The comments from the Board about the unhelpful timing of any possible supporter protests indicated that a possible resolution could be close. I also thought that the decision to play Andy Gray on Saturday was not insignificant; a fee of £600,000 and terms have apparently been agreed, so it would appear that we have had a change of heart. A statement from Barnsley's Simon Davey yesterday alluded to the fact that the deal was slipping away and that they were "frustrated to be on other people's timescales."That sort of money is not something we could reject lightly in the present circumstances and dependent takeover negotiations are the only reason I can see why this deal would not have gone through. I'm not saying that I think Gray himself is necessarily key to anyone's plans at the moment but his actual transfer could be part of a bigger deal hence the comment about timings.
I know there have been too many false dawns already on this takeover but there must be pressure to conclude it ahead of the first game of the season. If it doesn't happen, the Board will be under pressure to update us ahead of the programme notes on Saturday.
One certain bit of good news yesterday was the announcement that we are one of the sides given a bye into the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. This is the cup competition for League One and Two sides that gives you a realistic chance of appearing at Wembley. Obviously I have dismissed this cup competitionin the past but now believe it's a splendid idea and much more relevant that the micky mouse League Cup or a third round appearance in the F A Cup. Four games from Wembley?
Finally, for the Royal Oak matchday regulars, I have good news. The pub duly re-opened as planned yesterday. It has been given a much needed spring clean and some obvious improvements. Three televisions have been put up, working on independent Sky boxes; pot plants (albeit plastic ones) and fresh flowers abound; all of the beer is available, including two real ales; a range of snacks are on sale and there is the promise of sandwiches and then hot food. The new landlady is young and has plans. She has plenty of experience in the business and is looking forward to a long stint in charge, which I think means that they have an option on the lease.
Charlton 'til I die!