Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Life outside the Premiership

The pharmacist in my local chemist is a keen Sunderland fan. We haven't talked about football at length for a while, but we did yesterday.

Of course, we talked a great deal around the time of the Greatest Game. I think that particularly at the time there was little ill feeling between the two clubs, rather the contrary.

He said that when Sunderland were in the Premier League, he hardly paid any attention to other leagues. I asked him if he got fed up with the endless relegation struggles, but he said they were exciting.

Many pundits have written Sunderland off this season. Four Four Two which admittedly does not have a great track record predicted a 14th place finish, but that echoed the views of others. However, they have made a stronger than expected start to the season.

My pharmacy friend said that he had found out that there was a programme about the Football League starting at 9 p.m. on Saturdays which he had never heard of, but was finding really exciting.

He did not realise that Charlton were now in League One and had heard nothing about Roland and the protests against his ownership. League One was terra incognita to him, 'there be dragons'.

Today we celebrate (or not, according to your views) 25 years of the Premier League. I enjoyed Charlton's years there, even if did mean playing matches on odd days at odd times. I doubt whether we will ever return, but getting to the Championship is a reasonable aspiration.

For more of my views on the Premier League: Huddersfield Town and When I dedicated a book to Curbs

Also Hyper inflation and Win, lose, on the booze

Monday, 14 August 2017

League Two ace could be new striker

Barnet's John Akinde could be the answer to Charlton's striker problem. He has been buzzing in League Two and would probably cost around £1m: Barnet target

Not good enough for Charlton: Courtney Baker-Richardson joins Swansea City

Baker-Richardson came on for Swansea City in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night and provided a cross that allowed the winning goal to be scored against Cheltenham Town.

Former Charlton and West Ham midfielder Diego Poyet is on trial with Cardiff City: Welsh chance

Katrien Meire has been re-elected to the FA Council: Victory

Signing new striker is imperative says Pearce

Some Charlton fans think that Jason Pearce has more of the qualities of a Charlton captain than the much respected Chris Solly. Louis Mendez of the SLP is back from his sojourn in the west country eating cream teas and touring Plainmoor.

He has been talking to Pearce who says that it is imperative that Charlton sign a new striker before the transfer window closes: We must land a new striker

As Richard Cawley has tweeted, it's a commonly held view, but there's no harm in repeating it.

Karl Robinson didn't sound too hopeful at the weekend, emphasising all the difficulties. It sounded as if he had been looking his Great Big Book of Excuses again.

Pearce has also leapt to the defence of Ben Amos. This is a captain talking: In defence of the keeper

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Charlton 14th after Devon defeat

Photo: Louis Mendez

Charlton are 14th in an admittedly provisional League One table after losing 2-0 to Plymouth Argyle at Home Park. The score was 0-0 at half time. Jervis scored for the home side in the 53rd and 87th minutes.

It was the Addicks who had the first chance as captain Chris Solly's thumping long-range drive was saved by Pilgrims goalkeeper Luke McCormick. McCormick immediately bettered that stop with a brilliant reaction save to send striker Josh Magennis' close-range follow-up around the frame of the goal and safety. Ben Amos matched his opposite number's efforts, going full stretch to fingertip Gary Sawyer's shot around the post. From Graham Carey's corner Amos also relied on instinct, using his feet to clear Jervis' first-timer off the line.

In his post-match interview Karl Robinson felt Charlton did not take their chances in the first half when they were on top.

Jervis would not be denied in the 54th minute, with the striker finishing at the far post after central defender Ryan Edwards nodded down Carey's corner.

Fans have been expressing concern that we had to play an unfit player up front and about the lack of depth in the squad.

Karl Robinson told the SLP's Richard Cawley that the hunt for a striker continued, but a reliable goal scorer was not easy to find and expensive by League One standards: Striker search

Charlton have even looked at the bottom of the Conference. If they had looked one tier down they could have had ex-Coventry City Courtney Baker-Richardson for £20,000 from Leamington. He was certainly better than tier two of the non-league. Swansea City (and Leicester City) thought he was worth a punt and he has joined the Swans.

He was a player who had suffered from the Sisu induced turmoil at the Sky Blues and had to rebuild his career in the non-league system.

Crystal Palace lost 0-3 at home to debutantes Huddersfield Town.

So, farewell then, Tony Watt

After talks with four Belgian clubs including Lierse, Tony Watt is set to seal a deal with Heverlee Oud-Leuven this weekend: Valley exit

The club plays in the second division in Belgium: Leuven. The city of Leuven is known for its breweries, including Stella Artois. The city was brutally sacked by the Germans in the First World War with mediaeval manuscripts being burnt. However, it has a fine restored town square where you can enjoy a Stella or two. It is now a Flemish speaking area.

The mercurial Scot had his fans and his detractors. For my part, I offer the message from the newsreels when Neville Chamberlain stood down in favour of Winston Churchill: 'Thanks for all you tried to do.'

Charlton are left short of strikers. Leamington's ace striker and former Coventry City player Courtney Baker-Richardson has signed for Swansea City for an undisclosed fee after a tussle between them and Leicester City: From non-league to Premiership

Leamington have made it clear that they will reject any offers for their captain and Sam Bartram style keeper Tony Breeden. Bin man Breeden's chant is 'Tony Breeden, on the wing, on the wing.' With a fierce and powerful shot, he has scored from open play after charging down the wing and scored a penalty against Wolves to win the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Here is what each Charlton manager on the managerial merry go round said about Watt: You what?

Quiz

There has been a correspondence in the Financial Times this week about why the King of Belgium is called the King of the Belgians. Is it:

  • (a)To try and reconcile the Flemish and Walloon communities which threaten to tear the country apart
  • (b)Because the King of France had called himself King of the French to signal that absolute monarchy was over
  • (c)Because of Belgium's colonial aspirations which lead to Belgians living overseas

A suitably Belgian prize will be offered (not moules and frites with Roland). No takers yet, so maybe I'll incorporate it in the Christmas quiz.

Another one who got away

When Dale Stephens moved to Brighton a Seagulls fan I knew (sadly no longer with us) asked me what I thought. My response was that he could expect the occasional sensational goal, otherwise although he was a very competent player, he was nothing special.

How wrong I was. In its Premier League season preview The Times says: 'Dale Stephens is very important to Brighton, so their best piece of business was probably to get him to re-sign.'

In the Four Four Two preview fan Scott McCarthy says, 'Our most underrated player is Dale Stephens. He isn't flashy, but you notice when he isn't playing.'

He made 84 appearances for Charlton between 2011 and 2014, scoring 10 goals: Career details

Good luck to the Seagulls, especially against Palace.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Derby want Lookman on loan

Derby County want to take Ademola Lookman on loan from Everton to replace Tom Ince: Lookman

Lookman made eight appearance for the Toffees last season, but has been on bench warming duties pre-season.

Green Army

Plymouth Argyle are forecast by Four Four Two to finish 9th in League One this year, having 'found their natural level', while the fan quoted thinks they will sneak into the play off places.

Fiery Glaswegian manager Derek Adams is known as 'An excellent wind-up merchant ... who leave behind a long string of grudges in the bottom division.' It will be interesting to see how he gets on with voluble Scouser Karl Robinson.

Key player is Graham Carey. He was the subject of intense transfer speculation, but signed a new contract just one day before his existing one was due to expire. In 96 outings, he has scored 26 goals and provided 29 assists.

New recruits include Ryan Edwards, a solid centre back brought in from Morecambe, while Jamie Ness from Scunthorpe is expected to add midfield bite. Ruben Lamerias from Coventry is rated as a gifted playmaker. Gregg Wylde has been brought in from Millwall to add width.

Not surprisingly, Argyle feel that they didn't learn very much from Charlton's midweek outing at rivals Exeter: Grecian blank

Addicks fans are waiting to see who the referee will be (John Brooks from Leicestershire) and whether he has signed up to the referees' conspiracy identified by Karl Robinson. It is thought that this might have got underway at a pre-season gathering of referees when it was suggested that they should try and award a red card to Charlton at each match. Any referee failing to do so would buy a round of drinks at the next get together.

Robinson may well be a 'highly respected' manager as the Plymouth paper calls him, but he should take some lessons from Katrien Meire and the PR consultants on keeping his mouth shut.

