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NEW ARTICLE: Success at all costs? How important is history and culture of our club to you?

Hi

Since we are playing the Red Franchise tonight, formerly known as Cardiff FC. I thought I'd run this by you.

How important is history and culture of our club to you? What if we decided to play in blue..

Just how many scarfs, hats and other merchandise would need binning; and we changed our logo for commercial reasons? We could change our name to the Bluebirds (Kent, white cliffs, etc).

:)

Worse still what if we had to bin the Valley and play in a new ground like Boro or S'Hants, somewhere out of town next to a motor way where land was cheap. Or even the penninsular?

I am not necessarily talking about the promise of huge investment, maybe just survival, if the Valley was unsustainable should we be playing there, or should we give it up.

Just how important is our identity in this modern world, is the apparent promise of success enough, what really matters? Would it still be Charlton, how long before the name was changed? Look at the struggle we had to get back to the Valley, would it have been different if we'd not been sharing but had moved to a brand new ground of our own? Would it still be our club if it wasn't rooted in our community?

Cardiff despite the promise of millions of investment for becoming the Dragons, changed their shirt from Blue to Red and casting of many years of history, are massively in debt (£100m at 7% interest - I believe), they are also at the other end of the table from CAFC but that's no guarantee.

I spoke to a Supporters Direct representative recently at a meeting where they suggested if Pompey Supporter Trust had lost their fight to own their club, then their core support should simply leave and set up a new club. After all AFC Wimbledon did it, indeed plans are afoot to move them back to Merton. We've all seen what happens to franchises, but MK moved up there for a reason didn't they?

These are questions www.castrust.org would like to know the answers to (perhaps we'll do a survey next year). Meantime I'd really like to know your views. I believe these may be pertinent questions in our not too distant future.

Personally I think the bottom line is I'd like the fans to be consulted and have a say in our future, perhaps one of the reasons why I believe we should all email [email protected] and support the Trust in order to give fans a stronger Voice about the future of our club.


Barnie Razzell - interim chair,
www.castrust.org

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Comments

  • edited November 2012
    The Valley is very nearly as important as the Club to me.

    Charlton should always play in red. Red, Red Robin and all that.

    That said I am an old git so my views are probably very unrepresentative and anachronistic compared to you bright, thrusting young things!
  • razil said:

    I spoke to a Supporters Direct representative recently at a meeting where they suggested if Pompey Supporter Trust had lost their fight to own their club, then their core support should simply leave and set up a new club. /blockquote>

    Are there any plans in the pipeline for the Charlton Supporter's Trust to leave and set up a new club if the board don't give them what they want? ;-)

    If we sold out our traditions ie club colours, location away from SE London etc I'd lose interest overnight and stop going. Wouldnt be our club anymore if a bunch of outsiders came in and started converting it's history as with Cardiff.

  • razil said:I spoke to a Supporters Direct representative recently at a meeting where they suggested if Pompey Supporter Trust had lost their fight to own their club, then their core support should simply leave and set up a new club. /blockquote>



    Are there any plans in the pipeline for the Charlton Supporter's Trust to leave and set up a new club if the board don't give them what they want? ;-)

    If we sold out our traditions ie club colours, location away from SE London etc I'd lose interest overnight and stop going. Wouldnt be our club anymore if a bunch of outsiders came in and started converting it's history as with Cardiff.
  • I want it all to stay the same obviously except a secret closet billionaire Charlton fan to come in a buy the club and push to the top of world football ...
  • A football club is its supporters, the community in which it is based, its history and, particularly in our case, its stadium. The shareholders, directors, the manager and the players are just temporary trustees.

    I wouldn't be in favour of any action that had a detrimental affect on Charlton's identity, to the point where I would be much happier struggling in League 2 but playing at The Valley, in red, as Charlton Athletic than I would if we were top of the Premier League as Charlton Panthers of the 02 Arena, playing in Black and Yellow stripes. I'm sure this point of view isn't shared by everyone, although I've read a few articles recently about Manchester City supporters who felt that winning the Premier League last season was effectively the end of the Manchester City that they knew and loved.

