Charlton Athletic represent a model of how a Premiership football club should be run. Manager Alan Curbishley reveals the harshly guarded secrets of the club's success -- from the boardroom and manager's office down to the dressing room and pitchside -- and reflects on how the club went from homeless strugglers to challenging football's elite. Alan Curbishley has encountered most of football's ill winds in the decade he has been coach, co-manager, then sole manager of Charlton -- a club once homeless, with gates of less than 3000, forced to sell players to pay the wages and to buy replacement kit for the first team, and teetering on the brink of extinction. Galvanised by fans, staff, forward-thinking board members and a shrewd manager, the Addicks now find themselves firmly established with the Premiership big boys and a shining example of how a successful football club should be run. In his book, Curbishley opens the lid on the soap opera that is Charlton FC. He writes about the political manoeuvrings behind the club's departure and then emotional return to the Valley.
He describes how the they were torn asunder by drugs allegations involving three of its players, including a youthful Lee Bowyer. He re-lives the tortuous rollercoaster ride of falling out of the Premiership two years later before returning in 1999/2000. And he gives an insider's view of the club's dramatic challenge to qualify for European competition in the seasons that followed. His book is a radical insight into the workings of a football club and its staff, and is sure to attract widespread interest from football fans across the country.
Alan Curbishley was born in the East End of London in 1957. His playing career spanned West Ham, Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Brighton and Charlton, and he represented England at schoolboy, youth and Under-21 level. He was appointed joint manager of Charlton in 1991 and was given sole control four years later. He was voted Manager of the Year in 2000 and established Charlton as a leading Premiership side, before leaving in 2006. Kevin Brennan is a freelance sportswriter for the Mail on Sunday. He has known Alan Curbishley for 16 years, ever since he was Sports Editor on the South London Press.