Monday, 30 June 2008

The origin of Addick

From time to time questions are raised about whether Addick is really a corruption of haddock, referring to the fish and chip suppers enjoyed by early Charlton players provided by a fishmonger supporter.

I was recently reading a biography published in 1916 of Will Crooks, the first Labour MP for Woolwich. It contains the following passage in the chapter 'The Haunts of his Boyhood':

'Here,' cried a fish dealer, holding aloft a haddock, 'wot price this 'ere 'addick?'

'Tuppence,' suggested a woman bystander.

'Wot! Tuppence! 'Ow would you like to get a ship, an' go out to sea an' fish for 'addicks to sell for tuppence in foggy weather like this?'

So there you have it.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Addicks to play Iran in Tehran

Sources in Tehran are claiming that Charlton will be playing the Iranian national team there on 20 July:

Charlton did, of course, sign an Iranian national player, Karim Bagheri, who despite being the most capped Addick, appeared in only one game as a substitute. However, it was suggested at the time that the intention was to appeal to London's wealthy Iranian community.

The Foreign Office is always keen to repair relations with Iran through sporting links and the idea of Charlton visiting Iran has been mooted in the past.

Sources close to the club have subsequently indicated that the match may not be in Tehran. Perhaps it could be associated with Iran's training camp in the Czech Republic?

Addicks linked with Fleet Ace

According to the Non-League Paper, which is where one turns first these days for news of potential Charlton signings, the Addicks are intersted in Ebbsfleet United striker John Akinde. The 18-year old is a product of Fleet's youth system and has had loan spells with Margate and Whitstable Town.

There must be a limit to the number of non-league strikers the club can absorb, but apparently Coventry, Plymouth and QPR are also eager to sign him.

With the players reporting to Sparrows Lane tomorrow, and the Crown Berger cup tie against Welling only ten days away, we can expect to see more action on the transfer front. Remember that in order to balance the books more players will be heading out than coming in.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Super Kev May Return to Haunt Addicks

Super Kevin Lisbie may return to haunt the Addicks next season. After scoring 17 goals for Colchester United last season, it looks as if he may be snapped up by Ipswich Town to boost their hunt for promotion. The news has not been received with unrelieved joy by supporters of the Tractors.

Wes Hoolihan, the Blackpool midfielder who was rated by many Addicks for his performance against us last season, has been signed by Norwich for £250,000, although they are sending a keeper in the other direction.

However, the Addickted may be cheered up the news that Floyd has won a mascots' race, beating Millwall's Zampa the Lion among others.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

End of the pier role for Sankofa

Osei Sankofa has joined Southend United on a two year deal. He told the Southend Echo : 'Being released by Charlton was really disappointing. But if I was to go to any club that is going forward then this would be the one I would choose.'

'Charlton are a reasonably big club and it was difficult to make the breakthrough. They were in the Premiership for a number of years and it was disappointing not to play more. I still believe I can get back to that level one day and it would be nice if that was with Southend.'

Sankofa made 19 first team appearances while at the Valley, but he is hoping for more first team opportunities with the Shrimpers. He can play at both right-back and centre-back and he is keeping his fingers crossed that such versatility can help him work his way into Steve Tilson's starting line-up.

'I can play at right-back, centre-back and was even thrown in at left-back once which I didn't really enjoy,' he said.

Good luck to him, although I think that he may have found his level.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Addicks Linked with Vauxhall Motors Hot Shot

Charlton have been linked with Vauxhall Motors striker Paul Taylor. A £100,000 deal with Chester City was thought to be imminent, but appears to have run into trouble, and this morning's Non-League Paper implies that Charlton's interest may be the reason. Nottingham Forest were interested in the player last season.

Whilst I know that we go for non-league aces, I still find this story a bit surprising. If he was a central midfielder, it might be more credible.

The NLP also features an interview with new signing Stuart Fleetwood who reveals that Pards had him watched a lot. Pards apparently told him that he was bringing something to the club that none of their strikers had - the ability to find the back of the net? Pards also told him that he was not influenced by age and reputation.

Fleetwood described Charlton 'as one of the biggest clubs in the country and they will be up there again as one of the favourites to get back in the Premiership.' If Fleetwood helps us to do that, he will be a Valley hero. Certainly people in the club think that he is something special.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Charlton gets top scores in supporters' survey

Charlton fans feel the most valued in the Football League according to its latest Supporters' Survey. The club got a rating of 8.2 on a ten point scale with 1,750 fans responding to the survey, only one of eight clubs with more than 1,000 responses. The Addicks were one of only five Championship clubs where complaint figures were down into low single figures.

Charlton got the highest rating in the Championship for ticket prices, ease of purchasing tickets in advance, ease of obtaining tocket information, ease of purchasing tickets on the day and discounted child tickets. The club got the highest ranking in the Championship for its community schemes and for the price of replica kit.

