take a taxi to his home. His additional expenses amounted to £46.25 for travel and £10.17 for refreshments. In additional he claims £250 for stress and hurt feelings.

16. Counsel for Mr Everitt argued that Mr Larkin had been negligent in not returning to the coaches at the appointed time as passengers were clearly advised to, i.e., promptly after the end of the match. He could have calculated this by adding 90 minutes to the kick off time.

17. This was disputed by counsel by Mr Larkin who said that the match could have kicked off late or the referee could have added on five minutes or more to the duration of the game.

18. I heard evidence from one of the passengers who told the driver 'That old geezer from the Marsh is not on board', but the driver said that he could not wait any longer.

19. I find in favour of Mr Larkin, but also find that there was contributory negligence on his part. I propose to award a single figure percentage of the costs incurred by him, to be determined after due consideration, plus interest.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Famous professional football club

Charlton and Crystal Palace are among the most famous football clubs in England according to Mr Justice Tugenhadt in the High Court. You can read the full judgement here: Crystal Palace (2000) Ltd. v Dowie

The following paragraph suggests that the judge does not have a personal knowledge of football:
Palace and Charlton are, of course, rival clubs. But the rivalry in 2006 was much more than is normal between football clubs. A number of incidents had occurred in the previous seasons, all of them regretted by the individuals involved, as a result of which the personal relationships between the two chairmen were very poor indeed. In addition, on 15th May 2005 Charlton had equalised in the last few minutes of the second half, dashing Palace's hopes of retaining a place in the Premiership. That was the last game of the season. It was played at The Valley, and Charlton supporters had demonstrated delight in Palace's relegation from the Premiership. Mr Jordan and all those at Palace, and their fans, were still smarting at the insult a year later.

It was also no surprise that the advert in the Daily Mail attracted a disappointing reponse. There were about a hundred applications, but only twelve of them had the relevant experience.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bent turns down Hammers move

Darren Bent has turned down a move to West Ham. It would be intruguing to know why: perhaps he was not that enthused about a reunion with Curbs?

Addicks supremo Peter Varney commented, 'We therefore look forward to Darren starting with us in the Championship next season, which is a massive boost to our chance of returning to the Premier League.'

Perhaps. But Spurs may now revive their interest, but offering less cash than West Ham.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

El K 'bored with European football'

Talal El Karkouri has signed a two-year contract with Qatar SC after leaving Charlton. He was out of contract at the Valley and has moved on.

After spending three years with The Addicks, El Karkouri feels it is time to sample a new footballing experience. 'I depart with good memories from Charlton, but I am bored with European football anyway,' El Karkouri told the Currant Bun. 'I feel it is about time for me and my family to live in a country like Qatar.' Each to his own, although I hear that the country's airline is rather good.

Jordan wins Dowie court battle

Iain Dowie's move north to Charlton has turned out to be expensive with Palace boss Simon Jordan winning his court battle against his former manager:

The Iron not the Irons

Charlton's season in the Coca Cola Championship starts with a home fixture against promoted Scunthorpe on Saturday August 11th, the first home start to a season since 2004. The next league fixture is away to Stoke City at the welcoming Britannia Stadium.

A home tie against the Owls follows, and then the Addickted make for the suburban wastes of South London for a tie against Crystal Palace on September 1st. The Glaziers come to The Valley on February 9th.

Charlton travel to north Coventry on September 29th to play Ian Dowie's Coventry who went down to Leamington in the Mayoral cup. The season ends with a home fixture against Coventry on May 4th, although whether Dowie will still be in charge then remains to be seen.

Or maybe not

Sky Sports News are now reporting a bid of undisclosed size for Bent from Spurs, although some of their fans don't want him at any price (preferring Defoe), while others are only intersted in a bargain basement deal - which was what Spurs were offering at one time: a single figure in millions, plus all the unsold double triumph tat we wanted.

It keeps the pot boiling. But I think Pards likes the Mullins aspect of the Irons deal which is why I still think it is the most likely outcome.

It's as good as a done deal

It's not official yet, but it looks like Darren Bent's trip through the Blackwall Tunnel is as good as a done deal. Bent is yet to make up his mind — but has promised an answer within the next 24 hours.

A breakthrough was made yesterday after the Addicks agreed to drop their asking price and West Ham offered the player improved wages. Charlton initially demanded £18m — but the two clubs compromised.

