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The Valley early years & the move to Catford from the Boardroom minutes.

When Charlton joined the Football League in 1921 the club had only been playing at The Valley for two years. The club turned professional in 1920 and the new board of directors were not even sure where the boundary line of the ground was. What was to become the east terrace was known as ' the cliff '. Was the boundary line at the bottom or top of the cliff ? Directors were concerned over the maintenance and safety of the cliff. This first boardroom minute is from 19th August 1921, a week before our 1st league match v Exeter.



  • Sack the bleeding typist!
  • The new west stand plans had not yet been passed so it would not be ready for the start of the season. A temporary stand to seat 3-400 would be in use. Admission would be 1/- , 9d terrace enclosure.

  • HAVE TO LAUGH  at afew lines of the above,.......The fence at the top of the cliff was always going to be a free way into The Valley even in the 1970s people got in that way.

    The first board of directors consisted of ....
    Seth Dixon,S A Hartgrove,Douglas William Oliver, Edwin Radford,T Sullivan and S T Williams.
  • 24/8/1921
    Ground developments to be carried out -
    building of main stand.
    extra 20 rows of terracing making 40 in total on east , north and part of west side of the ground.
    Iron fence to playing field.
    Total cost of works , £14,500.

  • From the same meeting was this ominous minute. ' That the offer of Mr Sullivan to furnish a cheque for £250 to pay the wages be accepted. Repayable from receipts from the Exeter match , Charlton's first league match. The board were made up of local businessmen , publicans , shopkeepers etc. Successful but not very wealthy. They were ambitious but perhaps a bit naive. They thought they would be able to repay Humphreys the builders by a flotation of the company but as the below minute shows below they were unable to contribute to the £5 cost of the band which performed on match days

  • This is great stuff! 
  • Second part of letter shows they had bigger pot holes in them days.
  • Tom Sullivan ran the Prince of Wales pub.

    One of his descendents is a regular poster on CL.
  • Tom Sullivan ran the Prince of Wales pub.

    One of his descendents is a regular poster on CL.
    Wills or Harry?
  • Sponsored links:

  • 25/10/21
    £1,000 cheque paid to Humphreys , the firm were now prepared to complete the building of the stand which would take a further 7 weeks.

  • This £1,000 payment was the only payment the club made until Humphreys got involved in the running of the club. Attendances in this first season in division 3 south averaged 8,000 which was the average for the division.
  • 17/11/1921
    Letter from Humphreys requesting 2nd payment

  • Also in the above meeting there was mention of a letter from a company that installed turnstiles , requesting payment.
  • Edwin Radford resigns 

  • 20/12/21
    Estimate from Humphreys lining bathrooms with white glazed brick , £35.

  • Someone should write a book about this...
  • 9/2/1922
    Cost cutting , cancel some ground improvements 

  • Wonderful read
  • Sponsored links:

  • 21/2/1922
    Well it was good while it lasted , the Millwall transfer ban is lifted and the board suggests reducing police numbers on match days.

  • 7/3/1922
    Assessment of the club's income & expenditure , income £200 per week expenses £300 per week.

  • 13/5/1922
    The directors are summoned to attend Humphreys the builders office to discuss the club's debts. Humphreys agree to advance the club £3,000 to acquire the freehold of the Valley , this amount to be added to the debt.

  • 21/7/22
    Season ticket for season 22/23 in the main stand will be £2-17-6 and programme 1d.

  • 28/9/22
    Arthur Brandon resigns as secretary

  • 14/10/22
    Humphreys debts converted to debentures

  • The first annual report
    Amount now owed to Humphreys £19,557

  • 5/4/23 Humphreys patience runs out. It was with misgivings they entered into the contract having experience of a previous first class club in the district ( Woolwich Arsenal ? ). Could the district support a first class club ?
  • The average home league gate for season 22/23 had dropped to 6,100 which was disappointing but this was the season of the FA giant killing cup run. The 2nd round home game against Preston attracted 22,490. 3rd round against WBA 31,489 and in the 4th round against Bolton another record crowd of 41,023. These attendances at least showed the potential was within the district.
  • edited April 8
    Only 4 days after the meeting of 5/4 a further meeting was held , the first mention of a move to Catford

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Roland Out!