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FAN VIEW ON ROVERS GAME.

Was I there or was I dreaming ? We suddenly saw the flip side of the Swindon display- a gutsy determined all round effort , plenty of putting their players under pressure; but more than anything a team looking and determined to score goals! No more endless regurgitation of the ball in endless predictable patterns .A team with verve, passing quickly and getting the ball wide as soon as they could. If Ricky had been playing we might well have eclipsed the Barnsley record ! Quite a few of the West Country Branch there to enjoy it too. Nugent has done well , it will be interesting to see what Robinson does if he comes in. Steve Smith

My Valley Visit

For the first time since I started supporting Charlton at 4 years of age I had to ask myself  "do I want a ticket to the game" whilst I was visiting family in London last week,  I did eventually purchase a ticket, mainly for the social side of things, I don't get to see some friends very often and a couple of pints before football is a good place to meet.

The game itself was rubbish, the joy I felt when we scored was nothing, the love I had for the club is being diminished on a daily basis and I hope that when changes come the damage is repairable.

The football was slow and laboured, central midfield only able to go sideways and backwards at a speed no faster than slow was the main problems of a poor showing, the defence looks solid enough, Ricky Holmes showed good intent on running at the Chesterfield back four, Lookman looked disinterested like he didn't want to be there any more, Botaka when he came on also showed some good attacking play to create some chances.

Magginess and Aose struggled to link together but probably a partnership that needs time, Ajose did miss a couple of decent chances but with time I'm sure will take them, 25 goals last season wasn't a fluke.

The squad on paper looks decent if we could improve centre midfield with a bit of pace and flair that we don't currently have in the sqaud.

Is Slade the right man, probably not for me, negative in his approach but probably not helped by the goings on at the club and I don't think any manager could work in the atmosphere that has been created at the club, interestingly ex Sint-Truiden boss Chris O'Loughlin was watching from the directors box on Saturday, read into that what you will but ultimately for me at the moment the emotion has been drained.

Kevin Crout




Some more views on the goings on at the Valley from Malcolm Bunn

Am I the only one who has a feeling of numbness when the League One results are published this season?  I have lost that excitement when we score, draw or that gut retching feeling of a loss.  The emotion has gone, the fans have gone, the excitement has gone, the passion has gone.  How can I give up on 50 years of following a team? But walking away is what I am contemplating.  Things have been very dark in the past but why is it different this time?  In my opinion, something is rotten to the core at the club.
I have refrained from making comments about the new 'English manager' (sic) and players so far in the hope that we would by this stage of the season, let me remind you we are a quarter of the way through, be near or at the top of the division - not the bottom.  Perhaps this was also the master plan of the owner and CEO and they were hoping in my euphoria of riding high I would forget all the 'bad' news from the last 2 years and would be pleased lessons had been learnt and taken on board.  Who knows, maybe I would have.  Unfortunately that plan has not come to fruition and the poor performance of the team and the manager's dire tactics suggests 'lessons' have not been learnt.  Importantly, It also has nothing to do with protests from the fans - there have been none so far this season so they can't be blamed; it's self made and down to the structure at the club.
Perhaps sensing that the remaining fans are not going to keep things 'bottled up' for much longer and bad PN is around the corner, I understand the CEO on Wednesday invited representatives of CARD to a meeting on Thursday 6th October.  Two things here; how can anyone prepare for a meeting in less than 24 hours notice especially when you don't know what the agenda is, secondly why would you want to meet a group whose only agenda is to get you and your boss 'outta dodge'?  An article in the Daily Mail:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3824909/Chaos-Charlton-fans-prepare-march-former-Premier-League-club-mess.html

Facing similar problems of their own, the Sky Blues fans are joining the Charlton fans for a protest march on Saturday.  This could be the last large turn out of fans for sometime so might be worthwhile attending!  It will be more than the owner will do as he has not appeared at the ground since October 2014 but it was reassuring to read him state that Charlton Athletic " make up less than 1.5%" of his business portfolio.
Lastly, back to the 'Nightmare' who seems busy on pursuing her own career as she has been appointed one of 4 Football League representatives on the FA Council leaving things to the chief scout, Thomas Driesen.  This mid 20 year old allegedly has no qualifications but an influential role in recommending players.  Why?  Enough.
I want my 'Happy Valley' back and in my opinion, that will not occur if we continue to go along handing over our money to the outfit who own and run our club.  Your thoughts?
Malcolm

Below was an email received by the West Country supporters club from John Salvatore

CAST do currently adhere to the belief that Duchatelet should sell up
and they transmitted this belief in person to Meire and Richard Murray
at a meeting between the Club and CAST representatives last season
whilst I believe the West Country branch have no official policy on the
current ownership but have adopted a neutral stance as I understood it
from the last AGM so I assume that individual members are free to
choose whether to join or not.

