Friday, 10 October 2008

Dubai buy!

I have really mixed feelings about this. Firstly, if we want to eat at the top table and be able to play a 39th Premier League abroad every season then this is inevitable. Looking at the web site of Zabeel Investments there is a positive ethos, I played there community video about special needs children. My wife suggested that is why they are interested in Charlton a special needs club- hmmm, divorce papers in the post.

So why would they be interested in little old Charlton. As a Football Club it has been a source of consternation amongst fans as to why nobody has been showing any interest in us and now they are. Its not hard to see why:-

1. Nobody is buying a heavily in debt club, its been well managed, even though a big hit has been taken since relegation and next season we lose the parachute, but compared to most clubs we have a rosy balance sheet so any investment goes into buying assets not paying off debtors.
2. Chartlon has assets, The Valley, with one end to be developed offers potential, then there is Sparrows Lane and there is potential involvement in a further development of state of the art facilities.
3. Kent housing development and the fact that Charlton if promoted would be the only Premier League club in the triangle between here Dover and Portsmouth.

Charlton is an ideal investment and from a Charlton perspective, the middle east offers investors who are relatively immune to what is happening around the financial markets and in fact with the hike of oil prices over the last couple of years they are awash with money, we could not want for as better set of new owners, if Murray and co are to hand over the reigns. So why am I uneasy?

1. I actually have got used to the Championship, its the traditional Charlton its the team and the league that I supported in the 70's and the 80's.
2. I like the idea that we have a higher percentage of English / UK players that we have now compared to our last years in the Prem.
3. I hate that the positions in the Prem. are dictated by these rich foreign investors,in two years it would not surprise me if the top of the Prem. in no particular order were Arsenal, Man City, Man U, Chelsea, Liverpool and QPR the common denominator rich investors from abroad. In fact Liverpool and Man U with their American investment are two clubs at risk of melt down.
4. I hate the mercenaries that come with premiership football
5. I hate the players that kiss their badge and then go and play for another club the next week. Robhinio miss both types of players tied into one, "I love Chelsea they are my team" "Oops, I am happy to be here at Manchester City"
6. I hate the new fans that boo at half time when we are not even losing, who don't know or care where we have come from.
7. I hate Peter Scudamore and his 39th game.
8. I love the fact that I no longer have Sky.

I think rugby league has closed relegation and promotion to and from the top flight and for us to stay at this level, not have ambitions of the top flight then this would have to happen to the Premier league. It just is not going to happen. So we have potentially investors who can give us the moeny to buy players, develop players, develop grounds and give us a team in the Prem that can reach the top half of the division.

If we have to go down this route then I would like to see that we invest in British players from youth level to senior level, we develop and nurture for the English senior team
players who have grown through the ranks like Walsh, Parker, Shelvey.We have a British manager -maybe even Pards, the players we biuy have the dna of Chris Powell or Mark Kinsella - they kiss the shirt because they love it,they adore it, its partof them and so are we.

What I want and what we get are probably going to be miles apart, the next months and years if this goes through are going to be a roller coaster positives and negatives alike, hold on tight!!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Fans Back Pards

Ok in the poll here only 26 people voted, but if it was 26,000 then it would be statistcally sound. Pitted against Billy Davies, Chris Powell, Mark Kinsella and Phil Pakinson, Pards continues to be seen as the best option for the Addicks, picking up 9 votes against Kinsellas 7. Its a results driven business and it will be interesting to return to this vote as the season develops.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Cold winter ahead for small clubs

Blimey there used to be nothing safer than a bank, but they are falling over all over the place and I suspect we will soon see a cold wind blowing in the direction of football, especially with reports of how much football clubs owe, reducing confidence in the sector.

Whilst most Premier League Clubs will have the benefit of the Sky money most of this is tied up in players wages, West Ham have the smell of doom around them with the ruling on Tevez, the demise of XL and now their Chairman's Bank investment going belly up. Curbs could be on a downer here expecting to receive compensation, he could end up with nothing.

Lower league clubs are expected to be the hardest hit as their friendly local bank closes the door pulls too the shutters and rather than extending loan facilities call in debts leaving clubs and players penniless and at the mercy of creditors.

Whilst we are not immune, it maybe the financial management and the tough decisions made over the last two close seasons may well auger well for our immediate fortunes. The desire of some fans me included at times to take a punt and speculate to accumulate could well have left us in a very vulnerable position.

Whether by hook or by crook the decisions of the board may well have prevented us from following a number of clubs who are going to have a very cold winter this year.