I find this a difficult match to call but I am going for a 1-1 draw and no red cards. Our last league game there (2010/11) ended 2-2. Odds: Plymouth 8/5, Draw 11/5, Bristol Rovers 9/5

(Rather late) CAS Trust preview here: Argyle

I'd like to express my appreciation for all that Plymouth Argyle do to help with football training for youngsters on the Isles of Scilly, help that is much needed. Remember that my weekly football slot is on Radio Scilly on Saturday mornings, usually between 9.45 and 10.00: Radio Scilly

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Why Dillon Phillips is not ready for No.1 spot

Karl Robinson has explained why he thinks Dillon Phillips is not ready for the No.1 spot. He still hopes to bring in a back up keeper before the end of the transfer window: Not yet ready

Robinson has praised the board for flying the team to Exeter for Saturday's clash with Plymouth (he uses the word 'jetting' but I would have thought 'turbo prop' was more appropriate): Jet set

It's still a fair way from Exeter to Plymouth on congested roads, but Plymouth Airport has closed.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Red card takes edge off victory

A red card for Andrew Crofts took the edge off Charlton's 2-1 victory over Exeter City in the Carabao Cup. A fuming Karl Robinson implied that the Addicks are being targeted by referees: Cup victors

The supremo was in a defiant mood after the game, giving it large. In a post match interview with Louis Mendez before he headed to Liverpool he said that he did not care if he 'got done by the FA': Tough talk

There were seven Academy graduates in the side and they all played their part. The goals came from Billy Clarke and Regan Charles-Cook.

308 Addicks made the trip to Devon in an attendance of 2,699.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Roland to sell Sint Truiden?

Reports in the Belgian press are suggesting that Roland Duchatelet is considering selling Sint Truiden to Japanese investors. This would be a surprising as if Roland has had an emotional connection with any football club, it is home town side.

If Roland sold the mother ship, would he be more inclined to sell Charlton? In the latest Voice of the Valley Rick Everitt has identified the Australian billionaire behind the Australian consortium interested in buying Charlton. He seems to be a good guy in more ways than one. At one time the Australians thought they were close to securing a deal to buy Charlton, but matters seem to have cooled in the last few weeks.

Charlton consider bid for Godden

With striker worries continuing at The Valley, Charlton are considering a £1.5m bid for Stevenage's Matt Godden who has been linked with the club before. Stevenage have already down two bids from League One clubs: Striker bid

Karl Robinson has now knocked back hopes of an approach for Godden, implying that it was a rumour started to increase his value: Rumour mill

Sint Truiden have sacked their manager after two games, one of which they won. It is thought that Chris O'Loughlin, who recently returned to the mother ship, may be in the frame.

David Martin training at Charlton again

David Martin has been training at Sparrows Lane again: Free agent

Karl Robinson is looking for a back up keeper for first choice Amos with Dillon Phillips likely to go out on loan. Martin has the merit of having played for the Franchisees, but he is interested in regular first team football so he is not a solution.

Watt can shine, says Solly

Tony Watt can shine in the absence of Lee Novak and Josh Magennis, says Charlton captain Chris Solly: Striker shortage

Karl Robinson defended Watt's role in the game by saying he was only following orders. However, I am not sure that he executed those all that well. Instead of chasing the ball or marking players, he seemed to be standing still or wandering around aimlessly quite a bit of the time. The effort wasn't there.

I hope Chris Solly proves me wrong.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Magennis out for two weeks

Josh Magennis will be out for two weeks with a knee injury. Karl Robinson has not ruled out further comings and goings in the squad: Magennis

A completely changed side will be taken to Exeter for Tuesday's Carabo Cup match against the Grecians with Academy players given a chance to show what they can offer.

10 man Charlton battle for the points

10 man Charlton battled for the points in a 1-0 nil win over Bristol Rovers yesterday. They showed considerable resolve after they went down to ten men after five minutes and there was good team work. Bristol Rovers also failed to take advantage of the situation.

Novak had the chance to show what he could offer Charlton today but went in for a completely unnecessary challenge. The referee hesitated but then showed red. It could have been yellow, but the referee has grounds for his decision. There was then a scuffle in which Solly out himself about and for a moment I thought that a yellow card had been shown.

Charlton stood firm after the early blow while Gashead's bearded wonder Sinclair was advised that he lived 200 miles from Shoreditch. On 38 minutes Bauer scored for Charlton. I did not think that it had completely crossed the line, and Karl Robinson later admitted that it hadn't, but the linesman gave it.

Congratulations to Stuart McRae on winning the crossbar challenge at half time and £10,500. He had been practising and Jason Euell's advice to stay calm paid off.

Rovers still failed to offer any sustained pressure after the break, although Amos had to save from new boy Liam Sercombe. Tom Lockyer's 35-yard lob nearly caught the keeper out, but he tipped it over the bar. Tony Watt was brought on after 70 minutes in the hope that he might score a second goal, but he was a complete waste of space, failing to chase the ball. The sooner he goes out on loan the better.

In the last 15 minutes or so Rovers started to dominate the game more, possibly because Charlton were tiring after playing so long with 10 men. We were vulnerable down the left with No.3 for Rovers, Lee Brown, looking threatening. However, we held on, to the relief of the recorded attendance of just under 13,000 (there seems to have been a late surge in season ticket sales).

Amos only had one save to make, given the wayward nature of the shots from the visitors. However, he seemed to have trouble holding on to the ball, punching it out riskily at one point. As Steve from Petts Wood commented, 'He's a typical Charlton goalkeeper.'

Fosu had been billed by one commentator as likely to be a 'livener' from the bench, but he started and made a considerable contribution. Clarke got a standing ovation when he went off. However, my man of the match was Jay DaSilva who showed real skill.

Football League Paper player ratings

Amos, 7; Solly, 6; Bauer, 8 (star man); Pearce 7; DaSilva, 8; Forster-Caskey, 7; Kashi, 8; Fosu, 8; Clarke, 7; Holmes 7; Novak, 2; Watt, 4; Ahearne-Grant 5. It is unusual to get so many scores of 8.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Bring on the Gasheads/Pirates

Charlton secured their biggest aggregate score against the Gasheads aka Pirates last season, but we should not expect a repetition this season (although in any case they finished above us in 10th place): CAS Trust Preview

The only Jordanian owned team in the Football League have seen owner Waed-al-Qadi increase the budget and they are forecast to finish 3rd by Four Four Two. Manager Darrell Clarke is regarded as 'One of the hottest properties outside the Premier League.' The 39-year old is said to be an ace at reading body language and identifying tactical problems. 'He is also said to excel in pre-game team talks, gauging the mood in the side's dressing room and always saying the right thing before the game starts.'

Liam Seccombe is regarded as a key player. The classy 27-year old midfielder fell out with Oxford boss Michael Appleton. They still need a replacement for top scorer who crossed over to Bristol City in January.

Defender Tom Broadbent has an interesting back story. He is technically still in the Army until September and was shot at in Afghanistan: Tom Broadbent

Odds are: Charlton 13/10, Draw 11/5, Bristol Rovers 15/8. We have won two and drawn one of our last home encounters with the Gasheads and I am going for a 2-1 win tomorrow.

Man in the middle is Christopher Sarginson from Staffordshire.

Tomorrow is the first time the Alan Pardew Award for Half Baked Managerial Excuses will be available (although not necessarily awarded).

Why Stephy Mavididi move broke down

Karl Robinson has explained why the move to bring Stephy Mavididi broke down. Charlton did not even get a chance to sit down and talk to the youngster for whom Arsenal clearly have other plans: Why move broke down

'That's football,' shrugged the phlegmatic supremo.

Should we sign Matt Godden?

Charlton should sign prolific Stevenage and former Ebbsfleet United striker Matt Godden this website urges: Splash the cash

No doubt we will see a lot of 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 this season. What the post overlooks is the importance of Ricky Holmes when it comes to scoring goals.

I am actually quite happy with the squad, other than a lack of strength in depth. Injuries and suspensions could reveal a vulnerability.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

One good thing to come out of Ramsgate

The economist and Aston Villa supporter John Maynard Keynes insisted that nothing good ever came out of Ramsgate. Everything there was second or third rate.

However, there is one first rate thing that comes out of Ramsgate and that is Charlton fanzine Voice of the Valley. The murky seas and chalky cliffs that made such an indelible impression on Keynes do not seem to have deterred editor Rick Everitt and the first issue of the new season will be on sale around The Valley on Saturday.

