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NEW ARTICLE: Going over Old Ground, New Ground and the Regeneration of Charlton

In the fascinating Takeover Rumour Thread, which has become compulsive reading at times this week, a number of details and suggestions have been made clearer in the last few days. This information has helped to publicly understand better the reasons:

- why certain consortiums have been / may potentially be interested in Charlton Athletic,
- the most likely selling points to new investors,
- the potential route of the football club going forward.

Sadly, it does little to encourage that the current / recent past / future ownership interest is ultimately driven by what’s best for the Club as opposed to what’s best for the individual.

Despite the successful emergence of the O2 Arena and the surrounding growth, I don’t think many people have a real grasp of the sheer scale of the development and regeneration that is to take place in Greenwich over the next 15-20 years. Much of it has been focussed on the Peninsula area, and rightly so; a further 10,000 + homes are still to be built there, and when the Masterplan for Greenwich Peninsula West was published in early 2012, some people were surprised to see provisional plans outlined for a new outdoor sporting facility.

In fact, it was listed as the number one objective of the development “To transform the contribution of the area to the Royal Borough and the sub-region by focusing development around a new multi-purpose sports / entertainment / education facility that links with, and complements the offer at the O2 Arena”.

So why would any non-supporter invest in Charlton Athletic ?

Well, that becomes a little clearer. There is a huge area of land in a growth region of the capital city looking for a sports franchise to fill it. Potentially for a free / partnership built stadium, attractive lease, and a huge array of attached possibilities through its multi-functional aspect, and its surrounding land. It provides more than a foot in the door with the right people, and the continuing regeneration of the Thameside region brings endless possibilities in what is arguably the last region of potential large-scale untapped development central to London.

You can easily see how that makes it worth investigating for property speculators, venture capitalists, investment funds and those with links to construction, demolition, or development. Even road building.

Of course, this is not a suggestion that just arrived at the table in early 2012 under the current regime. Charlton’s links with the potential Thames Gateway regeneration have I’ve been told gone back many years since we were an established Premiership club, and the potential regeneration possibilities were pitched suitably to potential investors before the club last changed hands. It is no surprise people like Tony Jiminez and Kevin Cash saw potential, as did others.

Whilst the Peninsula West Masterplan with its stadium plan drew all the attention in early 2012, a similar Masterplan closer to home was released at the same time with much smaller levels of public scrutiny. Charlton Riverside Masterplan covers the whole lower region; Woolwich Road to the Wharf’s beyond Bugsby’s Way, to beyond the Thames Barrier. It tantalisingly, but unsurprisingly, brushes the feet of The Valley.

This is the birthplace of 'Charlton Garden City', and the vision of development phases to be carried out in Charlton over the next 15-20 years for thousands of new homes, schools, gardens and associated districts.

So where does Charlton Athletic fit into all this?

It’s a good question. A very good question. Because it does not convincingly suggest it does.

The first two listed objectives are to ‘Transform the image of Charlton’ and to ‘Integrate Charlton Riverside with the existing Charlton community’.

Would you class your local football club with its historic background, 27,000 stadium and number one Community Trust in the country, part of the ‘existing Charlton community?’

I certainly would.

Yet throughout the 53-page document, Charlton Athletic manages just two mentions. Firstly in the Introduction as the final afterthought description of the area. Whilst 'the small range of local retailers' on Charlton Church Lane and the Village are highlighted as ‘the main focal point of the area’ north of Woolwich Road, Maryon Wilson Park, Charlton Park and Hornfair Park are all mentioned before in the final description that ‘Charlton is also home of Charlton Athletic Football Club, whose stadium is located here’.

The emphasis is given to what you would expect of your local non-league team, not a major area employer and sporting facility that brings 15-20-000 visitors to the region every fortnight.

Charlton Athletic receives just one further mention throughout the document, under Parking, where it is noted that currently ‘parking becomes an issue in the study area on game days as fans arriving for a match at the Charlton Athletic Football Club tend to park throughout the industrial estate’.

And that is it.

Continued below.......
«13

Comments

  • Maryon Wilson Park is also outside the study area, yet is consistently mentioned throughout the document. Other than one overhead photograph, every drawing and plan of the region sees The Valley greyed out. The list of highlighted key assets which should either be retained or strengthened from the regeneration lists Maryon Wilson Park from outside the focus area, and sites such as the Anchor & Hope pub and the Thames Barrier, but no The Valley.

    Of course, you may feel I am reading these documents in a particularly cynical way, and highlight that technically The Valley falls outside the jurisdiction of the study area. And you may well be right.

