Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Charlton Athletic Football Club


Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English football club based in Charlton, London. They currently play in theFootball League Championship in the 2012–13 season after becoming champions of League One 2011/2012. HP Compaq HSTNN-105C Battery

The club was founded on 9 June 1905, when a number of youth clubs in the southeast London area, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission, combined to form Charlton Athletic. The club play at The Valley in Charlton, where they have played since 1919, apart from one year in Catford, during 1923–24, and seven years at Crystal Palace and West Ham United between 1985–1992. HP Compaq HSTNN-C12C Battery

Charlton share local London derbies with Millwall, Crystal Palace; and with east London clubWest Ham United.[1]

The club's traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks and their most commonly used nickname isThe Addicks. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C Battery

Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four separate periods in the top flight of English football: between 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999 and 2000–2007. Historically, Charlton's most successful period was the 1930s, when the club's highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up of the First Division in 1937. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-4 Battery

After World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Finaltwice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947.

Charlton Athletic were formed on 9 June 1905[2] by a group of 15- to 17-year-old boys in an area of Charlton which is no longer residential, near to the present-day site of the Thames Barrier. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-5 Battery

In the club's early years its progress was hampered by the nearby presence of Woolwich Arsenal F.C. (now Arsenal), which was one of the largest clubs in the country, and Charlton spent the years before the First World War playing in local leagues. Woolwich Arsenal's move to North London in 1913 gave Charlton an opportunity to develop, HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C Battery

and they became a senior side by joining the Lewisham League.[2] After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season (1919–20) before becoming professional, appointing Walter Rayner as the first full-time manager. They were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season (1920–21) before being voted into the Football League. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-4 Battery

Charlton's first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, which they won 1–0. In 1923 it was proposed that Charlton merged with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support.[3] In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of "The Enders", light and dark blue vertical stripes. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-5 Battery

However, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process.[4] Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB05 Battery

Three years later the Addicks won the Division Threechampionship in 1929and they remained at the Division Two level for four years.[2] After relegation into the Third Division south at the end of the 1932/33 season the club appointed Jimmy Seed as manager and he oversaw the most successful period in Charlton's history either side of the Second World War. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB06 Battery

Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of poison-gas in the first war, remains the most successful manager in Charlton's history and he is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley.[6] Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB0E Battery

He later recalled "a simple scheme that enabled us to pull several matches out of the fire" during the 1934–35 season: when the team was in trouble "the centre-half was to forsake his defensive role and go up into the attack to add weight to the five forwards."The organisation Seed brought to the team proved effective and the Addicks gained successive promotions from the HP Compaq HSTNN-DB11 Battery

Third Division to the First Division between 1934 and 1936.Charlton finally secured promotion to the First Division by beating local rivals West Ham in front of 41,254 fans at the Valley, with their valiant centre-half John Oakes playing on despite concussion and a broken nose.[8]

In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division, HP Compaq HSTNN-DB16 Battery

] in 1938 finished fourth[10] and 1939 finished third.[11] They were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War.[2] This continued during the war years and they won the "war" cup and appeared in finals.

Charlton were finalists in the 1946 FA Cup, but lost 4–1 to Derby County. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB28 Battery

Charlton's Bert Turner scored an own goal in the eightieth minute before equalising for the Addicks a minute later to take them into extra time, but they conceded three further goals in the extra period.[12] When the full league programme resumed in 1946–47 Charlton could finish only 19th in the First Division, just above the relegation spots. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB29 Battery

But they made amends with their performance in the FA Cup, reaching the final once again. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, Chris Duffy scoring the only goal of the day.[13] In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only eleven English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB67 Battery

The Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000.[2] However, in the 1950s little investment was made either for players or to The Valley, hampering the club's growth. In 1956, the then board undermined Jimmy Seed and then sacked, and Charlton were relegated the following year.[2] HP Compaq HSTNN-FB05 Battery

From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, Charlton remained a mainstay of the Second Division before relegation to the Third Division in 1972[14] caused the team's support to drop, and even a promotion in 1975 back to the second division[15] did little to re-invigorate the team's support and finances. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB18 Battery

In 1979–80 Charlton were relegated again to the Third Division,[16] but won immediate promotion back to the Second Division in 1980–81.[17] Even though it did not feel like it, this was a turning point in the club's history leading to a period of turbulence and change including further promotion and exile. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB51 Battery

A change in management and shortly after a change in club ownershipled to severe problems, such as the reckless signing of former European Footballer of the Year Allan Simonsen, and the club looked like it would go out of business.[19]

In 1984 financial matters came to a head and the club went into administration, to be reformed as Charlton Athletic (1984) Ltd. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB52 Battery

