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Press Reports on Pardew / Reid

The Sun

ALAN PARDEW toasted his best Christmas ever as he landed a £7.5million present.

Pards signed a £4m deal to become Charlton’s new boss after the struggling Addicks axed Les Reed.

And West Ham gave him £3.5m in compensation following his sacking as manager two weeks ago.

Pardew had penned a new £20,000-a-week contract under the old Upton Park regime which still had 3½ years to run.

When new owner Eggert Magnusson took over it was agreed he would be paid up within two weeks if given the boot.

That deadline arrived — along with £3½m — at the weekend.

Then late on Christmas Eve Pardew, 45, hit the jackpot again when he was amazingly unveiled as Reed’s replacement at Charlton.

After just 13 days out of a job, he signed a 3½-year contract worth £3.5m plus bonuses.

He becomes the third manager in six weeks at The Valley following the departures of Reed and Iain Dowie.

Reed, nicknamed Les Miserables, was in charge for just 41 days — the shortest tenure in Premiership history. He recorded just one win from his eight games in charge.

Addicks chairman Richard Murray said: “Les has Charlton in his blood but this decision’s best for the club.”


CHARLTON hope it will be a case of third time lucky after appointing Alan Pardew as their new boss.

The former West Ham chief completed the managerial merry-go-round between Upton Park and The Valley on Christmas Eve — becoming the third Addicks boss in six weeks.

He follows the departure of Les ‘Miserables’ Reed, who lasted just 41 days in the hotseat before getting the boot in a record fast time for the Premiership.

Reed’s predecessor Iain Dowie managed marginally better, lasting 167 days and 15 games.

Charlton chairman Richard Murray will hope Pardew outlasts both men having signed a 3½-year deal.

And Murray reckons Pards is the right man to lead the side out of the relegation zone.

Murray said: “We are very fortunate a manager of Alan Pardew’s calibre is available and we have moved very, very quickly to secure his services.

“Les Reed has left his position as Charlton’s head coach by mutual consent.

“Les has Charlton in his blood but this decision is best for Charlton Football Club.

“We will expand more on this when we have a Press conference on Tuesday.”

Despite being assured that his position was safe last week, Reed got the bullet after managing just one win in eight games in charge.

Now the club will have to thrash out another costly compensation package with the ink barely dry on Reed’s two-year deal.

His replacement Pardew may also wish to bring in his own backroom staff, which would hit Murray in the pocket again after already drafting in Mark Kinsella and Mark Robson under Reed.

Charlton’s exploits this season are made more remarkable given that before this summer they had the same manager for 15 years.

Alan Curbishley, who quit to recharge his batteries, is now back in football with West Ham, in what effectively amounts to a job swap.

Pards got the chop two weeks ago after failing to impress the club’s new owner Eggert Magnusson.

Despite leading the Hammers to promotion in 2005 and an FA Cup final last season, the 45-year-old was sacked with West Ham struggling in the bottom three.

However, the saga at Charlton has been just as dramatic, with Reed getting the chop despite assurances from chief executive Peter Varney that his position was not under threat. Reed himself denied that there was a rift with his bosses, despite being given a below-average report.

It seems Charlton’s humiliating 1-0 home defeat to League Two side Wycombe in the Carling Cup last week, followed by a 2-0 league loss at Middlesbrough on Saturday forced the board’s hand.

Varney had previously said: “We won’t be changing manager. We are very confident this situation will turn around here.

“It was an early decision to replace Iain Dowie after 12 league games but we felt we had to make that change.

“We have got every confidence in the team we have put together of Les Reed, Mark Robson and Mark Kinsella but they haven’t had the opportunity to make some of the changes they would like to make.

“Obviously that period is now coming up in January.”

Or not, as the case may be.

Pardew’s first game in the hotseat is tomorrow’s London derby with Fulham at The Valley, followed by Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa and the New Year’s Day trip to Arsenal.


LES REED was ready to give his Charlton flops Christmas Day off — but he need not have bothered.

Anyone watching the Saturday’s pitiful 2-0 surrender at Middlesbrough would have been convinced Reed was a dead man walking.

Uncle Les may have been a well respected coach but when the flak hit the fan, it was hard to imagine him inspiring his men.

