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TNT CAS Trust News

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Number 12 may2016


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to the 12TH Edition of CAS Trust News At 5 o’clock on 8th August last year, as we trundled out of The Valley having just seen an impressive 2-0 victory over promotion favourites QPR, there was a cautious optimism around. It was only one result but we had shown we could play. Maybe a tilt at the play-offs was possible? Scornfully, we laughed at the bookies who had made Charlton second favourites to go down. The euphoria lasted about seventeen days.  By the 25th we had progressed to round three of the League Cup with another impressive performance at Peterborough. The evening was then ruined when we suffered the draw none of us wanted - away to Palace. Up to then we had taken eight points from the first four games and were sitting neatly in third place in the Championship. When we made the miserable journey to Selhurst a month later life in the Championship looked very different.  In the intervening weeks we had played four more league games, picking up just one point and had dropped to 15th place. Another month saw us fall into the bottom three where we stayed for much of the rest of the season. Much has been written about constant change of managers and, with the season over and Jose Riga gone (jumped, pushed – who knows?), we sit in desperate hope of some stability.  We have a playing squad that grew and grew as more foreign misfits were added, mostly to flirt with first team action for a handful of games before fading into some nether-world in New Eltham.  It may be my age, but I have lost track of whether half of them are still with us or not?  George Tucudean,

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News anyone? (see page 7 – ed) A monumental clear out is now necessary before we can start to build the base of a coherent English League team. Let’s hope that, whichever brave soul takes the role, he has the fortitude to complete such work.  Examples of mistakes abound.  Christian Ceballos was on the books of Barcelona. Naby Sarr played European football for Lyon and Sporting Lisbon.  We have to assume they have talent. It’s just they are wholly unsuitable for Charlton’s requirements.  Season 2015/16 has to go down as one of the direst in the club’s illustrious and varied history. We suffered our favourite defeat of 0-3 no less than eight, yes eight, times.  Then you have to allow for the nightmare week in January when we came back from Yorkshire twice having collected no goals and no points but conceded eleven. But little can match the horror of the trip to Colchester in the FA Cup. Playing one of the few sides in the competition to be having a season as shocking as ours, and they were from a division below. Surely a chance to reverse our long run without a win and build some confidence?  Clearly not.  In the fierce wind, freezing temperatures and lashing rain we put out a makeshift side who didn’t bother to compete and were taken apart by a team who couldn’t quite believe that they’d found somebody worse than them. The picture does not get any brighter when we look at what has happened off the pitch. The Trust spent the first half of the season trying to engage in meaningful discussion with Katrien Meire. I did have a meeting in November with her and Richard Murray, which, on the face of it, appeared to offer some chance of progress. There was promise of a new

Target 20k Group and a Strategy Group - both aimed at benefiting from the knowledge and experience of fans. Target 20k has been formed, albeit not with the personnel originally proposed. While recognising some of the work it has done, I would question the wisdom of the season ticket pricing.  It is encouraging to see the reduced pricing moved to the Lower North, but there seems no logic in not offering reduced prices in other areas, not least to reflect our relegation. Keeping these prices at Championship levels restricts the chances of attracting the casual fan to the lower-profile games with a series of cheap match-day offers. The Strategy Group never materialised.  In the New Year, fan protests reached a heightened level and have continued to grow in intensity ever since.  Relations with the club have reached a low point where meaningful engagement seems impossible. So what have we to look forward to? At the time of writing we seem to be pursuing an English manager.  Reason for renewed optimism?  Who knows?  The consensus of opinion in football about the level of interference that any new manager may have to live with, does not bode well for the future. The Trust role remains one of pursuing involvement with the club with an aim of formalised representation at the highest Board/Executive level.  Short of that, we want to be able to reach a point where we have regular involvement in developing club strategy.  Currently there is no mood amongst fans for this while the current owner remains in place.  And so, as we told Katrien Meire at our recent brief meeting, we believe the best way forward is for Roland Duchatelet to sell Charlton to a buyer who has the ambition and the ability to take us back up the league. Steve Clarke- Chairman

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Board Chairman - Steve Clarke Secretary -Richard Wiseman Jonathan Bangs Richard Hunt Heather McKinlay Alex Clarke Andy Buckland Web designer - David Hall Editorial - Richard Wiseman, Design, Layout, Photos Ken Sinyard Rob Sutton Additonal photos - CAFC, Getty Images Keith Gillard, Ken Sinyard Cover Images: Keith Gillard Except where indicated copywright CAS Trust 2016


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illustrations by stig

In late August 2014 - less than two years ago in the diary but an eon away in the relationship between club and fans - I interviewed CEO Katrien Meire for Trust News 7. As Charlton tumble ignominiously into the third tier, I have taken a look back at the transcript with a little help from Lewis Carroll. While trying to navigate her way in Wonderland, Alice encounters the grinning Cheshire Cat: ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’ `That depends a good deal on

where you want to get to,’ said the Cat. `I don’t much care where-‘ said Alice. `Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat. Far be it for me to suggest that Katrien imagines herself as Alice in the Wonderland of football and I’ve no idea whom or what the Cheshire Cat might represent. What is quite relevant about the exchange is that the female lead has been plunged into a strange world beyond her experience and beyond her control. She shows blind faith in following instructions without fear of the consequences.

