Friday, 19 September 2008

A week is a long time in banking

The financial markets have been in turmoil over the last few days, Lehmans down, HBOS bought, possibly 40,000 jobs to go just from the HBOS / Lloyds deal, in some areas football too is in turmoil, no where worse than newcastle where Mike Ashley continues to own the Club and he will continue to do so as long as his asking price is double what interested parties are willing to pay, this despite his apparent "best interests of the club at heart" announcement. He was due to meet Dubia investors last week, heard they were only interested in paying £200 million so spent the afternoon sipping cocktails with Dennis Wise.

Dave Whelan of Wigan, a major competitior of Ashley in the commercial world has thrown his oar in mentioning that Ashley is a Spurs fans, that must have gone down well with the faithful. Maybe Ashley is holding out for some DICS who maybe interested in Liverpol at the moment in what must be the most protracted takeover in football. With people like Ashley around you cannot but feel pleased to have Murray, Chappell and Waggot around, even if waggot is a converted geordie!

The turmoil in the finance world has already hit us, much of the close season fire sale is down to funds not being raised as expected. £5 million was the figure bandied about. I am sure there are other clubs out there that are going to suffer much worse than we are, running on major debts, which investors will have to cover before they even start to build clubs. Of course the big clubs seem to be able to continue, although Liverpool have put their ground plans on hold, partly because of the politics of the Americans but also the difficulty of funding the project, no doubt if the oil DICs takeover then it will be back on track. Its the small clubs that will really suffer and anything outside the Premier League these days is a smaller club, even benefactors will be short on the ground (including Bernie Ecclestone) as their own fortunes and businesses get squeezed in the coming months.

Guests at The Valley

Last week at the Valley we had two guests, Dennis Wise, wisely staying away from St James's Park running the rule over a Wolves player and presumably not running the rule over a young Charlton player, then in the West stand Andrew Murray was suppossed to be there with his coach an Addick. Murray is not to everybodies liking, but if he was a footballer then we would admire him as a tough determined central midfielder.

News comes over from the richest Club in the world - QPR, in case you were not aware - although it could be Man City this week, for the visit of the mighty Derby County to their quaint, traditional, delapidated ground in Shepherds Bush they are looking for £40 a seat, one assumes for the privilege to watch the ugliest manager in football muster his troops you will also get from the shortest owner in football a free grand prix ticket.

Forest Away

Tomorrow we go to Nottingham for our first game against Forest since the debacle of the FA Cup in the relegation season, Pards has been saying how dissapointed he was with the team at the time and it revealed to him our weaknesses despite a mini resurrection, notably against West Ham. My recollection of the City Ground goes back to promotion under Lennie Lawrence and our first midweek away fixture in the old 1st Division, soundly beaten 4-0, I still remember how Peter Shirtliff stood out as an outstanding quality defender despite the scoreline. My other thought was why had I bought a ticket to Old Trafford for the following Saturday. I should not have doubted though, we won, our only moden day victory against Man U, Mark Stuart (a player with ability far out stripping that of Rob Lee but without the commitment and determination to develop further than Plymouth, Rochdale, Bradford City and Charlton Masters) scored and Ron Atkinson was sacked a few days later. has anyone ever worked out the number of managers who have been sacked following a defeat by Charlton, it feels like many.

How the fortunes of Charlton and Forest have ebbed and flowed since, at that historic cup match two divisions seperated the clubs and now they are on par, each probably at their natural level in the modern game.

Tomorrows referee is Karl Evans from Greater Manchester, tomorrow is his first Cahmpionship match of the season, in the games he has officiated in so far this season at lower levels (4) he has given 12 yellows and a red. In his second season as a referee, he has only ever officiated in one Championship game, so hopefully has not picked up the habit of giving soft decisions against us. He does not appear to have endeared himself to one Bradford City Blogger at the end of last season. If the standard of refereeing he has display at Bradford is anything to go by then I can see him climbing to the top of the tree in the Championship, so poor are the referees we have had this season. Wolves deservedly beat us last week, but the referee made their job so much easier for them with the incidents surrounding the penalty.

And Finally

As we enjoy our weekend, spare a thought for those out there who face unemployment and uncertainty over the coming months, some will quickly pick up new positions, others won't and the fear, there are no guarantees of final salary or redundancy payments for some whose lives are being turnhed upside down at the moment, so as we jump up and down for our team remember its just a game. Having spent much of the last 24 months scrabbling around for a settled job that seems to be culminating in me taking a recent employer to tribunal, coming close to not paying the mortgage and having to work away from home monday to fridays, I have every sympathy for those affected by recent events and wish them well.

1 comment:

charlton north-downs said...

Good post and great last paragraph and I also wish you well