Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The team is dead- Long live the team

Charlton 2 Cardiff 2

Confession time : I was all set to attend the Valley last night after work, but the work carried on and in the end I couldn't be arsed. I cant remember the last time I felt like that as there are normally good reasons for me not to attend home matches . Actually if I am being honest
the reasons are becoming more varied and excuses easier to come by.
Going by the Blog reports it seems as though a familiar theme was played out again last night. 1-0 or 2-0 lead squandered because we cant do the bloody basics- Michael Caine- one of the best lines ever in the Italian Job-( Your only supposed to blow the bloody doors off) as the practice run of blowing up the banks security van goes horribly wrong -a bit like Charlton defense these days.
Next season is going to be a real test for all Charlton supporters as we will be watching, virtually a new team with what I hope for, a new manager.
Shelvey will go to Wolves or another promoted club for £6 million, so will Bailey for £2.5 million,
Zi Zi will go on a free, Hudson will demand a transfer to a Championship Club. All the lonee's will go back to their respective clubs. Out of contract players will go, so we are left with three or four players to build the team around and that is Elliott , Holland, Sam who still disappoints and Fortune who really has to prove himself again ( actually I wouldn't be surprised to see him move to Stoke).

I'm so pissed off, it might be because I have an ear infection, an eye infection and I'm on powerful antibiotics. I blame it on Charlton as my immune system must be low through depression.
One thing has cheered me up though and that is we have suddenly become hooked on two US comedies- Everybody loves Raymond and Two and a Half Men on Channel 134 Virgin -Bloody brilliant and they knock our tame comedies for six.

A work colleagues son signs for the Academy last night

Owen Seddon 9 years of age and a striker -that's a name to remember, signed on the dotted line last night at the Valley, with his proud Mum in attendance and was duly photographed with Mark Kinsella . His Mum has promised me that she will bring in the photo tomorrow.
Apparently there have been rumours abound that the Academy will close if Charlton are relegated, but this proved to all the kids that the rumours are false.
I happened to mention Shelvey came through the Academy and she immediately said "Oh Jon Jo he's so lovely and all the kids love him" which must mean he obviously gets involved with the kids training which makes him even more endearing.

Murray- I hope he and the Board are able to ride out this recession
OK we all know that Richard Murray and the Board have been magnificent in their support of the club and they are still contributing to keep the club afloat. In these dark, depressing ball busting credit crunch times no one is immune . The worst case scenario could be that Murray's own business empire comes under severe financial pressure, even to the point of creditors knocking at the door. We are and will be eternally grateful for the massive contribution he and the rest of the Board has made to the running and up until now the great success it has brought the club.
The Company that I have worked for more than 35 years was established in 1870's . It is a family run business that has a Managing Director who is a descendant of the founder. Over the last 18 months and more importantly since the new year the Company has come under severe financial pressure. This has led to many redundancies and a wage cut which could never have been envisaged five years ago when the Company was in such a strong financial position. Unfortunately a Final Salary pension scheme which was closed many years ago has compounded and worsened the current situation. With all the cuts and re:budgeting and a possible sign of improvement in the economy, hopefully we will survive. The point I'm trying to make is- however well a business has been run over many fruitful years, a severe recession can and will hit the most successful of all business's leaving no one immune.
The similarities between the current recession and the great crash of 1929 are quite uncanny-
Over inflated share prices -easy lending -consumer boom spending brutally cut short when the Worlds economy went into free fall and was found out to have no substance . Money was being lent from borrowed money

Charlton 2 Blackpool 2
A busy day on Saturday saw me dash over to the Rose of Denmark after a frantic game of early morning tennis to meet up with some great Charlton Bloggers . Actually I needn't of rushed as I was drinking on my own for at least fifteen minutes, but that was OK as I got talking to a Blackpool supporter who was propping up the bar with me . He was surprised that their were two coaches that traveled from the Golden Mile. From that statement I can only assume that their away support is a bit limited but I certainly sympathised as its a hell of a journey (Just a pint was drunk before meeting the bloggers I might add, after which I had a little accident with a couple of half pints that were left on the bar for me this resulted in the mop coming out from behind the bar. Suitably embarrassed and apologetic my after thoughts were, ( what a waste of good beer!.)
We have some great Charlton Bloggers writing passionately about our sorry beleaguered club. In my naivety for a long time I thought I was the only person who really cared, but that was until I stumbled across all the great Blogs.