Thinking back to my 2014 meeting, there was a fairy-tale naivety about Katrien: “The business of football is so much more professional and beyond my expectations because as a football fan I didn’t know what it involved working in football.” She admitted that being CEO of Charlton was “a bit surreal” but also that “it opens lots of doors”, mentioning that she had been invited to speak at a forthcoming conference in Manchester - a portent of that infamous web summit in Dublin. Like rather precocious Alice, Katrien showed little sense of purpose beyond self-preservation.

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encounters some friendly and helpful characters along her way. Meire was quite taken with the warmth of the welcome she received in English football, boasting somewhat about her feminine charms, “Well, maybe it’s because I’m a woman and I’m quite young that they think, oh, we will help her.” She referred in particular to Brighton’s Chief Executive Paul Barber and Bournemouth’s Jeff Mostyn. Given the gulf that now exists between league and financial positions of Charlton

Athletic and those two clubs we can unfortunately presume that she neither listened to, nor acted upon, any wisdom offered. Then we have the relationship with fans. I was the one to introduce the c-word, suggesting that a business has customers, whereas supporters are a bit different. She replied, “Our customers are quite emotional, so we need to be able to manage them.” I took this at the time to be rather tongue-incheek. I’m now envisaging Alice wielding the live flamingo mallet of

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illustrations by stig

I asked repeatedly about the strategy and plans for Charlton under Roland’s ownership. Despite a veneer of confidence, the answers were always vague beyond the finances: “The idea behind it all is that football is a business… we want to create synergies… being present in the strongest market in the world for football made sense… for me it would be better to see where this team takes us, then maybe you invest in January, then you’ve already saved six months’ salary. It’s stupid, but it’s the way it is…Breaking even will be a goal in the short term, otherwise, well, I might get a bad review from the owner.” Since this interview, Katrien has openly expressed her frustration that she has told us many times what the strategy is - implying that we are the ones not listening and not getting it. But the reason we don’t get it is because it remains unfathomable. She has been so focussed on hanging on tightly to Roland’s purse strings that any vision or ambition for football success is incidental: “One year we might be lucky – everybody wants to be in the Premier League, but it is difficult.” Equally, we might be unlucky and end up relegated – that’s not proven so difficult. Back with Lewis Carroll, Alice

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the Fans’ Forum and attempting to whack protesting hedgehogs around the croquet lawn of the Valley pitch. In the story: “Alice soon came to the conclusion that this was a very difficult game indeed”. She is playing out of fear, remember, in response to the Queen’s barked threat to all and sundry: “Off with their heads”. Those words will resonate with the managers and coaches at Charlton over the past couple of years, as they have proven to be no idle threat from Duchâtelet. Katrien was clearly very, very grateful to the owner for appointing her as Charlton CEO despite her youth and inexperience. She proudly proclaimed him as her mentor, a visionary – and a stubborn man. There is little evidence to suggest that she has since learnt to stand up to him. Her legal training in advocating for a client - no matter how unreasonable the premise - must have come in very useful over

the past two years when defending his decisions and steadfastly maintaining that she could not possibly be accused of lying. Until that great big sheet of a banner and the chants of the crowd caught up with her live on TV v Burnley - almost as nonsensical and comical as Alice’s trial in Wonderland. In probably the greatest irony of all, Katrien expressed a desire in the interview to raise Charlton’s profile: “I would like to increase a bit the awareness of Charlton in general – with fans, with the public, with the press – I feel we lack a bit of presence everywhere.” Well, she can certainly tick that one off as an achievement. Firstly through the “sex on the pitch” global YouTube sensation, however at odds it may have been with the club’s carefully nurtured family image. Subsequently with televised protests live on Sky and major articles about the club’s mismanagement appearing in the Times, Guardian, Independent, Mirror, Sun, Evening Standard, you name it. Charlton has not been talked up this much in football circles since the days we battled for The Valley - though I doubt she has yet found time to read that book. Since I first met her Katrien of Charlton has become almost as famous as Alice in Wonderland, even beyond the realm of CAFC. Back then, we fans were willing to engage and help, maybe even attempting to play the role of the guiding Cheshire Cat. Katrien could not bring herself to accept such genuine offers. So now we are simply revolting – in both senses of that word as far as Meire is concerned, I imagine. Alice’s adventures in Wonderland turned out to be nothing more than a weird dream. Katrien’s capers in Addicksland have been nothing less than a unique nightmare.

“I would like to increase a bit the awareness of Charlton”

`But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. `Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: `we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’ `How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice. `You must be,’ said the Cat, `or you wouldn’t have come here.’

