Happy New Year
Ordinarily New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection but I sit here this morning ruminating over the future of something I have loved since the first afternoon my Dad walked me down the huge steps of the East Terrace in 1975.
Two years ago today the club was shrouded in rumours of an impending takeover by a mysterious Belgian, one of the richest men in the country. 24 months later hardly a day goes by that further shocks me at what damage this man has caused. The spivs’ CV is widely impressive compared to what has gone on since their departure, but potless and disinterested we all welcomed new investment, enthusiasm, better communication and an opportunity to build on the foundations that Chris Powell and players that etched their name in CAFC history like Yann Kermorgant, Dale Stephens, Michael Morrison, Ben Hamer, Rhoys Wiggins, Chris Solly and Johnnie Jackson had started.
Only Solly and Jackson remain and they cut forlorn figures on The Valley turf at the end of the game on Monday as anger poured down from three sides of the ground. Shiny new seats and painted steps a reminder of how f**ked up this whole journey has been.
I’ve repeated this statement many times before on this Blog, but Charlton Athletic has been dear to me longer than only three people in my life. It has been a love affair for over 40 years, and it is my blood, my father’s blood and my son’s blood.
If that makes us weird, then fine, but blood is thicker than water and thicker than any crackpot millionaire and his stooges and puppets that are attempting to dismantle something that I and many other thousands have an emotional ownership of.
It is our football club, no one else’s, let’s get it back.
I’d like to thank you all for coming back to read my posts, which have recently been dominated by the Addicks, but is also a journal of the life I re-started after I moved to Chicago in 2003 and then to Bermuda in 2008. I had an incredible 180,000 visits this year, which has me shaking my head both in pride and disbelief. Anyone that takes time out of their busy days to not only read but then comment is very much appreciated.
In 2016 I reach a landmark birthday, and no doubt you will sense a mixture of excitement and melancholy in my posts as I reach it next summer. Bermuda is still being kind to us, although work is challenging, but my other half (“They always lose”), my daughter (“Daddy did your team lose again”) and my son (“Dad, what the hell is going on down there”) remind me that life is to be lived and enjoyed to the max.
Tonight we are going to have an English New Year’s Eve. No, not 10 pints and a kebab, but at 7pm we will put Capital Radio on and enjoy the party music until the chimes ring out the new year at midnight, 8pm here. Then we’ll put the little ‘un to bed and crack open some wine with no pressure to stay up until 12.
Wherever you are and whatever you do tonight, I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and that 2016 is the year that we get our Charlton back.