West Ham will pay £16m in cash with midfielder Hayden Mullins going the other way as part of the deal. Spurs were ready to pay Bent £35,000 a week with Liverpool also interested. But West Ham beat off the competition by bumping up their wage offer from £60,000 to £75,000 a week.

It means the whole deal will cost £36.5m with Bent due to earn £19.5m over five years. Bent, 23, will become the highest-paid player at Upton Park as he is reunited with Curbs.

Some Addicks are unhappy about him going to West Ham, but I would rather focus on the cash aspects of the deal (albeit with a nice little earner for the Tractors). I didn't think Peter Varney and the board would be able to get such a good deal, so congratulations to them for sticking to their guns.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Have Hampsters landed Bent?

West Ham are set to beat Tottenham and Liverpool to sign Charlton striker Darren Bent in an £18 million deal. According to the Daily Star, the Hammers have offered £80,000 a week to secure Bent's services, while Charlton will receive £15 million plus Marlon Harewood and Hayden Mullins, who are surplus to requirements at Upton Park.

Possibly surplus to requirements at The Valley as well. I can believe that the Irons have won the race to re-unite Bent with Curbs, but I am dubious about the supposed structure of the deal and the figures given.

Another version is that we would have to pay £12m for Harewood and Mullins, which seems a bit much, even if it would reduce the amount we would have to pay to Ipswich because of the sell on clause. Moreover, The Valley is not a donkey pasture.

Swindon away in the Carling

Charlton will start (and possibly finish) their Carling Cup campaign at The County Ground having been drawn against Swindon Town.

The League Cup first-round draw included the Addicks for the first time since 1997 following their relegation to the Championship. The Addicks will face the League One outfit on either Tuesday, August 14th or Wednesday, August 15th - just days after having played their first Championship match on August 11th.

I have a number of memories of going to Swindon away: driving across the Cotswolds, navigating the magic roundabout and then getting soaked on their open end while the Addickted sung 'Singing in the Rain'.

I'm not sure that I'll be going this time. The Carling Cup is a sideshow to our core objective of winning promotion. So I wouldn't blame Pards if he put out a largely reserve side.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On Song for £2m

Charlton are reported to be willing to pay Arsenal £2m to secure the services of Cameroon midfielder Alexandre Song. Although Song's performance was not always consistent when he was on loan with the Addicks, I think that his signature on a permanent basis would do a lot to strengthen a still far from satisfactory midfield.

Given the difficulty he would have in breaking into the Arsenal midfield, he may well be tempted to come back to The Valley.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Senderos rumour

Charlton want Philippe Senderos from Arsenal to help them bounce back up to the Premiership at the first time of asking, unconfirmed reports claim. Addicks boss Alan Pardew has held talks with the defender in a bid to persuade him to drop a division.

Switzerland international Senderos, 22, has not been a regular in Arsene Wenger’s side since William Gallas was drafted into the defence at the start of last season. Senderos is also vying with Kolo Toure, Johan Djourou and even midfielder Gilberto, who has played in the backline ahead of him.

I'd give this one about 4/10 for credibility.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Charlton go for Gerken

The implosion of the U's continues with the news that boss Alan Pardew wants Colchester keeper Dean Gerken to be his new No.1 next season. At least, so says The People. The Addicks will now try to buy Gerken, 21, who has plenty of experience despite his young age and could cost as much as £600,000.

The Southend born player started his career with the Shrimpers and won the No.1 spot at Layer Road on merit after joining the U's. He was Young Player of the Year last season.

It's been reported that our away kit next season is going to be light blue and dark blue stripes. We had such a kit in the olden days, apparently (even before my time).

Bent will only go for the right price

If Liverpool or West Ham want Darren Bent Addicks supremo Peter Varney is insistent that he will only go for the right price:

Personally I hope that if he does go he goes to a big club like Liverpool. Perhaps his claim to an England place will then get some attention.

For an in depth review of Charlton's season from an Irish perspective go here:
Square Football

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sankofa stays

Charlton defender Osei Sankofa has celebrated his most successful season to date with a brand new contract. The 22-year-old right-back-cum-centre-half made 12 Premiership appearances for the Addicks during 2006/07.

The former England youth international has consolidated his breakthrough campaign by signing a new deal that will keep him at The Valley until 2008. When he first came in to replace the injured Luke Young, I thought that the gap in quality was very large. However, he improved a lot during the campaign, although the harsh sending off at the Emirates must have been a blow.