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Heather McKinlay


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charlton athletic in pictures 1975-2015 Steve Bridge is pledging proceeds from his book to the protest fund . He will donate a tenner towards the Campaign from each book ordered. As well as providing an interesting slant on forty years of Charlton with his photos in the book, if he sells another hundred he will be sending £1000 to the Campaign

This picture of Charlton fans at Old Trafford in 1994 is among 122 other photos in Steve’s book ‘Charlton Athletic In Pictures - 1975-2015’. The A4 sized landscape softback book (128 pages) is available by post for £20 plus £3.50 for P&P, or viewed and ordered online at http://www.youralbumonline.co.uk/sbridge.htm Payment can be made by PayPal if registered or by sending a cheque for £23.50 to Steve Bridge. Steve’s address is 12 Forest Close, Waltham Chase, Southampton, Hampshire, SO32 2NB for postal orders. The book will be sent out by return of post on receipt of the order. Club ambassador and legend Keith Peacock says in the foreword to the book: “To capture moments of the past that will live in our memories forever, is a very special treasure to pass on to so many Charlton fans. This is exactly what Steve

has achieved as he has helped us recall not only the famous but also the less renowned players, as well as the supporters who were robbed of their beloved Valley and helped resurrect the great old ground. The range of photographs is quite incredible – from Derek Hales drinking a pint in the home dressing room after a Vets game to Yann Kermorgant scoring one of the all time great volleys at the North End. On a personal note, it was very touching to see a photograph of the only father and son ever to have played for Charlton Athletic. So many images never seen by the general public. You will be reminded of what the fans have enjoyed and endured over a period of forty years. I found that this book gave a fascinating insight into a crucial part of Charlton’s history. Congratulations to Steve for giving us this unique look into the past through the lens of his camera.”

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League 8

PHOTOGRAPHS: GILLARD

Richard Wiseman looks at the financial rules that Charlton will have to comply with next season. In League 1 the rules governing financial management are very different from those we have become used to in The Championship. For the past five years or so Championship clubs have had to abide by a system (Financial Fair Play) whereby limits are placed on the extent of financial losses a club can accrue in any season before they face a penalty (a transfer embargo or a fine if they are promoted). The amounts have changed and, last year, the rules were amended to assess losses over a three year period rather than season by season. Performance is assessed retrospectively and some clubs – eg Blackburn and Nottingham Forest – were subject to transfer embargoes this season as a result of overspending in 2014/15. Bournemouth have recently been fined for overspending in their promotion season. Leicester seem to have employed an elaborate sponsorship process to get round the rules and we still await the outcome of the Football league’s deliberations about QPR. In Leagues 1 and 2 it is very different. Clubs are subject to the Salary Cost Management Protocol (SMCP) whereby spending on player wages is limited to a percentage of club turnover. In League 1 the limit is 60% although clubs relegated from The Championship will be permitted 75% for one transitional season and are given the benefit of some flexibility about players on long term contracts (see below). Wages of non-playing staff do not count towards the percentage and neither do those of players who have come through the youth development process and are twenty or under at the start of the season. Assessment of performance is carried out during the season in question with each club having to provide the League with projections at the start of the season followed by regular updates. If these updates

(actual wages against actual turnover) show player wage spend coming within 5% of the limit there will be increased scrutiny and, if The League believes that a club is on course to exceed the limit, a transfer embargo will be applied. It can be seen from this approach that the aim is nothing to do with trying to provide a more level playing field. The rules are in place to prevent ambitious and foolhardy clubs over-reaching themselves and facing bankruptcy and administration. Because SCMP doesn’t rely on retrospective scrutiny of accounts it is extremely effective in nipping overspending in the bud. Crucial to navigating SCMP successfully is a clear understanding of what the term turnover means. From a traditional accounting perspective there are usually only three elements of turnover: •Match day income •Commercial income (eg sponsorship) •TV revenue and merit payments based on league position. Crucially, the Football league uses a much broader definition which includes donations from the owners

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and injections of equity. (It does not stretch to loans as this would entirely defeat the purpose of the rules.) A wealthy club owner can therefore fund club spending in a way that is not permitted in higher divisions. There is nothing in SCMP to stop a club buying its way out of League 1. Any income from player sales is included within turnover when the cash is received. It is not entirely clear when the accounting period begins but, with many deals nowadays scheduled for payment by instalments, this may not be so important. At Charlton match day income will obviously fall drastically next season with declining attendances and boycotting of commercial initiatives. TV revenue will be minimal. A cup run could make a big difference as it would increase turnover and maybe allow for extra players to be signed towards the final stretch of the season. It would appear to be crucial that the club take advantage of the transitional arrangements for relegated clubs and make every effort to go for promotion in 2016/17. Not only will we be permitted to spend 75% of turnover on player wages but we will also be able to disregard in the calculation the wages of any player on a long term contract signed before September 2015. In the unlikely event of Gudmundsson and Bauer still being with us their wages would not count towards the percentage. The same applies to Sarr and Bergdych and indeed to Tucudean whose contract runs until June 2017. In addition the wages of Lookman, Ahearne-Grant, Holmes-Dennis, Charles-Cook and Mitov would be ignored in the calculation as they will all still be under twenty one in August. The big worry is that the club will cash in on players like Gudmundsson and Bauer (who will probably want to leave anyway) and will rely on inadequate players on long contracts supplemented by young players who are promoted to the first team before they are ready.