Star striker Darren Bent failed to score in Reed’s eight games in charge and his failure to come out and pledge his future to the club speaks volumes.

Giving the players a day at home tucking into turkey rather than going through their paces on the training ground smacked of stupidity.

They may not be playing until tomorrow night but Charlton need all the practice they can get. And it is a fair bet new boss Alan Pardew would agree.

For a side deep in the relegation mire and just dumped out of the Carling Cup by Wycombe, Charlton need a display to put a smile back on the club’s face.

The sight of just 100 away fans at the Riverside told its own sorry story.

Reed reckoned a spot of shopping in January would do the trick.

On Saturday he insisted: “I want players to come in and change the first team — give us a boost, inject some enthusiasm, quality and belief into the squad.

“The past week has not been good enough in terms of results.

“It is frustrating and disappointing. But we are determined to turn it around but it’s my job to sort it out.”

Not any more, Les. Over to you Alan . . .


  • The Times

    Reed out, Pardew in as Charlton whirl their revolving door

    41-day reign ends in abrupt departure

    Television deal forces club's hand

    No new managers at The Valley for 15 years, then three come along in one season — a variation on an old joke that is getting very few laughs in London SE7.
    Charlton Athletic clearly got out of practice at appointing the right man during Alan Curbishley’s decade and a half in charge, but they are making up for lost time. On Christmas Eve Alan Pardew became the third man this season to occupy what has suddenly become the hottest seat in football and Charlton are desperately hoping that they have got it right this time.

    Pardew, a former Charlton player who was dismissed as manager of West Ham United only 15 days ago, takes over from Les Reed and has signed a 3½-year contract. Reed left, according to that useful euphemism, “by mutual consent” after winning only one out of eight matches in the 41 days he was in charge. He had been promoted in November from the position of assistant coach after the dismissal of Iain Dowie, who succeeded Curbishley on May 30. With Curbishley now at West Ham, he and Pardew have effectively swapped jobs.

    Pardew will be presented at a press conference today and will be in charge for the match against Fulham at The Valley tomorrow evening — a must-win game, with Charlton one from bottom in the Barclays Premiership, seven points adrift of seventeenth place.

    “We are very fortunate a manager of Alan Pardew’s calibre is available and we have moved very, very quickly to secure his services,” Richard Murray, the Charlton chairman, said in a statement, contradicting his remark on Thursday that Pardew “maybe needs some time out of the game” — but then Charlton also insisted last week that Reed’s job was safe for the rest of the season.

    Many supporters, though, will welcome the change. There were calls for “Super Alan Pardew” towards the end of the abject home defeat by Wycombe Wanderers in a Carling Cup quarter-final a week ago, as well as jeers directed at Reed.

    The avuncular Reed, 53, literally wrote the book, as he put it, on coaching when he worked as the FA’s technical director, but he failed to motivate the Charlton players, with the slide worsening over the past three performances: a disjointed 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool, the surrender to Wycombe and a tame 2-0 loss away to Middlesbrough on Saturday.

    After the defeat by Wycombe, Murray blamed the players and promised that Reed, who had recently signed a two-year contract, would have money to spend on replacements in January. Reed claimed on Thursday that he had “total support, with all hands to the pump to make sure we get the targets we are after”. However, the board had a dramatic change of heart.

    The loss of nerve was caused by the new television deal that begins next season. Murray told his staff in the summer that the club could not afford to make any mistakes, bearing in mind the gulf between the riches on offer in the Premiership from next summer — when clubs will get a minimum of £30 million each — and the relative poverty of the Coca- Cola Championship.

    For a club of Charlton’s stability and financial prudence, this season has become the equivalent of blowing the family savings on a mid-life crisis weekend in Las Vegas. First Dowie was given a three-year contract and £11 million to spend in the summer. Now the contracts of two head coaches worth upwards of £2.5 million have been paid up within a matter of weeks.

    In the circumstances, giving Pardew a long deal seems especially risky, particularly as the rot may have set in even before Dowie was appointed. Charlton have not won a Premiership match on the road since October 22, 2005. Their next away game is against Arsenal on January 1. Happy new year, Alan Pardew.
  • The Independent

    Charlton turn to Pardew as patience with Reed runs out

    Charlton Athletic are promising to explain at a press conference later today why they sacked their head coach, Les Reed, after just 41 days in charge and replaced him, on Christmas Eve, with Alan Pardew a mere 13 days after he was dismissed by West Ham United.

