Monday, October 30, 2006

Dowie out!

You heard. Bob's left the Palace. What else did you think I'd be on about? No consistent conspiracy theories from the Beagles, who have recently reminded us that we're not the only club in south London having a sticky season. Indeed, south of the river really tearing it up is Bromley, run by Nigels nemesis Mark Goldberg, top of the league and off to Gillingham in the FA Cup. Ho ho ho.

So while Bob's out of a job, what about his younger bro? I always said I'd wait until the clocks went back before making a judgement about Iain Dowie, and even though it's now dark at five, I still don't feel up to pronouncing one way or the other. Indeed, our troubles are a reminder of just how difficult it's been to replace the old system where Curbs ran everything with a system more akin to other clubs of our size. Indeed, it doesn't really help to see a rested, relaxed looking Curbs doing so much TV work - someone give the bloke a job soon, eh?

A couple of big results in the past couple of weeks have shown how tight the business end of the table still is, although there's still a three-point gap between Middlesbrough in 14th and West Ham in 15th. Alan Pardew dumped the Argentinians and the Irons duly beat Blackburn, while Manchester City are up to 13th after beating Middlesbrough.

Which sets us up for an edgy match on Saturday, which just happens to be the first home league game I'll miss in five years. (I'll be at Mr O'Reilly's Health Spa in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, drinking his beneficial black tonic.) To be honest, I'm grateful to be away from the tension.

What's in a name?

Just listening to a Sky Sports News presenter stumble over the new name for what's officially called the Football League Trophy set me thinking. Is it just me, or are sponsorships utter crap nowadays?

The name that was fumbled on TV was the Johnstones Paint Trophy - I mean, that doesn't exactly set the heart racing, does it? Indeed, on the league's website, it's still called the LDV Vans Trophy. I'm sure Johnstones Paint is a fine product, but how does sponsoring a cup for also-rans enable it to overhaul the might of Dulux? It just means crap puns about "gloss" and "coats".

Great sponsors somehow attach themselves to memories. A mate's just bought a Candy fridge. "Old school Liverpool," he purred, although I still associate Crown Paints with the Scousers' 80s glory days. Manchester United in their pomp? Sharp. Arsenal winning the league? JVC, isn't it? And there are some around that part of North London who'll still refuse to touch Holsten, even though it's been years since a bottle of Pils was seen around White Hart Lane.

Some sponsors seemed particularly apt - West Ham and Dagenham Motors or double-glazing? And what did Lewisham Council ever get out of Millwall brandishing its logo around Division One? Did global business leaders decide to relocate to Catford after seeing Terry Hurlock? Probably not.

As for us, who were our most iconic sponsor? For me, it's probably The Woolwich, back to the days of clogging around Selhurst in the late 1980s. Nice and familiar. (And vanishing from a high street near you.) A trio of IT firms, and a crappy sports store which went the way of the dodo didn't really have the same kudos. As for the current lot - nobody really knows who they are, although I've just found out they also sponsor London Irish rugby union club.

Indeed, none of the current crop of sponsors seem to fit. Probably because they're not around for long enough. Manchester United are backed by an American insurance firm, as those adverts for cretins repeatedly tell you on Sky Sports. Arsenal and Emirates is just confusing - it's not so long since Emirates was dallying with Chelsea. Gambling firms look tacky, while could you name who's backing Manchester City now?

Sponsoring trophies and leagues is a tough one too - it'll always be the Vauxhall Conference (solid, dull), although we seem to have coped well with the transition from the Nationwide League (as in "oh when the Saints go Nationwide...") to the Fizzy Pop League. It's all about imagination. And bring back the Milk Cup while we're at it.

Oh, and I won't buy a Churchill Insurance product, so that clearly worked for Palace. But which sponsorships really worked - or backfired - for you?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still bottom

"You see," the Geordie next to me in the pub said to me as our match at St James's Park wore on. "They'll start to make mistakes soon. The crowd will get on their backs."

