Tuesday, 1 December 2015

December Crunch

With our side hovering in 21st and desperate for some sustained competitiveness as well as points, December promises to a pivotal month and should influence what, if anything, happens in the January transfer window. 

I've had a look at the fixture list and it's not encouraging.

Brighton (a) - Currently top of the table and going great guns. I expect us to lose with something to spare.

Leeds (h) - Should be a match to get something from as their current plight mirrors ours, although they will come to the morgue with 3200 loud-mouth Yorkies and will make life difficult. They have a decent record in SE7 and I can see them taking something back up the M1.

Bolton (h) - This is a Tuesday night and i am expecting the morgue to resemble just that. The night-match stayers-away should ensure the actual attendance is sub-ten thousand as Bolton will only bring a few hundred. It could be a new era low. We should win this as they are currently bottom but we should have beaten Preston in our last home night match and we lost that 3-0.

Burnley (a) - Up in 5th and strongly competitive. I expect us to go down here on the Saturday before Christmas in front of a hardy band of travellers and our Northern contingent. I am supposed to be at this one with the returning Mexican but even he doesn't fancy it this year - sign of the times.

Bristol City (a) - A real six-pointer but we look like being in the mixer and might be blowing a bit by then. It's also Boxing Day when our players are usually digesting a huge meal the opposition didn't have. We don't do Christmas, do we?

Wolves (h) - last Monday of 2015 and the Old Gold should have plenty of vocal backing. A winnable game this but much will depend on fitness of the squad and confidence or lack of it gained from the previous games. I suspect it will be a fitting low point to end the year.

In summary, I think we are looking at 6 or 7 points from that lot which I suspect will have us in the drop-zone at the half-way stage. What will Roly decide to do then? Back his incompetent interim manager or hang him out to dry before appointing number Six? I am pretty sure we will see two or three new faces but I don't expect us to shell out. Surviving on half-rations this year should see us close to break-even but the risk of relegation will be very real, especially if we don't gamble in January.


Bob Miller said...

Dave, I find it quite ironic and very inconsistent that when the club falters on the pitch, Roland is very quick to pull the plug on the manager/coach and bring in somebody new to hopefully change the direction. One wonders how long he will continue to stick with Katrien Meire, when clearly, the club itself, as a business, is being managed poorly and in actual fact seems totally dysfunctional in its mode of operation? Supporters, both season ticket holders and walk-up, are staying away in droves and those who do attend are waving proteting posters all over the place. As I have stated elsewhere, Target 20,000 seems right on schedule as soon, that will be the average number of empty seats for each home match. CAFC has to be bleeding red numbers all over the place, on a week-to-week basis to the point you have to ask just what is being done behind the scenes to rectify this situation? Something has to give. Either a full scale shake-up takes place or Roland announces he has sold the farm, just as he did at Standard Liege. It simply cannot go on this way, as it is a business and a business cannot survive with a constant cash flow drain. So, I guess the point I am trying to make is that whether the club wins, loses or draws on the pitch, as per your summary above, the overall "problem" of Charlton Athletic, is much more than that.

David Walker said...

God that makes depressing reading but reality often does. Wolves away in my opinion was when it all started to go wrong, we were playing quite well and were just about on top when Makienok went off injured. Wolves took control then but somehow we took the lead and if we'd got our tactics right could have got something from the game. We couldn't hold on to the lead and went home losing 2-1 and feeling very depressed. On the way up there we had met Katrien Miere on the train and enjoyed a good chat and some photos with her, she is very charming and coped well with the laddish atmosphere. There was no sense of what was to come. We could have bounced back at home to Rotherham in our next game but after a bright but ineffective start we went behind, we managed to equalise but a draw against the bottom club at home was poor. We went on to lose at home to Huddersfield and Preston both clubs at or near the bottom and the rot had well and truly set in.
I'm waffling now but the run of games described by Dave has a similar look with games against Leeds, Bolton and Bristol City all vital to get 3 points as I can see us getting zilch in all the other games.
I think as Dave that we will be in the bottom 3 when the January window opens and RD will probably appoint a new manager and spend just enough to see us have our now customary late flourish and escape the dreaded drop but then what? I have little or no hope that RD has learned anything and after the expectation of this close season I won't be holding my breath.
I said "part of me doesn't care anymore" but of course I do, I care passionately but I'm not going let my passion rule my head and I won't be watching The Addicks until they show real improvement both in attitude and results.