    In truth, no explanation is necessary for this most extraordinary of London managerial merry-go-rounds at the bottom of the Premiership. Charlton, as they did in getting rid of Iain Dowie earlier in the season, have panicked and now have a third man in charge in six months after 15 years with Alan Curbishley at the helm. Relegation, despite the club being regarded as a financially prudent model for others, is simply unthinkable after seven years in the top division.

    But what remains puzzling in the dramatic decision is why the Charlton board allowed the 52-year-old Reed, who appeared an odd choice in the first place, given his lack of managerial experience, to sign his three-year contract only last week and assemble a new back-room staff. The club's chief executive, Peter Varney, said then that Reed's job was not under threat and that the blame for the club's plight lay with Dowie. However, sources close to Charlton have again confirmed that the club considered a move for Pardew - as revealed by The Independent - immediately after he left West Ham on 11 December.

    The directors then appeared to decide that Reed would be allowed time, but the crushing defeats at home to League Two Wycombe Wanderers in the quarter-final of the League Cup and away to Middlesbrough in the Premiership reinforced the fear that he was not able to make the step up. It meant Reed's reign was brought to an end after just eight games - six defeats, a draw and a solitary victory - which made Dowie's 15 games in charge appear like longevity.

    The confusing picture is all the more puzzling because Pardew, who spent four years as a Charlton player under Curbishley in the early Nineties, was keen to take up the post immediately after he left West Ham and his candidacy was supported in the dressing room and by the fans. Pardew's agent, Barry Nevill, and friends advised him to take a break from football and bide his time, but such was the 45-year-old's determination to get back into management that he has jumped at the chance and signed a three-and-a-half year contract.

    That desire was made more acute because of the hurt he feels at being sacked by West Ham's new chairman, Eggert Magnusson, just two matches - and two defeats - into the Icelander's regime. To complete the moves Curbishley, a former West Ham player, replaced Pardew.

    The financial blow for Charlton in having to pay off a second manager inside one season is softened by the fact Reed, who returned as Dowie's assistant only last summer, and is a former Football Association technical director, is understood to have been the lowest paid in the Premiership. He is not due a substantial severance package.

    Charlton issued a statement from their chairman, Richard Murray, just before 7pm on Christmas Eve about the change. He admitted that Pardew's availability had been a major factor in the sudden decision - just as Curbishley's had been for West Ham. "We are very fortunate a manager of Alan Pardew's calibre is available and we have moved very, very quickly to secure his services," said Murray, who claimed Reed had left the club by "mutual consent". "Les Reed has Charlton in his blood but this decision is best for the club. We will expand on this on Tuesday."

    Pardew's first game will be the home fixture against Fulham tomorrow night, followed by meetings with Aston Villa and Arsenal, and with Charlton seven points from safety he certainly has his work cut out. Money will be made available to buy new players, even though Charlton dipped into next year's budget to pay for Dowie's £11m spending spree last summer.

    Pardew will be handed at least £5m to spend. He could bolster that total if he decides to cash in on Darren Bent - raising the intriguing scenario of Charlton doing a player plus cash deal with West Ham - while other players, such as Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, who is a target for Watford, and Souleymane Diawara, an expensive flop, could be moved on.

    Bent's sale has previously been ruled out by Charlton but the striker, who appears unsettled, is also wanted by Villa and Newcastle United and would command a fee of between £7m and £10m. Pardew would be interested in both Marlon Harewood and Bobby Zamora while Teddy Sheringham remains another possibility.

    The nightmare for West Ham fans would be if Pardew kept Charlton up at their expense, although the chances of survival are slim. It may well be Pardew's experiences with Reading, who consistently made the play-offs under him, and his three years at West Ham, whom he rebuilt with a young squad and brought back into the Premiership, have influenced his appointment more than his ability to cope with a relegation battle. Charlton, if they are to go down, also did not want to see Pardew accept another job in the mean time.