And so it turned out to be, as Charlton's best period of the game came in the last 10 minutes, as the natives got restless and a surprisingly limited Newcastle team wobbled, before being jeered off by the home fans. We were crap, the Barcodes weren't much better, and I'm not sure how many more times I can take seeing Dennis Rommedahl tear up front with the ball before losing his bottle within sight of goal. It's getting like Groundhog Day. And Darren Bent's clearly having a rotten old spell. It's not good. And Damien Duff, that wasn't a bloody penalty, you diving, whining cheat.

Hey-ho. So we're still propping the league up, unless Blackburn destroy West Ham later today. It's a nice Sunday morning - time to go out for a walk...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Charlton 1-0 Bolton

Phew! Never has a trip to Chesterfield looked so appealling...

Iain Dowie's men nudged Bolton aside to take us to a fourth round League Cup tie against the Derbyshire club who have already knocked out Manchester City and West Ham. And if manager Roy McFarlane gets hold of a tape of tonight's game, he'll have a happy fortnight of anticipation ahead of him.

With Darren Bent rested due to injury worries, it was strolling duo Marcus Bent and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink up front and they worked well for our goal, Hasselbaink crossing perfectly for Big Bent's shot. Shame they didn't do much else all game, really.

Matt Holland returned to his largely ineffectual ways (his pal Bryan Hughes was back, of course) while Kish was back in midfield working as hard as ever. While our teamwork was good, we definitely missed quality - although at least we seem able to stand up to the likes of Bolton these days.

The Trotters were poor in the first half, but warmed to their theme in the second half as they saw how bad our defence was (Young, Hreidarsson, El Karkouri, Fortune) was. But what we lacked at the back, they lacked up front. However, who was that nasty little sod they had playing as their number 42? I liked his cocky attitude...

But no matter how we got there, we got there - another clean sheet and a win in a cup. A bit of confidence could go a long way at Newcastle...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Football Focus... from the Oak

A bit late with this, but hey, you've probably come to expect this kind of thing now. In case you missed the three upstanding Charlton fans who appeared on BBC1's Football Focus chewing the fat and supping lager in the Royal Oak (including ex-supporters' director candidate Vince Nieswiecz and one husky-voiced occasional contributor to my own comments section), then get yourself over to this thread on Charlton Life to hear the audio of it.

There's also an excellent column on our current troubles...

To those of you who have become an Addick since The Valley return in 1992, welcome finally to the true world of the football supporter. (more)

Bolton tomorrow - at least whatever happens, we won't suffer the same shame as West Ham have done tonight. How Alan Pardew must rue the day the Argentinians arrived...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tories say: Dowie out!

Well, sort of. The Last Boy Scout, a blog kept by a Plumstead-based Conservative Party activist who hates Iain Dowie almost as much as he hates Ken Livingstone, is claiming an exclusive. Industrial-sized quantities of salt needed here:

A source close to the club has told me that Iain Dowie has already emptied his desk, in anticipation of a bad result in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night against Bolton.

According to the source, if Charlton don't win, the board will sack him.

We've been here before - two weeks ago, fan site ran a bizarre story claiming Alan Pardew was being lined up to be our new manager. Nice conspiracy theory, and one which could have merit if we and our cousins from E13 both continue in freefall.

But if you're going to have a "news" story which starts "according to reports", but not actually telling anybody where you found those "latest reports", then don't complain when nobody actually gives you any credit for your story.

Actually, considering the usual five-second attention span of the football media, we (and Dowie) have been pretty lucky on the speculation front so far. But Andy Reid wasn't impressed with the boos which rang out at the end of the Watford match. After all, it probably reminded him of Spurs.

"The fans don’t understand how hard he works on the training pitch,” Reid said. “When I came here and spoke to him I was so impressed and every day I’m even more impressed.” (more)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Charlton 0-0 Watford

Proper reports:, BBC Sport, Sky Sports, Sporting Life, The Observer, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Independent on Sunday.

