Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Open Letter to Peter Varney

Dear Mr Varney

Unfortunately I couldn't be at The Valley last night because I am based in the USA, but I am disturbed that the team has just blown its best ever chance to reach a Cup semi-final since 1947.

We all know that surprise results happen, that's part of the joy of football. But tonight's performance (described variously by those that saw it as 'disgraceful', 'shameful' and 'abysmal') followed several performances in recent weeks that had much in common. Indeed were it not for Talal El Karkouri's last-minute magic against Blackburn, we would be bottom of the Premiership arguably where we belong.

I'm keen as a supporter to understand why the virtues of hard work, passion and togetherness upon which the recent success of this club have been built seem to have disappeared. I'm also keen to better understand your own role in our demise as our titular 'Chief Executive.' As I understand it, you are not especially committed financially as it were, so your own incentives are not immediately apparent to me.

You were fortunate enough to join the club just as the hard work of the Board and especially Alan Curbishley was really coming to fruition. And with all due respect, and without having met you personally, you give the impression of being an administrator rather than a leader.

So when Alan Curbishley went his separate way, I am concerned that you saw an opportunity to stamp your authority on the club, perhaps to prove that Richard Murray was right that the club was about more than just Curbs. Maybe you came up with the new 'structure' that emphasised delineated responsibility? If so, I'd like to understand what caused you to propose a revolutionary new approach so different to the successful one which preceded it.

I am also keen to understand the role of Andrew Mills. This is, after all, a former agent to whom Charlton fans only had exposure during the cut-price sale of Paul Konchesky in 2005. We are assured that Mills only gauges availability and negotiates terms, but his anonymity concerns us, particularly in light of recent signings whose performances have perhaps only been superceded by their transfer fee in terms of shock value. How thick are the scouting files on Amdy Faye, Djimi Traore and Omar Pouso?

It is difficult for me to argue that Dowie's reign as manager was glorious, but several team performances particularly towards the end of his tenure, at least included some passion and desire. He even managed to take the club to its first ever League Cup quarter-final, although last night's performance stopped that particular train in its tracks.

Hence I am keen to understand exactly why he was sacked. On Football Focus you suggested that aspects of his dismissal have not yet been fully disclosed. But do the 14,000 or so Charlton fans that paid good money just before Christmas to watch tonight's shambles in frigid conditions not deserve a little more? Until I am told more, I am inclined to think you struggled to deal with Dowie's hunger, and that perhaps he threatened your own position, so maybe you acted to protect it?

Les Reed meanwhile wouldn't dare rattle the cage would he? He's far too mild-mannered for that, and anyhow he probably never thought he'd get a manager's job in the Premiership. He's not qualified but never mind, you thought you could just appease the fans by showing them he wrote "The FA Guide to Basic Team Coaching." Basic team coaching, that's hardly what millionaire footballers need is it?

And yet just days after the humiliating 5-1 defeat at Spurs, we are told triumphantly that Reed has signed a three-year contract. What exactly has he done to merit this? And the two team performances since suggest this was a contractual obligation the club arguably could have done without. Presuming it is not a fake, his Coach-Soccer website suggests he 'led Charlton into the Premiership'. This is strange because that is not how most Charlton fans remembered it.

And moreover, if he is such a leader I'm surprised he chose not to address the media after last night's so-called performance. After all Stuart Pearce had the guts to come out and suggest that his Man City team had been "very, very poor" on Sunday. Reed might find that the fans support him more when he tells the truth rather than claim that Prozone stats suggest we dominated the game against Spurs, as if it even mattered one iota. That's the difference you see between managers and coaches.

By the time I wake up tomorrow morning it is possible that Les Reed will have resigned as 'head coach.' It takes a man to attend uncomfortable press conferences, and it takes a man to accept one is ill-equipped to take on such a high-profile and lucrative job. However in many ways I feel sorry for him because he is clearly a 'good bloke' who has been parachuted into a role which he is not suited for but perhaps understandably found impossible to turn down. Les Reed will no doubt return to coaching, perhaps at Charlton, but the fans deserve explanations from you for the turn of events that led to his appointment.