Following the 6-1 demolition of Ipswich in the final pre-season friendly, the fanzine asks if things are finally looking up for the Addicks on the pitch, with Kyle Andrews taking an in-depth look at the transfer window. There's a special focus on player of the year Ricky Holmes, while Rick Everitt has been to see what's been going on at Sparrows Lane over the summer. The usual crew of vinegar pissers has been rounded up to contribute articles. In my case, the Rickster tracked me down in the Orkney Islands to provide copy.

This issue will come with a free sachet of vinegar to enhance the reading experience. If you can't or won't come to The Valley, it is possible to take out a postal subscription. The fanzine will be delivered in a plain wrapper for you to enjoy in the comfort and privacy of your own home. More details at Voice of the Valley

Robinson has injury worries

Karl Robinson has a couple of injury worries ahead of Saturday's opening game against Bristol Rovers, but he won't say who they are: Injury doubts

The manager says that he knows seven of the players who will start the game.

Robinson has denied that Josh Magennis has turned down a contract extension: Comfortable conversation

Unfortunately, the deal to bring Neymar to Charlton fell through, the player deciding he preferred Paris to London.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Robinson happy to wait for Reeves

Karl Robinson is happy to wait for Ben Reeves to decide whether he wants to come to Charlton. Championship clubs are still chasing the midfielder: Why the deal is taking so long

Which will be the longer wait? Reeves or a 161 bus?

One thing you can say about Karl Robinson is that he finds the time to keep the press up to date with what is going on.

According to a CAFC Facts and Stats tweet, Reeves is joining today (Thursday). Mavididi is going elsewhere and Watt is leaving sooner rather than later.

Apparently there has been Championship interest in both Watt and Harry Lennon. Karl Robinson has hinted that Watt may go, but Lennon is going to stay and get himself fit: Duo attract interest

Reeves spent the night in Greenwich and has emerged unscathed. Karl Robinson reckons he will be a star player and will get fans off their seats: Set to sign

The long awaited signing was finally completed on Thursday evening with a two year contract: Done deal

Fans proved wrong

Katrien Meire and Roland Duchatelet have proved Charlton fans wrong over the summer, claims this blog post: Fans get it wrong

It's 'Bravo!' for Katrien Meire according to this article, the key being the recruitment policies. Of course, a lot of that is down to Karl Robinson, but at least Meire and Duchatelet gave him a free hand.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. But I am certainly am prepared to get behind the team and hope they exceed my expectations. The starting eleven looks competitive for this division, but I still have some concerns about a lack of strength in depth.

According to one online poll, Charlton fans are pretty divided between those who think we will finish in the promotion or play off places, and those who predict an upper mid table finish.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Robinson doesn't fear the axe

Charlton manager Karl Robinson does not fear Roland Duchatelet's propensity to use the axe on his manager. Indeed, he is closing in on Guy Luzon's ten month record as a Charlton manager under the current regime: Unfazed supremo

Robinson said that the transfers had been done differently and more economically this summer. He also discussed Chris Powell's time as manager.

Robinson hopes to get Stephy Mavididi back from Arsenal on loan. His spell at Charlton was cut short by a serious hamstring injury: Arsenal striker

Robinson wants to get Charlton back where they belong

Karl Robinson has said that he wants to get Charlton back where they belong, saying there was an honesty to the club in the successful period under Alan Curbishley: Summer of change

Robinson said that he had only spoken to Roland Duchatelet once or twice over the summer and had been given a free hand.

There is no doubt that Robinson has been working hard to turn things round and his heart is in the right place. But it's a results business.

Former Charlton interim manager Kevin Nugent has joined Millwall in charge of first team development.

Phillips to be sent out on loan

Dillon Phillips is to be sent out on loan. Karl Robinson admits he does know anything about goalkeeping, but reckons Phillips will be No.1 at The Valley in the future: Highly rated

The club is intending to sign a No.2 keeper to back up 'monster' Ben Amos, but it looks as if no one with a MK Dons pedigree will be available.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Reeves edges closer

Ben Reeves is edging closer to a move to Charlton after rejecting an offer from Bolton Wanderers. MK Dons have also put a new and improved offer on the table, but he wants to come to Charlton after enjoying the hospitality of the directors' box on Saturday: Deal is closer

Karl Robinson emphasised on Tuesday morning that Reeves is not the only player he is interested in. He is chasing three or four potential signings: Chasing deals

Holmes: I never wanted to go 'oop North

The road to promotion at Charlton: everyone is pushing in the same direction.

Ricky Holmes has said that he never wanted to leave Charlton for Sheffield United, despite two offers of Championship football: Happy at The Valley

Holmes says he is excited by the new signings and says that everyone at the club is pushing in the same direction, including Katrien Meire and Roland Duchatelet.

Let's hope it's not the labour of Sisyphus.

Magennis forecast to get 20 goals

Ricky Holmes reckons that Josh Magennis will double his goal scoring tally of last season and find the net twenty times: On target

Let's hope he's right. A lot depends on the service the often loan marauder receives: Holmes could be crucial there.

It also depends on an injury free season for the striker. In some ways the squad looks impressive, but there is a concern about a lack of depth.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Big feature on Lee Bowyer

The Observer has a big feature today on Charlton assistant manager Lee Bowyer: Ultra competitive

Bowyer thinks that the whole mood around the players has changed over the summer.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Au revoir for Cameron Stewart

Cameron Stewart has left Charlton, but Karl Robinson may yet bring the 26-year old winger back. Robinson says that Stewart understands his predicament: Au revoir

Robinson said that it was a case of seeing what else is out there and he and Stewart can have a conversation next week. Clearly Robinson has other irons in the fire.

Fans heartened by Ipswich win

Fans have been heartened by Charlton's 6-1 demolition of Ipswich Town yesterday, although others have pointed out that the Tractors were very poor and never got into gear.

One fan commented, 'The big difference from last season is having Kashi in central midfield—he is a class above Division one and everything went through him which gave the others freedom to get forward and support the lone striker, Maggenis. Of the new signings I was very impressed by Fosu who has bags of skill and really gets around the pitch. Jake Forster-Caskey, alongside Kashi in midfield, was also excellent helped no doubt by the influence of Kashi.'

'I’m very surprised that Chelsea have allowed Jay DaSilva to come back on loan given that he was the captain of the England under 19 team that won the European Cup this summer . I understand lots of Championship clubs were after him, but he chose to come back to us. The new goalkeeper, Ben Amos, looked solid enough although he didn't have much to do.'

'Overall, therefore, a very encouraging game with all the players (including Tony Watt, who came on as a substitute) looking much fitter than last season—lots of pressing high up the pitch and pace going forward.'

Another fan commented, 'Whilst I'd accept that one swallow doesn't make a spring, I really enjoyed the game. Holmes and daSilva were both excellent and worked well together, Konsa looked reliable and confident, Kashi came through it well and the whole team tackled quickly throughout, denying Ipswich space.'

Mick McCarthy says next week he's going to have £20 on us to lose and £20 on them to win, as they can't play that badly again. The Eastern Daily Press reports he said they we're a shambles and a disgrace, but he wouldn't use the squad illness as an excuse (so why mention it then?). Looks as if McCarthy could be the first recipient of our Alan Pardew award for half-baked excuses.

News Shopper player ratings here: Star players

Reeves at The Valley

Ben Reeves was at The Valley this afternoon, as was his agent. Karl Robinson has been chasing the signature of the former MK Dons midfielder, now a free agent, for some time: Ben Reeves

Reeves has been seeking a Championship berth, but without success.

Reeves, who has played for Northern Ireland, started his career as a youth player at Southampton: Career details

Hopefully he was impressed by Charlton's 6-1 victory over the Tractors. However, Karl Robinson says that he has not spoken to him about the contract: Coy supremo

Apparently Reeves rang up and asked if he could have a ticket for the game (as you do). The Chicago Addick has tweeted about Robinson: managerial ability, League One; mind management games, Vanarama Conference.

Mid-table mediocrity forecast for Charlton

Charlton will finish 13th again this season according to Four Four Two. A health warning is necessary as the magazine forecast we would hover above the relegation zone in Chris Powell's championship winning year. However, prospects this season are certainly not as good.

Supporter Lee Jarvis is more optimistic, claiming that the Addicks will finish in the top six, adding 'I hope. I don't want to be in this division for too long.' He suggests that Jason Pearce's 'experience could be key. He is a leader and has been promoted before, with Wigan.'

The article suggests that success on the field might depend as much on who Karl Robinson can offload, as much as the playing personnel he brings to the club. Departing first team coach Simon Clark claimed the club needs a change of culture, as too many players are happy to coast along.

