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By: David Hatch

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Thursday, 14-May-2009 09:12 Email | Share | | Bookmark
David Arthur Fowler

Season 2008/09
The news of Dave's death came as I was preparing the Members of the Opposition composite image for 2008/09, and it seemed appropriate to include him in it - see photo.

Dave, together with Kath and Dermot of the Rose of Denmark, was a significant part of our day out, providing fast and friendly service even when under pressure. I'd also dropped in fairly often between matches when things were quieter and had chatted with him a few times. A really nice bloke - friendly and slightly reserved but steely and resolute when turning away persistent away supporters at the back door after the match.

It seems that he had no relatives and that, unlike professional footballers and grasping MPs, he had virtually no assets, which means that a collection is being organised in the RoD to pay for his funeral.

The funeral will be on Wednesday 27th May at Falconwood crematorium. The hearse will be leaving the RoD at 11.30am, if anyone would like to pay their last respects. I'm planning to go as it would be dreadful if there were only a handful of people there to see him off.

I still can't really believe he's gone - it's only three weeks since we last saw him.

Sunday, 10-May-2009 21:56 Email | Share | | Bookmark
RIP Dave

Dave the barman, died May 2009
Word has been circulating that Dave, the barman in the Rose of Denmark for many years, had a fall recently and subsequently died. I was convinced that he was at the back door letting home fans in after the final game of the season, but others have since persuaded me that this wasn't so.

Dave was a thoroughly nice bloke and a good friend to the RoD regulars. He'll be very sorely missed.

Sunday, 3-May-2009 16:56 Email | Share | | Bookmark
'Stand up if you're going down'

CAFC 4 Norwich 2, 03/05/2009
Well, we stood up - boths sets of supporters. In the end Norwich's relegation came regardless of the result at The Valley, since Barnsley beat Plymouth away to make our result irrelevant. Before the game there were wicked thoughts that if, somehow, both Norwich and Barnsley went into administration, we'd stay up

We're not used to being three goals up in half an hour, but we're certainly no strangers to blowing a lead so when Norwich pulled one back we feared the worst. In the end, it was a heartening display from a young team, with no less than six local lads on the pitch as the game ended.

Even Youga and Butterfield, neither of whom are all that popular with sections of the crowd, did their bit, and Deon Burton scored the first Charlton hat trick since that remarkable and wholly unexpected flurry from Kevin Lisbie against Liverpool over five years ago.

The team did enough on the day to encourage a surprisngly large number of supporters to stay on for a while after the final whistle, and perhaps also enough to persuade a reasonable number of them to renew their season tickets.

So, it's time again to collate the season's match day photos and frame them for display in The Rose of Denmark. We failed to get photos of visiting supporters at six of the twentythree home games, which is disappointing, but there are still enough for a decent display. When I get a moment I'll work out how many photos we've taken so far and of how many clubs - after all, next season we'll be visited by loads of supporters who've never been to the RoD before.

Friday, 24-Apr-2009 19:21 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Mismanaging public opinion

The pressure is gently building up amongst supporters, it seems, for the club to call time on Phil Parkinson or for the lad himself to 'do the decent thing'.

It can't be easy as an inexperienced manager of a struggling club, but PP isn't doing himself any favours with some of his public pronouncements. In today's Bulletin he declares that youngster Chris Solly 'had been unlucky not to be involved in his [PP's] first XI'. 'Unlucky'? Does Parky pick his squad with a pin, then?

And he's now made another tactical error in hitting back at those who booed him on Tuesday night. “It is strange really because at 2-1 up the fans were right behind the team. At 2-2 the frustration spills out on the manager, which in a way is understandable, but with one goal all of a sudden a section of the supporters turn on you. It isn’t ideal but what can I do about it?”

I think that a fair few fans, who have even less experience than him, could help him with some advice, particularly about closing down opposing players, denying them time on the ball and defending further forward than the penalty area, maybe with less than eleven players doing so. It's also desperately apparent, as I've said before, that no one seems to want the ball and when they get it the first thing they seem to want to do is work out how to off-load it again and leave the problem with someone else. To be fair to Parkinson these are problems that pre-dated his arrival, but being brutally honest he's already had plenty of time to put them right.

We're down and out, so let's at least blood the youngsters who'll have to carry the flag next season - what on earth is there to lose? Loan players (or imminently out-of-contract contracted players who we don't intend to keep) should take no part in the next two games. After all, we can't possibly be worse off as a result, and at least it'd give heart to the long-suffering supporters.

Wednesday, 22-Apr-2009 10:19 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Attitudes to Season Ticket renewal

The positions being taken by members of our group have hardened since last night, especially since Parkinson's late substiutions arguably cost us the game.

The developing view is that, since there is no incentive for early Season Ticket renewal we might as well hang on into the summer and decide whether or not to renew once we know who the manager is and what the squad will be. The two disincentives to delaying would be;

1. The £25 cost of individual tickets.
If we continue to struggle low attendances and a bad start may see match day prices drop to £20 or even £15 for some games.

2. Not being able to guarantee getting the seat you want.
If last night is a reliable guide we'll be able to sit pretty much anywhere we like, even buying tickets on match days.

So, Charlton, we're sort of waiting for news from you about manager and players.

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