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lay in League One Richard Wiseman

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Getting the hump What could possibly possess three intelligent, articulate twenty-first century women to dress up as camels and parade up and down Floyd Road and Harvey Gardens singing ? Alison Carr, Rebecca Sandles and Heather Alderson give their side of the story. Alison has unquestionable Charlton Athletic pedigree. Her great grandfather and great uncle were directors of the club back in the early 1920s and love for the club has

photograph: ken sinyard

subsequently been passed down the generations. Her first live game was at Carlisle in 1986 where the sight of Lennie Lawrence being held aloft inspired her to become a season ticket holder. The highlight of her thirty years ? Birmingham 1987 – that play-off victory over Leeds. But she stresses that supporting Charlton is much more than purely the match. She relishes the “indescribable feeling of a match day; the anticipation, the short journey to The Valley or many hours in the away coach doing football cards, beers before the game and meeting up with friends” In the mid 1970s Rebecca’s mother was looking for someone to take her “footy loving daughter” to a match. “By blessed luck he was an Addick” and Rebecca has been a Charlton fan ever since. She can’t remember the actual game but she’s never forgotten the “thrill of the crowds heading from the bus to the ground” and the feeling of standing on the vast East Terrace. Among her most vivid memories from subsequent years is getting soaking wet at Villa while Steve Brown went in goal and Danny Mills postponed relegation for a week. She still smiles at the memory of walking around San Francisco in her Charlton top grinning inanely after listening to commentary of the 1998 play-off final via a rather pricey hotel room phone. Access to the game through the internet just wasn’t an option then. As a child Heather loved going to football with her dad and, one day, he sat his five children round the kitchen table and allocated them each a football team to support. As she had been born in Sheffield she was given Sheffield United. When she moved to London she found a place to live in Brockley where she and her friend Carole had to decide which local team to follow. Luckily their attention was “drawn East” or it could have been “so different and so wrong”.


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“stirring emotions” when she walks through the turnstiles and is outraged that she could be compared to a restaurant customer. Such a comparison proves to her that Meire and Duchatelet “just don’t get it. They don’t get it at all. Yes, football is a business but it’s also a passion. That’s what brings in the fans. These two are the wrong fit for Charlton Athletic”. She was happy to be a camel for half an hour because she could see that the protests needed to appeal to a variety of audiences. “To keep people onside and to get them thinking you need to show humour occasionally. You can’t just shout”. Schlepping about dangling a camel’s head and hump and waving a blow-up palm tree didn’t do her dodgy back a lot of good but “it was worth it. Charlton means a lot to me. I can’t stand by in its hour of need”. Some fans took to social media afterwards to complain that the camel stunt wasn’t forceful enough but Rebecca’s experience on the day was that “the response on the ground from home and away fans was hugely supportive. CARD’s is not limited to one form of protest or another” Heather is equally serious about the current protests - “I cannot stand by and watch these vandals destroy our community and destroy what people round here fought to rebuild”- but she is clear that being third camel, although just a caper, was nevertheless worthwhile. She never got a decent part in school nativity plays so she saw this as her long-awaited “moment”, but she also really valued the connections it allowed her to make with a variety of supporters. At the bottom of Floyd Road the train stopped for a photo with Mr Ferris – the son of the original club dental surgeon and a supporter since 1937. Then there was the four year old girl on Harvey Gardens who wanted to stroke a camel. And in the car park behind the West Stand were a couple of young lads from Dubai. She still isn’t sure if they really understood what it was all about but they were happy enough to enter into the spirit of it all. “Mr Ferris and that little girl – this is your club” says Heather “You and thousands of others are the reason we want our club back”