I should add that I am a member of CAST and am standing for election
to their committee from the coming November.

The words are those of Dave Lockwood the former Valley PA announcer
written before the start of the season.

It seems the perfect storm has hit Charlton. Relegation to the third
tier of English football, an absent owner ambivalent to the fate of his
English acquisition coupled with local rivals moving to a brand new
ground only a few miles from the Valley. It seems the Gods of football
really have it in for us.

It’s fair to say that the vast majority of Charlton fans accept that
things are far from perfect with Charlton Athletic FC; admittedly some
have stronger feelings than others. The growth of discontent from an
initial post on Charlton Life asking the club to spell out their
ambitions to the mass protests and gleeful destruction of part of that
sofa at the last home game of the season proved, beyond doubt, that
many were correct to worry about the intentions of Roland Duchâtelet
after his takeover in 2013. Only now are we truly seeing the
repercussions of his ownership. I fear we have a lot more to find out.
>As fans we need representation. We used to have that in the form of
the supporters' club and its many branches, one of which I’m proud to
have played my part in founding. Now, though, times have changed: the
supporters club and its many branches are no more, a victim of the
clubs successes in the early part of this century. After all, we
thought, what could go wrong? We’d done it, reached the Premier League
and grown our club to filling out the Valley week in week out. We got
complacent. Attempts were made to form a Trust, but why did we need
one, surely not Charlton of all clubs? We’d elected successive fans to
the board and we all worked in unity. If only we knew.
After the sale of the club to the Jimenez consortium, louder alarm
bells should have rung when the rumours of financial troubles started
emerging after that wonderful title winning season. Thankfully a few
fans managed to keep on track and a Trust was born.
CAS Trust ensures our voice is heard, whether or not the club likes
it: they represent all of us. Their work collectively with other trusts
uncovered the dirty double dealing behind the Olympic Stadium
conversion and showed how West Ham are going to be financially boosted
by their occupation of the former Olympic site. They represent us at a
national level, highlighting the issues we know so well. Our Trust
represents us on the Fans Forum; OK, we all know it’s not making any
difference but it ensures there is dialogue, if only one way, and that
our views are heard if not heeded.
I’m sure that the Trust will have pointed out the ludicrous decision
to impose charges on ticket purchases for walk up fans, at a time when
West Ham can offer Premier League football at an affordable price only
a few miles away.
That’s why I rejoined the Trust in May of this year and why I
encourage every single Charlton fan to do so. When the current regime
are gone, and yes. one day it will happen, the new owner(s) will need
to see and hear a united front from us and the Trust gives us that
representation. The more of us that are behind it, the more our voice
is heard and the more weight we have. If you do anything this season,
join the Trust. It will be the best £5 you spend all year.
>Register at: http://www.castrust.org/ if interested in joining.

Written by John Salvatore

NEW MANAGER APPOINTED


Just in case you have missed the 'breaking news', and no I'm not referring to any brexit rumours, Charlton have at last appointed/found a new manager on 'D' Day.  Let's hope that is a good omen.

Russell Slade is the new man and he has a 3 year contract.  He has a wiki entry here if you are not that familiar with the name:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Slade

I of course wish him all the best in his new position in the hope he can at least get us back up to the Championship.  As always in life there is a 'however'.  There are a few interesting references in his wiki CV which leave me very concerned.  The first refers to his time at Leyton Orient:

"Slade has developed a reputation for being an effective man manager, and a very savvy operator within the transfer market who never bought a player whilst at Leyton Orient, instead bringing in a number of players on free transfers."

and referring to his time at Cardiff City:

"Slade was tasked with reducing the clubs wage bill which was still inflated due to their relegation from the Premier League in the previous season and saw seven first team players leave the club in his first 3 months in charge. Slade became unpopular with a large section of supporters and crowd numbers fell dramatically during his tenure"

Sadly, ideals that seem to fit Duchatalet's grand plan on how clubs should be run.  Initially it appears to me, and despite words from the CEO to the contrary, nothing has fundamentally changed at the club.  I thought lessons had been learned?  I really hope I am proved very wrong.

Hope you are enjoying this spell of warm weather

Malcolm

SPREADING THE WEST COUNTRY WORD

South West supporters club member and long time Charlton fan John Salvatore joined forces with the Exeter City supporters club and aquired a space on their pre match stall before their game against Mansfield Town.