Supremo Robinson is described as 'A respected lower-league coach with a well-defined philosophy. Those who have worked with Robinson have nothing but praise for his positive outlook and interpersonal skills.'

Ricky Holmes is selected as star player: 'He could be one of the division's star men.'

Writing in the Sunday Times Millwall fan Rod Liddle says, 'The hitherto sinking ship which is Charlton Athletic have splashed the cash a little and may be in line for a season of good cheer.'

The Racing Post forecasts a 11th place finish.

Friday, 28 July 2017

When Ipswich were our feeder club

Charlton face Ipswich Town at The Valley this afternoon for the 'dress rehearsal' match at which Karl Robinson should put out what he thinks is his best side. Ben Amos has now signed as keeper and might get some game time this afternoon.

The CAS Trust preview reminds us that Ipswich were once our 'feeder club', providing such distinguished players as the Herminator, Matt Holland and Darren Bent: Feeder team

Wanderers keeper for Addicks?

Charlton have met their need for a goalkeeper by taking a player from Bolton Wanderers,the deal being concluded on Saturday. 27 year old Ben Amos joined Wanderers from Manchester United in 2015 after a successful loan spell during the 2014/2015 season.

Amos has played 53 times for Bolton, and was one of a number of under performing players during Wanderers' dismal 2015/2016 season, which saw Wanderers relegated to League One. Ben Amos spent last season on loan with Cardiff City, playing sixteen games before a poor run of form saw him dropped out of the first team.

Amos fell out of favour after Cardiff signed Allan McGregor, with Neil Warnock stating: 'Ben Amos is here until the end of the season, and he's played for two clubs so we can't move him. It's a ridiculous rule.'

Some 'oop North think it's a shame Amos will not be given a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of Bolton fans. Saying that, some fans would probably say he doesn't deserve one.

The fact of the matter is, with three goalkeepers ahead of him in the queue, plus the fact that he's one of the highest earners in the club, it was inevitable that Amos was going to be moved on.

Apparently, it is going to be a one year loan deal. When he was at Cardiff, Bolton paid a substantial proportion of his wages.

Where do we go from here?

How protests should be carried forward in the coming season is very much an open question and I am very pleased to publish a thoughtful contribution from a longstanding Charlton supporter on this subject.

'I have supported Charlton since 1957 and my family have held season tickets for over 30 years. We have seen more than one bad owner in that time. For my recent 70th birthday my 8 year old grandson James (a very keen Charlton supporter) created a birthday card and at a football coaching course in London he asked Johnnie Jackson to sign it, which he did. On the front of the card James wrote: "Grandad forget what’s happening now with all the protests and remember the good times." At a game last season when the protests were very loud James became quite distressed and wished to leave. That set me thinking about the whole situation and what “getting our Charlton back” means because it was never about discouraging young children. Therefore I have set out below some thoughts on where the Club seems to be now and how I think the time has come for a change of approach from supporters.

Although the last few games of Charlton Athletic’s 2016/2017 season were a welcome relief from the depressing inconsistency displayed for much of the League 1 campaign there is little doubt that overall the season marked yet another step in the decline of the club. It is true that injuries affected the progress of the team, as did the change of managership, but that cannot excuse many poor performances from a squad that possessed several good quality players. Despite the sustained protests and season ticket boycott, Duchatelet remains in ownership and Meire remains as Chief Executive. Some supporters commenting on social media are suggesting that C.A.R.D has failed in its efforts to restore Charlton to its former status and so should abandon its protests.

There is another view which recognises that C.A.R.D has had some success but that evolving circumstances suggest a change in direction is now required. Since the C.A.R.D campaign began there have been significant changes and developments.

Duchatelet has largely abandoned his experiment of importing players and management from his network of clubs. He no longer seeks to use Financial Fair Play measures to shape the management policies and has reduced his interference in the running of the club. Supporters of many other English League clubs are now protesting at the incompetence of their owners and are calling on the English Football League and the Government to introduce and enforce management standards for English professional football clubs. Katrien Meire has publicly admitted to failings in the management of the club since the takeover and apologised for those errors. Recruitment of players is now in the hands of a British management team which has knowledge of the EFL and has the authority to sign suitable players. Johnnie Jackson has been promoted to a role which can have influence on the management of Charlton. Lee Bowyer’s appointment as assistant manager reinforces the links with Charlton’s past. Despite considerable financial losses since 2014, funding is maintained to support the improvement of an already successful youth academy. Charlton’s work as a community club not only survives but its reputation continues to grow as it works within and for the local community with great success.

The C.A.R.D campaign has been characterised by intelligence, unity of purpose, imagination, good humour and determination. It has always been carefully lawful. Although the current management of the Club might disagree, some of the developments listed above can reasonably be credited to the consistency of the C.A.R.D campaign and the willingness of many supporters to maintain the pressure in the long term. To that extent the protests have achieved some success. But Duchatelet retains ownership and, despite press stories about a potential takeover, it is possible he will remain for some time to come. Katrien Meire remains as CEO even though she has presided over a period of continuous decline. But she was installed as CEO at the age of 30 without substantive knowledge of English football, without relevant training or experience. In any business this would be a recipe for failure and so it proved. She deserves some credit for, unlike the owner, admitting to the mistakes, changing management policies and meeting hostile supporter groups. It has clearly been a painful learning experience for her. There is no certainty that a replacement of her would help “bring our Charlton back”. Duchatelet might well parachute in another favoured associate from his organisation, then the same problems could occur again.

There is also no certainty that if a change of ownership does come about it would realise the dream of “bringing our Charlton back”. (After supporting Charlton for several decades I am not sure how to define what “our Charlton” means, but as there seems to be an understanding among supporters of what has been lost and needs restoring, I go along with it). Duchatelet will sell when he judges it is in his best interest and to whom he chooses. The best interest of the supporters is unlikely to be a determining factor.

What direction should supporters take now? Of all the developments listed above the most significant might be the promotion of Johnnie Jackson to a player/coach role. Throughout the last three years of decline he has remained a beacon of hope for the restoration of “the Charlton way”. He represents all that was good about the club in its best times and his relationship with the supporters has never wavered. Now that he is taking up a position where he can have more influence, we are at least partly getting “our Charlton” back. So the question arises, can we get our Charlton back if Duchatelet and Meire remain? Although this is a scenario that would seem unpalatable to those supporter groups who have worked so hard to oppose the mismanagement of the Club, this is the reality that has to be faced. Other supporter groups who have long opposed their club owners seem to have had limited success in bringing about change and in some cases the protests and boycotts appear to have contributed to further decline, which harms everyone associated. There is a danger that if boycotts continue to cause Charlton to lose money the decline could get to a point where it is very difficult to turn it round in the future. It’s possible that recruitment is already being adversely affected by the club’s perceived poor condition.

If Duchatelet continues to provide financial support without interference and if the CEO provides appropriate administrative support to the football coaching staff, what is the best way to continue on the path of “bringing our Charlton back”? Here are some thoughts.

Restrict protests against Duchatelet to the Belgian context as these seem to have most effect. Avoid protests inside the Valley stadium; instead maximise support for the team. Widen the protest efforts to include other club groups with incompetent owners and put real pressure on the EFL to introduce higher standards for the management of professional clubs; involve national media and Government ministers if the EFL proves incapable of reform. Consider that pressure on Duchatelet to sell to a reputable buyer might bring a result more quickly if the club is achieving well rather than continuing to decline.

Utilise the power of the C.A.R.D organisation to bring back supporters to matches and regenerate the optimism and hope that was so effective in the back to the Valley campaign of the 1990s. Revive measures used at that time to increase crowd numbers and so demonstrate the vital role that supporter groups can play in the restoration of the club’s fortunes. Acknowledge that most young supporters have limited understanding of the back to the Valley years and just wish to see a good game of football. They enjoy it most when there is an exciting atmosphere within the Valley. If they become alienated by protests within the ground then the protesters could inadvertently cement the long term decline of the club.

Continue to press for improvements in commercial management, particularly marketing and ticketing policy. The hospitality areas such as lounges and boxes already have high standards of provision but this should extend to concourses behind main stands to benefit all supporters. Demand better provision for visiting supporters, such as that offered at Brighton’s Amex stadium where efforts are made to make visitors feel welcomed. Maintain pressure to establish formal supporter representation within the management structure of the Club to help repair the relationship between the Club and the support base.

