BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney reckons that the club’s owner Thomas Sandgaard should name one of the Valley stands after Alan Curbishley.
And a petition by Voice of the Valley fanzine editor Rick Everitt – Stand Up For Curbs – had nearly 2,000 signatures when our paper went to press.
Curbishley led Charlton to the Premier League in 1998 and 2000. The Addicks had an eight-year spell in the top flight on his watch and he remained in charge for 15 years.
Curbishley had 720 matches in charge before he stepped down in 2006.
The South Stand was renamed as The Jimmy Seed Stand while there is a statue outside main reception of Sam Bartram.
“It is a pretty solid achievement and needs to be recognised,” said Everitt.
“I’m not disrespecting Jimmy Seed and the Sam Bartram statue is fair enough – he was a massively popular player and record-appearance maker.
“But it is a little incongruous that there isn’t any recognition of Curbs. It seems wrong.
“Some people have said: ‘What about Keith Peacock?’. Fine. But if you do something for Keith then you need to do something for Curbs first. It looks a bit weird otherwise – he was Curbs’ assistant.
“When a manager first goes it is obviously difficult. You don’t want to upstage whoever came in. As it turned out there was no-one to upstage.
“From 2012 it has been an ownership nightmare with quite hostile people making decisions. They had no real interest in the history of the football club.
“Curbs has been great on Valley Pass live and it’s been very significant in terms of the club re-establishing its identity and the fans feeling like it belongs to them.
“It’s a way to cement identity and for Thomas to show that there is continuity and not just a new start.
“The petition was a nice way to show the level of support. It wasn’t about pressurising Thomas, who we think may well be open to the idea.
“Because he hasn’t been involved with the club historically there is reason to demonstrate how much Curbs is appreciated.
“It is something coming from the fans that we hope is ultimately adopted by the club. This is not oppositional or confrontational.”
Everitt also wanted to address a comment made by Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson last week – in which he claimed that Curbishley was forced out of Charlton because the supporters had grown tired of Premier League consolidation.
“Charlton fans are sick and tired of hearing this nonsense,” he said. “It is not accurate. It is not what went on.
“Curbs’ departure was the process of contract negotiations between Richard Murray [then chairman] and Alan Curbishley. In the end they couldn’t agree – that’s the reality of it.”
Curbishley went on to be appointed West Ham United boss in December 2016 but has not worked in management since leaving that post in September 2018.
Varney, who played a part in Sandgaard acquiring Charlton in September, worked with Curbishley during the club’s top-flight heyday.
He wrote: “His achievements are every bit as good as Jimmy Seed’s and these are tributes that should happen to a person when he is alive, not dead.
“Curbs will never say anything on the subject but he would love it. When I was helping Thomas I raised this point with him, and I still think Curbs should be a director.
“But if Thomas doesn’t want to operate with a board then make Alan life president to succeed the late Sir Maurice Hatter, and at a minimum give him an ambassadorial role with the club.”
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS + PA
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