Like two doomed lovers in a suicide pact, Charlton and Watford writhed around but were unable to come up with anything like a winning formula at The Valley. Watford have got to be one of the worst Premiership teams to come to The Valley, and our inability to beat them is a major, major worry.

It was the same old story - the same under Curbishley as it is under Dowie, a lack of confidence and a desperate lack of skill when it comes to delivering the final ball. Watford huffed and puffed and did well considering their limited abilities, but both teams seemed to be paying a tribute to the Hornets' recently-closed fanzine, Blind, Stupid and Desperate.

The positives - Souleymane Diawara's performance was pretty close to sublime, while Andy Reid also had a good game (wouldn't go as far as "outstanding" like seems to think). Dennis Rommedahl's looking better, but... I think he needs a hypnotist, me. Matt Holland got a yellow card (commemorative T-shirts in the club shop from Monday) and seemed to pop up in all the right places. Is he playing for the captaincy? And Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink actually looked hungry when he came on for the final 10 minutes. Oh, alright, slightly peckish.

The negatives? Darren Bent looked off-form, the inevitable result of a national newspaper interview, while Herman Hreidarsson looked clumsy in defence.

But the real villain was ref Lee Mason, who favoured Watford over Charlton on most decisions. It's fair to say isn't a Luton fan. When Amady Faye was clunked to the ground in the penalty area in the second half, Mason looked away while the linesman in front of the East Stand was clearly thinking of his dinner. It was that type of game.

So, 33.3% more points than we had this morning, and it could be worse. But it should be so much better. Perhaps we're due to give a team a battering soon. I don't blame Iain Dowie for this, the rot set in ages ago. When Chris Powell came on as a second half sub for Watford, the entire ground applauded him, and memories of happier days came back. But those days have gone. And if we can't beat Watford, what can we do?

Valley car parking update

A note from the council lands on my doormat about the residents' parking zone around The Valley - it looks like there'll be some extensions to the permit zone which affects Saturday and weekday home games. Most of these restrictions are aimed at stopping people parking up by Charlton or Westcombe Park stations during weekdays, but clearly there's a knock-on effect for Charlton fans who travel by car.

In addition to the streets currently affected, a majority of residents in Inverine Road, Rathmore Road, Troughton Road, and the section of Victoria Way north of the railway bridge have asked for permit parking to be extended to their streets. It's also likely the block of streets by the Pickwick pub (Dupree Road, Gurdon Road, etc) will also get permit parking, as well as the entire length of Woolwich Road from the flyover in Greenwich to the industrial estates by Maryon Park.

The plans aren't final and there's some "local forums" (whatever the hell they are) planned, but that seems to be the way the council's going.

Darren Bent: 'I'm still a novice'

Little Bent's in today's Independent - a good read, mainly because he's a great deal cleverer than most footballers

"Last season the Premier League was so fresh to me," he says, "that even in some games when I wasn't getting a sniff, two kicks in a game, I'd come off buzzing. We were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal and it could have been seven. But I came off happy. Partly it was because I was an Arsenal fan when I was younger but I was just gobsmacked by the whole experience. I'm still a novice." (more)

There's a shorter piece on Iain Dowie in The Times as well. He calls today's match the most important game of his career:

"We don’t want to be in a survival battle — but we’re in one. I would not consider my position at this club if we lose today. No one who knows me would think that I would do that. The fans have been excellent with me and the team. But we can’t go on expecting that. We’ve got to give them something back." (more)

There's also a sidebar on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, with a telling quote from Dowie:

Dowie denied that Hasselbaink has criticised some of his team-mates in training. “He’s very exact on the training ground and so long as everything’s done right, he’s terrific,” Dowie said. “He demands high standards.” (more)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Watford match preview

Hold on, every other blog does match previews, mine doesn't. Saturday's is truly a massive game. I've been out to a do, and had several glasses of wine. I'm feeling lucid. Here goes...

Sir Chris Powell will probably start for Watford after coming on as a...