But the club's finances were still far from secure, and they were forced to leave the Valley just after the start of the 1985–86 season after its safety was criticised by Football League officials. The club began to groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park[2] and this arrangement looked to be for the long-term, as Charlton did not have enough funds to revamp the Valley to meet safety requirements. HP Compaq HSTNN-I04C Battery

Despite the move away from the Valley, Charlton were promoted to the First Division as Second Division runners-up at the end of 1985–86,[20] and remained at this level for four years (achieving a highest league finish of 14th) often with late escapes, most notably against Leeds in 1987, where the Addicks triumphed in extra-time of the play-off final replay to secure their top flight place. HP Compaq HSTNN-I12C Battery

In 1987 Charlton also returned to Wembley for the first time since the 1947 FA Cup final for the Full Members Cup final against Blackburn.[21] Eventually, however, the Addicks fell to relegation in 1990 after a dismal season.[2] ManagerLennie Lawrence remained in charge for one more season before he accepted an offer to take charge of Middlesbrough. HP Compaq HSTNN-I39C Battery

He was replaced by joint player-managersAlan Curbishley and Steve Gritt.[2] The pair had unexpected success in their first season finishing just outside the play-offs, and 1992–93 began promisingly and Charlton looked good bets for promotion in the new Division One (the new name of the old Second Division following the formation of the Premier League). HP Compaq HSTNN-I40C Battery

However, the club was forced to sell players such as Rob Lee to help pay for a return to The Valley, which eventually happened in December 1992.

There was a tragedy at the club late in the 1992–93 season. Defender Tommy Caton, who had been out of action due to injury since January 1991, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C Battery

announced his retirement from playing on medical advice in March 1993, having failed to recover full fitness, and he died suddenly at the end of the following month, aged just 30 years.

An insight into life at the football club in this period is provided by Left Foot Forward: A Year in the Life of a Journeyman Footballer, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-A Battery

a highly-praised account of the 1994–95 season written in diary form by Charlton forward Garry Nelson.[22] The book was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the YearAward.[23]

In 1995, new chairman Richard Murray appointed Alan Curbishley as sole manager of Charlton.[24] HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-B Battery

Under his sole leadership Charlton made an appearance in the playoffs in 1996 but were eliminated by Crystal Palace in the semi-finals and the following season brought a disappointing 15th place finish. 1997–98 was Charlton's best season for years. They reached the Division One playoff final and battled againstSunderland in a thrilling game which ended with a 4–4 draw after extra time. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C Battery

Charlton won 7–6 on penalties,[25] with the match described as "arguably the most dramatic game of football in Wembley’s history",[26] and were promoted to the Premier League. Charlton's first Premier League campaign began promisingly (they went top after two games) but they were unable to keep up their good form and were soon battling relegation. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-A Battery

The battle was lost on the final day of the season but the club's board kept faith in Curbishley, confident that they could bounce back. And Curbishley rewarded the chairman's loyalty with the Division One title in 2000 which signalled a return to the Premier League.[27]

After the club's return, Curbishley proved an astute spender and by 2003 he had succeeded in establishing Charlton in the top flight. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-B Battery

In the 2003–04 season, Charlton spent much of the campaign challenging for a Champions League place, but a late-season slump in form, combined with the sale of star player Scott Parker to Chelsea, left Charlton in 7th place,[28] which was still the club's highest finish since the 1950s. HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-A Battery

However, Charlton failed to build on this achievement and Curbishley left two years afterwards in 2006, after 15 years as manager, with the club still established as a solid mid table side.[29]

In May 2006, Iain Dowie was named as Curbishley's successor,[30] but was sacked after twelve league matches in November 2006, with only two wins. HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-B Battery

Les Reedreplaced Dowie as manager,[32] however he too failed to improve Charlton's position in the league table and on Christmas Eve 2006, Reed was replaced by former player Alan Pardew.[33] Although results did improve, Pardew was unable to keep Charlton up and relegation was confirmed in the penultimate match of the season. HP Compaq HSTNN-I49C Battery

Charlton's return to the second tier of English football was a disappointment, with their promotion campaign tailing off to an 11th place finish. Early in the following season the Addicks were linked with a foreign takeover,[35] but this was swiftly denied by the club. More recently, on 10 October 2008 Charlton received an indicative offer for the club from a Dubai-based diversified investment company. HP Compaq HSTNN-I50C-B Battery

However, the deal later fell through. The full significance of this soon became apparent as the club recorded net losses of over £13 million in the past financial year.

