Charlton v Barnsley - an apology

A statement from the chairman


On behalf of everyone at Charlton Athletic, I would like to apologise to all those affected by the late postponement of today’s home match against Barnsley.


We are very conscious of the inconvenience and expense incurred by supporters of both teams, as well as their disappointment at the game not going ahead, in addition to the issues caused to the players and officials of our visitors.


Charlton supporters will be aware of the ongoing and deep-seated problems with the Valley pitch, which we are now seeking to address. 


In particular, the new board sanctioned considerable expenditure on a dome to cover the pitch this week and the ground staff worked tirelessly to get the game on.


Despite this, the referee decided shortly after 1pm that the pitch was unplayable and we then took every step available to us to communicate the message to supporters as soon as possible.


Questions have been asked as to why the match was not postponed earlier, as there had been no rain during the morning.


Rather than rush to judgement, the board has decided to hold a full investigation into the circumstances of the postponement on Monday, talking to all relevant employees individually, to consider what, if anything, could have been done better.


I can assure everyone that we will take all appropriate action to address any issues that emerge, and most importantly to ensure we provide the best possible service to our supporters, many of whom we recognise feel badly let down tonight.


All tickets, including Valley Express, will be valid for the match when it is rearranged or will be refunded on request. Hospitality customers will be contacted individually.


We will also be contacting Barnsley Football Club on Monday to discuss ways in which we can compensate their supporters who had a wasted journey.


We are all very disappointed that the first home match under the new regime has resulted in this unhappy situation, but you can rest assured that we will do everything we can to put things right.


Richard Murray

Non-executive chairman



Editor's note: Sadly, this is not what Charlton put out. It is what I think they could and should have said. You can read the club's actual statement here.


You can also read the views of many other Charlton fans here.

Write a comment


  • CJW93 (Saturday, January 11 14 08:46 pm GMT)

    Much better Statement however no mention of compensation for Charlton fans who paid to travel to the game

  • Neil Garnham (Saturday, January 11 14 09:17 pm GMT)

    Left home at 12 an hour and a quater drive. No mention of a pitch inspection before I left . Assurances all week that the game would take place . Arrived at the ground to find it had been cancelled .
    An hour and a half drive back . At least I wasn't driving back to Barnsley . This has been an abject failure on behalf of the club to communicate the possibility that the game may be cancelled . What
    the hell is going on there !!!

  • Laurie Edwards (Saturday, January 11 14 10:03 pm GMT)

    Also left home at 12.00 just parking the car near the Valley and heard on the radio the match was off. My wife and I are pensioners and we travel 130 mile round trip for home games. What a waste of a
    day very upset.

  • jstokes (Saturday, January 11 14 10:42 pm GMT)

    Yes I agree, wasn't going to the game but do feel for the Barnsley fans who made that long trip down from Yorkshire.

    The club should've requested an inspection yesterday thereby giving notice to all fans and particularly the away fans travelling long distances.

    If the pitch is unplayable, Charlton will have to look at an alternative location or ground share with another club until the situation is resolved.

  • Rob Drew (Saturday, January 11 14 11:13 pm GMT)

    I left home at 11, drove to Woking from near Southampton. Was at London Bridge when we heard the game was off. Disgusted that the club assured us all week there was no problem with the pitch when
    there clearly was. Feel very let down by the club and will wait for the pitch to be sorted out before I consider travelling up again as can't afford the wasted trips.

  • Annon (Sunday, January 12 14 11:25 am GMT)

    I witnessed the 'inspection' by the referee dressed in his suit and shoes !! and the farcical test of throwing a ball into the air and seeing bounce. How can you possibly take seriously a
    professional referee not wearing boots,not kicking a ball at pace across the pitch and just focusing on a 'muddy' area. Many fans would have been of the opinion that the pitch was 100% better than
    the past two games that were played. In my humble opinion the pitch was playable and no-one can point a finger of any blame at Paddy and his team of groundsmen, who worked throughout the week on the
    pitch. When I arrived on Saturday the thought of any postponement never entered my mind.
    I hope the referee enjoyed his shopping trip to Bluewater with his wife instead !!!

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