Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More rumours, more rubbish

This person of Spanner tendencies here says Jonatan Johansson is on his way to Millwall as part of a deal to bring Tim Cahill here.

Which is a possibility, I suppose, but the thought of JJ turning out at the New Den makes me titter. Someone's got to get the poor sod out, with his bags, march him up to the top of the hill, pat him on the head, give him a quid and tell him to stay on that 53 for 20 stops, do a right at the Canterbury Arms and a right under the bridge. (Which, knowing JJ's sense of direction, would lead to him turning out for Fisher, but there you go.)

Although if I was a Millwall fan, the thought of JJ and Sir Les Ferdinand would quite excite me, to be honest.

But again, all pie in the sky stuff. Roll on Thursday. And this post from Welling site Winning Isn't Everything signals the start of the season, and my annual little chat with the Hobbins brothers...

The possibility of a Spotty Parker loan spell here is raising its head again - although it reads like more lazy Sunday paper bullshit than anything else. Surely too many bridges have been burned? I'd have him back if we could buy him back on a far lower fee - but not on loan from the Bank of Abramovich.

But to be honest, he's in the past now, and I really wish we'd get over it. (Other than to make the odd cheap joke, of course.)

Speaking of which, good on Steven Gerrard for staying at Liverpool. Footballers with principles? Whatever next?

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Uncle Ron's back

Did anybody else see Ron Noades on Sky Sports News yesterday? In between rounds of golf and hefty laughter, he was threatening a return to Crystal Palace. "I might be on the board in a few years... or I might not be." It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for them. Almost.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Portugal 2-2 England (aet, 6-5 pens)

"Look, I sold David Beckham because his head's not in it, and bought Little Cristiano Ronaldo because he can take the mickey out of you English any time - when will you lot realise? But yeah, the ref was atrocious, and that was always a goal. But look, you English have nothing to be ashamed of. So stop moaning, or there's double training at 6am."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

A little Spotty of bother

Oh alright, by popular demand, here's a Spotty post.

Chelsea are ready to launch an audacious attempt to sign Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard in a deal worth £50 million by offering Damien Duff and Scott Parker, plus £20 million in cash for the England midfielder. (more)

Spotty's possible comeuppance aside, isn't it typical of the outrageously amoral outfit from the Walham Green dog track to be punting around stories pulling apart the future of one of England's finest players, hours before what he's said himself is the biggest game of his career - and England's biggest game for a long while?

You may have guffawed at Peter Varney's denial of the Rommedahl deal last night, but that was out of respect for the stability of the player and the Danish side.

Of course, none of this matters to little Peter Kenyon, so frustrated by never being picked for football at school that he's now decided to buy up everyone in sight as revenge thanks to his new Russian oil billionaire friend. You'll see him and his pal on the box tonight, no doubt, with his little smug smile on his face.

Not that Kenyon's alone - some of Sven Goran Eriksson's words about Wayne Rooney have shown an astonishing disrespect to Everton, a proud side who deserve better than to be patronised by a national manager whose view of football, at times, is narrower than Clive Tyldesley's.

Ah, Spotty. Once one of England's finest hopes, now being used as a makeweight for a deal to suit the ego of a man who loves money and power more than he loves football. If this deal happens, he'll have to fight to be loved at Anfield - the deal will be the biggest proof yet of the mighty Mersey team's decline.

The problem is, of course, is that the media is as seduced as the stupidest player by tales of money and glamour. So in 8 or 9 months time, when Spotty is having an awful time at Liverpool, there'll no doubt be some "hard-done-by" feature in The Sun, as he touts a move to Middlesbrough or Spurs. Or he'll be a success, and it'll be a triumph-over-tragedy tale - the one the papers love most of all. Even though the tragedy, of course, is all of his - and Chelsea's - own making.

Dennis delight

Charlton have this morning confirmed they have agreed a fee with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven for the transfer of Dennis Rommedahl.

It is anticipated that the Danish international winger will complete the transfer once his side's interest in the Euro 2004 Finals in Portugal has ended.

"We are delighted that we have reached an agreement for the transfer of Dennis. He is a world-class player and one that has performed particularly well in the 2002 World Cup finals and in the current European Championships," said chief executive Peter Varney.

"It is especially pleasing for us because we know there has been interest in Dennis from across Europe, as well as from other Premiership clubs."

Blimey - that, and the fixtures, and cafc.co.uk has only fallen over once so far today! At least they got rid of that "of course we're not talking about any European internationals, oh no, look, a flying pig!" thing from Peter Varney from yesterday.