    Incidentally, whilst on holiday recently I met a couple of Cardiff fans who weren't overly bothered about changing to red shirts, new nickname etc. They felt it was more important to get the investment that secured the future of the club, and were fairly relaxed that next time the club gets taken over, probably within the next 4-5 years, the new owner will change them back to the Bluebirds.

  • History & culture are very important (Even though we have changed badges, nicknames, colours, grounds). I agree fans should be consulted regarding any changes.

    Agree with Len, we should always play in red. The club's name should not change either. Not worried regarding nickname as this is dictated by what fans say.

    Prefer to stay at the Valley, although would be prepared to move if it was genuinely in the clubs interests and was very local. Flexible, within reason, regarding the badge, like the current one but also like some of the older ones we have had.

  • Would want to remain at the Valley and keep the colours. Easier for Cardiff to change to red as it equates with Wales I guess.
  • I could just about sign up for a badge change but moving from the Valley would be to much, its are home and has so much character.
  • I think its great what you and the CASC trust are doing Razil and although i haven't got involved i'm totally behind what you are trying to protect. A club is the fans, the stadium, the colours, the history etc etc and if they suddenly changed our kit to blue then i would seriously have to consider things. I sit next to a lifelong Cardiff supporter at work who followed them home and away up until this season and the imposed shirt change. He doesn't go now because he finds he is sitting there willing them to lose because he just wants it all to go wrong for the new owners. He wants nothing to do with them now whereas he was heavily involved with the supporters club. There has top be a balance between sharp business practice and the other extreme (the years of neglect under the Gliksteins). Fans have to bend a bit to those investing their money but a change of colours and or a ground move would be unnaccetable to me.
  • What Len said
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  • I think it's always difficult to respond to hypothetical situations. Most fans have a strong emotional attachment to the club, and it's impossible really to know how I would feel if, for example, we changed our shirts to blue, or moved to a new stadium. It would also depend on the individual circumstances.

    For example, if we lost the Valley again due to financial reasons and ended up groundsharing somewhere I would be devastated, but would probably still support the club and do whatever I could as a fan to get us back to our 'rightful' place. If we moved to a brand new 40,000 seater stadium on the Peninsula in order to drive the club forward, I would probably be OK with this (as long as it was for the right reasons). If it was just so that the owners could cash in on the Valley, then I wouldn't be happy. Equally, if we relocated to Leighton Buzzard, changed our shirts to white and started calling ourselves LB Addicks then I would almost certainly give up and support AFC Charlton instead.

    What I think is far more interesting than potential (but unlikely) large-scale changes are the subtle changes to the culture of the club itself. Throughout the Premiership years, Charlton was always held up as a shining example of a well-run club, with good community connections, and this was something to be proud of. The current secrecy surrounding the board, and perceived lack of fan engagement, doesn't sit well with me, whatever their intentions. But I also think that this engagement has to work both ways, and I think that the fans are arguably just as guilty of complacency over the past few years. I often wonder to myself, if we lost the Valley tomorrow (God forbid), would the response be the same as it was last time. Could there be another Valley Party? I suppose this is where the Supporters' Trust steps in.

    Finally, I'm also uncomfortable about some of the things I've been seeing on the pitch lately which, for me at least, are just not 'Charlton'. We see players seemingly going to ground very easily, Hamer timewasting, players trying to get others booked, etc. Maybe it's just me, but I was always proud that Charlton on the most part played by the rules. Often this was frustrating when other teams would come to the Valley and cheat, but I always consoled myself that we had at least played fairly. No doubt some would say that this is a symptom of the modern game, and that we have to embrace it in order to win matches, but for me, again, it doesn't sit right. (Sorry if this last paragraph is slightly off topic, but in terms of the club's culture I do feel that it's relevant).
  • Agree with Bexley Dan in that fans and investors both have to bend a little.

    Not too bothered about a new (local) ground.