The current club manager divides opinion but there is no doubting his commitment and enthusiasm and his desire to produce a first team that plays attractive, attacking football. Nor is there any doubt that he is prepared to develop youth potential and is motivated to gain promotion. He also has the knowledge of the EFL that some recent managers lacked. With the presence of a management team that includes former players who understand what it means to be part of Charlton, there is more reason now than a year ago to be positive and proactive in supporting the Club.'

Round the network they go

Former Charlton coach Chris O'Loughlin has returned to the mother ship: Networking

Meanwhile, the SLP's Richard Cawley has tweeted a denial of a report that Josh Magennis has turned down a new Charlton contract.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Honourable defeat

I have been in the Orkney Islands for the past few days where both the Cheese League and the Parishes Cup are coming to a climax (in the latter it looks like Athletico Stromness v. Rendell in the final once again). I came back to news of a home defeat for Charlton in the pre-season friendly against Norwich, but the SLP's Richard Cawley thinks that the Addicks put up a decent display: Encouraging signs

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Matej Delac for keeper?

Charlton still lack a keeper of League One quality and Matej Delac has been suggested. He is a back up keeper for Chelsea who has never played for their first team. Last year he was on loan in the Belgian first division so at least he knows his moules and frites: Keeper shortage

However, his £765,000 price tag is almost certainly beyond Charlton's budget and his wages would probably be high.

Novak will come good says Robinson

Karl Robinson puts Lee Novak's slow start at Charlton down to injuries, but reckons that he will come good. He is a hard worker who wants to do the best for the fans: Reasons for slow start

Robinson also reckons that Jake Forster-Caskey will turn into a more consistent goal scoring midfielder as he benefits from coaching from Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

New signing injured

Mark Marshall came off in the 28th minute of Charlton's 2-1 win at Stevenage today and left the stadium in a knee brace. Apparently, it doesn't look good: Injury blow

Karl Robinson said that Charlton played some of the best football he has seen in his time at The Valley, describing the first 15 minutes as sensational: Delighted supremo

Bids for Harry Lennon turned down

Charlton has turned down bids for Harry Lennon from two League One clubs. Could one of them be Gillingham? Rejected bids

Lennon is still recovering from a serious groin injury which limited his contribution last season. Karl Robinson wants to assess him on his return to full fitness before deciding whether he should go out on loan.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Magennis next for contract talks

Josh Magennis is the next Charlton player scheduled for contract talks. He is in the last 12 months of his contract: Next in line

Robinson favours Burnley striker

Voluble Scouse supremo Karl Robinson has revealed his latest fave player as Burnley striker Chris Long: Chris Long

However, he has not been discussed as a transfer target, so there we are then. It's called talking the talk.

However, in terms of walking the walk, Jay DaSilva has completed his loan signing. He said that he really enjoyed playing for Karl Robinson who gave him a lot of freedom on the pitch: Loan deal

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Ahearne-Grant wants to play his part

Karlan Ahearne-Grant does not want to go out on loan, but wants to play his part in the first team at Charlton this season. He rejects the idea that his early start in the first team hindered his development: Realising his potential

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Welcome back, Jay Dasilva

The loan signing of Jay DaSilva from Chelsea is expected to be completed by the weekend. This has been in prospect for some time but was held up by DaSilva leading the England Under 19 side to victory in the European Championships: Deal near

He could appear in Saturday's friendly at Stevenage.

Mood music is good

Karl Robinson thinks that the mood in the Charlton squad is good. He does not regret slamming them after the performance at Shrewsbury last year: Mentality switch

The buoyant supremo told Louis Mendez: 'We’ve spoken in the summer about a mentality switch, a ruthlessness about what we do, and caring. A lot of people, including myself, we let the football club and the fans down last season through some of our performances and where we finished in the league. That’s not down to the board above us or the fans in the stands, that’s us.'

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Naby Sarr could come back

Karl Robinson has said that he still has to make a lot of selection decisions for the seasons with only two players having secured their place. Even Naby Sarr may be brought back after an impressive performance last night at Dover Athletic: Selection revelation

Robinson has also said that he is a big fan of Karlan Ahearne-Grant and wants him to stay at Charlton. He points out that Ahearne-Grant can play in any forward position, he just needs to shoot more: Second chance

Robinson hopes to bring in four more players. He emphasised that Tex is now off his wage bill with Charlton entirely separate from the mother ship.

Robinson says that Gillingham's Josh Wright is a player he very much likes, but is unlikely to sign him as he is well supplied with central midfielders: Josh Wright

Charlton won 2-0 at Dover with Jake Forster-Caskey one of the scorers along with Reeco Hackett-Fairchild: Fourth victory

Farewell, then, Cristian Ceballos?

It looks as if Cristian Ceballos is going to be beamed back up to the mother ship this week: Ticket on Eurostar

Richard Cawley tweeted on Thursday morning that Ceballos will make a permanent return to Sint Truiden.

Some fans think he has looked up for it since his return, but I doubt whether he has that much to offer.

However, one fan pointed out: 'I watched all 3 of our knackered games in a row from Ireland, but thought that Cebalos did well, and he was also impressive on Saturday by all accounts. While there initially appeared to be good progress in building our squad, I am tentative that a Cebalos departure would suddenly see us 3 bodies down after Tex & Ajose, and all 3 offer some quality at League One level.'

The person we really need to see go is Naby Sarr who is expensive and offers nothing at this level. We also have to remember that Lookman gave the team something special last year and he has not been replaced.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Charlton interested in Villa keeper

With only one keeper on their books, Charlton are expressing an interest in Aston Villa's Jed Steer. Last season was wiped out for him by an Achilles injury, but a candidate for the treatment table always goes down well at Sparrows Lane: Jed Steer

The 24-year old began his career at his hometown club Norwich City: Career details

One fan has commented on Twitter, 'cheap as chips'.

'Really good feel' about this season

Charlton left back Aaron Barnes thinks there is a really good feel about this season. In his view the intensive pre-season, which has seen Karl Robinson challenge the record for the number of pre-season matches, will lead to promotion: Promotion hopes

Barnes said, 'The manager came in and he really wanted to change the philosophy and ethos of the club – to have a more positive environment and players who want to play for the club. I think we’re getting that now; we’re really working hard. That can only mean one thing – hopefully good results throughout the season.'

One sceptical fan tweeted, 'What else are they going to say?'

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Charlton retain Crown Berger cup

The Addicks retained the Crown Berger Cup with a convincing 3-0 win at Park View Road yesterday.

Charlton went ahead after 25 minutes when impressive trialist Cameron Stewart's deep cross found Jason Pearce and he finished well from close range. Dillon Phillips then made a great block with his legs to keep out a shot from Goldberg.

Charlton made Welling pay four minutes from the break when Stuart crossed to Patrick Bauer. Although Chris Lewington made a spectacular save from his initial effort, the centre back followed up with a strong header.

The second half was quieter with multiple substitutions but Charlton added a third when Mikhail Kennedy finished in style with four minutes left.

The game ended with the customary pitch invasion and, according to a photo on Twitter, a naked streaker ran through the sprinkler system after the ground had emptied.

In the second match of the day Charlton secured a 4-0 win over Greenwich Borough with Cristian Cellabos, returning after a year on loan at Sint Truiden, finding the back of the net: Comfortable win

Karl Robinson is talking to the 26-year old Cameron Stewart about his future: Sitting down for a chat

Farewell then, Tex

Jorge Teixeira has joined Sint Truiden on a three year deal. Karl Robinson reckons that his departure to the mother ship marks a new start at the club, offering fans a more evenly balanced side: Why Tex left

Robinson refused to be drawn on the player's salary, rumoured to be £12k a week. Incidentally, it appears that we are paying a big slice of Ajose's salary at the cash strapped Shakers.

Karl Robinson has yet to decide whether Naby Sarr or Cristian Ceballos will remain at The Valley after the summer, but in the meantime has asked them to behave in a professional manner and show him respect: Boss torn on future of duo

However, the Charlton boss emphasised that if they left they would have to be replaced by better. Not too difficult surely?

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Charlton acted like a big club on Holmes

Charlton acted like a big club in giving a new contract to Ricky Holmes says supremo Karl Robinson: Walking the walk

The decision is presented in the article is presented as a change of approach by Roland Duchatelet compared with the treatment of fan favourite Yann Kermogant. It will be interesting to see what leading vinegar pissers make of this claim.