    But it is glaringly obvious to me that as things currently stand, even if the likely long-term future of Charlton Athletic remains at The Valley, Greenwich Council do not see it as an asset to its immediate area or anything to shout about or be proud of.

    This would be surprising given our history, the huge amount of community work our club brings to the Borough, or even the amount of time the Council Leader spends in the Directors Box on our match days.

    Something just doesn’t quite stack up in my opinion.

    So what is the catch ? Why has this not already progressed if that was the case ?

    Another good question, and one you can only really guess at the answer.

    The main obvious catch is that Charlton Athletic in its current form loses money. A lot of money. It was perceived that while an outlay was needed to bridge the gap from League One to Championship, the likelihood from TV and other revenues would mean it would be possible to maintain a break-even investment at that level. Chuck in the possibility of a major regeneration and the amount of low-outlay opportunities / associated contracts that could bring, then that could make it worth a gamble worth taking. That certainly appeared the case.

    However, the current consortium owning the club soon discovered that breaking even at Championship level was a lot more unlikely than envisaged, and given the time frame to those potential future occurrences, a far greater outlay from maintaining / developing the football club is going to be needed to sustain this level or take it to the next step.

    Whether that was the primary cause of the rumoured fall outs in the current consortium, or whether it was down to personality clashes, financing issues, or increased difficulties in the potential regeneration plan (land quality / use, potential leasing issues / more potentially complex or potentially less beneficial to the developer / consortium than originally believed), who knows. Not me.

    In the meantime, the club keeps plodding on, losing money but plodding on. The current squad look nowhere near the level needed to achieve Premiership football and achieve investor profit organically. But someone, somehow is still funding those loses. Who, why and how remains the 64,000 dollar question.

    Sadly, I’m not convinced they are doing it out of love for Charlton Athletic, and I’m doubtful the next in line to take up the baton will be either.

    Interesting times ahead.

    Links to Charlton Riverside plans: http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/downloads/download/433/charlton_riverside_masterplan

    Link to Peninsular West plans: http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/downloads/download/434/greenwich_peninsula_west_masterplan
  • edited September 2013
    Bloody hell. BLOODY HELL!

    When you wrote:

    This would be surprising given our history, the huge amount of community work our club brings to the Borough, or even the amount of time the Council Leader spends in the Directors Box on our match days.

    You forgot one other small matter. In this history of modern British politics no council anywhere, ever, has received at the ballot box a clearer direct message about football. Charlton Athletic belongs in the community of Greenwich, and its home is The Valley.

    No matter what the business case is for moving, how dare this Council, of all Councils up and down the land, make the arrogant assumption that this electoral message can be blithely forgotten.

    I'm going to go and kick a Czech dustbin
  • edited September 2013
    It's all very, very clear isn't it? The long term future of CAFC is on the Peninsula, so far as the council & any new owners / current owners are concerned. It's just a matter of time (and money, of course).
  • edited September 2013

    It's all very, very clear isn't it? The long term future of CAFC is on the Peninsula, so far as the council & any new owners / current owners are concerned. It's just a matter of time (and money, of course).

    Not necessarily in my opinion.

    If you are in the 'dead set on staying put' camp, then the positives should be that no one has manged it so far, there are clearly more hurdles to jump through than originally envisaged, and there will only be a finate period of time before any potential site is redeveloped and that opportunity is gone. Every year the window of that last one is getting smaller i would guess.



  • Smudge mind blowing piece and a real good summary of what has been said in the last 72 or so hrs

    I am convinced that the current the future and those in our recent past see us a way from the Valley and tbh it makes me sick to my stomach that it will inevitably happen without so much of a consultation, I expect lip service consultation to happen with the Trust exec and I don't for one minute that this will be anywhere near anything other than a lip service PR attempt,

    Even with the regeneration of the area and those new homes before people get excited about the future growing fan base

    I will go back to old ground that I have stated for years

    the majority of that housing will be social affordable housing mainly from those already situated from near by and other parts of London

    Allegiances to football teams would have already been established and those that are left we may be able to tap into

    we have a current football support of around 12-15k max and if we were to nick those extra relocated regeneration supporters we may get to 17-18K Max

    our ground holds 27k

    we don't need a new ground

    the pain and hardship we suffered sharing grounds was horrific but it gave us an identity, a band of men and women who wouldn't desert their club, that fought harder than any club ever to retain their identity in Charlton and at their spiritual home The Valley