    Red kit in some form is OK too.
  • razil said:

    I spoke to a Supporters Direct representative recently at a meeting where they suggested if Pompey Supporter Trust had lost their fight to own their club, then their core support should simply leave and set up a new club. /blockquote>



    Are there any plans in the pipeline for the Charlton Supporter's Trust to leave and set up a new club if the board don't give them what they want? ;-)

    If we sold out our traditions ie club colours, location away from SE London etc I'd lose interest overnight and stop going. Wouldnt be our club anymore if a bunch of outsiders came in and started converting it's history as with Cardiff.

    not currently :)
  • Jodaius said:

    I think it's always difficult to respond to hypothetical situations. Most fans have a strong emotional attachment to the club, and it's impossible really to know how I would feel if, for example, we changed our shirts to blue, or moved to a new stadium. It would also depend on the individual circumstances.

    For example, if we lost the Valley again due to financial reasons and ended up groundsharing somewhere I would be devastated, but would probably still support the club and do whatever I could as a fan to get us back to our 'rightful' place. If we moved to a brand new 40,000 seater stadium on the Peninsula in order to drive the club forward, I would probably be OK with this (as long as it was for the right reasons). If it was just so that the owners could cash in on the Valley, then I wouldn't be happy. Equally, if we relocated to Leighton Buzzard, changed our shirts to white and started calling ourselves LB Addicks then I would almost certainly give up and support AFC Charlton instead.

    What I think is far more interesting than potential (but unlikely) large-scale changes are the subtle changes to the culture of the club itself. Throughout the Premiership years, Charlton was always held up as a shining example of a well-run club, with good community connections, and this was something to be proud of. The current secrecy surrounding the board, and perceived lack of fan engagement, doesn't sit well with me, whatever their intentions. But I also think that this engagement has to work both ways, and I think that the fans are arguably just as guilty of complacency over the past few years. I often wonder to myself, if we lost the Valley tomorrow (God forbid), would the response be the same as it was last time. Could there be another Valley Party? I suppose this is where the Supporters' Trust steps in.

    Finally, I'm also uncomfortable about some of the things I've been seeing on the pitch lately which, for me at least, are just not 'Charlton'. We see players seemingly going to ground very easily, Hamer timewasting, players trying to get others booked, etc. Maybe it's just me, but I was always proud that Charlton on the most part played by the rules. Often this was frustrating when other teams would come to the Valley and cheat, but I always consoled myself that we had at least played fairly. No doubt some would say that this is a symptom of the modern game, and that we have to embrace it in order to win matches, but for me, again, it doesn't sit right. (Sorry if this last paragraph is slightly off topic, but in terms of the club's culture I do feel that it's relevant).

    yes to enagement working both ways
  • How's this for a completely made up scenario:

    New paramount park at Swanscombe already has Ebbsfleet ground either within the proposed area, or on the very edge, and definitely between the centre of the park and Ebbsfleet station. So there is a need to resite the ground, either within the paramount park (would be ideal for concerts and other live events, so would be handy to have) or elsewhere in the borough (not sure where they'd put it to be honest). Ebbsfleet need not even play in the main stadium, could easily have a pitch next door with a single stand that backs onto the east stand of the main stadium. Could conceivably be used for training sessions too, and a Goal's like football centre would make sense. Remember it's a massive site, 800-odd acres, and that not including the empty land around Ebbsfleet station, that's just the peninsula itself.

    So you're building a brand new ground, most likely within the boundaries of the paramount park, ideally you want maximum use out of it, and you want to use it to attract visitors to the park too (remember it has entertainment, food, drink, etc. as well as just a theme park). So you want 2 teams playing on it, so it's in use every week. You have to have Ebbsfleet there, but really you want somebody who'd draw bigger crowds. You're choices are try and attract either Charlton or Gillingham.

    Charlton would be the obvious choice to try and attract, bigger fan base (a lot based locally in Bexley, Dartford, Gravesham, Medway) and more prestige.