'I'm very pleased to sign for another year,' said Sankofa, who made his Addicks debut in 2003 at Old Trafford. 'I think I proved last season that I can do a job for this club and hopefully, after making 12 appearances in the Premiership, I will have a prominent involvement in the Championship.' Very likely, given an anticipated Luke Young departure.

Greeks bear gifts for Romm

Dennis Rommedahl is in demand in Greece:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fortune flies in, and then out

In case you wondering where Jonathan Fortune has been, he has flown in from Malaga to Stansted accompanied by Liverpool's Pennant and Paolo Vernazza (of Barnet fame).

It looks like his next journey might be out of The Valley. With Diawara, 'Magic' Bougherra and Paddy McCarthy in contention for central defence, there wouldn't appear to be much room for Fortune. His wages are also said to be on the high side for a defender.

Support the London Olympics

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The name's Patrick but call me Paddy

Charlton have made combative defender Patrick 'Paddy' McCarthy their third signing of the summer. The Irish centre-back joined the Addicks from Leicester City for an initial fee of £650,000.

His name has not been mentioned in any of the speculation about signings and he will hopefully give the team some much needed spine. His performances may not be as spectacular as those of Talal El Karkouri, but undoubtedly more consistent.

Dublin-born McCarthy, who has signed a four-year deal, skippered the Foxes last season and made a total of 82 appearances for the club after joining from the Massives in March 2005.

Charlton plc chairman Richard Murray said: 'We're very pleased to make Patrick our latest signing. He has all the right attributes and that fact he was captain of Leicester City shows he is a leader and proven at Championship level.'

In 25 appearances last year he racked up 7 yellows and a red and some Foxes think he was a liability. On the other hand, centre backs tend to get a lot of cards because of their role which sometimes mean 'stop at all costs to prevent a goal'. He probably has no more of a disciplinary problem than Johnnie Robinson.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lisbie to stay?

Men wept openly in the streets around SE7 and strangers danced with each other as normally reliable sources revealed that striker Kevin Lisbie is to be offered a new contract at The Valley.

However, he would not be a first team regular and hence the former teenage wonder may move on. To where? Who cares?

Blades reprieve would be hit for Charlton

I hear from the Charlton list that the Blades are bigging it up that they are going to stay in the Premiership, writes Erith addick Paul May. This would be the result of an arbitration process set up by the Premiership which makes it all sound a bit unlikely to me.

But the word from Bramall Lane is that both the Blades and the Hamspters will stay up, making a 21-club league. Fifa might have something to say about that, although apparently it was allowed in Spain.

The consequence would undoubtedly be that only two clubs would go up from the Championship next year which would not be good for us. Which is no doubt we have pulled out of this business.

I think the Blades were a crap side this year. Ok, we couldn't beat them, but that says something about us. I hope they go down to the Championship where they belong. And it would be better for us if the Hampsters stayed up.

And another thing. If you think this new Olympic logo is a disgrace (a 'brand consultant' was blathering on about it on Radio 5 this morning, sign the petition here: Petition

Monday, June 04, 2007

Released Weston may sign for County

Notts County boss Steve Thompson has revealed he wants to bring Myles Weston back to Meadow Lane. The Magpies manager has arranged talks with the England Under-19 international, who spent two months on loan at the club from Charlton at the end of last season, after Alan Pardew released him from the Addicks last week.

Thompson told the club's official website: 'We've got Myles coming up on Tuesday to talk to us. I am hopeful. If we can get Myles it would be good for the club. As the fans saw last season, Myles is a left-footer who is strong and quick, but also still learning the game.

'He likes to go past people and he has good attributes, so if we can get him onboard that will give us some pace and power in the team as well as a good left-footer.'

Charlton chase Baggies striker

Reports claim that Charlton are lining up a swoop for West Brom striker Nathan Ellington who is pondering his future at the Hawthorns. Ellington is one of several West Brom players who could be on the move this summer after the Baggies failed to win promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs and Charlton are said to be keen.

The striker is said to be keen on a fresh challenge. 'I've given Nathan a few days to think about his future,' Ellington's agent,Tony Finnegan, stated [as he sought to talk up interest in his client]. 'It's up to how Nathan feels. If he decides he wants to stay Albion is a great club with great tradition.' [As he made sure he remained on good terms with them] Boing, boing.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Holland may go to Pompey

Matt Holland may be attracted to Pompey by a two year contract offered by Harry Redknapp. Charlton have offered the midfielder a one year contract.