    The situation he inherits at The Valley is similar to that experienced by Harry Redknapp when he returned to Portsmouth last December, although without the acrimony that the former Southampton manager faced. Redknapp endorsed Charlton's decision, saying: "Alan is an excellent manager and he's played there, he knows the club, and he's got a chance as well. They're not dead and buried. We were in a worse position I thought last year when I went back to Portsmouth, so he can turn it around."
  • The Independent

    Reed falls victim to catastrophic cost of the drop

    Last week Richard Murray, the Charlton chairman, addressed a small knot of reporters in the car park at The Valley following the club's home defeat to Wycombe in the quarter- finals of the Carling Cup. Charlton had been dreadful, the home support had given the head coach, Les Reed, a vituperative send-off, and called for his replacement by Alan Pardew.

    Murray, speaking after Reed and his coaches had been smuggled out of the disabled exit in their Mercedes, pledged to give Reed time. He then dismissed Alan Pardew's management claims, crediting his success at Reading and West Ham to the coaches, Kevin Dillon and Peter Grant respectively, then stating he felt Pardew, so recently sacked at West Ham, needed time out of the game to spend with his family.

    That was in the early hours of Wednesday morning. On Sunday evening Murray fired Reed and installed Pardew.

    So is Murray just another duplicitous chairman in an industry which has long had a loose relationship with the truth? On the contrary, he is one of the game's more respectable figures. He has spent 15 years at Charlton because he loves the club, not because he wants to get rich off its back. There is no reason to believe that, while evidently concerned about Reed's stewardship, he was planning to axe him when we spoke. More than Reed he blamed Iain Dowie, Reed's short-lived predecessor, and even Alan Curbishley, whose departure last May, after 15 years at the helm, triggered the descent into chaos of a club which was once a byword for stability.

    There are 35 million reasons why Murray changed his mind. That, with the recent conclusion of the Premiership's overseas television deal, is the minimum income each Premiership club will receive, each season, from August. Add in merit payments and appearance fees and the figure dwarfs the £20m for winning the Champions' League. It also renders the £1m income of Coca-Cola League clubs inconsequential. It is approximately the pre-season value of Charlton as a business.

    Pardew is back in employment for the same reason he was made redundant - Premiership clubs cannot afford to get relegated and clubs which have been in the Premiership for more than four years, like Charlton, can afford it far less than newcomers likes Watford. Charlton have developed a Premiership-sized bill for wages and supplementary expenses (such as those Mercedes). Going down is potentially catastrophic, as Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Leeds have discovered.

    That would have been on the mind of Murray and his fellow directors as Charlton travelled back from their defeat Middlesbrough on Saturday night. They had just witnessed Charlton's sixth defeat in eight matches under Reed, and their fourth shocking performance in succession. The forthcoming transfer window represented the last chance to reshape a poor squad and, with Dowie blowing £11m in the summer, they would be mortgaging themselves to operate in it. Given the high stakes, they did not trust Reed, with no experience in the market (his only previous management stint was at Wealdstone in the late Eighties), to spend wisely.

    So Reed got the sack, on the eve of Santa arriving with his. It was a cruel blow for a decent man ill equipped to deal with the situation he was thrust into. When it comes to the theory of coaching Reed has written the book, literally, for he authored the Football Association's official guide to basic coaching.

    After a modest playing career, on the books of Cambridge United, Watford and Wycombe without making a League appearance, Reed became an FA coach in 1978. Aside from a spell at Charlton, working with Curbishley as the club won their first promotion to the Premiership, he remained at the FA until rejoining Charlton this summer. Among his roles at the governing body he assisted Kevin Keegan at Euro 2000 and was the (acting) technical director from 2002-04. He also ran various courses, with Steve McClaren, David O'Leary, Stuart Pearce and Steve Bruce among his students.

    Those who oppose the growing emphasis placed on coach education and qualifications will not mourn his exit. To them it will be proof that hard experience is far more valuable than "pieces of paper". Others will feel this was the right man at the wrong time. Reed can coach, though five formations in eight matches suggests an excess of theory, but can he inspire? Taking over a struggling team in mid-campaign requires different skills to building one on the training ground in pre-season. Experience of similar situations is an advantage and transfer acumen an asset but, most of all, it requires the ability to command instant respect and to instil confidence. With his pressed shirt and bookish spectacles Reed did not seem capable of either. He looked like a middle manager thrust on to the front line.

