Thursday, 30 June 2016

Turner to return?

I have seen rumours that former Addick Michael Turner could return to Charlton. The defender was on loan at Sheffield Wednesday last season, but Norwich have triggered a contract extension. It would be good news if he did return.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

New statement by Peter Varney

Former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has made a new statement about recent comments made by the current chief executive Katrien Meire. The statement has been published by Voice of the Valley on their website: Varney statement

Peter Varney says that his solicitors wrote to Katrien Meire asking for a retraction on 14 June, but have not received a reply. He has been touched by the support he has received from the Charlton community, but paradoxically this makes it difficult to bring an action for defamation.

Curbishley or Pardew for England?

For a long time every time there was a managerial vacancy, Alan Curbishley got mentioned. It's happened less often recently or at least the odds have been longer. However, he does appear in the odds for England manager, admittedly the shortest odds are 50-1: Curbs

There was a time when he was seriously considered for the job, but he has been out of management for too long. What is frightening are the relatively short odds for Alan Pardew. Amazing: you avoid relegation with Palace and you are in the frame for England manager. I suppose the one consolation is that Dowie's name isn't there, although he took time off from his day job to offer asinine commentary on the Euros.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Centre back is Slade's next target

A centre back is manager Russell Slade's next target. After that, there will be a pause while the future of existing members of the squad is sorted out, not least Johann Berg Gudmundsson who now has a higher profile through his participation in the successful Iceland team: Next steps

I think that Slade has made some sensible signings so far and there does not seem to have been too much interference from Her Upstairs. Perhaps some lessons have been learnt, although a great deal of damage has been done.

Welcome Nicky Ajose

I'm a bit behind with this as I took a post-referendum break in Jersey, but welcome Nicky Ajose from Swindon Town: Nicky Ajose

So far the new management seems to be having a positive effect.

Ajose began his career with Manchester United, but never made a first team appearance: Career details

Charlton player's part in England's downfall

Johann Berg Gudmundsson played his part in England's largely self-inflicted defeat against Iceland tonight. He won't be a Charlton player for much longer, but was referred to as such by the commentary. Certainly few Charlton internationals have taken part in such a sensational victory.

Iceland have just a semi-professional league, albeit one with a high standard from the one match I watched. Football cannot be played outside for at least six months of the year, so there has been a big investment in indoor training facilities, in particular to bring on the younger generation.

They know how to celebrate in Iceland

The Icelandic commentator sounded hysterical at the end of the match, but understandably so. And self-styled No.1 Iceland Addick and one time Voice of the Valley contributor Olfaur Johansson will be celebrating in style. His naïve adventures as a supporter of Charlton while he was working in London caused some amusement, but he has had the last laugh. The best team on the night won.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Ipswich in for Harriott

Charlton want to hang on to Cal Harriott but Richard Cawley has tweeted that Ipswich want him in the Championship.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

No return for Wagstaff

Having been let go by Bristol City, Scott Wagstaff will not be returning to The Valley: Wagstaff

A very decent guy, but I think this is the right call. I hope he finds a berth somewhere in the Football League.

Poyet sounds off again

Diego Poyet has claimed that Charlton's foreign loan signings last season were not concerned about the club being relegated to League One. However, his real grievance seems to have been that they were picked ahead of him: Diego Poyet

In my view Poyet's move to West Ham hindered rather than aided his development as a player, taking away his creative sparkle and turning him into a loan player/bench warmer.

New fitness coach identified

Charlton are hoping to bring in Carl Serrant as their new fitness coach. His most recent role was at QPR. He did have a short spell with the Glaziers, but that was for a short period a long time ago: Fitness coach

Harriott bid turned down

It is being reported that a bid from Barnsley for Callum Harriott is being turned down. Charlton did entertain offers for the mercurial winger last summer.but took up an option to extend his contract at the end of the season.

Russell Slade is said to be an admirer of the player. Full story here: Harriott stays

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Varney brings in the lawyers

Katrien Meire has not retracted the comments she made about Peter Varney wanting to move Charlton away from The Valley, so the former chief executive is now resorting to legal action: Legal action

It may not match the drama of Iain Dowie being served with a writ at his first press conference, but it is an interesting development.