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illustration by card

She remembers walking up the steps to her first Valley match: “There was a Dutch brass band playing and we ate a cheese sandwich. It was love at first sight”. Like many Charlton fans 25th May 1998 was for Heather “one of the best days of my entire life”. Amid all the emotion and euphoria of that afternoon she had the additional challenge of phoning commentary through to Rebecca in San Francisco. And on April 16th 2016 Alison, Rebecca and Heather furtively donned their camel outfits in a secret location on Charlton Lane and then stepped boldly out into a dank and dreary South London afternoon looking, for want of two better words, completely ridiculous. Why ? In comparison to the funeral procession and the in-ground protests the camel parade was a lighthearted stunt but, because April 16th was Upbeats day, it was felt inappropriate to stage anything which might be seen to usurp the day. The idea was to draw attention to the fact that, while Charlton were getting relegated at Bolton, Katrien Meire had been taking a ten day holiday in Dubai. This ill-timed vacation seemed to symbolise the insouciance with which she and Roland Duchatelet approach the club and its history. Right from the start Alison didn’t feel comfortable with the Duchatelet regime and, when she attended CAS Trust’s public meeting in Woolwich in February last year, she was one of the few people to vote against seeking dialogue with the owner. In the intervening months she has seen no reason to reassess her original doubts, and her motivation to join the camel train came from the lies she has heard and the division she saw all around her. “I could cope with Duchatelet and Meire just bungling around making a mess of things if there were no lies” she says. “I’ve disagreed with decisions that owners and managers alike have made over the years but it’s the blatant lying that has really made me angry, coupled with a total disregard for the current fan base and the club’s history.” Rebecca feels that the soul is being ripped from the club that she has held close for forty years. She feels

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photographs by CARD/ ken sinyard & keith GillarD

“Better to seek alternatives

- Roland Duc

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es than do nothing in apathy�

chatelet 1995

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CHARLTON VERSU Mark Williamson reflects on the first anniversary of Proud Valiants....

Dear Fellow Addicks – as we approach the one year mark of the launch of the Proud Valiants (PV) - Charlton Athletic’s Official ‘Gay’ Supporters club we want as a group to thank all fellow CAFC fans for the overwhelming support you have shown us since we set up. For the purpose of this article we use the term ‘gay’ as an umbrella term for people identifying as LGBTQI+) Our first anniversary coincides with a special tournament (details at end of article) hosted between the PV and the club at the Valley. This event will mark the launch of CAFC’s commitment to fighting homophobia in the sport - a campaign that will lead up to a dedicated match during the Football Versus Homophobia (FVH) month of action in February 2017.

FVH chooses that month as Britain’s only out Gay football player - Justin Fashanu - was born on the 19th of February 1961 and sadly went on to take his own life aged only 37. For many years he had to fight the press and one certain daily newspaper over his sexuality. In the present atmosphere we can see no professional footballer coming out in the UK. Players either need to retire or move to another country to feel safe to be themselves within the sport. One might question ‘well surely time has moved on – why do you need a Gay supporters group today?’ The reason for this need is simple - football is acknowledged as the second most homophobic institution in the UK (only pipped to the post by religion) although, with striding developments in certain religions, football could become number one. At this point the PV’s want to clarify that, as far as our personal experiences at Charlton go, homophobia at The Valley is not as prevalent as it is at some clubs – but people do witness it and it does exist. So how does a club tackle homophobia? The main way has to be through education - the same way that ‘Kick it Out’ and other organisations tackled racism. Homophobia occurs when the use of free speech or violence is used as a cover for prejudice. Any ‘Gay’ supporter has the right to feel safe in any stadium. Why should we have to accept having to put up with homophobic abuse being shouted at opposing team players or even our own? When someone shouts ‘poof’ or ‘queer’ at somebody - what exactly is being suggested? – is it that the player this language is directed at is a weaker or a less capable member of society? Homophobia in football however is not just a fans’ issue - it is rooted throughout the game. Why homophobia should not be tolerated in the game needs to be addressed everywhere – in the dressing rooms, in the boardrooms of individual clubs, throughout the governing bodies at each level of the sport. Also how to deal with homophobic behaviour should be in the basic training of every steward up and down

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US HOMOPHOBIA the country at every level and not looked at upon as extra training. The FA now needs to stand up and be counted showing its full support in the battle. Actions speak louder than words. When a fellow fan asks: “why do you need such a group ?” they almost answer their own question. Most stadiums are still predominantly filled by heterosexual men who feel very comfortable in their surroundings. Every fan who identifies as LGBTQI+ up and down the country wants to feel the same. The PV’s aims are twofold: to provide a social network for our members (for example we may want to meet for drinks at an away match at a venue we feel at ease in) and secondly to campaign to make football a sport for all. As a supporters group we are not trying to promote our sexuality, or make Charlton a laughing stock as one fan put it. The club is hardly being revolutionary in endorsing the group - many clubs now have similar groups, just check

out the FVH website to see how many teams were involved in 2016 and the Pride in Football website to find out more about other LGBTQI+ supporters clubs up and down the country (website addresses below).