Robinson said that the club needed a structure, having lacked one in the past. If you have a structure, you get good days and bad days.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Ajose goes home

Nicky Ajose has joined his home town club Bury on a season long loan: Loan deal

Charlton supremo Karl Robinson declared, 'I wasn't going to stand in his way.' Fitting him into Robinson's plans would have been difficult.

Newts burglary was part of 'treasure hunt'

Former Addick Shaun Newton has been convicted of burglary. He explained that it was in pursuit of what he thought was a 'treasure hunt' as part of his 40th birthday celebrations which went on for a year. He had not slept for two days when the incident occurred: Treasure hunt

His defending counsel said that he had lost his way since leaving football and was living a hand-to-mouth existence.

He was sentenced to 100 hours community service.

Football League to revisit fit and proper persons test

The Football League is to revisit its fit and proper persons tests. The specific stimulus appears to be events at Leyton Orient, but protests at Charlton are referred to in this report: Fit and proper?

In particular, the Football League is considering looking at what happens after a club is purchased.

Of course, it might be difficult to devise a test to deal with an obdurate eccentric who wasted his own money. Ideally, one would like to see chief executives to have relevant experience.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Charlton 'off the pace'

Johnnie Jackson (puzzlingly headlined as a 'former Spurs midfielder') has admitted that Charlton were 'off the pace' in their 4-1 defeat by University College Dublin on Wednesday: Off the pace

Karl Robinson explained the defeats in Ireland in terms of the team's 'hectic' travel schedule: Why we lost

This season we will be launching a new match day award, an idea borrowed from Four Four Two: The Alan Pardew Award for Half Baked Excuses.

According to reports we are competing with MK Dons for the signature of Leeds striker Lee Irwin who has been let go on a free. I didn't think we were short of strikers.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

A good start in Ireland

Charlton author Paul Breen has a way with words and it is apparent in his atmospheric report of Charlton's opening match in Ireland, sent by the magic of wireless telegraphy to VOTV's offices on the Isle of Thanet: And the craic was good

Rick Everitt reminds us that preparations are being made for the first VOTV of the season and that it is possible to take out an annual subscription.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Charlton close to new Holmes deal

Charlton are close to agreeing an improved deal with Ricky Holmes after seeing off efforts by Sheffield United to sign the winger: Ricky Holmes

Friday, 7 July 2017

Millwall outsell Charlton

Millwall look set to sell more season tickets than Charlton for the first time in over 20 years setting them on their way to their own target 10,000. By the end of June, the Addicks had sold 4,730 season tickets, but some of those were comps: Outsold

Steve Kavanagh is, of course, a former Charlton chief executive.

How much does Katrien get paid?

There is no disclosure of how much Katrien Meire gets paid as chief executive and the CAS Trust has been pursuing the matter. Leaving aside the desirability of transparency, it is not clear whether the club's practices are compliant with UK law, although they may have found a loophole: Salary

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Valley cannot be developed for housing

Greenwich Council has shot down reports that The Valley could be redeveloped for housing after a report commissioned by the club surfaced: No cause for concern

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that Greenwich Council would be better off asking why the report was commissioned in the first place, but no doubt the Council would say that was outside their remit (and would require too much effort on their part).

I have always been sceptical of these property play rumours because of access issues.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Charlton linked with Anders Lindegaard

As Charlton search for a keeper, they have been linked with 33-year old Anders Lindegaard who has been released by Preston North End: Lindegaard

Career details for the one time Danish international here: Career

However, the possibility of signing David Martin from MK Dons may provide too big a temptation for Karl Robinson.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Charlton sign Oz teenager

Charlton have signed 18-year old Australian centre back Ryan Blumberg from the Nike football academy: Ryan Blumberg

Charlton liked his leadership qualities on and off the pitch and his physique as a big, strong defender.

For his part, Blumberg said: 'Charlton is obviously a big and well renowned club in the UK, playing most of their football over the last decade or so in the Premier League and Championship so their reputation around the world is of high regard. I knew that the club had a history of producing many good youth players with the likes of Joe Gomez and Ademola Lookman coming through the academy and into the first, which led to them securing deals with top Premier League clubs.'

Charlton are close to concluding a deal to sign Jay DaSilva on a season long loan: Close to deal

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Ricky Holmes rumours

Rumours are circulating on the internet, including from Sheffield United sources, that the Blades have signed Ricky Holmes for £700,000.

I cannot find any authoritative confirmation of these rumours, but they may still be true. Supremo Karl Robinson has not concluded contract talks with Holmes.

Supremo Robinson has firmly stated that Holmes is not for sale and he has never been so excited about a new season. The club is looking at four goal keepers: Excitement

In a new interview Robinson has reiterated his desire to keep hold of Holmes, regardless of press reports from Sheffield: Robinson's reaction

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that one problem may be that Holmes may realise that his new contract offer would still see him paid less than failed signings such as Naby Sarr.

Monday, 26 June 2017

New boy was recommended by Lookman's agent

New Charlton player Tariqe Fosu was recommended to Karl Robinson by Ademola Lookman's agent. Robinson says that Fosu has a little bit of arrogance about him, but in the right way. His clips on You Tube don't do him justice: From the Lookman stable

Fosu says that Charlton are a 'massive' club which suggests that he hasn't been to The Valley recently.

Former Charlton loanee Jordan Botaka has signed a three year deal with Sint Truiden.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Bad owners do go

Congratulations to Leyton Orient fans on getting rid of their Italian owner and being taken over by a consortium headed by a lifelong fan: Leyton Orient

Orient fans have worked tirelessly for this outcome.

Getting rid of players is difficult

Igor Vetokele is to join Sint Truiden next season, it is not clear whether this is a loan or a permanent move, but with Roland owning both clubs that is of little importance: On His Way

With season ticket sales flagging, the club is keen to offload players given long contracts. However, no one seems to want Naby Sarr, while efforts are also being made to find a home for the highest paid player at The Valley, Jorge Teixeira.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that Katrien Meire is still paying over the going rate, so 'let's hope the signings are the right ones this time.'

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Clubs chase Ricky Holmes

Charlton have knocked back a new bid for Ricky Holmes and more than one club is chasing him: Bid rejected

Keeping him is essential to any chance of success next season.

Campaign to start against Gasheads

Charlton face Bristol Rovers at home in their opening fixture of the 2017-18 season. They then make the long journey down to Plymouth: Fixtures

The home fixture against Portsmouth is close to the date of the historic December 5th meeting which saw the return to The Valley.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Kashi is back

Ahmed Kashi, one of the most talented signings made under the current regime, is to start pre-season training later this month. Karl Robinson has put his midfielder signing plans on hold until it becomes clear how ready Kashi is: Ahmed Kashi

One fan has commented on Twitter, 'Another excuse for Duchatelet not to spend money. Kashi's fitness record is diabolical.'

Reading fringe player Tariqe Fosu has signed for Charlton. The winger spent most of last year with Colchester United: Tariq Fosu

Friday, 16 June 2017

Mark Marshall signed

Charlton have signed Bradford winger Mark Marshall. He is from London and is keen to return home: Mark Marshall

Katrien Meire broke her vow of silence to comment on the signing.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Players not up for it need to go

Simon Clark has revealed why he left his coaching post at The Valley: Coach speaks out

He also thinks that Charlton needs a clear out of players. There are too many who are not committed to the cause. A different approach to playing games is also needed.

No bid for Maddison says Robinson

Karl Robinson has said that Charlton will not be bidding for Peterborough midfielder Marcus Maddison: No bid

Just as well as Peterborough's chairman was able to point out that Robinson would not be able to afford him given the size of his transfer budget.

The price tag on him is £1.5m and he is also one of the highest earners at London Road. Aston Villa are said to be interested.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Page out until October

Lewis Page is likely to be out until October. He needed a second operation after slipping on a wet surface in a 'freak accident': Forgotten man

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ajose told to fight for his future

Nicky Ajose has been told to fight his future by Karl Robinson, a familiar line with the Charlton supremo as players who have not fitted in return to The Valley: Message for striker

In his goal scoring spree at Swindon, the whole team was set up to feed him which was not the case at Charlton. He did less well on his return to the Rocking Robins when the team was playing to a different plan.

Ajose might well decide that his future lies elsewhere.

No longer a crowded dugout

Earlier in the season Charlton had so many coaches it was difficult for them all to fit in the dugout. Now Chris O'Loughlin has been shown the door: Valete

I would say 'thanks for all you tried to do', but it is not clear what he did do, other than reporting back to Roland.