Now, let's hope there's enough in the pot for Kezman too - although it could be a bit touch and go here. Here's what the BBC Sport website says:

Several Premiership sides have already made contact with Kezman's agent, but PSV have confirmed Charlton are the only one to talk to the Dutch club.

A PSV spokesman told BBC Sport: "We know there is interest from Charlton, though they have not yet made a concrete offer for Kezman."

Apparently Newcastle, Fulham, Aston Villa and Manchester United are also interested. Wuth a better scoring record than Ruud van Nistelrooy, this has to be one player worth busting the bank for... surely? Come on, let's have a whip-round.

By the way, I've just discovered (might be old news, this) that Alan Curbishley's Valley of Dreams book is out on 30 August. Amazon.co.uk is taking pre-orders here.

Fixtures 04/05

currently up on the official site's front page - www.cafc.co.uk.

But when that goes down, try the BBC Sport site.

In brief...

Bolton away first game of the season.

Crystal Palace at home the last game of the season.

"I wouldn't mind, but it won't be us who relegates them on the last game of the season, it'll be someone else who does it in February!", commented a Charlton fan this morning.

Boxing Day brings an unwanted trip to Southampton away - well, we've had London teams for years, so I suppose it's our turn to beg, steal and borrow road transport - while we also face Arsenal at home on New Year's Day as part of a ridiculously crowded Christmas schedule. Our trip to Sellout is due for 4 December, while our first big London game won't come until 2 October - Arsenal away.

All fixtures subject to change at BSkyB's whims - and with more live games doing the rounds this season, including fan-unfriendly 12.15pm and 5.30pm Saturday kick-offs, don't start making plans just yet.

Although I reckon Bolton away's probably safe...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


PSV heeft een akkoord bereikt met Charlton Athletic over een mogelijke transfer van speler Dennis Rommedahl (25) naar de club uit de Engelse Premier League. Rommedahl zelf moet nog wel tot een akkoord komen met de club, die afgelopen seizoen op een zevende positie eindigde. (more)

Right, got that? No? Okay, PSV Eindhoven say we've reached an agreement with them to buy winger Dennis Rommedahl, subject to the player agreeing personal terms.

Last week, the Danish international told the BBC Sport website's reporter at Euro 2004 he was keen on a move to the Premiership.

Who needs 1 July?

And here's some stuff from a PSV fan site about Rommedahl - saying much the same thing, but with PSV denying we'll get Kezman, claiming a bigger club is after him. But yesterday, here's that story from a TV show, in which Kezman himself says he's aware of Charlton's interest. All in Dutch, although Babelfish doesn't make things that much clearer!

Forever Charlton seems to have the measure of all of this.

Meanwhile, Peter Varney moves to spoil all the fun. Boo! Hiss!

Suggestions that Charlton have signed a player - or players - currently involved in the Euro 2004 Championships in Portugal have been described as wide of the mark by chief executive Peter Varney.

"Whether or not we are interested in players at the Championships, it is widely known that the national team managers will not allow any of their players to conduct transfer negotiations while they are still involved," said Varney.

The Super Summer Transfer Rumour-o-meter!

My plan is as follows: I want to move to an middle-ranked English Premiership side, spend three seasons there, score a minimum of ten goals per season, qualify for one of the European competitions, and move as a proven player to Liverpool, Manchester [United FC] or Arsenal. (more)

The more I hear of this Kezman bloke, the more I like the cut of his jib. Even if he did give that interview two months ago. He knows what he's doing, tore it up for PSV Eindhoven last season, and if the rumour mills are right... he's coming here next week. I'm willing on 1 July like a child wills on Christmas Day right now.

And he's got his own fan site. Alright, it's under construction, but it's still good. And there's another one being cybersquatted.

So, what do we reckon so far? This is what I think of the eight big rumours - feel free to add your opinions to the All Quiet In The East Stand Summer Rumour-o-meter! in the box below. Remember, my predictions come from the man who staked £20 on Claudio Raineri going to Spurs, and look what happened to that. And it doesn't matter if you blow an imagninary transfer kitty of £15m or whatever, because it's only a bit of fun. Right?

And anybody who can get all eight correct by the start of the season might win a prize. Like a pint of beer, or something.

(Note - this was written before the Rommedahl story above broke.)

Kezman - yes/no/maybe
See above.

Cahill - yes/no/maybe
This weekend's Sunday Mirror claimed we were ahead in the race for him - other clubs still interested, Aston Villa originally thought to be in front. Millwall fans seem resigned to him going 20 stops along route 53.