    When Reed made his home bow he milked the applause. This self-aggrandisement seemed at odds with a man who acts as physio for his 14-year-old's parks team but it was the chance he had waited a lifetime for. The next home game Charlton beat Blackburn and it seemed he had a chance, even if it transpired that as Tahal El Karkouri drove in a last-minute free-kick Reed was trying to get a message on that another player should take it. That proved the high point of his reign. Reed, who, despite a lifetime in the game, seemed unprepared for the public vitriol and media criticism, is likely to return to obscurity. Murray will hope that, by acting as he has, Charlton do not follow suit.
  • Daily Mirror


    ALAN PARDEW will be handed a £1million bonus if he rescues Charlton from Premiership oblivion after the ruthless Christmas sacking of Les Reed.

    And Pardew, the Addicks' third manager this season, will raid his old club West Ham with a £3m bid for midfielder Hayden Mullins after signing a three-anda- half-year contract at The Valley.

    Charlton made a swift U-turn in appointing 45-year-old Pardew, on the scrapheap himself just a fortnight ago when he was sacked by the Hammers.

    When Reed was granted a stay of execution following last week's embarrassing Carling Cup defeat by Wycombe, chairman Richard Murray claimed the ex-Hammers boss "may need to spend some time out of the game."

    But after Saturday's dreadful 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough left Charlton seven points adrift of safety, Murray and chief executive Peter Varney decided enough was enough.

    They brutally axed Reed, 53, late on Christmas Eve after just 41 days, the shortest managerial reign in Premiership history, and barely 10 days after giving him a three-year contract. Reed had won only four points from a possible 21 since taking over from the sacked Iain Dowie, and his pay-off is thought to be only £250,000.

    Murray claimed: "We are very fortunate a manager of Alan Pardew's calibre is available and we have moved very, very quickly to secure his services. Les has Charlton in his blood, but this decision is best."

    Pardew, who spent four years as a player at Charlton, opens his reign with tomorrow night's home derby with Fulham. He has been given a £6million transfer war chest to keep Charlton in the P remiership.
  • edited December 2006
    the telegraph
    Richard Murray, the Charlton Athletic chairman, insisted he had finally got the right man for the job after sensationally sacking Les Reed and replacing him with former West Ham manager Alan Pardew on Christmas Eve night.

    Reed lasted just 41 days after replacing Iain Dowie. During his time in charge, as head coach, the former Football Association youth development officer lost six of his eight games including the 1-0 home defeat to League Two Wycombe Wanderers in the Carling Cup quarter-finals.

    Ironically, Pardew's appointment comes a fortnight after he was replaced at Upton Park by former Charlton manager Alan Curbishley and his first game comes tomorrow night against Fulham.

    Murray said: "We are very fortunate a manager of Alan Pardew's calibre is available and we have moved very, very quickly to secure his services."

    Pardew's appointment is the latest twist in the soap operas at the two London clubs, both of whom are in the Premiership's bottom three. After leading West Ham to promotion in 2005, the 45-year-old Pardew followed that with a mid-table finish and an FA Cup final last season.

    He was under pressure following a poor start to the current campaign but it still came as a surprise when he was dismissed by new chairman Eggert Magnusson following the completion of a protracted takeover at Upton Park.

    The saga at Charlton has been no less dramatic, with Reed enduring one of the shortest reigns in Premiership history – despite assurances from chief executive Peter Varney that his position was not under threat.

    Murray added: "Les has Charlton in his blood but this decision is best for Charlton football club. We will expand more on this when we have a press conference on Tuesday."

    Rather than wait until after Christmas, the club decided to act now to give them the best chance of taking as many points as possible over the busy festive period and to make the most of the January transfer window.

    Reed was given a vote of confidence in the wake of last weekend's 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool but the humiliating defeat by Wycombe followed three days later. Saturday's 2-0 Premiership loss at Middlesbrough sparked rumours that Reed had lost the dressing room. The defeat left Charlton seven points adrift of safety.

    Reed was promoted from the assistant manager role following the departure of Iain Dowie, who was dismissed on Nov 13 after just 15 games. Charlton have now gone from having one manager in 15 years to three in one season.
  • No new managers at The Valley for 15 years, then three come along in one season — a variation on an old joke that is getting very few laughs in London SE7.

    That made me chuckle in London SE7 this morning.
  • The Independent seems to have the nail knocked on the head, I think.
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