I believe you are a Charlton supporter first and foremost, and hence I trust you are feeling as sick as me currently. I won't get into inane discussions about whether you also nearly froze to death when Kim Grant scored twice with an orange ball at the New Den in 1995, or whether you were a surprised young man at the Valley in 1985 when a mere leaflet informed us we were moving to Selhurst Park. However, I would ask you to cease with the soundbites and have the guts to tell us tell us what is going wrong, because frankly you're the only one that really knows.

Yours sincerely

New York Addick


At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont forget that one out of "The Bay City Rollers"

At 6:23 AM, Blogger New York Addick said...


At 8:24 AM, Blogger Ken J said...

From the 'Times'; - Is it possible to sink any lower ?

"It was reported that Reed had kept the players in the dressing-room for more than an hour after the final whistle, so it may be that he considered a post-match inquest into a lack of penetration, imagination and desire an understandable priority.

“Charlton are still a top-class side but we gave a good account of ourselves,” Paul Lambert, the Wycombe manager, said. It is one thing being beaten by a lower-league side, quite another to be patronised by them."

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Board,

I think the sooner Les Reed resigns and admits he's not the man for the job, the better. Then we can get Pard's in. All I want for Christmas is to see a decent manager employed (Alan Pardew) with some funds available so we can get ourselves out of this quagmire.

The board have made some big mistakes this year by panicking over choice of management personnel. This sort of behaviour does not surprise me with Curb's steadying the ship for nearly 15 years.

I have been a Charlton supporter since 1966, when we meandered in the 2nd and 3rd Divisions, if we are relegated which is on the cards which the current manager in place, we will fall into footballs mediocrity. Gates will dwindle 10k-12k, Charlton's expansion plans will not happen, and the nail in the coffin will be always losing against Cry-stal Palarse. Pls pls pls dont let our bubble burst!
If we wanna have any chance of success get Pard's in now, it’s easier getting a manager in when we are still a Premiership side, rather than when we are in the fizzy pop or even worse lower still. Please let this nightmare end.

Perhaps we've all learnt a big lesson from this, i.e. the boo-boys who un-nerved Curbs final couple of seasons, getting on his case and maybe helping his decision to leave the club and take a break. We don’t want to throw all of those years of hard work away and what for a moment’s madness. Boo-Boys lay of the management when someone decent is installed PARD's.

Pls Santa, make Alan Pardew Charlton manager.

Mike, Lower North Stand, Block B Season ticket holder..........

Cum on you Addicks !


At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Tillers said...

What on earth makes you think that Alan Pardew would consider us right now? We are cast adrift, a defeat at Middlesbro' (very likely) and we are at least 8 points from safety. And we have only managed 12 points all season. If he was asked (assuming he hasn't already said "No!") he would tell us where shove our job. Then we'd have no manager with Mark Robson picking the same players. Unless you allow a caretaker manager to spend more money of course. Then you'd end up appointing a League One manager in February or March with more players bought by someone else and less money to spend.

Reed is not up to the job, but I don't see how we can get anyone else in with ten days to the go before the transfer window opens.

At 3:15 PM, Blogger New York Addick said...

Agree it's now too late for Pardew. Reed (and his backers on the Board) are doing untold damage to the club and in the process reducing the realistic options open to us on a near-daily basis.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear New York Addick,
None of us are happy with the situation- I agree Les Reed is "a good bloke"- but your character analysis (assination) of all the people in CAFC goes too far.
They are people and your skilful rheotric may be accurate-but it won't help but cause more misery for all fans players and club.
We are in a dire situation-either you are for us-or against-thats it.
Turn your skills to constructive
Wendy Red Red Robin


Post a Comment

<< Home