Carrick - yes/no/maybe
Nothing concrete on this, but it could build up our fanbase in the "sexually frustrated US women" market - as Sarah's Soccer Hotties will testify.

Earnshaw - yes/no/maybe
Early flurry of press reports has calmed down. Cardiff originally believed to have been demanding £5m for him. Sir Lennie Lawrence says he has not received an offer. Slippery agent is non-committal. South Wales Echo thinks not - but this is when the Kanu rumour was doing the rounds.

El-Karkouri - yes/no/maybe
"I have signed for an English club," he said, without naming which one - Evening sub-Standard, 1 June

Hughes - yes/no/maybe
Birmingham Evening Mail is sure - and his dozy point-blank miss against us a few months back marks him out as genuine CAFC material.

Kanu - yes/no/maybe
Nice flight of fancy - here's Nigeria's This Day paper - and doesn't seem like the kind of player to punt about ridiculous wage-boosting rumours. But denied by Alan Curbishley.

Overmars - yes/no/maybe
Once rumoured to be signing on the pitch before the Southampton game. The story hasn't quite gone away, and occasionally gets mentioned in dispatches.

Have I missed out anyone else? Ray Parlour? Yet another goalkeeper? These amazing blokes I saw on the telly last night? Abi Titmuss? Wayne Rooney?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Chinese takeaway

So, Charlton's Chinese trip has been confirmed - Jianlibao on 22 July at the Shenzhen Stadium (7.45pm/ 00.45am BST) before facing Guangzhou Sunray Cove on 25 July (4.30pm/ 9.30pm BST) at the Tianhe Stadium - with travel available from £830. Blimey.

If any All Quiet In The East Stand readers are going - I'd be interested to hear from you.

MK Lepers FC

So, once again, the Football League has let the MK Lepers get away with it - with "Wimbledon FC" all set to become Milton Keynes Dons FC whenever so-called music entrepreneur Pete Winkleman can drag the rotting carcass of the club out of administration.

Which is handy for him, for despite having promised the deluded muppets who have decided to follow this most unloved of sides in MK a poll to decide the club's name, he's had mkdons.co.uk registered since June 2000.

Of course, this joke club's "fans" have now got what they deserved - being screwed over by their saviour, just like he and Charles Koppel screwed over the original Wimbledon's fans. They're now kicking-off on their little messageboard, Arse MK. Sorry, Ask MK. It's quite funny to look at, bearing in mind what the original club's fans went through.

But all this hoo-ha means the Franchise FC saga must, surely, be drawing to a close. What has Wankleman achieved? He's ripped a club out of its community, and plonked it in a town with no great love for football - in a 9,000-capacity stadium which is rarely filled up. The team is now relegated, and is forced to compete on the same level as nearby Luton, and are not far off competing with Northampton and Rushden.

But back in south London, AFC Wimbledon are thriving, and last year occasionally pulled in crowds which exceeded those at Milton Keynes, even though the real Dons were in the Combined Counties League, and the phoney side were in Division 1. And, as everyone knows by now, they could overtake the Franchise in four years.

If you keep a close eye to your left if you're on a train passing through Milton Keynes, you'll see the ultimate result of Pete Winkleman's franchised club dream - derelict, smashed-up Wolverton Park, the home of Milton Keynes City, which played in the South Midlands League but folded in 2002, utterly overshadowed by the arrival of Franchise FC. That could have been built up into a league side - but no, they had to go and steal somebody else's.

No decent football fan will touch the MK Dons with a bargepole. But there's one thing the FA could do to signal that this sorry story will never happen again - strip the MK Dons of their "history", and award it to AFC Wimbledon, the true keepers of the footballing flame down that way. Pete Winkleman may have got away with stealing their club, but he should never be allowed to lay a finger on their heritage.

There's more here on The Big Tissue - which I hope is allowed by Rivals.net to continue representing Wimbledon.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

All Quiet v2.0

Yup, it's a new look for All Quiet In The East Stand, after a Sunday morning tinkering with Blogger templates. Same old crap, same tosser writing it, but I've finally managed to get some links down the right hand side to other Charlton types on the modern interweb, and other things you may find interesting. If I've missed anyone out, please let me know - I'm particularly interested in other football blogs, because if you think this one is crap, it's easy to start your own.

But I'm a bit sniffy about the sudden rush of iffy fan sites which have cropped up lately, all doing the same thing. How many message boards does this club need when Netaddicks and the 606 board are relatively sleepy places?