Bauer to stay at home nursing injury

Centre back Patrick Bauer is to stay at home in Germany looking after his groin injury and will not start the season with Charlton. He has not played since December and had an operation in January: Absent

If he was not still unfit, I would expect him to be looking for another club as he is better quality than League One.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Getting promotion will be tougher this time

Former Addick Andy Hughes says that securing promotion out of League One this time will be much tougher than when he was involved with Chris Powell: Tough task

His stock with Charlton fans went down when he spent the end of last season coaching at Crystal Palace, although he has now left the Glaziers to be first team coach at Huddersfield Town, making the move largely for family reasons.

However, he is full of praise for Palace and evidently wants to return to Sainsbury's one day: Palace privilege

Ajose deal close

Despite the scepticism expressed in some quarters, it looks as if a deal to sign Nicky Ajose is close: Almost there

Monday, 20 June 2016

Kieran Agard linked with Charlton

Bristol City striker Kieran Agard has been linked with Charlton. The former Rotherham striker made only two appearances for Bristol City last season. As always, other clubs are interested, but it is clear that Russell Slade is pursuing a number of options: Talks begin

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that reported links between the Addicks and German defender Christopher Schindler are wide of the mark. He isn't on the list and it is unlikely that any players will arrive from abroad this summer.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Naby Sarr departs

Naby Sarr has joined French Ligue 2 side Red Star on a one year loan: On his way

The five year contract to Sarr was one of the most expensive mistakes made by the current regime. One fan said on social media that it was 'fantastic news.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted that presumably no one will pay what Charlton want for a permanent move by Sarr or Vetokele. That was telling of itself.

Sarr himself tweeted, 'Thank God.' Amen to that.

Blews take a look at Cousins

Birmingham City have joined Brighton in expressing an interest in Jordan Cousins: Cousins

I don't want to see him go, but he is hardly likely to want to stay in League One.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Farewell, then, Wim de Corte

Wim de Corte has left Charlton. He arrived as a coach alongside Karel Fraeye last October: Wim de Corte

My usual response when someone leaves the playing or coaching staff at Charlton and it is not clear whether their contribution has been positive or negative is to use the formula deployed by the cinema newsreels when Neville Chamberlain stood down as prime minister in favour of Winston Churchill: 'Thanks for all you tried to do.' However, even that would be too generous.

It remains to be seen who will be assisting Russell Slade, but I don't think they will be Belgian.

So, farewell then, Igor Vetokele

Igor Vetokele has joined a Belgian side on loan with the prospect of the deal being made permanent: Departure

Vetokele impressed when he first came to Charlton, but has subsequently struggled with injuries.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Nicky Ajose signs

Swindon Town striker Nicky Ajose has signed for Charlton. Wiltshire sources are reporting the fee as £800,000, but the initial payment at least is thought to be less: Nicky Ajose

Career details here: Career

Although the story has also been carried by the BBC, Sue Parkes has cast doubt on its authenticity on Facebook, saying you shouldn't always believe what you read in the media.

The problem is that if you wait for the official site you wait for ever and Richard Cawley of the SLP has a reliable track record.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Welcome, Ricky Holmes


He'll be wearing the shirt of another university soon.

Richard Cawley has tweeted that Ricky Holmes has signed a two year contract with Charlton, the first of Russell Slade's signingsHe reckons that Holmes was one of the outstanding players in League Two last season and he has shown good sense in not wanting to stay at Sickfields.

The news has been confirmed by the local Northampton paper: Shock departure

Career details here: Ricky Holmes

The official site has confirmed that Lee Novak has also signed: Lee Novak

New bid for Ricky Holmes

Charlton are to make a new bid for Northampton forward Ricky Holmes after he handed in a transfer request. An earlier bid was rejected by the Cobblers: Ricky Holmes

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Make your mind up time for Novak

Charlton target Lee Novak expects to make a decision about his future in the next couple of days: Decision time

Keith Peacock recalls becoming first ever substitute

Keith Peacock recalls becoming the first ever substitute in English football. He says that he is probably better known for that than the nearly 600 games he played for the club. It's a standard quiz question: Addicks legend

A warning to those of a nervous or sensitive disposition. The article is illustrated by a photograph of Peacock sitting alongside Katrien Meire, although he does look suitably grim faced.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Congratulations to Iceland

Johann Gudmundsson played with verve and energy for Iceland in their 1-1 draw with Portugal tonight, being substituted right at the end of the game. The commentators managed to avoid any reference to his connection with Charlton, merely stating that he played 'in the English leagues'. Of course, he will leave us once Euro 16 is over.