On 22 November 2008 Charlton suffered a 2–5 loss to Sheffield United at home, which meant that the club had gone eight successive games without a win and had slipped into the relegation zone—HP Compaq HSTNN-I54C Battery

particularly disastrous considering they were among the pre-season favourites for promotion. Hours after the game, Alan Pardew left Charlton by mutual consent.[36] Matters did not improve under caretaker manager Phil Parkinson, and a 3–1 defeat at Sheffield United[37] saw the Addicks four points adrift at the bottom of the Championship as 2009 dawned, under threat of their first relegation to English football's third tier for 29 years. HP Compaq HSTNN-I64C-5 Battery

Charlton continued their poor run of form to go 18 games without a win, a new club record, before finally achieving a 1–0 away victory over Norwich City in an FA Cup Third Round replay. They then went on to beat Crystal Palace 1–0 at the Valley on 27 January to achieve their first league win under Phil Parkinson, whose contract was made permanent despite the lack of progress in the league. HP Compaq HSTNN-I65C-5 Battery

Charlton's relegation from the Championship was all but confirmed on Easter Monday (13 April) when, despite picking up a point in a 0–0 draw at Coventry, they found themselves 12 points from safety with four games remaining. With a vastly inferior goal difference and with the two teams directly above them (Southampton and Nottingham Forest) still having to play each other, HP Compaq HSTNN-IB05 Battery

it was effectively an impossible task for Charlton to avoid relegation.[38] The following game saw Charlton's relegation to League One become a reality after a 2–2 draw against Blackpool.[39] After spending almost the entire 2009/2010 season in the top six of League One, Charlton were defeated in the Football League One play-offs semi-final second leg on penalties to Swindon Town, HP Compaq HSTNN-IB08 Battery

condemning Charlton to another season in the third tier of English Football.[40] Parkinson had spent less than any other manager on purchasing players since Lennie Lawrence in the 1980s and was able to maintain a top six status despite only having the opportunity to bring in lower level players on loan. At that time, Charlton went through a change in ownership. HP Compaq HSTNNIB12 Battery

The new owners decided to remove both Parkinson and Charlton legend Mark Kinsella after a poor run of results, intending to replace them with an as yet unknown team. Another Charlton legend, Chris Powell was appointed manager of the club in January, winning his first game in charge 2–0 over Plymouth at the Valley, Charlton's first win since November. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB16 Battery

Powell's bright start continued with a further three victories, before running into a dreadful downturn which saw the club go 11 games in succession without a win. Yet the fans' respect for Powell saw him come under remarkable little criticism. The club's fortunes picked up towards the end of the season, but leaving them far short of the playoffs. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB18 Battery

In a busy summer, Powell brought in 19 new players and after a successful season, on 14 April 2012, Charlton Athletic won promotion back to the Championship with a 1–0 away win at Carlisle United. A week later, on 21 April 2012, they were confirmed as Champions after a 2–1 home win over Wycombe Wanderers. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB28 Battery

Charlton then lifted the League One trophy on 5 May 2012, having been in the top position since 15 September 2011, and after recording a 3–2 victory over Hartlepool United, recorded their highest ever league points score of 101, the highest in any professional European league that year.

The club's first ground was Siemens Meadow (1905–1907), a patch of rough ground by the River Thames. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB51 Battery

This was over-shadowed by the now demolished Siemens Telegraph Works. Then followed Woolwich Common (1907–1908), Pound Park (1908–1913), and Angerstein Lane (1913–1915). After the end of the First World War, a chalk quarry known as the Swamps was identified as Charlton's new ground, and in the summer of 1919 work began to create the level playing area and remove debris from the site. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB52 Battery

The first match at this site, now known as the club's current ground The Valley, was in September 1919. Charlton stayed at The Valley until 1923, when the club moved to The Mount stadium in Catfordas part of a proposed merger with Catford Southend Football Club. However, after this move collapsed in 1924 Charlton returned to The Valley. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB55 Battery

During the 1930s and 40s, significant improvements were made to the ground, making it one of the largest in the country at that time.[41] In 1938 the highest attendance to date at the ground was recorded at over 75,000 for a FA Cup match against Aston Villa. During the 1940s and 50s the attendance was often above 40,000, and Charlton had one of the largest support bases in the country. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 Battery

However, after the club's relegation little investment was made in The Valley as it fell into decline.

In the 1980s matters came to a head as the ownership of the club and The Valley was divided. The large East Terrace had been closed down by the authorities after the Bradford City stadium fire and the ground's owner wanted to use part of the site for housing. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB05 Battery

In September 1985, Charlton made the controversial move to ground-share with South London neighbours Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. This move was unpopular with supporters and in the late 1980s significant steps were taken to bring about the club's return to The Valley. A single issue political party, HP Compaq HSTNN-LB08 Battery

the Valley Party, contested the 1990 local Greenwich Borough Council elections on a ticket of reopening the stadium, capturing 11% of the vote,[41] aiding the club's return. The Valley Gold investment scheme was created to help supporters fund the return to The Valley, and several players were also sold to raise funds. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB0E Battery

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