Thursday, 29 May 2014

Board belatedly thank Riga

Katrien Meire issued a statement today on the Official Site ( thanking Jose Riga for his efforts over the last few months in helping us remain a Championship club.

We were promised better communications from the Club when Roland Duchatelet took over and, let's face it, any communication is an improvement over Dumb and Dumber. However, the words haven't exactly been flowing and what we have had has looked reactive at best and not entirely convincing. They promised to answer questions about the new ownership posed by the 'Royal Oak Group' at the end of the season - (that reminds me that the lease for the Royal Oak is back on the market). What they need is a really good Comms Manager...

Anyway, Jose Riga was thanked for what he has done but although "we were very happy with him, just as the fans were" it wasn't enough to prevent them looking around for someone else. "He was a very serious candidate to get the job because he was so successful but, in the meantime, we looked at other alternatives." I guess we won't get any more detail on this and the owner has made his decision. I will support Bob Peeters but the poor bloke starts the job with a spectre hanging over him and this could and should have been handled much more sensitively and with greater clarity.

The final sentence was probably unnecessary and I give Katrien the benefit of the doubt that she was trying to finish on a positive note, but I don't think it helps matters - "there will be a lot of unknowns going into the new season but we are very ambitious and will do our best to have the best possible team to take us forward.” Doesn't sound hugely convincing does it?

There is plenty of negative supporter reaction to this statement but the simple facts are that we are still in May, we have reportedly spent £500,000 on a Championship striker who scored 15 goals in a relegated side last year and a further £500,000 is being ploughed into a state of the art pitch with undersoil heating. There is no longer the prospect of a 15 point deduction for Administration and 8,500 season tickets have been sold, most at lower prices than last season. The Club Badge on the Covered End has been re-painted and it looked like maintenance going on around the turnstiles as I passed the ground today.

We are going to have to wait and see (like most other close seasons) what our squad looks like come August and, more importantly, what impact Bob Peeters has on them. Realistically we won't be in any position to begin to pass early judgement until the end of September. Maybe Roland has had second thoughts on the extent to which he will use his network model (at least where we are concerned)? I hang on to the logic that says he has to make a success of our club given the size of his investment and the financial muscle at his disposal (even if I don't buy-in to his vision of the network).

Finally, sad to hear former Charlton youth keeper George Howard is critically ill with head injuries in a Cape Town hospital after a car crash in which Joe Pigott and Morgan Fox escaped relatively unharmed. One to add to our thoughts along with Malcolm the East Stander who suffered a heart attack during the final home match against Watford and who continues to make slow progress towards recovery.


801912601 said...

Next month will be crucial and will help me make mind up on RD. Pitch & training ground plans are real positives but the way he seems to want to dictate on who plays in the team and quality of his other club cast off's that we inherited are worrying.

Hopefully by end of June the squad will be taking shape (if not finalised) and then RD's commitment to moving CAFC onwards and upwards will be clearer.

Cant say 'Big Bob' as the new 'coach' excites but will give him a chance and will judge him by the make up of the squad and the style of football rather than the fact that he played for the spanners (would be ironic if an ex Millwall player managed to get us to beat them in the new season - I live in hope!).

Dave said...

Barry - have to say I am disappointed that the O'Grady deal has yet to be confirmed. I hope this won't be a pre-season of nearly buying better players...

801912601 said...

Dave - yes agree that we need to do some deals rather than keep being quoted as showing an interest.

Still heard today that there is a Belgium weekend pre-season jolly in the offing which will have to be done. Also hope the fixtures are decent and allow us a couple of boat trips to Fulham & Brentford next season.

Enjoy the summer - I am off to Cyprus soon and come back on the day the fixtures are out.

Keep the blogs going - From reading them we have been in the same pubs at several games over the years and hopefully will be again in the future.

Cheers - Barry