Oh, sod it.

We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.
We'd better bloody win.

That'll do, won't it? Get your arse there and sing for us. Our team needs you. (Now, what time am I up in the morning? Aaaargh!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Watford train hassles

Because the people in charge of running the railways are dim, greedy types without any idea of the outside world unless it's paying overpriced fares or a taxpayers' subsidy, and because CAFC couldn't give a monkey's unless you come by Valley Express from Godknowswhere, deepest Kent, coming by train to The Valley will be a little bit more of a hassle on Saturday.

There's just six trains per hour through Charlton station on Saturday, instead of the usual eight - the "loop" trains through Sidcup (which leave London Bridge at 03/33 past each hour) are cancelled and the other trains via Greenwich will run through Lewisham instead.

So now you know. If you go by train, be patient - especially with a lot of Watford fans due on public transport. Apparently, CAFC has a "green travel plan" for matches at The Valley. You wouldn't guess it, would you?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chelsea: Enough is enough

Not Charlton-related, but it's a diversion, at least.

You can't have failed to have noticed the terrible injury to Chelsea's Petr Cech at the weekend after he collided with Reading's Stephen Hunt in the first minute of Saturday's game. A horrible thing to happen, and there can't be a fan of football who doesn't wish him a swift recovery. Together with an injury to Carlo Cudicini, it leaves Chelsea having to use their third-choice keeper Hilario for their Champions League game against Barcelona. Well, that'd be why they have four first-team keepers, then.

Was Hunt's tackle deliberate? The jury's out. But what nobody needs is the Chelsea PR machine wheezing into action to crush Reading and its captain.

We know Mourinho's an emotional man, so his outburst after the game is understandable. But two days later, we don't need Didier Drogba accusing Hunt of lying when he said what happened was an accident.

"Don't tell me tall stories, this was not an accident. Hunt saw that he was going to collide with Petr and he didn't try to avoid it. The worst came after that. When Petr was carried out of the ground, Hunt was laughing. I'm not paranoid but they hate us. Some people will use any means to beat us." (more)

It's the old Man Utd bunker mentality, but with added self-pity and bling. You can stop to be sick here, if you like.

And then comes Mourinho himself, complaining that an ambulance took 30 minutes to arrive at the Madjeski...

""He left 30 minutes after my doctor called for an urgent ambulance.

"If my goalkeeper dies in that dressing room or in the process it is something English football has to think about."

Except that was the decision of his own staff, according to Reading, and the local ambulance service say he was in hospital less than 30 minutes after a call was made.

Of course, English football should always think about the safety of its players. But it can't let these pampered spoilsports get away with making unfounded accusations about other players and other clubs.

Drogba should be told to keep his mouth shut. As for Mourinho, the man that was once a breath of fresh air now seems to bring an ill wind every time he opens his trap. He's a reminder that there's a thin line between charming and charmless.

If the FA, or the Premier League, want to demonstrate their game isn't bent in favour of the big clubs, now's their chance to act. I wouldn't hold your breath, though.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Once again, the club catches the fans' mood...

Bzzzzzzz! The pleasant buzzing of my phone vibrating. Aaaah.

"T-Mobile/CAFC Info: Fancy winning T-Mobile's 4 VIP Watford tix? Email your name + number to competitions now! T-Mobile - Simply Closer"


I feel better for that, now.

Fulham 2-1 Charlton

Proper reports:, BBC Sport, Sky Sports, Sporting Life, The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Daily Mail,

Lost for words, really.

It's not even as if we were bad. Our movement was good, our passing was fine, we were all over Fulham in the first half. But within ten minutes of Claus Jensen's introduction by Chris Coleman... we were two down. You could have put money on it, and it's a surprise those poxy electronic boards around Craven Cottage didn't advertise odds on it, really.

This leaves us up against it for Watford's visit on Saturday - failure to win then, and the builders will be in to add the words "CRISIS CLUB" to the sign on top of the Valley's reception.