Richard Cawley of the SLP reckons this will add to his transfer appeal. He was already near the top of the pay scale at Charlton: Where and for how much?

Hermann Hreidarsson, who now manages in Iceland, was interviewed before the start of the game. When he first came to England, he was 23, but felt that in terms of his development he was more like a teenager given that Iceland had not then progressed as far as it has now in football.

Ronaldo looked as if he was going to have a hissy fit at any minute during the game and made some ungenerous remarks afterwards about Iceland having a 'small mentality'.

No.1 Iceland Addick, Olafur Johansson from Grindavik, is thought to have been one of the 30,000 Icelanders in St. Etienne, amounting to one tenth of the country's population.

Addicks add two names to summer watch list

Charlton have added two free agents to their summer watch list: In the frame

Aaron Martin is a centre back let go by Coventry City as they felt he was a bit short of what was required in a centre back, not in terms of height but being a clogger. Oscar Gobern is a central midfielder let go by QPR. His career seems to have run into the sand a bit.

Critics of the regime reckon this is another case of trying to do things on the cheap with predictable results.

The SLP's Richard Cawley has cheekily sent a tweet asking how season ticket sales are going.

Slade is the right man for Charlton says Watt

Having worked with him at Cardiff last season, Tony Watt says that Russell Slade is the right man for Charlton: Watt praises Slade

The plaudits keep coming in, let's hope they are justified. At least he has experience of dealing with a barking owner.

Watt hopes to be fit enough to play for Charlton in the traditional curtain raiser against Welling: Prodigal returns

Monday, 13 June 2016

Charlton hunt strikers

Charlton are interested in Lee Novak who has been released from Birmingham City after being on loan at Chesterfield this season: Striker hunt

Charlton are reported to have held talks with Novak yesterday (Monday): Will he sign?

It's not a signing that would excite me. Alex Revell is a more interesting possibility, but is likely to go from MK Dons to Sheffield United. In fact, he has now signed for Northampton, but was apparently never top of Charlton's list.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

'Let Slade manage without interfering'

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has called on Roland Duchatelet to let Russell Slade manage without interfering. Reasonably enough, he says that it is the only way to bring success back to The Valley: No interference

Hearn says that Slade is very straightforward, always speaks his mind and tells you the truth as he sees it. How this will go down with Katrien Meire remains to be seen.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Slade appointment a step in the right direction

The appointment of Russell Slade as Charlton manager is a step in the right direction, but he needs to be able to act with the minimum of impediment, argues the SLP's Richard Cawley: Moving forward

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn reckons that Slade is the best managerial appointment Charlton could have made. Speaking from Las Vegas, he said that Slade was tirelessly hard working and professional: Praise indeed

Peter Varney demands retraction from Katrien Meire

The following statement by Peter Varney has been issued through Voice of the Valley:

'Since August 2015 I have, at the request of a third party who is interested in purchasing Charlton Athletic Football Club, attempted to arrange a meeting with the owner, Roland Duchatelet. Despite several attempts to arrange such a meeting it has been made clear to me on two separate occasions since last August that he has no interest in selling CAFC. That decision is, of course, his absolute right as the owner of the club, as it is to decline to meet me or indeed any potential purchaser.'

'However, what is not right is for Katrien Meire, the CEO of CAFC, to suggest that I have raised the possibility of CAFC leaving The Valley in relation to a potential change of ownership as occurred at the recent press conference announcing the new CAFC manager. Such suggestions are entirely untrue and unsubstantiated and I would ask that Ms Meire retracts the same immediately. If this is not forthcoming, I will unfortunately have no option but to place this matter in the hands of my legal advisers to deal with more formally.'

Pope deal done?.

