Roland Duchatelet managed to attend a press conference on Friday with Bob Peeters and Richard Murray and say nothing. That was probably understandable in the sense that Bob was the centre of attention and he had Richard Murray riding shotgun. However, it is beginning to look like Roly is going to let his actions do the talking.
Confirmation today that Igor Vitokele has signed a five year contract following a week of speculation speaks volumes. The Trust is saying we have paid £2.4m to Copenhagen for Igor, a player deemed to be taking a step down by the the Danish press in joining us. That will do for me and it should give all of the existing players a big fillip. Given the collective suspicion of "the network model," it's only fair to say that spending such a relatively large sum shows ambition and goes against what many have expected (myself included) to happen. Having received Yoni Buyens from Standard Liege last week, Vitokele is further evidence that Duchatelet may be prepared to invest in Charlton and support us on a par with Standard, if not, indeed, promoting us to pole position.
Another couple of ambitious signings and I will be down to renew my season tickets.
Elsewhere, I was sorry to hear that Jan Martin joins the long list of Charlton stalwarts made redundant from the club after long and loyal service. Jan is a local girl and has been a face at the Valley for 20 years. Her husband has been a regular for as long as I have and I have seen their children grow up following the Addicks with their Old Man and his Old Man. I don't believe she was on a big salary by any stretch of the imagination and the club will end up paying someone else to carry out most of her previous duties. I suppose there will be a bottom-line efficiency from employing someone nearer minimum wage but there will be a hidden cost to loss of the likes of Jan Martin. The price of aiming to break even I guess, the principle of which none of us can really complain about. I might have fought harder to pay £100,000 less for Vitokele but then again it's not my money.