We DESPERATELY need someone decent up front alongside Darren Bent. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is not that man. We need someone young and hungry, not fat and complacent. And despite a spirited effort from Diawara, a defence which lets in two goals within three minutes needs to sort itself out. Quickly.

Despite the usual slack-witted murmurings - a peek at the pink oboe list makes depressing reading - Iain Dowie's only failing was not to make substitutions quicker - Jerome Thomas's return made us look a lot livelier. Anyone even contemplating getting rid of the manager really needs to sit and think about it for more than three seconds.

I'm told we comprehensively outsung the home fans, the only source of cheer to be found in the council of woe held in a Putney pub after the game. But it was appreciated - Iain Dowie came over to the Putney End after the game, Dennis Rommedahl and Darren Bent even passed their shirts into the crowd. It was a nice touch. We need to stick together here - because if we don't, we might as well just give up now.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's Monday, it must be Fulham

Remember Claus Jensen? He's lucky Chris Coleman still does.

“We’ve not seen the best of Claus,” Coleman said. “When we signed him we had great hopes for him. Claus was going to be integral to our formation but he’s been battling injury since he got here.” (more)

As The Times points out, the luxury midfielder's luxury midfielder has spent more time in the treatment room than he has in Fulham's first team. But he's fit tonight, and is probably going to be a threat.

Meanwhile, the Evening Sub-Standard/ London Shite have a typically anti-Charlton match preview - but what would you expect from a west London rag?

After conceding a hatful of goals and experiencing life at the bottom of the Premiership, few would blame Scott Carson for plotting a rapid exit from Charlton. (more)

Let's tell the OTHER west London rich boys to shove it up their jacksies. My boat's leaving Greenwich at half-past five - I'm doing it in style. And if you fancy joining me, tickets are available on the gate tonight. COME ON YOU ADDICKS!

A pause from football

From Netaddicks:

"I'm not a Charlton fan, Far from it. I'm a true blue Gill and also an admin on Gillsconnect. However something happened in the last few days that puts petty rivalries into perspective.

"On the 12th of October my beautiful 3 month old baby boy Charlie suddenly passed away. Another victim of cot death. Obviously this has ripped my family apart. We are all devastated. He was going to be the next generation Gillingham supporter for his sins!

"He is going to have my Gillingham scarf with him when he goes, then I know when I'm watching Gills get stuffed again I know he will be looking down on me saying "Dad, why you making me support this shit!!'

"Because of this I have set up a website to raise money for FSIDS (The Foundation for the Study of Infant Death). They research cot deaths and also offer 24/7 helpline for bereaved families.

"I am trying to raise £5000 so maybe another baby may survive, and another family doesn't have to go through the heartache that my family are currently suffering. If you could make a donation however small I would be so grateful, if you can't please feel free to pass the link around so we can raise as much as possible."

Richard Edy's Justgiving page is here, if you want to make a donation. It's just short of £1,000 as I write.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Spinning an anti-Charlton yarn

As expected, Luke Young's comprehensively called bollocks on the Mirror's rift yarn:

"The story makes it sound like I've got no mates! All the lads have seen the bit in the paper and to be honest we've all had a bit of a laugh about it. Who knows where they get these stories from! It's all very strange - it's just been business as usual at the training ground." (more)

So where does this come from, then? Who knows? Here's my guess. And, I repeat, it's just a guess, and just speculation. Perhaps there's an incident where JFH or Big Bent are acting all Billy-big-bollocks on the training ground. Word gets out, and it's used by someone else outside the club to concoct an anti-Charlton yarn which is fed to a friendly reporter, who willingly laps it up.

By coincidence, enter, once again, Mr Simon Jordan, who was attacking us in yesterday's Evening Sub-Standard. No copy online but there's a portion of it in... today's Mirror:

SIMON JORDAN claims Iain Dowie is trying to delay their court case until his new club Charlton start winning.

The Crystal Palace chairman wants £1m in damages for "false representation" after freeing Dowie from his contract for family reasons.