Dave said...

Dave - "our customary late flourish" is what I think passes for "competitive in the Championship." History tells us that sides who flirt with relegation get relegated sooner rather than later. Everyone looks for three worse temas than themsleves and I number of the poorest sides in this division already have us on their lists.

Buzaboutabit said...

Dave, You say in your piece that we should break-even. I'm not privy to the actual numbers but in big picture terms, the club's income only pays for the administration costs of the club which excludes the football costs (players wages etc).
So again in big picture terms, the losses of the club are generated by football costs. Keeping the players wages down simply reduces the losses.

Dave said...

Buzaboutabit - I'm don't know the actuals but am working on the basis that she reduced the arrears last year, particularly with the sale of Gomez and she is on record for saying we were over budget so far this year. Since then we have shifted Tony Watt and I am working on an assumption that we will sell someone else later this season to help balance the books. RD might find he has to stump up in January to try and assure our status but given what we've seen so far, I wouldn't be surprised if he keeps his hands in his pockets and gambles that we can finish above three others. An unlikely Cup run or even a third round exit at a top side could make a difference too.

Dave said...


Using your Target 20,000 empty seat analogy, we could make it for the Bolton game if we lose the next two....


David Walker said...

RD must have known how competitive The Championship is, he's a multi-millionaire and you don't become a multi-millionaire without doing your homework so we must assume he knows what it takes to compete in this league. Knowing all this, he still bought Charlton Athletic, on paper a club that has seen better days, is struggling both financially and on the pitch, has great potential but needs considerable investment, so why, why, why did he go ahead and buy the club, what does he hope to gain?

He has invested in the academy, I suppose that's to cover losses by producing players to sell on but he has completely alienated the customer, the Charlton supporters with his arrogant 'my way' attitude. Time after time, together with his accomplice in crime Katrien Miere he has not only rubbed our faces in the dirt, he has gone on to slap us around the head and by giving away Tony Watt, possibly our best and certainly our most exciting player he has kicked us in the bollox!

He hasn't got many backing him now, I was very patient and honestly thought we would progress especially with the new signings during the summer....yes, I got excited and thought we were going to be contenders this season. It's all gone pear shaped, promotion is out of the question and we face a desperate battle against relegation, I think we will survive as RD will spend just enough to keep us up and probably appoint a new manager who will get us on a decent run and then sack him next summer!

We're approximately half way through his 5 year plan, where will we be at the end of it?

We could be a well run club with no debt but also a boring club with no ambition, do we want a business or a football club? I'd rather have a 'risk it all' owner, it might leave us in a financial mess but hey ho it would certainly be exciting and bring the crowds back and you never know we just might make it!

Dave said...

Dave - the simple reason he bought us was to exploit FFP across Europe with a network model. FFP is dead and he has a9ld his biggest asset. Got to hope he sells his second biggest network asset.

Terry Ryall said...

I agree totally with Bob Miller's excellent summary of the situation at CAFC. The problem is deeply structural and this is because as Dave comments the network model was dependent on the implementation of FFP. This was always a theoretical basis which, even if it had been successfully established, would have required a level of skill and experience in football matters at a high level that RD simply does not have himself and that clearly doesn't exist within his circus of employees. RD is clinging desperately to the remnants of a failed strategy and appears to lack any sort of clear and decisive thinking around an alternative.

Anonymous said...

What annoys me is the"if we throw enough money at it in January, we should stay up". What puts bums on seats is team spirit, regardless of what league you are in. That was the Charlton I remember.