Thursday, 28 May 2009

End of May and it's all happening....

The Irish consortium controlling Sunderland in recent years have been bought out by Ellis Short, another ambitious American. His first mistake as new owner has been to sanction the appointment of Steve Bruce - a hard and costly lesson for Ellis methinks.

Portsmouth look close to being bailed out by an Arabian businessman assuming they get through their due diligence and the first decision there may be to confirm Paul Hart's temporary managerial role or perhaps to make a more ambitious appointment.

In Scotland Celtic are on the look out for a replacement for Gordon Strachan and are sniffing around Owen Coyle and Tony Mowbray. It would surely only be an emotional decision if Coyle accepted the post having secured Premier League football for the Clarets. Mowbray on the other hand has not been seeing eye-to-eye with the West Brom Chairman for some time and he could decide enough's enough.

Aberdeen have finally tired of the Rangers-loving Jimmy Calderwood and they are casting around for a new manager, although former players are probably the best bet for a club that needs to build on it's glorious achievements of the not-to-distant past. Mark "loyal" McGhee and Eric Black are being talked up over the border.

Chelsea court Ancelotti and Newcastle take deep breaths on Shearer and Dowie and Dowie's brother. Even Gareth Southgate will be sweating over his meeting with the most loyal Chairman in football. Elsewhere in the Premier the change is all about strengthening for next season.

Meanwhile, in the Coca-Cola leagues Reading are are the lookout for a new boss and Kevin Blackwell ponders his future at Sheffield United. Ian Hollway has already got back on the horse at Blackpool and Jonny Metgod has joined Clough at Derby. The Coca-Cola clearouts are of credit crunch proportions and have been going since the season finished. Even play-off losers Millwall announced 10 to go yesterday - five of them who arguably could have expected another season.

There's a common theme running through many of the biggest changes here in terms of takeovers and managerial replacements, and that is that they are the clubs who have, generally speaking, failed or disappointed this season. No great surprise in that of course but it is happening across the board.

The one club that should perhaps figure high on this list in terms of changes is our own Charlton Athletic. Not only a second successive relegation in three seasons, but a financial calamity and we look to be caught in a debt spiral in League One unless we can break the mould. Rumours abound of course but the ongoing silence has fans shifting in the seats and cynics amongst them claiming nothing's going on. Heated speculation of an announcement last week came to nought and another week is closing out. 

However, let just take stock for a minute; it is still only May; most players contracts don't expire for another month; the transfer window doesn't open until 1st July; we know any takeover negotiations are delicate matters, price-affecting and can unsettle staff, players and supporters, so there should be no great surprise at the silence. On top of all that, we know that the Board do want to sell and they have remained tight-lipped over all of the most recent speculation. Peter Varney too has said nothing - him a fan like us as well - someone who has nothing to lose by denying his involvement in any takeover if there was no truth in it - when asked directly by the SLP he didn't deny it.

What's more, the Board haven't taken any decision on extending Phil Parkinson's managerial position and there has been zero movement on players - incoming or outgoing. Again, at the very leat you would have expected the announcement of the termination of those contracts expiring for the players everyone accepts won't be kept on because they are not good enough and too expensive in any event for League One, irrespective of who owns the club next season e.g. Darren Ambrose. At the bottom of the food chain a large number of staff have been laid-off at the Valley  but that was immediate cost-cutting post the last match and they can be replaced relatively easily when the need arises.

I remain very confident something is happening and we just need to be patient. I only hope any announcement doesn't ultimately disappoint in terms of the people involved, the depth of their financial backing and height of their ambition. New owners who manage to acquire control but end up with limited funds in terms of making the changes we need or financing the club properly for a few years at least would only be like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titantic.


Kings Hill Addick said...

My biggest fear Dave is that there will be no takeover at all and the club will be forced to sell players to fund the running of the club for the season ahead.

I have to confess to being one of the conspiracy theorists that believe there was never going to be a takeover, but the continued ‘rumours’ that there would be were not being denied so that we could maximise season ticket sales.

If this is the case I suspect that it will have minimal effect as many fans have learned to trust little during the months of April, May and June.

The fact that we keep hearing rumours that a deal will be done ‘within the next week’ does nothing to dispel my fears that this is just PR to sell tickets.

I really hope I’m wrong, but I can’t find it within myself to blame the club officials for trying this ruse (assuming that they are).

I think we will hear something early in June. I cannot see any reason to hold off the planning for next season once we are past the season ticket deadline for keeping your seat. Thus I suspect that the rumours of the take over will be denied and a decision on Parkinson and the players will be announced by the 10th of June, or a takeover will be agreed and announced so that the new owners have time to plan for next season.

Either way I have a feeling we will know by the end of the week after next. Let’s hope I’m wrong

Suze said...

And on visiting the site today, there's an article from Steve Waggott about their forward thinking, and driving business into the club after the loss of parachute payments and relegation. He speculates that Carbrini will not want to extend their sponsorship for a further season, after the initial one year deal is now complete, and the club are also looking for a sponsor for the big screen...amongst other needed money.
As to our manager...I think patience is all we can have. As assistant manager Parky had a contract until 2010, as manager...didn't it end with the season? I can't remember any more being reported.
As to getting rid of players. If their contracts run out next month, and we don't want them, let their contracts run out irksome negotiations needed then.
I see that Gibson backed Darren Southgate yesterday, to get them back..

Dave said...

KHA - If it's a ruse to sell season tickets, I don't think they've been very imaginative! All those swithering over their renewal decision will presumably have been encouraged to hold on for an announcement when their purchase could be counted as part of the reaction to the news and a commitment to the future? Dave.

Dave said...

Suze - not sure on Parky. He got the manager's post until the end of the season but I don't think they changed the underlying terms of his agreement. Maybe he can and will revert to backroom dutied as and when a decision is made about the manager? Southgate is a lucky man - Dave.