Each of us involved in the Proud Valiants – like you - has CAFC in our veins like any true fan does. For those beautiful ninety minutes during a match, we are all Charlton. We feel the same rush of pleasure when the ball hits the back of the net; we are also not able to look when we are faced with a set piece; and we feel the same heartbreak when we are walking home after a loss. We all want to be back in the glory days and although the Premier League seems to be as far away as Mars right now …you only need to look at Leicester.The Charlton versus Homophobia tournament took place at the Valley on the 22nd May and featured three teams. The Proud Valiants & allies were joined by a team from Bexley Invicta (the local LGBTQI friendly football team) and a group of University of Greenwich Staff. You can email us at proudvaliants@gmail.com and follow us on FB by searching for Proud Valiants or on Twitter at @CAFC_PV. Should anybody identifying as LGBTQI+ or supporter of our aims wish to join the PV fan group, this can be done via eepurl.com/bn4sJL Pride in Football website www.prideinfootball.co.uk Football Versus Homobhobia website http://www. footballvhomophobia.com/

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Trainspotting

A guide to Charlton’s travels in League One next season Photo montague Ken Sinyard

Now that the wheels of last season have stopped turning, many of the Charlton faithful are shifting their thoughts to the next one. June’s forthcoming fixture lists could throw up some appetising prospects for travel. For me there’s one destination that sums up League One travel in a nutshell, and that place is the humble Greater Manchester suburb of Rochdale. Aside from spinning wheels and Victorian Gothic architecture in the centre of town, this place had given the world three things of note. The first was a performance of Pablo Fanque’s Circus Royal at the town meadows on Valentine’s Night 1863 which was arranged for the benefit of a certain Mister Kite, late of Wells’s circus. I guess that means he was deceased, rather than that he didn’t turn up for work one day and got in trouble. John Lennon would write a song about the whole show from seeing mention of it on a poster in a shop in Sevenoaks while down in Kent filming Strawberry Fields. He’d call the song ‘Being for the Benefit for Mister Kite’ and place it near the end of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Then the name Pablo Fanque would be immortalised in British folklore.

The second most famous thing from Rochdale is the TV show Waterloo Road – a kind of Grange Hill for grown-ups, with sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. But enough of that. It’s Rochdale’s next contribution to the world that makes me sort of happy to be going back to League One on the off chance of getting to see one of the greatest actresses of her generation. A woman of Irish parentage, born on a glorious twelfth of July (no matter what your political persuasion.) Her name is Anna Friel and, if Rochdale is fourth division, she’s real Premiership quality. Ever since she appeared in Brookside years ago, she’s been one

of the country’s top pin ups. If God created woman in her own likeness it was as if she pointed her finger towards Lancashire and said ‘I’ll give this town a shite football team for nearly seventy years and then I’ll compensate them with Anna Friel.’ That perfect combination of Irish looks and northern English accent would make up for even a hundred years of fourth division football. And within that last sentence there’s as much of a fear as a fantasy. I’m hoping we’ll not spend the next century in the lower divisions. I’ll take one year for the experience of emulating the legendary Seb Lewis and the lyrical Charlie Connelly in following Charlton through a whole solid season of away fixtures but that will be enough for me thanks. And there are some great ones in prospect along the way from Chesterfield with its church that has a crooked spire up to Port Vale’s potteries. Southend up to Swindon and across to Shrewsbury where we can even digress into the neighbouring town of Hereford to pay homage to a club that died through financial mismanagement - though in their death throes still managed to knock Phil Parkinson’s Charlton

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News out of the Carling Cup. Speaking of Phil, we will get our chance to renew old friendships up in Bradford now that they have been knocked out of the play-offs. Anyone from Kent thinking of boycotting The Valley if Roland remains in charge can still get a day out in London with a visit to the industrial encampment of South Bermondsey as long as Barnsley prevail at Wembley. Then, for Londoners interested in knowing more about the Kentish side of the Charlton family, there’s a chance to savour the delights of Gillingham. Alas it doesn’t have the wonderful seaside of Ramsgate, but the city side of our support might still find that on an away day to Plymouth Argyle. Personally I’m hoping for the latter because last time any Charlton men went near Plymouth, they came away with Bradley Wright-Phillips. How we could do with landing another catch as fine as that in close season! But if it’s fishing you’re after then a wet and wintry weekend in Fleetwood sounds like a good time to go catching our own Addick and chips. We can sit in The Jamie Vardy Stand and savour the local seafood on offer, if not the football. Food you see is important to sustain the body and mind through this level of football, especially now we’re losing out on fine Championship level cuisine from Middlesbrough’s famous parmo all the way down

to Birmingham’s curry houses. Bradford, mind you, claims to be the curry capital of Britain so there might be advantages to losing to Millwall. With Fleetwood’s fishermen staying up, we miss out on the chance of tacky nights out on Blackpool’s promenade and Doncaster’s main drag. But we’ll still get plenty of chances to head up north for freezing afternoons, stodgy pies, and glimpses of trainspotters on the platforms of Peterborough to Sheffield. Might even be a chance to try this popular South Yorkshire pastime ourselves though being a club that’s owned by an electronics expert we’d know how to cheat with Google and do an Internet

“Walsall, believe it or not, has a history of anarchy” search of all the day’s train numbers. That might spoil some of the fun but it would give us more time to explore the quirkier side of places we are going to pass through on the map of England. Though we are going to miss out on our chance to visit Villa Park there is still plenty to do in the Midlands in places off the beaten track of top division football. Walsall, believe it or not, has a history of anarchy and some of its protestors once got involved