The report includes a special case study of Charlton as an example of good customer service. The Rickshaw service is singled out for special praise, as are communications with fans.

You can read a summary of the report or download the full version here:

Friday, 20 June 2008

Thomas on his way?

Jerome Thomas has been linked with a move to Portsmouth, although this seems somewhat unlikely given that they have just signed Glen Little from Reading. This could be the start of an exodus from the Royals which casts doubt on the view that they will storm to the top of the Championship and stay there.

Thomas was not specifically discussed at the bloggers' meeting with Richard Murray, although the general view was that we were well catered for on the wings compared with central midfield. The departure of Thomas could contribute to the planned net outflow of players and would probably not be greatly regretted by most of the Addickted.

He is not without talent, but his ability to penetrate opposition defences is offset by disappointing final balls either as shots (no goals this season) or crosses. His rather sulky demeanour, as if he is permanently regretting he is no longer a Gooner, does not help.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Addicks take punt on Fleetwood

Charlton have again put into effect their policy of taking a 'punt' on non-league players by signing striker Stuart Fleetwood who is highly rated by the club. At the worst, it should be possible to make a profit by selling on such strikers, e.g., Chris Dickson is now worth probably ten times the £30,000 paid for him.

Fleetwood, a former Wales U21 international, voted the Blue Square Premier Player of the Season and Golden Boot winner last term, has signed a three-year contract. He scored 36 goals for Forest Green Rovers last season.

Despite their new recruit being a free agent, Charlton will pay Rovers a 'developmental' compensation fee because he is under the age of 24 and that will be decided at a tribunal.

Next season's fixtures

Charlton's season begins on August 9th with a home fixture against Swansea and ends on 3rd May with a home fixture against Norwich. So as with last season's match against Scunthorpe, we start with a team that will be playing above their skill levels in order to get their season off to a good start and show up the 'Premiership' side. No doubt the Jimmy Seed will be full of Taffs exercising their lungs, but at least we will be spared Cyril the Swan who, as I recall, was the only mascot to be red carded after a pitch invasion when a goal was scored.

He also got into trouble at the mascots' Grand National. A police spokeswoman said a person wearing a nine-foot tall swan costume assaulted a 46-year-old woman dressed as a dog during the Mascot Grand National.

Still you have to give him some credit for ripping the head off Millwall's Zampa the Lion and drop kicking it into the crowd. Cyril went on to appear in a local pantomine and released a single originally entitled 'Nice One Cyril'.

Full fixture details here:

Friday, 13 June 2008

A board that cares

Last night a number of bloggers had a meeting with Charlton chairman Richard Murray for nearly two hours. There aren't many clubs where that would happen and there is no doubt that the club sees the blogging community as an important 'conduit' between the club and the fans.

Most of the information is not for immediate use, but will provide a context that will inform my postings over the next few months. However, I think that I can reveal that the club is constructing a web site in Mandarin which is a welcome step forward as we try to build our overseas support base.

In his closing remarks, Richard Murray made it clear that this was a board which cares which has been evident to all of us. He admits that they haven't always got it right and made the odd mistake. But he feels, with justification, that Charlton is a good club with good people working for it.

Glovers in League Cup

Charlton have drawn former FA Cup opponents Yeovil in the first round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday 12th August.

The club has also revealed that nearly 12,500 season tickets have been sold so far this year. It is expected that there will be continuing sales throughout the summer with a late rush in August.

Todorov still angry at Timar

Todorov is still understandably angry with the Plymouth charm merchant and 'player of the year' who ended his season with a bad tackle and delivered a major blow to our hopes of promotion:

Hull interested in Marcus Bent

The Currant Bun is reporting that Hull are interested in signing Marcus Bent. This would be a good move for him and us as Hull is the sort of level he should be playing at (largely below sea level).

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Glaziers sign McCarthy

The normally reliable South London Press is reporting that the Glaziers have signed Addicks central defender Paddy McCarthy for £500,000:

After a poor start with Charlton, McCarthy won the confidence of most Charlton fans and his departure to Selhurst Park will not be welcomed.

If Bougherra does leave as anticipated, it's going to leave our somewhat suspect central defence looking even more exposed. Step forward, Jon Fortune. But where is the cover? Pardew may need to make a signing.

Kins signs new contract

Mark Kinsella has signed a new one year coaching contract at The Valley:

I would think that most of the Addickted would welcome this news.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Greg Halford to join Addicks

Various reports suggest that Greg Halford is to join the Addicks on a permanent basis at a fee of around £500,000. I know that many of the Addickted are sceptical about Halford and prefer Moutaoukil, although I quite like Halford.