John was spreading the word of the Charlton Athletic supporters trust delivered to the Charlton 'senior management team' ealrier in the week, that they should sell the club.

PROTESTS

As i'm sure most of you are aware there were protests at the Valley on Saturday, before the game around 300 attended outside the West stand whilst approx 2,000 gathered again at 5:00pm.

There have been a few protests previously but nothing on the scale of the after game protest, why have so many fans changed their minds in the last few weeks? I think mainly due to the web summit interview that appeared online featuring Katrien Meire, if you haven't seen it you can watch here
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tIVCaZfF5s

To be labelled as 'weird' or that we are just 'customers' is arrogant and disrespectful to all the fans that spend a lot of time and money to support their team. If we were to have a bad meal at a resturant or received poor service at the cinema then we would tell lots of people and wouldn't return, football is not like that it's a love and passion that is built into us and one that cannot be taken from us.

The protest itself was conducted in a fair and peaceful manner with all behaving in the right respect with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure. There are plenty of photos and videos on social media of the protests.

Will this achieve anything then who knows but if a business has so many unhappy customers then surely something must be wrong and needs to be adressed.

Driving back west on Saturday after the game there were 3 callers on the Stan Collymore radio show who spoke very well about the situationand again on Sunday there was another Charlton fan who spoke so much better than I can write, also I must compliment Stan homself who was aware of the situation, had viewed Katriens interview and was well researched on the goings on.

Hopefully something good will come from the protests and I feel that the pressure needs to be kept on Roland, this is not his plaything and although he pays the bills we are a football team and are here to compete on the pitch, we have won battles before and he shouldn't underestimate the Charlton fan.

Up the Addicks

 

Lester Trask in The Voice of the Valley

Message from Lester's Daughter Jayne:

Dear Kevin, 

I just read Dave's lovely tribute to my dad, it made me fill up with pride to know how much he was loved by you all.

I'm sure dad will be with you in spirit at every game now getting a birds eye view from the skies.
I remember going with dad to home matches when I was about 9 and not being a football person It wasn't my ideal way of spending a Saturday afternoon but just to be in my dads presence made it all that much better, oh how I wish I could relive those moments, I would in a heartbeat.

Please don't forget dad as he will live in your hearts forever as he will me.
I will always be so proud of dad for the lovely, gentle guy he was and more proud to have had him as my dad.

Thank you to all the Charlton supporters,you are regarded as dads extended family..

Much love to you
Jayne xx

Family Member An away-day at Bournemouth with brother Roger and familyTribute to Lester Trask

It will be unreal not to see Lester outside the Club Shop on matchdays and to bump into him on the odd away matches we went to from different parts of the country. Not to look up into the North Stand from my seat in the East Stand and to be able to spot Lester sitting with all his family. Not to phone him and be welcomed by his deep but dulcet tones ‘watcher Woody’. Not to see him at every Branch meeting and to wait for his reasoned comments collected from years of experience. Lester often joked about it but I never thought this time would come… he will be missed in so many ways.

By Dave Wood

Meeting point outside the club shopMeeting point outside the club shop

Messages received from members on hearing the news of Lesters passing.

Peter Phipps:

Really sad to hear this news. May he rest in peace.

Chris Greenway:

That's very sad. Lester was responsible for persuading me and the wife to take our two (at the time very young) boys to Wembley to the play-off final against Sunderland. I wasn't going to go but he rang me a couple of times and said there was still room on the coach and that we should go. Boy, am I am glad we did.
Regards
Chris (Valley Boy gone West)

Lester Trask

3rd July 1951 – 28th October 2015

It is with much sadness that we must announce the death of our much-loved and greatly respected Honorary Life President Lester Trask who died on Wednesday 28th October 2015, aged 64. Lester passed away peacefully in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton after a period of heart problems. His wife Rita and daughter Jane were at his bedside and our thoughts go out to them.
Lester had been a supporter of the Addicks since his childhood days when he used to be taken on the train to Charlton matches home and away with his brothers by his football-keen father. Born in Pembury Hospital, Lester grew up in Tonbridge, Kent and was one of seven boys and three girls. He moved to Taunton in 1992 but the long distance to The Valley did not stop him watching his beloved team. He drove regularly to the matches with fellow supporters and West Country members Steve Smith, Ed Southorn and Mike Turtell. He was a season ticket holder in the North Stand where he sat with Brother Roger and other family members.
When the West Country Branch of the Charlton Supporters Club was started twenty years ago, Lester played a leading part in it’s formation and has been the figurehead ever since. He was Chairman for a long period and played a crucial role in organising many events for the Branch including the trip to Wembley for the play-off final in 1998. Lester was also well known to senior figures in the Football Club at Charlton, in particular to Martin Simons and Chris Parkes.
The funeral will be held on Thursday 12th November 1.00pm at the Taunton Deane Crematorium and all West Country members are welcome. Cheerful and laid-back to the end, Lester requested that it should not be a sad occasion, no black to be seen and that all football fans should wear their football shirts. We will all miss you Lester.
---------------------------------------------------
If any member has memories and/or photos of Lester that you would like to post on this page as a tribute, please email them to Kevin Crout on kcrouty@aol.com