There's also the opportunity to spend your hard-earned sterling on essential texts for any Charlton scholar. I'd particularly recommend Richard Redden's book of Addicks cartoons, vital reading in our centenary season and a fascinating account of how football grew in the years before World War I, peppered with cartoons of the time. I hope we see more of this kind of thing in the centenary year - it's good to be reminded of your roots every now and then.

Talking of roots, an unofficial supporters' group for fans in the immediate Charlton and Greenwich area is starting up next week, and basing itself at Hardy's Free House on Trafalgar Road, Greenwich. The 1905 Supporters' Club is holding its inaugural meeting there at 3pm next Sunday, 27 June, and all Charlton fans are welcome. Good luck to them.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Carlton and cash

Take one less-than-clever footballer, one grasping, greedy bastard of an agent, and a summer when all eyes are at Euro 2004, and you've got a recipe for a really tiresome little saga.

Step forward from the cesspit, Jonathan Barnett, agent to man-about-town Carlton Cole, and picture him as he picks up the telephone to the Press Association, dreaming of a payday from a fat transfer.

Addicks boss Alan Curbishley claimed he had been unable to contact Cole to discuss the player’s immediate future, but insisted "Carlton is contracted to us until the end of next season”.

However, Cole’s agent Jonathan Barnett said: “Contrary to what appeared in the media yesterday, I can categorically state that Carlton is not under contract to Charlton Athletic Football Club and no agreement exists between the club and the player to that effect.

“The only contract Carlton has is with Chelsea Football Club and he is currently in talks with them regarding his situation.

“A number of Premiership clubs have expressed their interest in him, including Charlton, but it is highly unlikely that he will return there.”

The key here, of course, is what Chelsea say. Cole's main contract is with them, and he does what they say, not us or Mr Barnett. Cole's had an indifferent season with us, although he has shown some potential. But to see his agent pratting about like this, eyes on some tasty commission fees, doesn't do him any good. It's particularly disappointing for those of us who've stuck our necks out to defend him. Upon last season's form, he'd be lucky get a move back home to Croydon and Crystal Palace, so I'm not quite sure what the aim of all this sudden confusion is, apart from to expand Mr Barnett's bank balance.

But from the tone of Curbs' comments to the media - "It's all a bit clouded at the moment. He's been away on holiday so I haven’t had a chance to speak to him yet." - I don't think anyone at the club's that bothered if the grasping sod stays or goes. What's it like to have no-one care about you, Carlton?

While I'm here, please be upstanding for a new Charlton blog: Chicago Addick. There's room for more than one of us in this town, you know...

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Round the Rumour Mill

Good heavens - Radio Five Live's Rumour Mill reckons we're going to make a move for Southampton's James Beattie (who still seems likely to go to Newcastle, apparently). It's probably complete rubbish, but it's the kind of rumour I like to hear. Like all this Kanu stuff. We've denied it, but it's a nice thought - the Nigerian striker does a hell of a lot of work for charidee and would probably fit in well at our nice, community-minded club. The same show also included an interview with Robert Earnshaw's agent, who sounded like the shiftiest man in Wales. And that takes some doing. (NB. I'm eligible to play in Mark Hughes' side so I can make the Taff jokes, ta.)

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Shutting up the moaners

Hooray! Paolo's new deal should shut the moaners right up - after reading all the whining which has greeted the new deals for Lisbie and Kishishev, I'm beginning to think that many Charlton fans have to unplug their brains before they plug in their computers. Like I said before, I hope Paolo does his coaching badges while he's still with us, and carries on setting a fantastic example to the younger players.

It's fair to say I'm not Kevin Lisbie's biggest fan - little temper tantrums like this last summer aren't going to endear a misfiring striker to anyone beyond his mother. But then there was that hat-trick against Liverpool, and then... injury. I'm prepared to wipe the slate clean and give him a fresh chance, which is probably to the relief of the finger-wagging elderly woman who had a go at me for shouting at him at Villa Park. After all, we need a bit of competition in the side, and his pace is a useful thing to have in our armoury.

Before I go, just spare a moment to be thankful we're not in the First Division any more. Oh, sorry, the Coca-Cola Football League Championship. Remember, Brian Mawhinney was the man who screwed up Britain's railways by privatising them. But then again, only football club chairmen can be so stupid and vain to think re-naming Division 1 to something which sounds like "Premiership", but isn't quite, is a good idea. Championship? Sinking ship, more like.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

No Uefa

We're NOT in the Uefa Cup.

