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Monday, June 04, 2007

Four Weeks On!

Monday morning again and its now exactly 4 weeks since our demise from the Premiership, Tier 1, top-flight or whatever you want to call it. We handed back our Premier Share last week and are in the process of being moved on all the football web-sites into something called the "Championship" category.

So we're now officially second-best Tier 2 fizzy-pop material and after the rumours of lots of people leaving the club we can now look forward to the serious rebuilding. In fact, lots of people, frankievalley, cafcpicks included have already got into the spirit with a complete make-over and obviously Pardews' of the same mind. Ten new players is the idea and after the immediate response of the signing of a couple of new strikers from Colchester and Crewe, there's speculation that Gillingham and Cork City will also be raided. Its a tough League, the fizzies, and there's no room for expensive hangers-on although Iwelumo's wage of £11k a week has caused some disquiet.

And after last weeks news that £16m will have to be cut from the wage bill its now reported in kent-online that Charlton's wage bill has been slashed from £27 million to £11 million, Well, that's certainly 16 less but doesn't really tally with the figures that appeared in addicksdiary on June 1st where it was reported in Deloitte's that "Charlton have finished in the top ten in the Premiership wages table produced by Deloitte Sport. Admittedly, the figures relate to 2005/6 when Charlton came tenth with a wages bill of £34.2m." Rather hard to believe then that one year on our wage bill would drop from £34.2m to £27m especially after JFH's arrival.

So perhaps we should take with a pinch of salt the news that follows from the same source: "Luke Young is likely to be reunited with former manager Alan Curbishley at West Ham. Talal El Karkouri and Souleymane Diawara are also leaving, while Kevin Lisbie, Thomas Myhre, Mark Staunton, Nathan Ashton, Radostin Kishishev, Myles Weston and Rurik Gislason have been released."

And there's more: "Midfielders Matt Holland and Bryan Hughes have been offered extensions to their existing deals but are expected to move on. Central defender Jonathan Fortune, who spent the final months of last season on loan at Stoke, is wanted back, though his £9,000 a week wages are a stumbling block. But Darren Ambrose and Jerome Thomas look set to stay and manager Alan Pardew has not given up hope of retaining midfielders Alex Song and China captain Zheng Zhi for a further season."

Convincing Alex Song and ZiZi to come back for another year will obviously tax Pardew powers of persuasion but strange there's no mention of Darren Bent anywhere. £15 m is a lot to ask and its hard to decide whether the value is meant as a realistic marker in the ground or is to frighten clubs off. Maybe the unexpected will happen but somehow I rather doubt it.

Anyway, if we believe all we read the team-sheet at the moment looks something like this:
Randolph, Sankofa, Bougherra, Fortune, Thatcher, Christensen, Reid, Ambrose, Thomas, Iwelumo and Varney. But don't get too alarmed, there's another 8 to arrive along with the appearance of Cory Gibbs of course.

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