How strange was this match with a subdued crowd almost like losing gladiators excepting their fate as they are about to be dispatched. No booing and so little passion from the crowd watching a team destined for the third tier. I'm feeling numb as I type this and wonder where has it all gone so dramatically wrong in such a short space of time.
It was so bleeding obvious that the majority of the team that played on Saturday will have left by the summer, so the good play that was witnessed for 70 minutes really was a bit hollow .
We played well and Burton and Shelvey deservedly gave us a two nil lead, then on cue and the norm for this season, one mistake that's all it took for us to capitulate. A poor Zi Zi pass was intercepted and a stretched defense gave away a penalty, then to add insult to injury, Hughes finished brilliantly for the Tangerines with seconds left . However much his past is distasteful, Hughes showed how a striker should finish, something that has been so sorely missed this season.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Billy Ellott and the disappointment of a 0-0 draw

Charlton 0 Birmingham 0
Gutted -because of a very generous Birthday present (A Billy Elliott Super break) which meant missing this game and also a pre- pub drink with a few fellow Bloggers I did not find out the result until Sunday Morning. Our 3-2 win at Southampton last week had led me to work out some delusional permutations for Charlton avoiding relegation. Foolish I know but I think I'm a half glass full type of person most of the time, but today I'm definitely a whole glass empty.

Well the Superbreak package to London on Saturday proved to be a great success with the highlight of having great seats to see Billy Elliot on Saturday afternoon at the Victoria Palace Theatre. We were also booked into the Rubens Hotel opposite Buckingham Palace or nearly opposite the Palace for Saturday Night . We had been told not to expect Bacon and Sausage for our cooked breakfast, but of course it was a joke(apologies-apologies). Actually it was the one best breakfasts we have ever consumed on a hang-over morning. There was an unbelievable choice of every kind a breakfast food you could imagine. An hour later after consuming 1500 calories in one sitting we decided to walk a little of those delightful calories off with a walk through St James Park to watch - The Boat that Rocked in Leicester Square . Fortunately we booked great seats and thoroughly enjoyed the film, the music was just ( Fab).
At the age of ten I can remember tuning into Radio Caroline on a tiny transistor with very bad reception, but what the hell it was Pirate Radio and for that period in my life it felt a little anti- establishment. The Boat that Rocked is an OK movie, but just that. Certainly Slum Dog Millionaire is the best film I have seen this year, the only down side is that it is portrayed as a good feel movie which I feel it certainly is not.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Bang -ouch!- whats that noise- Oh! the Directors have just shot themselves in the foot.

What a PR disaster (the credit crunch is probably hitting our loyal supporters harder than anyone)

My season ticket cost me £475, for a comfortable seat with a great view in the East Stand. To meet that cost our household has to earn nearly £800. Last week we booked a weeks Bed & Breakfast in Portugal in June that cost a total for both of us of £280, and that includes flights( please forgive my carbon footprint- but I need a holiday)
Possibly I could be out of a job next year if this fucking recession carries on (Bastard Banks-apologies to anyone who works for a Bank) and although my wife is mostly understanding, attending Charlton home games after playing tennis in the morning does and has caused a bit of friction in our otherwise very happy and loving partnership.
We have now reached the stage in our lives when we can and want to travel and plan to see as much of the world before we are confined to our wheel chair's.( I'll still be playing tennis though) We have trawled the web-sights and found some fantastic deals on Travel Republic and we might even push the boat out and travel to Crete in September, which could cost us a total of £350 for a 4 star hotel.
There are no guarantee's that any holiday we take will be a great success but the anticipation and the looking forward to it worth a lot to us at the moment in these very desperate credit crunch times. Unfortunately anything Charlton basically depresses me -shit what am I saying I love Charlton and I know I would be happy watching a middle of the table Championship team with mixed performances consisting of a few great average and crap performances but with at least a chance of making the play-offs. This season I have not been able to identify with the club. Loan players are a necessity but the amount we have fielded this season has been just plain ridiculous.
You cannot have a rapport with players who are there mainly to get match fit.

What I am trying to say here is that by attending matches at the Valley, there has never been a guarantee of a high entertainment game, which is logical (it what makes football such a wonderful game and so unpredictable). Ironically I think the best game I have seen and probably the best Championship game seen on Sky this season, was our fabulous 4-2 win against Reading.
What high hopes after that performance, where did it all go wrong????. sob! sob!

Why didn't the board consider giving a discount of say 25% on season ticket prices for those long suffering loyal supporters who paid for a season ticket with their hard earned cash over the last two seasons and received very little entertainment value, especially this season. Football is all about winning or being at least in contention and of course being entertained . We all like to win but games where we have at least competed and been unlucky to draw or lose have been almost non-existent this season. Surely it would be better to reduce prices substantially and maybe keep attendances including floaters up to 17,000, rather than the 10,000, that I am anticipating next season.

Come on you Reds