Karl Robinson will now be assisted by Lee Bowyer, although Johnnie Jackson will also be available if he is not needed as a sub.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Club an 'absolute nightmaere'

Former Charlton player Simon Church has described the club as an 'absolute nightmare': Damning verdict

I met up with some fellow Addicks for a summer meal and drink yesterday and we saw no early prospect of Roland's departure.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Charlton still in hunt for Ben Reeves

Charlton would still like to sign Ben Reeves who comes with the peerless pedigree of having played for MK Dons where his contract is about to expire: Top summer target

Like imminent signing Billy Clarke he is a forward rather than a striker who likes to play behind the front men.

Jason Potter has started a new blog on Charlton Athletic programmes: Programmes

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Fee agreed for striker

Charlton Athletic have agreed a fee for 29-year old Bradford City striker Billy Clarke, subject to a medical tomorrow: Billy Clarke

Irish by birth, he is a product of the Ipswich Town academy. After playing almost all games for the Bantams in 2014-15, he featured very little in 2015-16: Career details

He did suffer from injury problems and some think that he plays just behind the strikers, creating goal scoring opportunities.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Academy product heads for Fens

Goalkeeper and Charlton academy product Dimitar Mitov has joined Cambridge United: Dimitar Mitov

With just one year left on his contract injury hit Harry Lennon is fighting for his Addicks future: Harry Lennon

Ricky Holmes has been offered a new contract in an effort to end uncertainty about his future: Ricky Holmes

Saturday, 3 June 2017

When Allan Simonsen came to The Valley

The latest Four Four Two has a feature article on when Allan Simonsen came to The Valley, based on interviews with Lennie Lawrence and Steve Gritt.

Charlton chairman Mark Hulyer, at 28 the youngest chairman in the league, wanted a marquee signing. His first target was Kevin Keegan, but when that failed, he turned to Simonsen. He knew about Simonsen's friendship with Addicks youth coach Ernst Netuka.

Simonsen's transfer fee of £324,000 was well above Charlton's £270,000 annual income. His weekly wage was £1,500.

Lennie Lawrence recalls, 'He was a very talented boy, a great player in a distinctly average side that was battling to save its life. His performances at home were match-winning. But away, we didn't see too much.' All bar but one of his goals came at The Valley.

Steve Gritt recalls, 'I remember he would say in training "Why don't we pass the ball?" as it was lumped over his head again. He just couldn't understand why we were not playing like Barcelona.'

Lawrence reckons that getting back to Denmark may have been Simonsen's motive all along.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Scouts hope to watch Konsa

Arsenal and Everton scouts have been asked to take a look at Ezri Konsa in the Under 20 World Cup (where Ademola Lookman scored two goals): Scouting mission

So far they will have had to focus on his deportment on the bench for that is where the late call up has been deployed.

Australian interest diminishes

The interest of an Australian consortium in buying Charlton has diminished: Losing interest

One fan commented,'Sounds like they were a bunch of chancers trying to buy the club without the financial clout to do it.'

What is concerning is the suggestion in the report that Roland Duchatelet may be looking for £40m, far too much for a League One club.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Valley assessed for redevelopment

A leaked report shows that the club had The Valley professionally assessed for redevelopment last year: Redevelopment

The report focuses specifically on the car park, but Greenwich Council would want alternative provision to be made.

The waiting game

Other League One clubs have made signings, but, despite early optimism there has been no activity at Charlton. However, Karl Robinson has got his big book of excuses out to explain why nothing has been happening, the FA cup final being named as one culprit.

The way things are going it doesn't look as much will happen until after Robinson returns from his summer break, by which time some of the best prospects may have gone elsewhere: The waiting game

Next season's away travel

Charlton author Paul Breen takes a look at next year's away destinations, some of them, of course, becoming very familiar. As one would expect, it's a well written piece but it is difficult to be inspired by visits to the likes of Doncaster and Rotherham: A few new places

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Jay DaSilva to return?

Charlton are working on a deal to bring Chelsea's Jay DaSilva back to The Valley. They need more left side options and he impressed towards the end of his loan spell: Return?

He has one year left on his contract and Chelsea may want to sell him rather than loan him. What the player's view might be about that is unknown.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A lifetime away

Jonathan Miller reflects on Charlton's play off victory and says that it seems a lifetime away: The pain and the glory

Indeed it does. For example, my 17-year old granddaughter, now considering her university choices, wasn't even born. Her mum, who came with us to the game, wasn't married.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Attempt to sign Maddison

Charlton would like to sign Peterborough midfielder Marcus Maddison. Karl Robinson tried to sign him in January, but was put off by the £2m price tag. I wouldn't hold your breath as promoted Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United are also interested: Marcus Maddison

He started his career at Newcastle United, although he never played a league game for them. A rude 'Swiftian' comment has been inserted into his Wikipedia entry: Career details

Perhaps more realistically, Charlton are in a bidding race with Luton Town for Oxford United midfielder Liam Sercombe. In this case the fee is a more affordable £150,000: Liam Sercombe

Sercombe is originally an Exeter City product: Career details

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Remembering the greatest game

It's the anniversary today of the play off final against Sunderland and the Daily Telegraph features the greatest game. As Mark Bright notes, incredible is a word too much in football, but that game was incredible: The greatest game

Charlton swoop for Rocking Robin

Charlton have made an offer to Swindon captain Nathan Thompson who is a free agent at the end of the month and does not want to play in League Two. Predominantly a centre back, he can also play as a holding midfielder or at right or left back (and probably drive the team bus as well): Nathan Thompson

Thompson is a product of the Swindon youth set up and made his league debut in 2010 in a 0-3 home defeat to Charlton.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Nathan Byrne won't be back

Nathan Byrne, on loan at Charlton since January, won't be back next season. Wigan want him in their squad for next season: Nathan Byrne

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

No Belgian loan deal for Tony Watt

There will be no Belgian loan deal for Tony Watt: Tony Watt

Quite what his future holds remains uncertain. It is difficult to see yet another loan deal being secured, but he does not fit in with Karl Robinson's plans.

Three chase Holmes

Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City have joined Sheffield United in an attempt to sign Charlton winger Ricky Holmes. No fees have been mentioned in any of the reports I have seen.

Hopefully, the club will stand firm. Fans would regard the departure of Holmes as a major blow.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Botaka released by Leeds

Jordan Botaka, on loan at Charlton in the season just ended, has been released by Leeds. It's a bit harsh to describe him as a 'flop' at The Valley as this report does, but I certainly wouldn't want to sign him: Jordan Botaka

In another shock, Roger Johnson has been released by Charlton. As the SLP's Richard Cawley commented on Twitter, 'That won't go down well with the fans.'

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Robinson: 'I do my business in a very private way'

Robinson is upset that Ben Reeves' agent has revealed that there have been talks about a move for the 25-year old attacking midfielder to Charlton. He is a free agent after having been let go by MK Dons: Private transfer talks

I suppose one has to expect that managers will want to hire players they have worked with in the past.

One person commented on Twitter, 'For an experienced manager Robinson sometimes seems exceptionally naïve.

Reeves started his career at Southampton: Career details

Monday, 15 May 2017

Robinson's summer headache

Karl Robinson will not be able to make the fresh start he would like in the summer because he was constrained by past mistakes made by the regime in the shape of long-term contracts signed for players who turned out to be not fit for purpose, argues VOTV editor Rick Everitt: Simmer headache

The Rickster does point out there are a number of players from whom we may benefit in terms of retention, promotion or sell on clauses.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

An important summer

This blog post argues that this is one of Charlton's most important summers (agreed) and that Roland and Katrien can still get it right (possibly, but past performance doesn't give much assurance): Summer of hope?

Illustrating the story with one of those photos of Katrien where she looks as if she has got a wasp in her month doesn't help the story line

Friday, 12 May 2017

Teixeira attracting interest abroad

Jorge Teixeira is attracting interest from foreign clubs. He has three years left on his contract and is one of the highest paid players at The Valley, disposing of him would trim the wage bill: Teixeira

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ricky Holmes likely to stay

Charlton are to hold contract talks with player of the year with Ricky Holmes and it is thought likely they will be successful. He will be offered a boost to his wages: New contract

This is very encouraging news.

Farewell, then, Adam Chicksen

Adam Chicksen has been released by the club: Valete. Thanks for all you tried to do.

