Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back to The Future!

We are very excited, but no, it still isn’t definite; due diligence does take time. We fans (and shareholders) must be patient. But it’s really difficult in the "I want it and I want it now" life most of us live...but that’s the way of the City (not Citeh!).

It’s also funny that, as I own quite a few shares, I inwardly feel that I am about to become a millionaire, but actually that isn’t the case. Maybe it is just the excitement of a major financial injection to the club I love; I equal Charlton to a lot of my friends, and therefore what happens to Charlton (good or bad) happens and affects my life deeply too. But I’m not the only one - it probably means just as much to you too?

Anyway, Charlton have over 63 million shares in issue, plus a £15m bond issue that forms most of the company debt. If Zabeel Investments do offer around £50m for the club - lock, stock, and JonJo Shelvey - then the shares will be bought with around £35m of the offer sum; that works out at about 55p a share. OK, the printed share value is 50p each, and the sales price when last quoted on the stock market was between 22 and 28p a share I seem to remember, so it’s not surprising that the major shareholders on the board are willing to recommend acceptance of the offer. I must admit if the offer is anywhere near 50p a share, then I will wholehearted support the acceptance (I do anyway...) and will probably sell most of my holding. I say most of because it would be nice to keep hold of a few shares; maybe one, or 10, or 100? Just for old-times sake; just to say I’m still a shareholder... you know.

After what most of us thought would be a couple of quiet weeks during the international break, our minds can at last return, mainly, to the football. Forget Zabeel; forget Dubai. We have to concentrate on Ninian Park and Cardiff on Saturday!

So what can we expect? Well, a tough game on paper. Last year we may have completed a double over the Welsh team, but this year they are a much tougher side, and haven’t lost many times so far this season. Dave Jones is doing a decent job, but they aren't really setting the world on fire, even though they sit two points and a lot of places better off than the Addicks.

Alan Pardew (and who knows what he is thinking at the moment?) will have a few options to consider, mainly in formation and also filling the midfield. He does also know that a win takes us above them and onto the fringe of the play off places.

His goalkeeper will be Nicky Weaver, and also certain to play (barring injury) are Luke Varney, plus Mark Hudson, Linvoy Primus, and Matt Holland. But that’s about it - nobody else is certain!

At the back, Jose Semedo’s explosive performance in the last match may be enough to oust Martin Crainie at right back; Crainie failed to make it onto the pitch during either England Under-21 game recently, so he may be either slightly crocked or well rested. Similarly, Kelly Youga was far from inspiring against Ipswich and Grant Basey, who sat on the opposite bench to Crainie in those two U-21 matches, is also pushing for a place. Of course, the other alternative is for Semedo to play at left back...?

Who will play alongside Matt Holland in midfield now? Holland himself would not have been a shoe-in (he was only sub versus Ipswich) but he must be considered thus now, as Nicky Bailey lasted just ten minutes in the last match due to a hamstring strain, and he is not sure to have recovered, while Zheng Zhi has had a foot operation and is out for at least two months. With Josh Wright still out on loan, and JonJo Shelvey only available for this game before he jets off to play for England’s Under 17’s, options suddenly got thinner. This may mean that both Lloyd Sam and Hameur Bouazza get to start, or maybe Varney will be asked to play wide (while we are level at least) with Andy Gray leading the line? There is then the option of playing Darren Ambrose in the “hole” to support Gray (or Varney) or out wide. Or we could go 4-1-2-2-1 (my choice)!?! The variables are quite immense for a team that could be considered settled just a few weeks ago.

This is my guess at who the tinker-man will start with in Welsh Wales on Saturday –

Nicky Weaver
Martin Crainie
Mark Hudson
Linvoy Primus
Kelly Youga
Jose Semedo
Matt Holland
Nicky Bailey
Darren Ambrose
Hameur Bouazza
Luke Varney

Subs from Elliott, Moutaouakil, Basey, Shelvey, Sam, Gray, Todorov, Dickson.

At least Cardiff will also be short of their best player, as Joe Ledley is injured, and this year we don’t have to worry about JFH...just Jay Bothroyd instead!

Pedro45 is not too confident I have to admit about this game; too many minds may have been focussed elsewhere in the last week, and I think we may well slip to a 2-0 defeat. Basically, until we are bought, until we do have funds available, until we do buy some better players, we are still the same team, managed by the same guy, and therefore still susceptible to the same sort of indifferent results; Ipswich may have been a win, but did we turn many corners? We will see...

My one-to-watch in this match should be the English guys in the directors box; I guess if they are smiling then we might be too in the near future, but realistically it will be Luke Varney. We all know that Varney works his socks off in every game – you cannot fault his effort or heart. What we would really like to see though is more goals from him, especially when he is leading the line rather than running the channels or working out wide. He is capable of delivering – we have seen that in spurts over the last 15 months; what we want though is consistency, deadly finishing, and that great celebration slide more often. Come on Luke – you are good enough; believe your own press!

This match is the first of four games in eleven days for the Addicks. While the result from this one match may not have a bearing on how Charlton fare come next May, the combined points tally from the four fixtures may well do...If we can get between seven and ten points from these games, we will be well placed to march on and rise higher up the table if and when funds become available in the transfer window. We just need to make sure that the players want to get us there.

Oh, and just so everyone knows, Second Division and Proud does not recognise this weekends game as it concerns Charlton and a non-English club; you will see his league table shows the old fashioned 22 clubs, and none of the results reflect games against the Swans or Bluebirds. I’m not sure how he will explain Charlton not getting into the play off should we finish at least eighth but behind them two...we'll just have to do better than that then!

Up the Addicks!

Join the Redvolution!

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I think you'll find that if the majority of the shareholders (I think the board members will be enough) agree so sell their shares you are not allowed to keep any of them.

I have 200 shares and I wrote off the cost the day I bought them for £100. Like you I like being a shareholder of the club, but I am happy to give that up for what is on offer.
thanks for the link pedro - i have a list of excuses (pinched from pardew) ready for any eventuality in the league table - my next problem is what watford are up to in the league cu ;-)

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