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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2006

Charlton preparing for Curbishley departure

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has admitted the club are preparing for life without manager Alan Curbishley.

Curbishley is among a host of names on the Football Association's shortlist to succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson as England manager and Varney has conceded that the Addicks have already begun to look at potential replacements if their man becomes the chosen one.

Curbishley is preparing Charlton for tomorrow night's crucial FA Cup quarter-final replay against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium and, while Varney insists he wants him to stay, they have to prepare for the worst case scenario.

'The names involved are well-known,' Varney told BBC Radio London 94.9fm.

'They have been put in an incredibly difficult position. If you have any ambitions in coaching then of course you want the best coaching job in the country.

'But at the same time we have to look out for the future of Charlton. With the length of time the whole process is taking, we've taken steps to make sure we know which direction we want to go in if Alan Curbishley is the actual choice at the end of the day.

'We want Alan to stay but we are thinking about the possibility of losing him after 15 years. Alan tactically is a very good coach and it is not easy to do that year-on-year for 15 years while having to build a club at the same time.

'We can see why he is a candidate but it is unrealistic to think we are not making plans to make sure if that's what happens, we move on, get the person who fits our profile and continue to develop Charlton with the right man on the pitch developing the team all the time.'

Varney also warned the FA to make sure they take a closer look at the backgrounds of the candidates involved.

The Charlton chief insists the FA have suffered from negative publicity because of the controversy involving Eriksson's private life.

'The FA obviously want to take as long as needs to be taken to get the right man for the job,' said Varney. 'If you are working for the FA you want to get it right. It is true to say that over the last two years, they have had huge negative publicity and a lot of it has had nothing to do with football.

'It has damaged the FA and it is has damaged the position. They can't afford to make mistakes. They perhaps have to look into the candidate's background, if I can put it that way, in a way they may not have done in previous times.

'They have got to get the appointment right in all respects, not only from a football point of view, but to make sure somewhere down the line they are not embroiled in another crisis.'

Charlton will take 5,250 fans to the Riverside for the tie on three planes, two trains and 48 coaches and Varney believes the support could help them earn a semi-final clash with West Ham.

'We are going to give it our best shot and with that sort of backing we have got to have every chance on the night,' said Varney.

'They need their singing voices and they can make a difference.

'It is 59 years since we got to a cup semi-final so it's about time we stopped being given history lessons and make a little bit of history ourselves. We are not going to go down without a fight.'