Jordan said: "Apparently they need a bit more time to answer questions because they've had a bad start to the season."

Coincidence or conspiracy? You decide. In the meantime, it's even been reported we're considering getting an injunction out on the Tango-toned one.

Ironically, Simon Jordan's own stalker, his curiously named ex-girlfriend Tara Stout, a sometime journalist and comedian, has been given a suspended sentence for bombarding him with abusive phone calls It seems medical intervention would have been a better solution, frankly, as these photos may indicate.

It's amazing how quickly the stalked can become stalkers, isn't it? In the meantime, you may want to enter this caption competition.

Charlton's TGI traumas

Oh dear. As a club, we're pretty watertight. What goes on inside the training ground usually stays there, and doesn't make the papers. Unlike, say, Spurs, who leak like an old lady after twelve pink gins. So today's story in the Mirror is a bit worrying...

IAIN DOWIE is battling to heal a dressing-room rift threatening to derail Charlton's season.

The issue came to a head when just four players turned up to a team bonding session organised by skipper Luke Young.

There are now fears poor team spirit at the bottom-ofthe- table club could condemn them to relegation.

FEARS, eh? Tell us more...

Other alarming developments include:

  • SQUAD unrest at Dowie's management style'

  • DISPUTES during training between tough-talking new signing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and his team-mates.

  • PLAYERS insisting morale was far better under previous manager Alan Curbishley.

    There are fears all the progress made at The Valley during Curbishley's 11-year reign is in danger of being destroyed by the rift.

    Apparently, Luke Young organised a team-bonding night out at TGI Fridays at Leicester Square after the defeat to Arsenal - but only Andy Reid, Jon Fortune and Kevin Lisbie turned up. Of course, the fact that many of our players would have been straight off on international duties seems to have escaped the Mirror, but there you go.

    But read between the lines, and we may well have shipped in trouble with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who seems to have spent most of his Charlton career lolloping around the pitch and moaning at other players.

    "Hasslebaink is known for his temper and his fighting and has clashed with Marcus Bent before.

    "They shout things to each other like, 'you're playing s**t' because of all the pressure they are under.

    They'd be right there - they're both playing shit. Watching the egos of the England team laughably lose to Croatia during the week, I couldn't help thinking that when players get an inflated sense of their own abilities, they start to lose it big time.

    Perhaps Dowie would be better off giving those two pillocks the boot and going for someone young and hungry... how about Northern Ireland's David Healy? Ah, The Times says we're after him anyway. As you were, then.

    PS. Poor old Kevin Lisbie. "A freak training accident where he landed funny" means we won't see him again until 2007. Words fail me...

  • Thursday, October 12, 2006 lifts fans' force

    Our manager's at one with the fans ahead of Monday's match at Fulham. It's just a shame our club's official website can't acknowledge it.

    "The fans have been fantastic so far this season, both at The Valley and away from home, and we really need them to support us in their numbers at Fulham," Iain Dowie tells

    "The support of the fans is really important; they really do make a difference to us.

    "It's a really important game, another local derby and we'll be going there to win."

    Of course, if you haven't booked your ticket yet, you should get your arse down to the ticket office now, or book now via this link.

    But it'd be nice if the club acknowledged fans' attempts to whip this up themselves. I suppose puff pieces from deepest Kent may work better now for the official site.

    I refer you to the original post on Charlton Life, this follow-up on Charlton Life's blog, this from Sir Frankie Valley, and the pledge on Chicago Addick.

    Anyhow, a trip to Fulham is simple. So join us and don't get left out - it'll be a great night out.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Valley Flags update

    The Valley Flags Campaign has unveiled its first designs for four banners which I understand will be spread out across the back of the upper north stand.

    Please take a look, add your own ideas, and consider donating if you haven't already.

    Supermarket land sold to Tango-toned man

    Curious news from the Palace today - Simon Jordan's bought the freehold to Selhurst Park for £12m. And, so he claims, without Ron Noades knowing. Oh, the cheeky scamp.