    Rumours are that London is looking to expand is area in the next 20 years (that from a friend who spent best part of a decade working in local government), so it would be a SE London site in the near future. Just food for thought. Would people be happy with a move of 15 miles, arguably to the heart of our support area, to a brand new stadium, potentially with new investment, and greater exposure due to the massive number of visitors to the park.

    This is all made up, but seems more likely that historic rumours of a brands hatch move.

  • I'm sure that being adaptable is a 'good thing' and I'm perfectly willing to be adaptable provided that they don't change anything ;-)

    I love the Valley, its history is inspirational, love the red robins, the community, the charity work and the overall ethos of being a decent family club that has strong connections with its supporters. I'm going off Football The Business, if you take away the things that matter to me about Charlton then there's not much left for a committed miserablist such as myself.
  • i'm exactly the same as @stilladdicted

  • people do move and or travel a long way to get to home matches, how does that work, do they still have a special link to the geography/community?
  • I am probably the odd bod on here. 41 years ago this month, my son died just before his 12th birthday. I'm sorry to add a bit of a downer to this thread, but many times since that day I have said ' well it isn't the worst thing that ever happened to me,' when things have gone wrong. I understand your passion for the Club, I've supported them for almost 60 years and my dad was affiliated to the Club in the 1930's as a referee. During a lifetime of frequent moves I have been a regular spectator watching the game at Arsenal, Watford, Southend, Wolves, and Brighton plus of course Charlton. My real love is for the game of Football, which is why I can sit and admire the play of Barnsleys little number 11, despite my sheer frustration at the way my own team is playing. Life has taught me that the only REALLY important things in my life are the loving relationships with which I am blessed, even if I have to go down to the local Rec to watch Charlton playing in pink hoops. Sorry if I have depressed or annoyed you, but as I finish this comment I find myself smiling at the wonderful memories that have flooded back into my mind. If I see criticism you can bet your life that I will be saying ' well it isn't the worst thing that ever happened to me.' Wake up and smell the roses everybody.
  • You can pretty sure that the current players and, more than likely, the manager won't be here in 10 years' time. The fans will, to a greater extent, still be here, so the fans are important. However, let's not forget the people who own and put money into the club - they are entitled to some say in the matter.

    I think it's a delicate balancing act. Football has changed so much over the last 15 years that the finances are now way beyond most people's means. The money paid at the turnstile is no longer anywhere enough to sustain the club. As a result of this, we either have to accept that men in suits will run the club in the way they see fit or accept that we might have to play at a much lower level.

    I know some people say that I would prefer to see Charlton playing in the Isthmian League as long as they wear red and play at The Valley than some alternatives cited, but much as I love (arguably prefer) non-League football, most of us, I believe, want Charlton playing at the highest level.

    Perhaps that is a choice that is beginning to face many clubs as I perceive discontent when there is a lack of success being present at clubs much more these days. Do you want to be owned by the local popular businessman and play in Conference South or do you want a wealthy faceless businessman to, perhaps (and only perhaps), push Charlton into the Premiership?

    Frankly, it's a tough call.
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  • I'm sure that being adaptable is a 'good thing' and I'm perfectly willing to be adaptable provided that they don't change anything ;-)

    I love the Valley, its history is inspirational, love the red robins, the community, the charity work and the overall ethos of being a decent family club that has strong connections with its supporters. I'm going off Football The Business, if you take away the things that matter to me about Charlton then there's not much left for a committed miserablist such as myself.

    You said it all for me, stilladdicted.

  • razil said:

    people do move and or travel a long way to get to home matches, how does that work, do they still have a special link to the geography/community?

    Oh yes.

    Going to the Valley is the next best thing to arriving at my Mum's front door.

    It is home.

    For that reason I'm extremely wary of the idea of moving to a new stadium even in the vicinity. It's not as if the Valley is a bad stadium, and they've received planning permission to enlarge to 32,000. I'm not convinced that a bigger capacity than that is needed. A couple of other underestimated things about the Valley are that it has a railway station right alongside, and that away fans like it, they often say its a 'proper' ground. And away fans pay good money to get in. Parking is a drag, but I don't think the much vaunted Emirates is any better for the vast majority of its customers. If parking is the thing that drives the decision you end up with soulless sheds like the Reebok and Pride Park.