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in a plot to bring rebellion to the streets of London. Such events might make for some interesting conversations with the locals if the CARD protests are still going on by the time we get up there. We will unfortunately miss out on a trip to Burton to sample the town’s brewing history and some of the finest ales in the country. Across the way too you’ve got Northampton with its fantastic Shoe Museum. Then further up in Lancashire we can renew more old friendships with visits to Bury and Oldham. We will get to take in the sights of Bristol and Oxford where we might get a chance to meet some of their academics in the local pubs. I’m excited at the prospect of that because if a Masters from UCL allows you to run a club the size of Charlton, these Oxford doctor types must be capable of running Real Madrid or Barcelona! And so in conclusion to a story that started out talking about one of my favourite actresses I shall now cast my hook in our lovely CEO. I would imagine the high point of next season for some supporters is going to be the fact that they will see Katrien sent to Coventry at some point and all at Roland’s expense. So you see – there really is something for everyone in the travel itinerary for League One. Roll on the fixtures and those trainspotters on the platforms of the north.

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Paul Breen


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News

immage grabs from BBC London news

Olympic Stadium “We won. We bloody WON!” It was all I needed to write in an email to the rest of the Olympic Stadium Coalition on 11th April. The Information Tribunal had unanimously decided to reject the LLDC’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s directive back in September that the contract between the LLDC and West Ham should be released in full. Few emails have given me more pleasure to write, not least because I had no idea at all how the decision would fall. The team felt that the LLDC case had been very poor, but there was always the worry about what had been presented in “closed session”. This was the part of the Tribunal from which we were excluded on the grounds that it would discuss the very information we wanted to see. It also worried me that, after the close of the second day, the ICO’s counsel Laura John told me she thought the most likely result was a “carve-up”- the release of some but not all of the remaining clauses. Several times the LLDC counsel, Anya Proops, shot her glances that seemed to say “you’ve made a mistake there, Ms John,

and I’m going to make you pay” But that was probably all part of the theatre of the court. For indeed this was a real court, with two highly skilled barristers slugging it out in front of three inscrutable judges (all five female, by the way). It was, I felt, Britain at its best and I felt rather privileged when finally it was my turn to state my case as the ordinary citizen who had sought the information. I pointed out that none of the entities who allegedly faced great commercial harm from disclosure of the contract considered it necessary to defend themselves against that risk by participat-

ing in the Tribunal. In particular West Ham , so vocal up until the autumn, were completely silent, save for one letter, delivered so late that the Tribunal decided to ignore it. The Tribunal agreed that West Ham was effectively an anchor tenant and that, just because for example Live Nation might know the contract details before negotiating a one day rental for an Adele concert, it would not give them any negotiating advantage. The Tribunal did not even accept that another Premier League club would gain any advantage. Two to three year deals simply cannot be

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News compared with ninety nine year deals. We wanted to celebrate of course, but could not. We knew that the LLDC could still launch an appeal against the decision, although only on a point of law. Such a move would delay things for another six months. Our press release after the verdict implored the LLDC not to make such a cynical move, but we feared the worst. Three days later, while sitting in a meeting in Berlin, I received an email from the FOI website (WhatDoTheyKnow.com), advising me of a new update to my request for information. And there it was - the whole unredacted contract released without any accompanying press statement. Thus began the task of analysing all the new information they had fought so long and hard to keep secret. This work is now largely complete but we have decided that we will not rush out any statement until we have consulted our findings with people in a position to influence the politics around the issue. Our stance remains that the contract should be re-negotiated so that West Ham pay more, and the taxpayer pays less. But a commercial contract is in place, and it cannot just be torn up. West Ham could sue. A solution will have to be found through the political process, and we will seek support for this rather than simply shouting about what an outrageous deal it is. Nevertheless I am sure you are keen to read at least a few nug-

gets of what we have finally found out so here goes l As widely speculated, West Ham pay rent of £2.5m a year. But this is halved if they are relegated. l West Ham take a share of the naming rights fee. The formula is complicated but can be worth as much as £3m a year to West Ham. That means that, if they are relegated, they could be profiting from their occupancy of the Stadium, rather than paying for it.

l E20 (and therefore the taxpayer) pay for all stadium maintenance and repair. If after 25 years West Ham argue that the stadium is outdated and needs a major upgrade, the taxpayer will fund it. l All police costs are met by the stadium operator. Every other club in the league has to pay police costs. Recent figures released by the Met Police show that Arsenal pay £800,000 annually for police costs at the Emirates. The Olympic Stadium will doubtless be designated a high profile “target”, and

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the costs will probably top £1m. These are just some of the nuggets we have dug up. Bear with us while we prepare Stage 2 of the campaign. But I think you have read enough to know that West Ham have made the deal of the century and that Barry Hearn was right to say his dog could have negotiated a better deal for the taxpayer. If you would like to read Richard’s

submission to the Tribunal: https://oscoalition.files.wordpress. com/2016/03/inf-tribunal-summing-up.pdf (a well-received joke about Millwall has been redacted from this transcript) Richard Hunt

Editors note: CAS Trust has filed a FOI request with the Information Commissioner to force Mr Hunt to reveal the Millwall joke immediately as it is clearly in the public interest to do so.