    When we regained and returned to our home the looks on the faces of those my age then (17) was of wonderment and a fulfilment and a real look of thanks to those who were of the right age to do the right thing during that time, to ensure that I had and my kids should they wish, would have Charlton Athletic FC based in Charlton in their home the valley

    we got promoted and it was with real joy and trust that I believed those in charge full circle had been achieved

    once the ground developed and the final stages of the west and quads was finished I looked at a nearly full valley on match days thinking wow all those people that worked tirelessly as fans to make this possible should feel really proud

    we were run and owned by real Charlton men never again would we be in peril like that

    I always believed and still do to a point that certain clubs football is like a cycle and circle and it goes over and over promotion relegation hard times, great times. Without the hard the great times cant happen, but I always thought and believed that no matter what league we were in, no one would ever take this place away, never will long grass derelict buildings and hardship bestow this ground, because its custodians its real owners you and I, would not allow it we would fight like no ones business and CAFC and the now RBG knew it and wouldn't be so stupid



    Bar Man utd, Liverpool, Citeh, Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle the ground always had spare tickets maybe not on match day but leading up to it, as a ST holder I could always get pals tickets except for those games and yet at times I could get my nephew and mates a ticket to support us during those fixtures



    The prem was new to us and we filled the ground as well as we could as the seasons past and the prem was not so new the crowds were not as full

    we were never in need of the 40k stadium people wanted and spoke of

    we didn't need it then we wont need it again we can not let this happen the Valley is not just our home its our identity as much of our id as the badge on our shirt and the Red Robin or the Haddock

    Lose the ID lose the club we will not be Charlton at a new ground up the road we will be a London version of MK dons

    Yes arsenal done it

    but they are Arsenal (I hate them) but they are ex prem champions, Champions league qualifiers year in year out, they are a club with a history that dwarfs ours in the modern era (50 Yrs)

    if I was trying to find a club that thought it was something it was not and was something that it thought it could be I give to you Coventry City (I Hate them too)

    Never leave the Valley ever again and you will never convince me otherwise


    not from NLA but from Darren (names seem to be important this week)
  • @nla brilliant post. I went to my first ever game at the Valley with my dad and brother, I now take my son there and maybe one day I'll take my grandkids. I agree success is cyclical for a club like ours.
  • Clubs that have moved in recent years fell into three categories.

    1 - Their old ground couldn't sustain the club after modification post Taylor (Leicester, Boro, Southampton, Doncaster, Derby)
    2 - Their old grounds couldn't be extended due to history/location (Arsenal, City, West Ham)
    3 - They brought into a fantasy, sold the land, rented it (Coventry)

    if we leave the Valley in the next few years, we'll be a Coventry, there is no business case to move.
  • Rothko said:

    Clubs that have moved in recent years fell into three categories.

    1 - Their old ground couldn't sustain the club after modification post Taylor (Leicester, Boro, Southampton, Doncaster, Derby)
    2 - Their old grounds couldn't be extended due to history/location (Arsenal, City, West Ham)
    3 - They brought into a fantasy, sold the land, rented it (Coventry)

    if we leave the Valley in the next few years, we'll be a Coventry, there is no business case to move.

    Excellent summary Rothko, although I have a problem with West Ham. Firstly - and I could be wrong here - I thought there was some plan to further extend Upton Park. Secondly, they wouldn't be moving anyway because Upton Park is big enough for them, but they have conned the government into spending hundreds of millions on a shiny new home for derisory rent. I would suggest Spurs fall into (2) though.

  • spurs are staying put PA not moving anywhere infact are going to benefit from paid for transport links and are peeing off locals with their plans for a Wembley style walk way where houses currently are
  • It's all very, very clear isn't it? The long term future of CAFC is on the Peninsula, so far as the council & any new owners / current owners are concerned. It's just a matter of time (and money, of course).

    Not necessarily in my opinion.

    If you are in the 'dead set on staying put' camp, then the positives should be that no one has manged it so far, there are clearly more hurdles to jump through than originally envisaged, and there will only be a finate period of time before any potential site is redeveloped and that opportunity is gone. Every year the window of that last one is getting smaller i would guess.



    But once the Peninsula option disappears for good, what is left to attract potential new investors to the club? It appears from all that I have read over recent days that this is the main feature that is being offered to buyers.
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  • spurs are staying put PA not moving anywhere infact are going to benefit from paid for transport links and are peeing off locals with their plans for a Wembley style walk way where houses currently are

    Ah, my mistake, thought they were still planning a move

  • Does anyone else when reading nla's post hear background music and picture him wrapped in a Charlton scarf whilst beating his breast as he speaks?

