Charlton Athletic is the religion of some and the enjoyment of others.Few predicted that the Championship would be easy. It has not been, we are now in our third season and our fourth will be a major test for the club, especially Katrien Miere and Roland Duchatalet. The team will need to be strengthened to challenge at least for a play off place, with an investment in players.
I wish I knew how to add music to this blog, I would start with the East Enders music, after all we are an east end club, as our announcer last season stated (twat). Anyway, before I have started, I digress.
Many years ago when I was but a boy, football was much more fun, in my opinion, waiting from Sunday to Saturday for the saturation of football on TV, with On The Ball and later in the evening Match Of The Day, followed the next day by Brain Moore’s the Big Match. The highlight of the year would be the FA cup final a live game and you may get a few more in the form of the home internationals or a European final. The top tier of football would be competed for by the likes of Ipswich, Derby, Nottingham Forest, Carlisle, Norwich and then came money, wall to wall live TV,you can even watch live games from the Irish League – when I was a kid I did not even realise there was an irish league, unless it was located in Highbury. Players drove in “plush” top of the range Ford Cortinas, when they retired bought pubs or hairdressers and married their childhood sweat hearts and shagged their friends (no change there) and they never used the words spit and roast in the same sentence.
The football I knew, the football I enjoyed has died, it is gone, no more,if it is gone, if it has died I want to know who killed our football.
I don’t know the answer to the question, but I know who the suspects are and leave you to decide on their guilt.
The Suspects Stacey Branning – Slater
Responsible for the murder of Archie Mitchell and the unemployment of Charlton supporting Bradley “Charlie Clements” Branning, surely the neurotic Stacey cannot have been the cause of the ills of the football world. Maybe not, but could she be the object of Ashley Coles texting attentions.
Sky TV – Played by Ian Beale
Many blame Sky for the evils that have entered football and it is easy to point to evidence that damns them. It is Sky who have scheduled football so that top flight Saturday football could well be on a Sunday or Monday. They have pumped millions in to the game, millions that the terrestrial companies have never tried to match and lets face it would we want our licence money spent in this way. This money has been used by football not to build the game but to enrich many especially players and agents.
But is it really Sky’s fault? Sky’s only role in protecting football is to protect the goose that is laying the golden egg. It is Football that has drawn subscribers to Sky, Sky’s responsibility however is not to them but to their shareholders and if spending billions means that they generate a volume of subscribers that then go on to generate shareholder profits then Sky are doing what they are there for. Football cannot count on the cash machine that is Sky
The FA – Played by Dot Cotton
The stuffy men in blazers, who were rolled over by the smart marketing types from Sky and the Premier League, they thought that they were in control, but the carpet was taken from beneath them and they failed to protect the lower leagues and the grass roots of football. Can they be accused of killing football or just criminal negligence.
The Players – Played by Phil Mitchell
When clubs are paying 80 -95% of income in wages there has to be something wrong. With the elite earning upwards of £100,000 a week and even at Charlton’s level players earning £3-8,000 a week when Banks are refusing overdrafts, fans are being put on short weeks and that’s the ones amongst us that have kept their jobs. Club revenues are reducing as fans cannot afford season tickets or a family day out for over £100.
So the finger of blame must be aimed at the players, but then they only asked for stupid salaries, the clubs could have refused, but the quest for glory is too great and clubs continue to spend to achieve it, but more often than not – Leeds, Notts County, Portsmouth – all is in vain.
The Fans – Played by Gary Hobbs
We have allowed it to happen, we are so parochial to our teams that we never collectively defend our game, yes you hear people ranting on 606 and clubs have their fans forums but do they have an effect have they ever achieved something in the game of significance? The Wimbledon experience created AFC Wimbledon, but what was that victory those fans had a team in the semi professional leagues instead of the 2nd tier and MK Dons took their place at the higher level. Fans power at the pinnacle of English football created a new semi professional team, but there remained Manchester United a formerly solvent club, now indebt to some £3/4 billion. If all fans collectively protested maybe people power would have worked.
The Boards – Played by Max Branning and Saeed Ahmed.
The boards can be seen in different roles, the boar that has followed the quest for glory by spending beyond their means. Only a limited number of teams can win a league, get promotion, qualify for Europe. For some the ream is unrealistic, but even so they follow it. Then there are the new owners, rich Abramovich’s, the owners of Manchester City, the Liverpool yanks. These especially the former two have upped the anti for everyone. When Charlton were promoted to the Prem. £20 mill was thought to be the “outrageous” spend level to stay up, now it will just about buy you a forward, with nothing left to strengthen the rest of the squad. Hasn’t Abramovich done what we all wanted to do when we were kids with our Subbuteo teams, he just has a different slant to it. Is it his fault that the other clubs don’t have the money to compete with him and now Manchester City are the same? Its not long ago we were celebrating being the richest club in the world only for it to be cruelly taken away from us at the last minute, but would we have been really happy buying the success that we had strived for and failed to reach. So these are the suspects in the killing of our football and like all suspense stories, its down to you to decide the accused!!!