Gladys Dutton 1924-2015Gladys Dutton

21st September 1924 – 27th September 2015


The funeral took place yesterday of the CASC West Country Branch President, Gladys Dutton. Daughter of Charlton’s most sucessful manager Jimmy Seed, Gladys passed away peacefully aged 91 at her nursing home in Taunton on Sunday 27th September with her son James and daughter Jenni by her bedside.

Gladys had been President of our Branch for eighteen years, almost as long as the Branch has been in existance.

Representing the Branch and the Club, Chairman Dave Chatfield and our Vice-President Lester Trask attended Gladys’ funeral held at St Michael’s Church in Milverton. Both were well received by the family and friends of Gladys as were the flowers from the Branch and from the Club.
The longer-serving members of our Branch may remember her at An Evening with Gladys Dutton, a light-hearted question and answer session held at the Royal Ashton Hotel in Taunton and she was always on hand on the few but memorable occasions when Club officials or ex-players visited the West Country. Lester Trask met her and her husband several times.
Her most important connection with Charlton was the renaming of the South Stand at The Valley to the Jimmy Seed Stand in honour of her father for all to see today.
We are proud to have had Gladys as our leader and I know that many of our members – especially those who were involved in setting up the Branch – will miss her prescence.


'I don't believe it!', but I should

I see that the RD Belgian merry go around continues and that Jose Riga has been appointed manager of Standard Liege - again.  So the caretaker manager at Liege, Ivan Vukomanovic (IV) who had taken the club from 13th to 5th gets the sack, sounds familiar?  So is the master plan to move Luzon onto Blackpool and we end up with IV?  Some interesting comments on the internet emanating from Belgian media about the capabilities of RD.

And in the meantime we have another journeyman joining the club until the end of the season.  This time it is Roger Johnson, a centre half who was at Wolves but hasn't played this season so some weeks before he is match fit.  And that was it for the transfer window.  What has happened to my club?

Malcolm


I was in London yesterday and saw these 2 articles in the London Evening Standard:

http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/charlton-players-concerned-that-guy-luzon-lacks-the-right-experience-9977022.html

http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/charlton-chief-executive-katrien-meire-fans-must-accept-how-we-run-club-9981096.html

Parts of the second article got my blood temperature on the rise.  If this "Guy" is to be the next Alex Ferguson, why was he sacked from Standard Liege last October?  Surely you would not pass up on such talent?  I have a feeling there is a language problem with the management/board at the Valley who are not thinking about how what they say will sound to us 'native' English speakers.  ie the CEO whinging that she has to answer to the fans which allegedly would not happen in "any other business".  Huh?  Surely all CEO's have to answer to the shareholders and if the share price goes down or there has been a bit of Tesco accounting going on, they are out.  And the sentence "it is important to find a balance - the reality is that football is a business" does not make sense.  What we the fans are complaining about is that the new owners are not finding a balance at the moment, they are seemingly just railroading over us, the players and history.  I'm not that naive to argue football is not a business these days, but it still depends on us putting our hands in our pockets and parting with our money come match day.  I'm a fan, not an ATM.  Treat me as a fan.

To say she "lied" about the next appointment being an "extensive search" is perhaps a little harsh but more of an indication of who is pulling the strings - something she alludes to if the article is read very carefully.  I have a feeling the CEO had very little to do with the appointment of Guy which suggests she has little to do with the club apart from reporting the "bottom line" to her boss across the North Sea each week.

I found the table at the bottom of the article interesting and went in search of Llewellyn Charles "Alan" Curbishley's stats.  For the 729 games he was in charge, his win % was 38.52%.  I wonder how low the stats would have been for some of those who took charge after him if they had managed to stick around for more than 'dog watch'.

So,  for the fourth time in 12 months, let's get behind our new manager and hope it is not too soon we are praying for November the 5th to arrive.

Come on you Reds

Malcolm

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