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NEW BLOG ARTICLE: Its AFKA or gaffer to you sunshine !

light-hearted look at my application for the Charlton job.


  • if anyone else applied, please post your applications here.
  • So did you get the job? ;-)
  • How tall is he?
  • Page Not Found

    The page you were looking for could not be found
    How tall do you need to be a page? Obviously no one was successful, due to height restrictions!
  • If you want a job, try Valley Parade rather than the Valley. Could be a vacancy there very soon. Some bloke called Parkinson is in charge. They've lost five of their last six and it looks like they could go out of the league for the first time in their 110 year history!
  • @BDL, that's a bump out the blue !

    Can't access the old blog articles at the mo (which is a shame), but i found my original Word scribblings on my computer from 2006 below:


    So everyone knows that two things are nailed-on guaranteed whenever a professional football club decides to change manager.

    Firstly, all current out of work ex-pro’s lay off the scotch for a few days, dust down their tracksuits, and consider how they will lift the un-managed club back to glory.

    Secondly, every local nutter will think it will be hilarious to enter the race based on a successful run on Championship Manager.

    That Charlton crazily decided to advertise the job on a national level, only served to open the doors to these lunatics not just in South London, but throughout he land. And with the decision to enter this medium via the Daily Mail, the chances were that 90% of the candidates would be pro-fox hunting xenophobes, or Big Ron to be precise.

    So what has this to do with me ?

    Very good question. And to be honest I really don’t know what prompted me to get involved. I wasn’t a student, I wasn’t a nutter and I’ve never even played Championship Manager. I think it must have been the speculation that Mick McCarthy was applying that prompted me into action. I know I only had a small chance, but any possible opportunity to dislodge Mental Mick was a chance worth taking.

    In truth, curiosity of what reply I would get from the club led me to do it. I knew I had no chance on managerial record, so my approach was to charm Murray, Varney & Co. I fired off the following letter:

    Dear Mr Varney,

    I’m writing to apply for the position of First Team Manager. I believe I would be a cost-effective alternative worth considering, as I only wish to apply for the role on a part-time basis. My current employer has a very attractive final-salary pension scheme that would be irresponsible to withdraw from, for an unsecure short-term industry such as football management.

    My credentials are impressive; For the past eight years I have successfully managed Albany Rangers in Kent Suburban League, overseeing the club to three promotions. Ok, we have also suffered two relegations in this period, but on both occasions our seasons were decimated by a succession of stag weekends.

    Unlike a whinging Tottenham manager, my lads consistently turn out on Sunday mornings with upset stomachs. We recently were successful in the club’s only cup final appearance, in front of a crowd of 150. I think this proves my ability to perform and motivate on the big stage.

    Tactically, I am somewhat of a revolutionary. I believe essential, but only minute changes are needed to turn Charlton into a club challenging for honours. Alan Curbishley has worked hard over the years turning Charlton into the best ‘sideways-playing’ side in the country, led by masters in this field such as Keith Jones and Matt Holland. My tactical switch to success would see all the players turning ninety degrees, to playing towards the opposition goal. I know these changes will cause unrest amongst the playing staff (particularly Kish and Holland), but I have the strong character to enforce these adaptations.

    Finally, and just between me and you, I can imagine the directors were sick to the teeth of Curbishley dragging them off to Devon and Dorset for the ‘away from the missus’ pre-season jolly. Well, with me at the helm, I’d ensure that pre-season tours would be enjoyable trips to cultural areas such as Bangkok and Torremolinos.

    Why should Freddie Shepherd have all the fun, eh ?

    If required for an interview, please note Tuesday night (darts) and Friday’s (lads night) are no-no’s.

    Yours to Success

    AFKA Bartram

    So there you have it. The deed was done. The letter entered the post and from that moment, I was officially ‘in the race’. I’ll admit, Paddy Power, and the betting exchanges, seemed uninterested. But I was reassured knowing that Charlton never do their best work in public. I’d just completed my FA Level 1 coaching badge with flying colours, and confidence was high.

    When Peter Taylor dropped out the frame, and permission for Parkinson was refused, it appeared that the list was down to three; Davies, Dowie and Bartram. I started to panic, had I prepared my presentation thoroughly enough ? Tuesday darts was cancelled and even the wife was drawn in to assist with the five-year plan. I was going to be strong, they want a leader, a motivator who demands respect. The players would know who was boss. Benty may well of scored 20-odd goals, but I won’t be Bart, or Barty, its AKFA or gaffer to you sunshine.

    Davies fell away, the search was closing. Nerves were kicking in. And then come the letter; plain white envelope addressed to Mr Bartram (by this stage the wife was seriously questioning my sanity). I opened it with anticipation. Did I need to bring my flip charts for a two-hour presentation to the board ? Did they feel I could get Jason Euell to resemble a footballer again ? Did they ‘eck:

    Dear Mr Bartram


    Thank you for you recent application for the post of Team Manager.

    Unfortunately, you do not hold the relevant qualifications required by the FA Premier League and therefore your application will not be progressed further.

    I wish you well in your future career

    With Best Wishes

    Yours sincerely
    Peter Varney

    And there you have it. After all that, it was my own bloody fault. Having concentrated so much on staying away from the Championship Manager clique, I completely forgot to mention my FA Level 1 badge. If they knew I was ‘on the ladder‘, they could of swung it, surely ? The Geordies certainly did (I bet Roeder was promising the same pre-season tours).

    I guess my face just didn’t fit, I wasn’t the ‘safe hands’ that was needed. My humiliation was later compounded by their decision to appoint a manager with an engineering degree. How very very Charlton. Like searching into Kent for new found well-bred support, they favoured a post-grad over the local working class boy.

    Defeated, but with dignity intact. There was only one course of action. If I wanted to get anywhere in this game, I was going to have to drop to the very bottom, the depth of the profession in order to work my way back up. With a big gulp of breath, and the remains of my dignity going with it, I applied for the Crystal Palace job. If Peter Taylor and Mental Mick could swallow their self-respect, so could I.

    Find out what happened to the Crystal Palace application on Friday. Lets just say I think I’m just below Iain Dowie on Mr Jordan’s Christmas card list…..
  • Oh for Mick McCarthy rather than Dowie.
  • I know Neil, though you have to remember that summer McCarthy was a bit of a joke figure as he had got the boot from Sunderland after they were rooted at the bottom of the prem in March with just 16 points.

    Was told that he would would have literally walked from Sunderland for the Charlton job. I've no idea if he would have done better than Dowie, but he would definately have been here longer !
  • curbs told murray that mcCarthy was who he reckoned should replace him but murray had his own ideas
  • I got the same letter back! I'm so hurt as I thought Reg had taken the trouble to dictate it just for me...
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  • Barts, I was Just looking at the bottom of the board, all the usual moaning about atmosphere, price of beer, inept/drunk PA announcers, crap music, Off-it on a mission to wind everyone up, should that really be a Would Ya etc....

    Nothing's changed much at all except our league position, something I doubt that even the most gloom mongering member of the Clique would have thought possible.

    It's a funny old game eh?
  • Not wrong BDL.

    Only six years ago as well, yet it feels like a lifetime ago.
  • I never knew Curbs suggested McCarthy.

    Another mishap by the board that Summer.
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