And now for something serious.
At 9pm, local time, tomorrow I'll be glued to the telly along with zillions around the world bellowing ..... Cumonyu Reds !!
Yep, it's that time of year again. As I wrote this time last year
, "I suppose I will be disappointed if we don't get in the UEFA Cup at least, but whatever happens, it's going to be another great season."
Well, for a time in February it did look as if Europe beckoned and that was one of the most exciting periods in Charlton's history that I can recall. And the final day of the season when we had nothing but local pride to play for proved to be one of the best ever night's football viewing. Not that the game itself was live on TV here; we had Southampton v Man Utd. What we also had was a mini-league at the bottom of the screen showing all four clubs alternatively escaping the drop. And Fortune favoured West Brom
. So now the Palace are less exalted than the Cottagers and merely on a par with the Den.
Since then it's certainly been an interesting mid-season break, what with two new Addickted bloggers to read. Both have great titles so I hope they have a great future. Frankie Valley
has a lovely sense of humour and a good layout although I'm not sure what the long-term effect of greyish type on a maroon background is going to have on my eyesight. In the Land of the Sausage Tree
(where vegetarians go hungry
), an Addick seems to be intermittently honing his script writing skills.
You can find permanent links to these and some 18 other fan sites here
Back at the Valley, the chairman, Richard Murray
received an HonDBA from the University of Greenwich, after loads of politicians had come seeking for some reflected glory
. Nothing to do with the football, of course, but Charlton's world renowned community schemes were deservedly in the spotlight. And this continues to grow. Red China
has been added to the number of youth academies worldwide.The Addicks have signed a five-year agreement with the Super League outfit, Shanghai Zobon, to establish a massive state-of-the-art youth set-up in the heart of Shanghai that will be called the Zobon Charlton Football Academy.Charlton chief executive Peter Varney said, "We are joining an elite group of European clubs, such as Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, who are seeking the enormous player, commercial and branding opportunities that can be secured from a presence in China - a country where there is enormous interest in the top European leagues."This is a key element of the international strategy for our football club."The deal comes only a matter of days after Charlton became the first Premiership club outside the top four to market their television rights to international broadcasters with the introduction of Charlton Athletic TV.
Any chance of an academy in Indonesia, Peter?
Ah, hang on a sec. I get it. There's money at the root of this in the "commercial and branding opportunities", so here we're going to be stuck with Manu, a new theme bar, and Peter Withe in charge of the national team. As ever, this country is seen as a land of no-hopers.
Charlton, of course, is fan-based and look how far we've come in ten years. We're an inspiration to the many Supporters Direct
And back at the Valley we may even have a squad of players capable of achieving the heights of European football. After all, Chris Powell has swapped places with Paul Konchesky who went off to get hammered as Chris' club of last year try to stave off relegation. We've also got a former Russian captain who prefers to be in Charlton's first team rather than Chelsea's third.
Add a bunch of lads with loads of potential and, in the case of one Darren Bent, a knack for scoring goals, the future's so bright, I've got to wear rose-tinted glasses. Pity the injury crisis
has kicked in a bit early, but then we do now have a squad half the size of Chelski's so I don't think we should be too worried.
My prediction? Unlike one commentator
who "can't think of anything to say" about Charlton's prospects
, but thinks we'll end up 13th, I've already said it; it's going to be another great season.