It's being reported that Nick Pope may be going to Burnley for £850k. Cannot confirm at present.

Newly promoted Metz are reported to be considering a bid for Johann Berg Gudmundsson: Iceland ace

I was giving a presentation at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London today and was introduced as 'a Charlton Athletic supporter and the only relegated member of the panel.' It's like the mark of Cain.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Brighton in for Cousins

Brighton and Hove Albion have expressed an interest in Jordan Cousins: Jordan Cousins

We always knew he was likely to go and there are worst players to go than the Palace hating Seagulls.

The history of moves away from The Valley

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt looks at the way in which Katrien Meire managed to overshadow Russell Slade's initial press conference: Press conference

He makes a number of telling points about Charlton's hapless chief executive, and gives a good appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of Russell Slade.

However, for me, the most interesting part of the article was the discussion of the threat to move Charlton away from The Valley which existed for over a quarter of a century.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Slade to cull 'bloated' squad

New Charlton manager Russell Slade is determined to cull a 'bloated' squad: Streamlined squad

Having a large squad last year did us no favours. We want quality not quantity, battlers not half hearted commitment. I confidently predict that there will be no rending of shirts if Naby Sarr or Cristian Cabellos depart. The challenge will be to find someone to take them.

Burnley have made an offer for Nick Pope, but Charlton want to hold on to him. I hope they do.

As far as I can work out, customer reaction to Slade has been broadly favourable. Fans have been asking for some time for an English manager with relevant experience for some time and now they have one.

He is solid rather than spectacular, but we have to recognise the pool we are fishing in. Mourinho would have responded with one of his famous Portuguese phrases if approached.

The counter argument is that the regime won't let him manage and he will be out by Christmas. We'll have to wait and see, but for now he has my backing. I am not excited, but I am reassured (although not about the continued presence of the chief executive).

Murray: why I stayed on

Richard Murray has explained why he stayed on as non-executive chairman of the Charlton board. He only wanted to make things better and exert influence from within: Richard Murray

Quite what the results of that influence have been, it is hard to tell. The fan sofa perhaps?

I think that it is very sad that someone who contributed so much to the club in the past, and whom I and many fans respected, has become an apologist for the current regime.

My purely speculative take on what happened is this. Under the former owners, the club was close to going into administration. Along comes Roland offering a lifeline. He seems a bit eccentric, but he has the readies. It takes a while before Murray realises what the downside is, and by then he is in too deep.

A Murray resignation would have probably shaken the regime more than anything else.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Charlton will have top six budget

Charlton will have a top six budget and finishing in the play offs will be the minimum target says new manager Russell Slade: Target

Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire claimed at today's press conference that the bid for the club fronted by Peter Varney would involve a move away from The Valley: New location

It would appear that once again Katrien has been economical with the acualité: Varney demands retraction

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that if there is no retraction, Varney will publish e-mail exchanges with Roland and Katrien from a month ago.

He has also said that the stuff about Charlton moving reeks of Richard Murray and goes back to 2009 and before as a potential hook for a buyer, it is off the table now.

Makienok stays in Championship

Simon Makienok has signed a one year loan deal at Preston North End. The news that he will be not be returning has been taken calmly by Charlton supporters.

Cardistas sceptical about verbal agreement

Leading Cardistas have expressed scepticism after new Charlton manager Russell Slade said, 'It's not in my contract about having control over my players, but it's a verbal agreement. One Cardista likened a verbal agreement to a pie crust. I suppose that the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Slade told the press conference that he had met Roland.

Katrien Meire said that the Slade appointment was not the last roll of the dice and the club was not for sale. She had not been in fear of her job when Charlton were relegated.

Richard Murray was feeling hard done by: 'I was disappointed with the treatment I got last year, considering what I've tried to do for this club.' He admitted that mistakes had been made last year, notably Fraeye staying too long.

The full press conference will be available for customers to watch online later this afternoon.