Uefa.com: "Armenia's FC MIKA and a Ukrainian team will compete in next season's UEFA Cup after gaining a place during the fair-play draw."

Oh well, we'd only have had to play Millwall anyway, knowing our luck. At least our season's finally over!

And those last-minute summer breaks can be planned without fear. See, not so bad after all. Ahem.

Monday, June 07, 2004

The sound of the summer

Ah, the silence of summer. Well, it definitely was All Quiet until someone with hayfever sneezed. Perhaps we're all still digesting the news of Rufus's retirement - with heavy hints that the Roof is going to become a man of the cloth. It'd only be the Charlton way, wouldn't it? We've got Andy Hunt all chilled out in Belize, and in a few years time we might see Rufus preaching the good word around the place. We retire with class.

And of course, all there are is rumours. Bloody rumours. Because there's so little else to talk about. Football abhors a vacuum. Some crap paper reckons Carlton Cole has demanded to leave (he can't, he's under contract to Chelsea and has to do what they tell him) and suddenly people start talking about compensation and Joe Cole. Although nothing's actually happpened yet. Or some agent starts claiming we're interested in his donkey player, and some crap website runs it, and some half-wit on the mailing list starts laying into Curbs... even though it's only another bloody rumour. Give me strength for the summer, please. Or that one about Marc Overmars to be true. Please.

I can't even get that excited about Radostin Kishishev's new contract - sure, when he's bad, he's bloody awful. But when he's good, we need him around and his versatility is a handy thing to have. Will he see out the remaining three years? Possibly not. But for now, we'll still need players like him about.

Extremely tenuous Charlton news from across town, though - former trainee Kevin Cooper, who'd scored 107 goals in 105 games for AFC Wimbledon, has gone to Conference South side Carshalton.

You won't read a great deal about Euro 2004 here, but Lisbonic Plague is limbering up for the championship if you're looking for some blog action.

Just one formality left of this season - the Fair Play draw. 26 hours to go...

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Fair play draw

UEFA Fair Play draw: We'll find out on Tuesday night between 8.30 and 8.45pm UK time if we've managed to creep into the UEFA Cup through the back door - the draw is made during half-time of the final of the U21 Championship in Bochum, Germany.

As it stands, Sweden's Osters get the guaranteed place in the Uefa Cup, while we're one of 11 clubs in the hat for the draw - two names will be picked out. Full details here. Throttur Reykjavik, anyone?


"Rufus for England!" Alas, no more...

Richard Rufus' retirement is a crying shame. Denied the chance to play at the highest level by blinkered England managers, and now his knee injury has had the final say. At 29, at least he's young enough to be able to pick himself up and start again. That won't be much comfort to him now, but scouring the messageboards today, I hope the flood of goodwill towards him will soothe some of that pain.

I only hope we get a proper chance to say farewell and enjoy the memories of his fantastic performances over the years for Charlton. A proper testimonial has got to take place - and with the high esteem Rufus was held in beyond The Valley, I'm sure there'll be no shortage of people willing to contribute to a tribute to a proper player and a real gentleman, who set an example others could do well to follow.

Now, where were you when he scored his first goal?

Unity flop

Nicked off the Press Association wire service's report of Jamaica-Ireland...

There were only just over 6,000 fans who turned out in Charlton tonight, and overall attendances for the competition, which also involved Nigeria, have been

Organisers Optima Sports Management International conceded a change of venue, perhaps back to Loftus Road which had been used in the past to good effect, may be of benefit to the tournament in the future.

Ireland manager Brian Kerr reflected: "I thought we had very good support.

"The organisers did a very good job and we were looked after very well.

"But I am not sure that Charlton is the most accessible place for people to get to in London in terms of going to games and got the impression it was quite awkward - even my brother said that and he has been here for 40 years."

Blimey. I hope Kerr's brother's not a cabbie...

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Unity peace

Some scenes from outside The Valley taken half-an-hour before tonight's final Unity Cup game between Ireland and Jamaica. The empty Valley scene was taken at the same time by a mate inside. I can hear The Valley's PA system from down the road, but no crowd at all. (Ah, correction, just heard the anthems and the crowd.) Great to see a bit of colour and life on the streets over the past few days - and it's a fantastic idea to get a few people down to The Valley for the first time. But what a crying shame to see so few people there. With ticket prices set so high, you have to wonder about the supposedly high-minded motives of the tournament. Strange to see so many police there as well - at least as many as for a normal Premiership match.

Oops - text message: "There's some bird murdering Amazing Grace now!"

Still, it's a few grand in the bag for us, I suppose.