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1 Only two clubs conceded twice as many goals as they scored last season. One was Aston Villa. Who was the other ? a) Crewe Alexandra b) Charlton Athletic c) Colchester 2 How long ago was it that Chris Powell’s Charlton beat a Leicester City side containing Schmeichel, Morgan, Drinkwater, King, Vardy and Schlupp 2-1 at The Valley ? 3 How many games did Birmingham City captain Michael Morrison play for his club in the 2015/16 season ? 4 South London has four clubs in the League. Three of them play at Wembley this season. Which one doesn’t ? 5 Which of the following sendings off last season was the most stupid ? a) Sanogo b) Ghoochannejhad c) Lennon

6 The team from which East Staffordshire town (population 72,000) will be playing in the division above Charlton next season ? 7 On what grounds did the dismissals of Powell, Riga, Peeters and Luzon prove to be “the right decision every time” 8 Have Charlton Athletic ever had a worse week than 9th to 16th January 2016 ? 9 The Three Lights, The Strawberry Gardens and The Steamer are recommended pubs in which northern town we will be visiting next season ? 10 Rearrange the following to find a well known Belgian visionary: OLD UNCLE DEATH RAT

1. (b)   2. less than 3 years ago.  3. 46 (ever present).  4. Charlton   5. (b).   6. Burton   7.  because “we improved always our ranking and results” - (KMeire Nov 2015).  8. no   9. Fleetwood  10. Michael Gliksten

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MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Help build a strong, representative Trust Ownership of £1 share in the Trust Weekly Trust updates on matters of interest AGM rights Elect the board of management Smart badge Help support Trust campaigns and research You can maintain your membership by: Signing up for automatic renewal Renewing manually on line when you receive your reminder £ 5 bank transfer to: Charlton Supporters Society (sort code: 08-92-99, account number 65612954) Cheque for £5 to 83 Heathwood Gardens, SE7 8ET Pay in cash at our match day stall behind The Covered End.

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PROTEST FUND: End of season report

The Charlton Fans Protest Fund was launched on 3rd January 2016 by two CAS Trust members with the aim of providing a ready source of funds to enable protest ideas to be turned quickly from concept into reality. This report covers the period from 3rd January to 10th May and aims primarily to reassure the many Charlton fans who have donated money that their contribution is being properly accounted for. Total income in the first four months of the fund was £27,998. Yes, nearly £28,000 raised from Charlton fans eager to ensure that their concern about the mismanagement of the club be given maximum publicity. Donations were received from as far afield as Australia, China, Hong Kong, USA, Canada and Singapore. Sources of funding were: On-line and cheque donations: Match day & cash donations: CARD merchandise sales: Protest song revenue: Boat Party:

£ 22,362 £ 1,264 £ 3,945 £ 325 £ 100

The fund was initially set up to fund individual protest ideas but the emergence of the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) soon after the launch of the fund had a major impact. The founders of the fund became members of the CARD organising team and were thus able to contribute to the development of the protest strategy and specific initiatives. As a result, the bulk of expenditure to date has been on CARD actions although funding has also been provided to some individual fan initiatives. In all cases a funding request must be completed by the protest organiser and approved under a dual signatory system to ensure openness and accountabil-

ity. All payments are made against receipts or supplier invoices. Total expenditure to date is £ 19,468 Beachballs, stress balls, balloons etc: £ Visual material (banners, scarves, outfits etc) £ CARD merchandise supplies: £ Printing (eg alternative programme) £ Advertising (eg billboards) £ Miscellaneous £

7,103 6,935 2,182 1,379 1,030 839

A range of branded clothing was produced by CARD – hoodies, sweatshirts and T shirts. These were made available at the match day stall in Ransom Walk and, to meet the needs of more distant Addicks, by mail order. Of 267 garments made only 27 remain unsold to date. The operation realised a profit of £ 1,763 not including additional voluntary donations made by many of the mail order customers. It seems inevitable that the need for protests will continue through the summer and into next season. There is a plan to set up an on-line crowd funding mechanism (similar to Just Giving) to offer a simplified mechanism for payment and to reach a wider audience of potential donors. In the meantime you can continue to support the fund by donating on-line to: Protest Fund Sort code: 20-68-04 Account number: 50661678 Or by Paypal to alan.davis27@btinternet.com

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Trust News 12  

Katrien in wonderland?, Charlton Athletic in pictures 1975-2015, Financial Fair Play in League One, Getting the hump, Charlton versus homoph...

Trust News 12  

Katrien in wonderland?, Charlton Athletic in pictures 1975-2015, Financial Fair Play in League One, Getting the hump, Charlton versus homoph...

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