Super Kev backs Slade to take Charlton up

Super Kevin Lisbie who spent three seasons at Orient under Russell Slade as manager reckons that the new Charlton manager will be able to take the Addicks up, comparing him to Alan Curbishley in terms of his ability to pick teams to win: Super Kev

Orient striker Dean Cox could be an early target for Slade. Read about him here: Dean Cox

Monday, 6 June 2016

Addicks swoop for Duane Holmes

Charlton seem to have seen off competition from Barnsley and Portsmouth for the signature of Duane Holmes. The 21-year old American midfielder was released by Huddersfield Town: Duane Holmes

Read the career details of the player whose middle name is Octavious here: Career

However, Sheffield United appear to have won the signature of winger Mark Duffy, despite Charlton offering a better financial package: Target missed

Sunday, 5 June 2016

In town tonight

It is being reported that Russell Slade has cut short his holiday and returned to London. It is also being claimed that he will be named as Charlton manager in the next 48 hours.

Career details here: Russell Slade

There have been no reports of fans celebrating around SE7. The appointment is conditioned by the fact that it is accompanied by a continuation of the regime. What the fan reaction would be in other circumstances is an open question.

The official site has now confirmed Slade's appointment on a three year deal: Appointed

Slade will be giving a press conference at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday). Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire will be present.

French paper mocks Roland

French sports paper L'Equipe has mocked Roland for putting memorabilia for sale on e-bay. The report is illustrated by a picture of Charlton stalwart Jean Tindall, who has contributed to Voice of the Valley from time to time.

The report states: 'English club Charlton, owned by a wealthy Belgian politician, is selling jerseys signed by the club on eBay to finance its media department. Club Charlton Athletic, which has just been relegated to League One (English D3), put up for sale on eBay signed jerseys and other memorabilia from the club to fund "equipment for the media relations team," of the club for the 2016/17 season.'

'An amazing sale given that the unpopular owner of the club, the Belgian politician Roland Duchâtelet, is head of one of the largest fortunes of his country, estimated at over a billion euros.'

'Among the items for sale, are signed shirts of the game where the Addicks lifted the League One trophy in 2011/12, or shirts signed by the French [Breton] Yann Kermorgant, former favourite of the fans.'

The report in French is here: Amazing sale

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Slade in Charlton talks

Russell Slade is reportedly in talks with Charlton about the vacant head coach post at The Valley: Slade

He quit as head of football at Cardiff City yesterday.

Whilst I wouldn't say that I am excited by the potential appointment, he looks well qualified for a League One club. If the Roland regime was not in charge, fans might be more positive.

Poyet dishes it out to Riga

In shocking revelations, Diego Poyet has revealed that José Riga 'made decisions' about which players to use: Decision maker

It is quite extraordinary to think of a head coach selecting the players he thought would do the best. Maybe he did get it wrong, but I am not sure that Riga didn't use Poyet because 'his ideas had changed'. It may be that a period bench warming at West Ham meant that Poyet was not the sparkling player he was when he left Charlton.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Charlton cannot succeed under Roland says Poyet

Diego Poyet says that Charlton cannot succeed under the Duchatelet regime: Poyet

That's the general consensus, but it's nice of him to say so, even if it stating the obvious. Actually, the real exclusive would be to get someone to say that Roland is a strategic genius.

'Further revelations' are promised relating to decisions taken by José Riga, presumably not to make much use of Poyet.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Championship clubs have strained finances

The latest annual report from Deloitte Sports Business emphasises the strained finances of Championship clubs and their dependence on owner support: Finances

Wages to turnover ratios remain very high. In contrast, Premier League clubs enjoyed a second year of profitability.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Odds lengthen on Jackson

The latest odds from Sky Bet for Charlton 'manager' show that Johnnie Jackson has dropped from 1/2 favourite to 10/1. Russell Slade is now favourite at 2/5 up from 11/8. Nigel Adkins is 11/4 and Steve Evans 18/1.

Wales Online reports that Slade has had an interview, but other sources have suggested that he is now on holiday. Perhaps in Belgium? Once he returns, it is expected that his appointment will be finalised: Russell Slade

Inevitably, Alan Curbishley has to appear at 28/1. There is no price for Jonathan Acworth.

Vetokele on his way to Belgium

Reports suggest that Igor Vetokele is on his way to Sporting Lokoren in Belgium. As well as an unlimited supply of moules et frites for the player, a fee of £1.5m is being talked about: Vetokele