It would be a blow to many of the Addickted if he did go, as his battling qualities and commitment are widely appreciated, reflected by his third placing in the Player of the Year poll. The Charlton midfield still looks weak even for the Championship, even if one does rate Lloyd Sam and think that Andy Reid will have a season relatively free from injury.

The news that Jerome Thomas may stay at The Valley as no offers have come in for him, despite rumours of a £1.8m bid by Birmingham, will be scant consolation. Playing in the Championship could well put him into a permanent sulk.

£15m or no deal on Darren Bent

The Addicks won't accept anything less than £15 million for Darren Bent this summer. The striker's future is unclear as he has yet to hold discussions with the club and will do so when he returns from holiday.

'He's in the Caribbean at the moment and doesn't want to discuss anything until he gets back,' an executive at the club told the Observer. 'There's actually been no offers for him. But if we don't get the asking price he isn't going. We turned down £15million in January. And that was from a club outside the big four - Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. We had to turn that down then because we still had a chance of avoiding relegation.'

I see that the BBC has picked up on the Danny Spiller story we had earlier in the week. Given that he is injury prone, he looks like one for us. Then the medical team can weave their magic.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Failure of the year

Teamtalk has given this accolade to the 'bungling Charlton board' and Les Reed:

Friday, June 01, 2007

Charlton in Premiership top ten wages table

Charlton have finished in the top ten in one table this season, the Premiership wages table produced by Deloitte Sport. Admittedly, the figures relate to 2005/6 when Charlton came tenth with a wages bill of £34.2m, just behind Manchester City's figure of £34.23m. The total wage bill was up £5.3m in a year, the second biggest increase outside the top five paying clubs.

The Addicks spent almost twice as much as bottom club Sunderland whose bill was just £17.4m, but less than a third of the £114m spent by Chelsea. However, they were not so far behind 5th ranked club Spurs who spent £40.7m. For all their spending, the Addicks finished 13th in the table.

Even so, Charlton was only one of four Premiership clubs that ended the season with net funds rather than net debt, the others being Manchester United, Spurs and Birmingham City.

The foreword singles out Charlton's 'innovative' season ticket scheme for praise.

Cork player would cost millions (of euros)

Charlton are ready to make a €440,000 offer for Cork City midfielder Joe Gamble. But Cork supremo Brian Lennox insists, 'The whole league is gone beyond those days when €500,000 was seen as a top offer. It is time for us to talk millions. That's my policy.'

Gamble has said that he will join the Addicks if the opportunity arises. The 25-year-old midfielder made his debut against Ecuador on Ireland's short tour of the United States and admitted he would love to link up with former manager Alan Pardew.

'It's all speculation at the moment and the club have yet to confirm that a bid has come in for me. I am curious though about the interest because I worked with Alan when at Reading and his assistant now at The Valley, Phil Parkinson was a room mate of mine when we were at Reading,' he told Cork's Evening Echo.

'I must admit that I was tipped off about Charlton's interest by a source while in America. I'd be a fool not to be interested and not to look into it. I honestly believe that if I am to further my international career then I need to be in the Championship or the Premiership and people have said as much to me."

He concluded: 'Charlton are a big London club and I think they have the potential to come straight back up - they have a good manager there in Alan Pardew.'

Gamble is contracted to City until the end of the 2008 season. Lennox commented, 'No club likes to lose good players and we are no different. Until we hear directly about the interest then it is merely speculation.'

Elsewhere, Brakes supermeo Jason Cadden has swooped across the county border for three players from Northamptonshire club Woodford United as Leamington prepare for the Southern League. The club from the former Great Central Railway works town finished 8th in the Southern League Midland Division last year.

£16m cuts at club

THE financial implications of Charlton's relegation from the Premiership hit home after the board sanctioned cuts of £16 million. The club declined to disclose the amount of redundancies involved as administration and commercial staff braced themselves for the cull. Chief executive Peter Varney was speaking individually to those affected.

Providing the club can make an immediate return to the top flight, those who have lost their jobs will be offered an opportunity to return to the Valley for the start of the 2008-09 season.

It is not known whether Valley Express routes or services will be affected.