Richard Murray is hosting a bloggers' evening at The Valley tomorrow and I will be reporting on this event on Friday.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Bent back but Thatcher to go

Reports are claiming that Wigan have decided not to retain Marcus Bent and hence the ace striker will be returning to The Valley. As the news broke, jubilant crowds gathered in Floyd Road. Ben Thatcher will, it is reported, be leaving the club.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Tough test for former Addicks striker

New Woking manager Kim Grant has admitted that Cards fans are 50-50 about his appointment at the moment, but hopes to turn things round through results on the pitch. He told the Non-League Paper, 'My players have got to understand the word "professional"'.

The folically challenged 35-year old made 123 appearances for the Addicks, but I think his goal scoring ratio was about 1 in 5. One of my memories is of Les Reed coming out on the pitch before a game and pointing out the whereabouts of the goal to him.

After Charlton, Grant had spells with Luton, the Spanners and Notts County before disappearing off the map in 1999. However, he hadn't done a David White, but played with a bizarre series of foreign clubs: Lommelse SK of Belgium; Marco of Portugal (that's a club, not a waiter); Immortal DC and Sarawak of Malaysia; Shoman Bellamare in the J-League; and finally Sengkang Punggol and Geylang United of Singapore.

He was sacked in Singapore for swearing - not at anyone else but himself. However, in Singapore it was considered a severe breach of discipline. Grant then fetched up in the Czech Republic, as you do if you are from Ghana, before being snapped up by Woking.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Pompey join race for Bougherra

Portsmouth are the latest club to join the race for 'Magic' Bougherra who could join the Herminator on Portsea Island. Real Betis bid £1.6m for the central defender last month, but Charlton are asking for £2.5m.

Other clubs in the race for his signature are Middlesbfough, Newcastle, Rangers and Wigan so a departure does look likely. He will be a loss.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Club sign new sponsorship deal

Charlton today signed a new sponsorship deal with the UK's leading sports fashion retailer, JD Sports (named after founder John David). The announcement was made as the two new kits that the Addicks will wear during the 2008/09 Championship campaign were unveiled.

One of JD Sports' youth fashion brands, Carbrini Sportswear, is emblazoned on the front of the jerseys under the agreement, and will become the predominant brand at The Valley. It is aimed at the teenage male market.

North of the border JD Sports are sponsors of Dundee United. JD already has sponsorship deals with West Bromwich Albion and Burnley and was the Oldham Athletic sponsor between 1992-1998.

Hopefully this will be third time lucky and JD Sports will not go bust. Indeed, the group seems to be doing rather well: JD Sports

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Would he be too Costly?

Honduran striker Carlos Costly [sic] has attracted interest from Charlton. The 25-year old is currently back home preparing for a World Cup qualifier, but last season he scored 11 goals with Poland's GKS Belchatow.

Other clubs said to be interested include Wigan, Sunderland, Derby, Birmingham and Fulham, so there is plenty of competition. Given that we have just re-signed Todorov, I would give it a likelihood of 3/10. When are we going to show interest in a central midfielder?

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Chinese youngsters head for Sparrows Lane

Charlton will be hosting sixteen young Chinese footballers in July, according to reports from Chinese wire services:

Of course how long this sort of arrangement will continue depends to a large extent on the presence of Zheng Zhi at The Valley. Speculation persists that he will be following other former Charlton players to mighty Fulham.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Two Premiership clubs in for Zhi

Fulham and Newcastle United are expressing an interest in Charlton midfielder Zheng Zhi. No offer has been made yet, but it is thought that the club would expect £4m. Although he tired a little towards the end of the season, he brought real vitality to a lacklustre midfield and his departure would be a real loss.

Normally reliable sources are reporting that Todorov is to sign a one year contract and not a pay-per-play deal as was rumoured at one point. I think that his loss through injury was a real blow to our season as he had a real ability to hold up the ball. If he is retained, it does cast doubt on the Stuart Fleetwood story.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Praise for Addicks' overseas strategy

Charlton's strategy of building links with overseas clubs is praised in the latest edition of 4-4-2. The link with Zheng Zhi's former club Shandong Lueneng is discussed. Apparently, they have 500 kids in their academy and a £2 million budget.

The article also features Charlton's links with Ivorian club ASEC Mimosa which produced Jolo and Yara Toure, Salomon Kalou and Emmanul Eboue among others. Charlton make an annual payment to the ASEC Academy and, in return, get first option on players.

Over the past three years we have apparently signed five players: I didn't know that or, if I did, I had forgotten. Where are they? They are being developed overseas. Two are playing with Fredrikstad in Norway, two are in France with Nancy and another is with Belgian side Germinal Beerschot.

The article also features a short interview with Chris Iwelumo who says 'We're a determined bunch and we owe it to the fans to improve. Their support has been incredible.'

The article concludes, 'after a disappointing season, Addicks fans at least seem to have a bright future to look forward to.' Let's hope they are right.