    Jordan, who has been at the Eagles helm for more than six years, paid £12m for the freehold to former chairman Ron Noades through an intermediary.

    Jordan said: "Given the nature of my relationship with the landlord it has made it difficult to negotiate a deal.

    "The price was the price I was prepared to pay. Ron's got the deal he wanted and I've got the freehold I wanted."

    This comes a couple of weeks after I heard rumours resurface about Palace having to kip down at a down-and-outs' home in Zampa Road, Bermondsey, so on the surface, it's good news for Palace.

    And, frankly, on the surface, well done to Palace. Simon Jordan may be a vain clown. But he's no Noades. Uncle Ron was quite happy to see us wither and die at Palace's feet in South Norwood, and was perfectly content to see the Beagles sold to Mark Goldberg's ill-fated regime (stop sniggering at the back) before going to nearly run Brentford into the ground. Laugh at Jordan, because he's just a clown, but let's never forget the lasting damage Noades did. The man should be nowhere near football.

    However, Uncle Ron's still stirring, telling Sky Sports News he thought it was probably Jordan buying it anyway (Palace fans, eh?) and...

    "Simon needs the ground to dispose of it or in order to keep it up, it's up to him to demonstrate Palace's future.

    "He hasn't said whether Crystal Palace football club are buying the ground or whether Simon Jordan is buying the ground."

    This saga may have some way to run...

    Even the USA wants Operation Craven

    From BBC Sport's editors' blog (second comment down):

    "It is the policy of the FA to not allow individuals outside Britain to hear soccer games on the web? I understand that there is a lot of competition in the US to broadcast the Fulham vs. Charlton game on the radio." (more)

    Tell the Yanks to stick their Brian McBrides where the sun doesn't shine - click here to buy your tickets.

    Let's make a fresh start on Monday. Come to the Cottage. And sing our way back up the league.

    (PS - You'll note from BBC Sport head honcho Roger Mosey's message that Five Live has kept hold of most of the Premiership national radio rights, with talkSPORT gaining the "second" Saturday 3pm game that would now be on Five Live Sports Extra. Meanwhile, Setanta's Premiership games - they'll have what are now the Prem Plus games from next season - will be available to Freeview viewers who have card slots in their boxes for approximately £15/month, according to the TV trade press.)

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    Crossing Jordan (again)

    No, it's not the dog farting, it's Simon Jordan talking crap again...

    "I don’t wish him any harm, but I think people like him will get what they deserve — they will find out what the real world is all about.

    "They read their own press, they think they are the rocket man because they’ve got a degree in rocket science. Nonsense. Some of the stupidest people I have met in my life are people who have got degrees and if he believes his own hype, he will come undone."

    Oh, put a sock in it, you tart. Actually, I wasn't sure whether any of this from today's Times was new, but it turns out it is, since Iain Dowie's used the club's website to say he's "saddened" to hear his old boss spout on again, and to up the ante at little...

    "I believe that the courts are the right place to decide the truth. My lawyers and I are confident that I will be vindicated when the case goes to court next summer.

    "I will then decide whether I want to sue Simon personally for the defamatory comments he has made."

    Which, in less polite terms, means "shut the fuck up". Actually, Jordan's been libelling Dowie since that Sky Sports News interview on 30 May, so it's hardly new. But I can't help thinking it'd be better if we didn't respond at all, and just let Jordan get on with it. After all, the future of his club is looking wobbly while he's exercising his own ego with his lawyer chums.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Operation Craven

    Another international break, and two whole weeks until our next game. And there's something you - yes, you - can do to help Charlton while we're parked at the bottom of the league.

    It's easy. Whatever you were doing on Monday 16 October, you're rearranging it. Pick up the phone, get online, or get yourself down to The Valley. Buy a ticket for Fulham v Charlton. And, finally, get your arse down to Craven Cottage and get behind the boys. We're in the merde here, and this is no time for lily-livered armchair fans and Sky addicts. It's time for a showing to do our club proud.

