Thursday, 18 July 2013

Decision Day

I didn't renew my season tickets in the April rush. Personally, I thought last season was pretty drab for season ticket holders who only got to a handful of away games. We we far too cautious in the first-half of the season and too often we streamed away from the Valley disappointed and frustrated. I think the proof of the pudding was the fact that we rallied so well towards the end of the season after finally realising that we could beat teams if we went for it and that there wasn't much to fear. Some will say we needed security before throwing caution to the wind but I'd argue we didn't get any until we gambled. 

That in itself wasn't the only reason. I was genuinely disappointed with the ongoing lack of communication from the Board to its supporters which smacks of arrogance. The in-season shenanigans with the number of sackings of key long-term employees, many of whom I know treated working for Charlton Athletic in just the same way I would, that is to say, with dedication, passion and a simple desire to give their very best. I am willing to accept no smoke without fire but the series of dismissals were poorly managed, left much to the imagination and several of the higher profile ones still have to have their day in court. All-in-all, not a great reflection on those responsible and a PR own-goal. The news today of Communications boss Matt Wright won't help things but perhaps, he too, has had enough of being the mouthpiece for a regime that doesn't see the value of being as open as possible and getting it's customer base fully on-side. 

I have waited, hopefully, for some signs of encouragement for a better 2013-14. Some words or better still, actions, from Mr Protheroe. Some clarity from Jiminez or Slater about the state of ownership and our immediate prospects. Who knows, even the revelation of new ownership? We have had the Russian money rumour but little else. 

The clock has ticked on and the playing staff and management team are going about their business preparing for the new season. We did sign Mark Gower on for another season and today there is news that 31 year old Richard Wood has been signed to provide cover at centre-back. Nothing to make me grab the phone and my credit card. Our close season follows that of a club where finances are very tight. Nothing wrong with that. We have spent most of my 36 seasons in this position but in today's heightened world of communication and transparency, I think we deserve to understand more about what's going on. 

I expect us to make at least two more signings in the next fortnight. We need two more strikers and one could be trialist Adamo Coulibaly. The handsome 31 year old French Ivorian was a late starter to professional football and has taken time to come to the boil. His last season in the Hungarian league looks impressive on the surface and whilst he is behind the rest of or squad in fitness terms, he reviewed well at Wimbledon. I'm guessing he will cost in. 

So, nothing much has changed but the smell of the new season is upon us and, whilst piss-poor planning on my part means I'll miss the first two league games, I will be renewing three season tickets tomorrow. I really hope I feel much better about being a Charlton fan come next May.

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