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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.

Chicago Addick

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bob Miller #

    A very Happy New Year to you CA, from up here in the relatively “balmy climes” of Southern Ontario. There is so much wrong going on in SE7 at the moment that SOMETHING has to give and one can only hope that it is positive action that moves the club forward. There is no way you get the Duchatelet ownership out of there in short order, so the only viable alternative that I can see is for the man to accept that things are a shambles,hang on to the good players he has, bring in sufficient replacements, hire somebody to oversee the club that knows what they are doing, puts in place a seasoned English field manager and buggers off back to Belgium and leaves them to get the ship back on an even keel. Will something along those lines happen? One can only hope, because otherwise Charlton as a viable football organization is toast!

    December 31, 2015
  2. Paul #

    Happy New Year Mate. My love affair is only 22 year old but is still as strong as ever despite RD and KM best efforts. I live in Ottawa and have been in Canada for 7 years. I was back in London this Christmas and saw with my own eyes the disaster that is Charlton at the moment. I read about it through blogs like yours but to see it with my own eyes was a real shock. I know Charlton will get through this as the club is bigger then the owners. We will have our Charlton back it’s just a question of when.

    The last time I was back at the Valley was the Huddersfield and Bournemouth games back in March 2014. During that time period I would expect to see progression in the team even a small one to show me we are moving in the right direction. However what I saw against Wolves was a team at a worse standard 19 months on. Yes there are injuries but clubs have to prepare for over 50 games a season so there is no excuses not to be prepared for injuries to the stronger players.

    I can only Eco comments from yourself and other bloggers. KM is out of her depth. she lacks the experience of running a club especially an English one which is as expected being found out on match days and by the supporters. The owner isn’t interested apart from making a profit which astounds me as I don’t think any club makes a profit apart from teams in the champions league.

    My only hope is a final day miracle escape or worse relegation will wake this management up. If they want to run Charlton as a business then losing out on 7m a year is a disaster. League one is tough. Just look at how long Sheffield United have been there so if we do go down we might be there a while.

    Please keep up the blog. it’s important for us fans abroad so we still feel connected with other fans

    Best Wishes

    December 31, 2015
  3. Nigel Reddick #

    Happy New Year to you and your family both sides of the Pond CA! Many congrats on your 180000 hits – no surprise to me; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your quality blog. Had to chuckle when one of your articles went viral on Charlton Life last week. When they started complimenting your credentials it felt like they were talking about an old friend!

    Despite all the sh*t games we’ve seen over the past few years, this morning my son and I started planning what games we are going to see for the rest of the season. We should getting tickets for England v Russia (and a quarter final in Paris if we get that far) due to our Away Fan membership and caps, and whilst the tickets are quite cheap the travel is costing a small fortune. So we have to cut back on the games we are seeing to compensate. We’ve decided on watching Colchester in the Cup, rather than Blackburn at home for January. We miss The Forest game this Saturday as we are hosting a family party. A shame really as I’d like to be at the demos which are now more important than what happens on the pitch.

    As for 2015 the best moment has to be when Reece and I were on the front line of the first demo! I think 2016 might require a few more of those!

    Have a good one, and thanks for sharing the pain!

    Pembury Addick

    December 31, 2015
  4. CA Addick (California Addick) #

    Happy New Year to you and your family from Southern California.

    I am a 60+ year supporter albeit from afar the last 40 years. Now think about it, like you and others replying to your blog, we all have a passion and love for our team long after we left and that is what this ignorant and disrespectful ownership and management will never understand. Us fans either in the UK or around the world have a love for the team which goes far beyond being a mere customer.

    To have to stand by and watch them dismantle this club piece by piece and have the illusion that 20000 fans is a possibility with the current dross is frankly astounding.

    All that ultimately matters is what happens on the field. No one is asking that we should get promotion–great if we did- but we want a team that competes on the field, has adequate strength in numbers and there is a chance of winning every time they step out. Today we are far from that.

    The team management changes and appointments could not be explained to anyone.. The fact they have made one lie after another is even more astounding and thinking that we would never notice belies belief.

    I see unfortunately no way out. Last year, I tried to contact two investment groups here in the USA to try to find a new buyer and got nowhere unfortunately. The fact that did not even entertain hearing Varney out perhaps tells its own story. I done see them leaving anytime soon and forget about them leaving.

    In the end, they sell the ground, we move to a smaller stadium, we end up in Div 1 or 2 with a very small payroll. The academy supplies most of the first team and the best get sold off to balance the books.

    A very sad state of affairs.

    Again HAPPY NEW YEAR

    December 31, 2015
  5. Happy New Year CA Addick.

    January 2, 2016
  6. LP #

    HI Chicago – happy new year – I will be sitting down on your behalf today – wish all you overseas fans could be with us. My love affair has been for 47 years now and my heart is breaking. How dare they? It gives me no satisfaction to know that I was right in the first place about this man. Its not about who is on the touchline, or who he puts in charge administratively – changing them will not make a blind bit of difference. He has to go.

    January 2, 2016
  7. LP – Happy New Year to you too.

    You were indeed right from the beginning. Many of us had our doubts as to this man’s intentions but many saw only positives, which is their right. Everyone has to make up their mind and today Meire will see the full unified backlash of her ‘customers’ making that 2% comment just another another ridiculous, embarrassing and arrogant utterance from her lying lips.

    I wish I could be there LP, more than anything. In a strange way, perhaps ‘weird’ these recent events have unified and crystallised again a fanbase that RD and KM have done their utmost to break.

    January 2, 2016

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