    We need to send a message to our manager, our team, and the rest of the league. We're not taking being 20th lying-down. We're going to fight.

    And you're up for it as well, aren't you?

    (A massive hat-tip to Charlton Life for the inspiration, Rothko for the retro idea, and 04_MCS for the logo.)

    No one likes us, we're iconoclastic

    "What you don't want to do is to replace the image of Millwall, which is one of hostility, pride and belligerence. Frankly, your fellow supporters do not give a flying fuck for anyone else in the league or any sort of political correctness," says Liddle, arguing that the club's branding should "make us iconoclastic - we are iconoclastic." (more)

    Meeeja tit Rod Liddle, the kind of mummy's boy who goes all gooey in his pants whenever he's associated with the hard-nuts, on Millwall's advertising campaign in today's Independent. He doesn't want them to be a "cut-price Charlton Athletic". In your dreams, sunshine.

    Sunday, October 01, 2006

    Olympic dreams?

    Not going to dwell any more on yesterday, it'll only annoy me. And why didn't Match of the Day show the Van Persie-Hasselbaink incident from the first half? Silly feckers.

    Wyn Grant's very exercised about a bit of news he spotted in the programme, and rightly so. The PLC board has decided to defer a decision on rebuilding the east stand until March, to wait and see if the council would give us the go-ahead to revamp the south stand as well. ("Cattle get treated better than this," an Arsenal mate of mine grumbled about the current facilities in the Jimmy Seed Stand.)

    Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that yesterday's game against Arsenal did not sell out, so perhaps that's a more immediate worry than dreaming of a 40,000-capacity arena.

    But it was this line from Sir Reg Varney which stuck out like a Gooner in the Upper North spoiling for a fight.

    "The board was also made aware there are other possible stadium options which should be evaluated, even though as committed supporters they want to remain at The Valley and see it developed to its full potential."

    Eh?? Haven't we been here before? The Greenwich Peninusla has provided fruitful dreams for ground-moving fantasists before. In the wilderness years of the 1980s, a move to what was then the Metrogas site in Horn Lane, Greenwich (now occupied by a retail park) seemed more likely than a return to The Valley for a time, while six years back the club seriously considered upping sticks to the Millennium Dome.

    But the Greenwich Peninsula is more or less fully planned for now. We could always follow Arsenal's legacy and play in Thamesmead (the Griffin Manor Way industrial estate now covers what used to be their Manor Ground), but that whole area's a bugger to get to. Developments along the Thames Gateway could throw into play any site between here and the Medway Towns - which would make sense seeing as the club seems to be thinking of itself as a Kent side rather than a London club.

    But I reckon Sir Reg is talking about something more radical. Two years ago this site mentioned a possibility we'd eye up the Olympic stadium in Stratford if things went pear-shaped with the council. I think this is a reference to that.

    It'd be easy to get to from the club's Kent target areas (fast trains from Ebbsfleet, near Northfleet, on the Channel Tunnel rail link) and there'd be easy access from central and south London too.

    We're not the only ones. West Ham fans have been drooling at the thought of a short move up the road (remember they're in takeover talks at the moment) while Spurs have been openly coveting the site too. Whether a football club will be allowed to move there at all is another question - earlier this year Lord Coe refused to rule it out, contradicting earlier stances from London 2012 and from Ken Livingstone.

    But this is all fantasy land at the moment. Especially when you're bottom of the league. Perhaps we should be getting on with strengthening links with our local council and local community and getting on with the job in hand - developing a team that's good enough to justify a 40,000-capacity stadium. We've fought for the Valley once in our lifetimes - let's not distract ourselves by having to fight for it again.

    A possibly true story...

    An old lady's struggling with her bags in Lewisham shopping centre. The chairman of Millwall spots her having trouble, and dashes over to her.

    "Can you manage, love?" he says.

    Quick as a shot, she replies: "Fuck off, I don't want the job!"