Abandoned former Premier League ground unrecognizable after seven years of neglect
For seven years, a Premier League stadium was neglected and left to deteriorate.
The Valley, Charlton Athletic's current name for their home ground, was first established in 1919.
In 1938, the stadium accommodated 75,000 people for an FA Cup match, but subsequently fell into disrepair prior to Charlton's ascent to the Premier League.
Due to insufficient investment and safety concerns, Charlton had to abandon The Valley and share Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park from 1985 onward. Additionally, they played a season at Upton Park, West Ham's former ground.
Before Charlton’s spell away from their home ground ended in 1992, The Valley became unrecognisable.
Photos taken at the time showed people having a kickabout on the turf that has been left to grow.
Whilst some even started a bonfire in the middle of the pitch.
Fans were able to enter the ground due to the fact that no staff were there to keep the ground secure and there was a lack of security.
After they made their return to The Valley, the ground has seen a number of improvements.
The Valley was turned into an all seater, with a crowd capacity of 27,111. Whilst three of the four stands underwent redevelopment.
During Charlton’s time in the Premier League, the club spoke about adding a further extension to the ground.
In 2004, a planning application was started which detailed the club’s plans to increase the capacity to 30,900, before eventually increasing to 40,000.
However, those plans were hampered after Charlton were relegated to the Championship and then to League One.
Today, they are currently sitting in 11th place in League One but the club’s ownership is facing yet another uncertain future after Thomas Sandgaard took over from East Street Investments Limited.
Charlton are in League One action on Saturday afternoon as they host Port Vale at The Valley.