    Just me probably.
  • i knew you loved me 8)
  • Im going to get you a soap box to stand on!
  • Hahah, Its him.
  • I can't wait until we move from the valley as that will justify in me not going anymore!
  • I hope we don't move, I hate all of the modern day soulless stadiums that all look the same apart from different coloured seats. I love the old grounds with history & 100 times more atmosphere.
  • Smudge mind blowing piece and a real good summary of what has been said in the last 72 or so hrs

    I am convinced that the current the future and those in our recent past see us a way from the Valley and tbh it makes me sick to my stomach that it will inevitably happen without so much of a consultation, I expect lip service consultation to happen with the Trust exec and I don't for one minute that this will be anywhere near anything other than a lip service PR attempt,

    Even with the regeneration of the area and those new homes before people get excited about the future growing fan base

    I will go back to old ground that I have stated for years

    the majority of that housing will be social affordable housing mainly from those already situated from near by and other parts of London

    Allegiances to football teams would have already been established and those that are left we may be able to tap into

    we have a current football support of around 12-15k max and if we were to nick those extra relocated regeneration supporters we may get to 17-18K Max

    our ground holds 27k

    we don't need a new ground

    the pain and hardship we suffered sharing grounds was horrific but it gave us an identity, a band of men and women who wouldn't desert their club, that fought harder than any club ever to retain their identity in Charlton and at their spiritual home The Valley

    When we regained and returned to our home the looks on the faces of those my age then (17) was of wonderment and a fulfilment and a real look of thanks to those who were of the right age to do the right thing during that time, to ensure that I had and my kids should they wish, would have Charlton Athletic FC based in Charlton in their home the valley

    we got promoted and it was with real joy and trust that I believed those in charge full circle had been achieved

    once the ground developed and the final stages of the west and quads was finished I looked at a nearly full valley on match days thinking wow all those people that worked tirelessly as fans to make this possible should feel really proud

    we were run and owned by real Charlton men never again would we be in peril like that

    I always believed and still do to a point that certain clubs football is like a cycle and circle and it goes over and over promotion relegation hard times, great times. Without the hard the great times cant happen, but I always thought and believed that no matter what league we were in, no one would ever take this place away, never will long grass derelict buildings and hardship bestow this ground, because its custodians its real owners you and I, would not allow it we would fight like no ones business and CAFC and the now RBG knew it and wouldn't be so stupid



    Bar Man utd, Liverpool, Citeh, Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle the ground always had spare tickets maybe not on match day but leading up to it, as a ST holder I could always get pals tickets except for those games and yet at times I could get my nephew and mates a ticket to support us during those fixtures



    The prem was new to us and we filled the ground as well as we could as the seasons past and the prem was not so new the crowds were not as full

    we were never in need of the 40k stadium people wanted and spoke of

    we didn't need it then we wont need it again we can not let this happen the Valley is not just our home its our identity as much of our id as the badge on our shirt and the Red Robin or the Haddock

    Lose the ID lose the club we will not be Charlton at a new ground up the road we will be a London version of MK dons

    Yes arsenal done it

    but they are Arsenal (I hate them) but they are ex prem champions, Champions league qualifiers year in year out, they are a club with a history that dwarfs ours in the modern era (50 Yrs)

    if I was trying to find a club that thought it was something it was not and was something that it thought it could be I give to you Coventry City (I Hate them too)

    Never leave the Valley ever again and you will never convince me otherwise


    not from NLA but from Darren (names seem to be important this week)

    welling up a bit reading that.
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  • If it came to new ground or out of business, what would you choose?
  • Smudge mind blowing piece and a real good summary of what has been said in the last 72 or so hrs

    I am convinced that the current the future and those in our recent past see us a way from the Valley and tbh it makes me sick to my stomach that it will inevitably happen without so much of a consultation, I expect lip service consultation to happen with the Trust exec and I don't for one minute that this will be anywhere near anything other than a lip service PR attempt,

    Even with the regeneration of the area and those new homes before people get excited about the future growing fan base

    I will go back to old ground that I have stated for years

    the majority of that housing will be social affordable housing mainly from those already situated from near by and other parts of London

    Allegiances to football teams would have already been established and those that are left we may be able to tap into

    we have a current football support of around 12-15k max and if we were to nick those extra relocated regeneration supporters we may get to 17-18K Max

    our ground holds 27k

    we don't need a new ground

    the pain and hardship we suffered sharing grounds was horrific but it gave us an identity, a band of men and women who wouldn't desert their club, that fought harder than any club ever to retain their identity in Charlton and at their spiritual home The Valley