  • Great piece on the Cardiff rebranding and how it will lead to no happy ending for their fans...

    http://spiritofmirko.com/2012/11/02/whats-in-a-colour/
  • Great piece on the Cardiff rebranding and how it will lead to no happy ending for their fans...

    http://spiritofmirko.com/2012/11/02/whats-in-a-colour/

    interesting
  • I think a reasonable comparison in some ways with what perhaps is happening at the moment at our club is that of Mike Ashley and Newcastle - seemingly an outsider rowing his own boat. People were wary of his intentions but they seem to be okay with him now and things like the naming of the stadium did not cause the outrage they would have done because the team are performing. Mike Ashley is rich however so that could be a key difference but certainly if there are ways of bringing money into the club that don't erode it's heart and soul, then i'm willing to back them until i see cast iron evidence to the contrary. Things are changing down there, taht's for sure but we have to balance that up with the fact that if you aren't progressing, you're moving backwards so to think we can remain in the championship or prem as a successful side maybe isn't an option the way things currently are. Are the board thinking big like West Ham? The only way the Olympic thing will work is if they become major players in the prem and europe - otherwise it will fall flat on its arse and will bea disaster with them all pining for Upton park. Personally i think if either us or west ham were to move to lets say, the O2 site and the olympic site respectively, it would bea disaster and potentially ruin the clubs. The alternative is it could take them on to properly, the 'next level'. Is the /next level' all that great? but how bad is the next level or 2 down? This is what we have to think about - League 1 or worse again, the next level up or something similar to what we have now but is that feasible? I don't know and there are always different ways of looking at it all. My view is that the time to have big plans and dreams was in the 40's and 50's. That's when the real big clubs of today were established and it seems that unfortunately we didn't have the people at the top willing to capitalise and make us one of those and i can't see us ever breaking into that level. I'm happy how things are believe it or not - football is about a bit of entertainment and passion so i'm looking forward to hopefully a passionate, battling display by both team and fans tonight. I still believe we can get out of this sticky patch and won't be surprised if we start with a win tonight.
  • The Valley is now massively important to us, because of the struggle to get it back, and I can't see us leaving it again.

    There are alternative historical scenarios though.

    1) Sunley take over, and buy The Valley from Gliksten. Then when the Taylor report comes along, we (like Millwall, Bolton, Stoke, Boro, Sunderland etc) decide that it would cost too much to rebuild the crumbling ground, and that a brand new 25000 seater stadium would be cheaper. We find a site by the Thames, and move there in 1994 as one of the first of the new stadia. The new ground encourages a new generation of fans, and the ground is expanded to 30000 seats.

    2) After Charlton leaves The Valley in 1985, Greenwich give planning permission to build houses on the site (so more of a Brighton or Dartford situation), so there's no ground to come back to. After years of exile, we finally get our brand new stadium by the O2.

    In both situations, the new ground would have been just as important to us, as The Valley is now. I'm sure Brighton fans have massive pride in the Amex, especially after all the effort to build their new ground.
  • Leave the ground lose the club IMO

    We will never need to leave our ground due to the size of our club we will never need in excess of 35k seater stadium ever

    Charlton is the valley the valley is Charlton

    We play In red and white at home

    Change the first one above and I would not support them

    We lost our home once and due to the faith and die hard supporters we got home

    Lose it again and it will be scandalous and I would no longer go until we got back again

  • Leaving aside The Valley, while I have no desire to change our colours and nickname, it's hardly the first time it's happened.

    Leeds United have changed their colours (most sucessfully to white in the 60s) several times and their nickname as well.

    As we know, the Glaziers became the Eagles. The Biscuitmen became the Royals.

    We've played around with nicknames (Robins, Valiants), and had that rather attractive while strip with red trim in the 60s for a bit...
  • edited November 2012
    one thing that riled some cardiff people I know was that decisions were railroaded in with barely any consultation or agreement
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