The club will be looking for another left back. Lewis Page didn't have the best of starts with suspensions and injuries.

Six top protests of 2016/17

The News Shopper has selected the six top protests of Charlton's 2016-17 season, accompanied by an extensive gallery of photographs: Pitch protests

I would rather recall our six best victories of the season, but that list might be difficult to produce.

Charlton bid for Jags centre back

Charlton are in talks over signing highly rated Partick Thistle centre back 21-year old Liam Lindsay who has a £750,000 price tag on his head, according to the Scottish press Liam Lindsay

However, promoted Bolton are also in the frame and the Jags don't want their keeper to move south of the border for at least another season.

Lindsay is a product of the Partick Thistle youth system: Career details

Leamington 1, Charlton 0

Tony Breeden's crucial penalty save

That was the comment of a Brakes supporter after Leamington won the Birmingham Senior Cup at Molieneux last night by beating Wolves on penalties, the first scored by their Sam Bartram style keeper Tony Breeden.

Leamington's promotion and cup victory is some compensation for another season of disappointment and alienation at Charlton.

Match report here: Brakes

Monday, 8 May 2017

Addicks interested in Rochdale striker

Charlton have expressed an interest in Rochdale striker Ian Henderson who scored 19 goals last season: Striker

This presumably implies that Tony Watt will be moving on (no surprise there) and Nicky Ajose will not be returning.

One Addick has tweeted in relation to Henderson, 'Another Crofts or Novak.'

Jacko would like to manage Charlton

In an extensive interview, Johnnie Jackson says that he would like to manage Charlton. He is confident he could make a good job of it, but so far he hasn't been asked: New role

A cautionary tale

Rod Liddle was writing in the Sunday Times yesterday about the fate of Blackburn Rovers under their current owners, Venky's. He concluded the article, 'I remember, a few years back, a close mate of mine telling me in excited terms that his club were about to be taken over by a foreign owner with lots of money to splash around. Just watch us go! And indeed we did. The club was Charlton Athletic and the owner was Roland Duchatelet.'

Liddle reckons that 'Charlton look set for a long sojourn down below the waterline.' Liddle is, of course, a Millwall supporter, but, to be fair, he has backed CARD.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Ricky Holmes wants a new contract

Player of the season Ricky Holmes wants a new contract. He has twelve months to run on his current deal, but he is not the highest paid player at The Valley, receiving less than Nicky Ajose: New contract

We can't afford to lose Holmes who brings real quality to the team. Indeed, it would be good to make him captain. Over to you, Katrien. Deploy those negotiating skills.

Karl Robinson is keen to bring Stephy Mavididi, recovering from injury, back to The Valley on loan: Mavididi

Friday, 5 May 2017

Takeover talks stall

The takeover talks with the Australian Football Consortium have stalled, but they could yet be revived with Roland Duchatelet willing to listen to offers: Not enough readies

The consortium were prepared to offer £25m, but had difficulty in raising the cash. This does not bode well for their ability to invest in the club.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Watt's future in doubt

The future of mercurial Scottish striker Tony Watt is in doubt. He did not feature in the last five games of the season and Karl Robinson is to hold talks with him: Uncertain future

Meire apologises if she has upset fans

In a question and answer session with the CAS Trust Katrien Meire has apologised if she has upset fans. She also stated that the toxic nature of the club made it difficult to attract players. Other answers dealt with the Jimmy Seed stand: Katrien Meire

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Robinson in for MK Dons keeper

Karl Robinson is planning a bid for MK Dons keeper David Martin: New keeper?

Declan Rudd has returned to Norwich and been granted a one year extension of his contract. However, I have reservations about Rudd (I think Phillips is at least as good) and would not want to make a bid for him.

Martin comes from a football family: Career details

Monday, 1 May 2017

We are going up!

Consolation for Charlton's poor season this afternoon when my non-league team Leamington won the Southern Premier League play off final against Hitchin Town 2-1 in extra time. The crowd was a ground record of 2,108.

So next season they will be just three tiers below Charlton.

Match report here: Brakes Reports

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Emphatic win ends mediocre season

A 3-0 defeat of relegated Swindon at The Valley today saw Charlton finish 13th in League One, not that impressive given a claimed 'top six' budget. If we had taken more of our chances, it could have been a much bigger scoreline.

There was a strange dearth of programme sellers outside the ground before the game, but Rick Everitt was on his usual pitch selling Voice of the Valley, raucously promising a Chrissy Powell exclusive, thus deflecting attention from the absence of a souvenir supplement covering the centenary of the shelling of Ramsgate.

I was quite isolated on my row, with both Steve from Petts Wood and the Bloke Beside Me and his friends absent. However, the Bloke Behind Me kept up a stream of advice, his most frequent shout being 'Play the simple ball.'

A few minutes are kick off black and white balloons hit the pitch, but play was only delayed for a couple of minutes.

The first phase of the game saw Anton Rodgers hitting the bar from a free-kick for the Rocking Robins. But it was Charlton who took the lead on 15 minutes when Chelsea loanee Jay Dasilva's cross was headed home by striker Josh Magennis.

Charlton stepped up the pressure and Nathan Byrne and Magennis came close to doubling the Addick's lead. Charton were dominating and got their second on 43 minutes when Jake Forster-Caskey turned in a Byrne cross from close range.

Charlton seemed a little sleepy and casual after the break and the visitors got into the game more. Johnnie Jackson was then prevented from scoring by Will Henry when the keeper saved well from the Addicks' captain. An offside flag then saw a Islam Feruz goal for Swindon chalked off. Charlton's third came on 66 minutes when fans' player of the season Ricky Holmes slid a shot past Henry from a Byrne pass to wrap up the points.

Johnnie Jackson got a warm standing ovation when he was substituted.

Dire warnings about penalties under the Football Grounds Act were issued over the loudspeakers, although those about throwing objects on the pitch (which had included flares) were redundant by then. A security cordon failed to prevent a good humoured but firmly anti-Roland pitch invasion at the end of the game. Josh Magennis walked over to the East Stand and gave his shirt to an older lady supporter.

Two fire engines were seen heading for the ground after the game.

The rumour mill says that Lee Bowyer is to become assistant manager. Louis Mendez tweeted that Karl Robinson seemed uncertain about his future after the game.

Average official attendances at Charlton this year fell by 29 per cent from 15,632 to 11,162.

Charlton failed to win the 'most draws' trophy which went to Bradford City with 19 as against 18 for the Addicks.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The money wasted on transfer fees

Based on a detailed analysis of the accounts, VOTV editor Rick Everitt (the man that put the 'Ram' in 'Ramsgate') looks at the ten most expensive signings under the current regime and concluded that only one of them offered value for money: How Duchatelet wasted £10m on fees

It's an interesting read. The only disappointment is that the Rickster did not write anything to commemorate the shelling of Ramsgate 100 years ago on Friday.

Charlton could reach the dizzy heights

If they beat Swindon tomorrow and results elsewhere go the right way, Charlton could reach the dizzy heights of 12th in League One: Dizzy Heights

For many fans much of the interest will be in the protests before (and probably during and after) the game. We should also remember the plight of fans at other clubs burdened with incompetent owners, exemplified by the match between Blackpool and Leyton Orient: Fans united

Friday, 28 April 2017

Chinese interest in Palace

A reputable Chinese company have expressed an interest in acquiring Crystal Palace: Selhurst

Desports already own Granada in La Liga and are trying to buy a Belgian club so they could almost have a Roland style network but without the incompetence.

New role for Bowyer?

Lee Bowyer may be promoted from his current role to replace the outgoing coaches at Charlton: Coming Man?

Karl Robinson has been impressed by his mentality and his attention to detail in his current assistant role.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Takeover talk bubbles on

There continues to be takeover speculation surrounding Charlton Athletic: Other buyers

How much substance there is to this remains to be seen. It is evident that the Australian consortium were also looking at other clubs and probably did not have sufficient money anyway. However, the publicity given to them may have flushed out other potential buyers.

The Blackheath Addick has an interesting take on the possible stance of the AFC: Site changes

Have you no shame?

That is the question VOTV editor and leading vinegar pisser Rick Everitt puts to Katrien Meire: One final question

Rick also has a little pop at me. I did think at one time that as Katrien Meire is clearly an intelligent woman she might see the error of her ways and learn from her mistakes. Unfortunately, that has not happened.

You can see an excellent new video from The Guardian about the fight against the regime here: < The fight for the club's future