    When we regained and returned to our home the looks on the faces of those my age then (17) was of wonderment and a fulfilment and a real look of thanks to those who were of the right age to do the right thing during that time, to ensure that I had and my kids should they wish, would have Charlton Athletic FC based in Charlton in their home the valley

    we got promoted and it was with real joy and trust that I believed those in charge full circle had been achieved

    once the ground developed and the final stages of the west and quads was finished I looked at a nearly full valley on match days thinking wow all those people that worked tirelessly as fans to make this possible should feel really proud

    we were run and owned by real Charlton men never again would we be in peril like that

    I always believed and still do to a point that certain clubs football is like a cycle and circle and it goes over and over promotion relegation hard times, great times. Without the hard the great times cant happen, but I always thought and believed that no matter what league we were in, no one would ever take this place away, never will long grass derelict buildings and hardship bestow this ground, because its custodians its real owners you and I, would not allow it we would fight like no ones business and CAFC and the now RBG knew it and wouldn't be so stupid



    Bar Man utd, Liverpool, Citeh, Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle the ground always had spare tickets maybe not on match day but leading up to it, as a ST holder I could always get pals tickets except for those games and yet at times I could get my nephew and mates a ticket to support us during those fixtures



    The prem was new to us and we filled the ground as well as we could as the seasons past and the prem was not so new the crowds were not as full

    we were never in need of the 40k stadium people wanted and spoke of

    we didn't need it then we wont need it again we can not let this happen the Valley is not just our home its our identity as much of our id as the badge on our shirt and the Red Robin or the Haddock

    Lose the ID lose the club we will not be Charlton at a new ground up the road we will be a London version of MK dons

    Yes arsenal done it

    but they are Arsenal (I hate them) but they are ex prem champions, Champions league qualifiers year in year out, they are a club with a history that dwarfs ours in the modern era (50 Yrs)

    if I was trying to find a club that thought it was something it was not and was something that it thought it could be I give to you Coventry City (I Hate them too)

    Never leave the Valley ever again and you will never convince me otherwise


    not from NLA but from Darren (names seem to be important this week)

    You can take it from me NLA I for one will not be 'accepting lip service' about a move away from the Valley.
    When I spoke to Nick Raynsford the MP three weeks ago he told me
    'The last thing those developers want is a football stadium on that development'......
    Now you can state that was a cynical comment from a politician,..... a politician who is stepping down at the next election?
    Speaking to some one he has never met before, so why should he bother to say that? In fact he went down to the Council and spoke to the department
    without any request on our behalf. He also had other concerns about the 'peninsular regarding CAFC'
    Frankly anyone can draw up a speculative brochure , and cite tree line boulevards, and bijou cafes, with couples wandering around in a nirvana type environment with kids playing scenario
    How this squares with the current reality is somewhat at odds?
    Are we all going to drive there on the A2?..... or run the tube there as a dedicated station?
    Just a couple of 'issues' then to resolve then.....
    I have declared my position before NLA , I make no secret of it
    No valley, No CAFC for me.. and yes this is my personnal view.
  • Ken that's great hear , this nick raynsford is he this politician people have been mentioning on other threads


    Nadou

    its a question that is not able to be answered tbh, you would have to say new ground for the greater good but no one will ever convince me that moving ground will save our club or that our club couldn't be saved without moving

    moving ground is to line the pockets of those involved no other reason, the ground is part of a football club not just bricks and mortar it has life and cant be treated as just a building

  • Seriously NLA you really need to chill otherwise you are going to fall of the box B has got you.
  • in all seriousness I think you may be right steve
  • NLA just chill if push comes to shove we will come to the for, but a lot of bollocks and scaremoungaring going on mate, don't rise to it.
  • NLA, I was not going to mention this but Slater and Jiminez were spotted pacing out the shape of a football ground in Macros car park on Wednesday...

    Sorry mate.
  • cheers steve I will take it on board pal
  • Nadou said:

    If it came to new ground or out of business, what would you choose?

    For me Nadou it's one and the same.

    Charlton Athletic and The Valley are in my DNA. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, myself and my daughters have all watched Charlton at The Valley and when my sixteen month old grandson is of an age I hope, if spared, to take him too.

    If Charlton are not at The Valley then, for me, they are just another football club and if we go to football it could be Gillingham, the nearest team to where I live, or West Brom, the nearest team to him.

    The emotional chain to Charlton would be broken.

    Sorry but for me that's how it is.

  • I blame the EU Len
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