Thursday, 15 January 2015

What a mess

The fibs continued to tumble from the CEO's lips yesterday. At the press conference to introduce Guy Luzon, Katrien 'Dozy' Meire told us that the club had twenty applications for Bob Peeters' position within an hour of announcing his sacking on Sunday evening. Twenty, presumably credible approaches at 7pm on a Sunday evening? At that rate and, if they had waited until Tuesday, presumably we could have taken our pick from Pep Guardiola and Co? I'm not sure what this adds to the story but presumably it's to big-up Luzon's non-competitive appointment.

A journo asked if their were any English managers amongst the applicants and she tried to be clever by saying that none of those who applied would want her sharing any information, although I can't see why acknowledging that there was an Englishman amongst the twenty imaginary applicants would have betrayed anyone's confidence. When pressed again, she was forced to say "no." Twenty non-English applicants eh? Embarrassing, naive and highly transparent for a change.

Luzon himself has been questioned about his relationship with Tony Watt and Yoni Buyens. The question clearly hints at less-than-happy bunnies and, perhaps I am reading too much into it, but Luzon's answers gave the game away for me. On Watt he made the rather bold leap of imagination to say that Watt had improved "a lot" since he played under him a few months ago but added that "he has a lot of places to improve." Improving a lot when you haven't played is pushing it and suggests Guy is waffling (it's catching) or he is hoping Watt won't blank him tomorrow morning. Buyers '"played well, when he did play" but they had a "very strong team at Standard last year." An acknowledgement that Luzon recognises Buyens wasn't happy.

There is also a rumour that Tal Ben Haim may be heading to Israel. If that happens there will be a very obvious question asked.

After winning the majority of us around, Roland Duchatlet's plans have floundered inside a week and he and his CEO have somehow managed to alienate a large majority. Luzon will be given a chance by the fans but he has a very difficult job, especially if the Sub-Standard's report last night that a delegation of players had gone to the powers that be to complain about Luzon's appointment and express an opinion that we need an English or Championship-experienced manager. That might also suggest that TBH, BUyens, Watt and others who know the score from Standard Liege have been vocal on Luzon.

If I was Roland, I would be planning on splashing some cash to show intent. By cash, I mean investing in the side and not simply bringing in more warm bodies already on his payroll. I also think he needs to consider replacing the unfortunate Katrien Meire who has been cruelly exposed for a lack of experience in this whole process. It would only be fair to her and might allow him to come clean with the supporters who can see clearly what's happened here and won't be  mis-lead any further on the subject. Oh, and Roland, invest in a capable Communications Manager who can help build bridges with your disillusioned Customer base. They would appreciate the mere act of appointing one even if you are too arrogant to consider telling us what your plans for our football club are, assuming you are just making it up as we go along.

Rick Everitt has commented that the club are suffering from a lack of experience  in handling the relationship with the media and the supporters since clearing out all of those with history and tenure, largely under Slater and Jimenez it must be said. It looks like he has hit the nail on the head. Short of bringing some experienced operators back, they should, at least, invest in some PR professionals who would have helped them avoid the naive story-telling around Peeter's sacking which has insulted the fans intelligence and done more damage than I think they realise. Fans are fickle but ours are older, more discerning and more curmudgeonly than almost any others and are likely to vote with their feet come renewal time which is around the corner.

I hope Guy Luzon hasn't jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire because it will be our club that gets burnt. As Jennifer Lange says to Jack Nicholson in The Postman Always Rings Twice, "I'm tired of this...."


ColinG said...

At least Katriens lies are obvious and I might just prefer that to some smart arse PR who you suggest might just appease us loyal fans .This is all getting a bit to political , the hard facts are , we are financially secure , mid table and have a owner who is determined to get the right manager in place , great youth set up and cash to bring in the right players and a fantastic ground and playing surface ( just imagine what a good PR guy could do with this )
Personally I just want us to start winning some home games ! Although i did very much did like the song " Bobby Peeters is a red he hates Millwall " we have to give Guy Luzon a chance and if he's no good , someone else , we might even be able to get pardew back if we offer Palace 4 million quid !!!
I also had a season ticket for 5 years when we ground"shared " with Palace , I think some supporters and bloggers need to get real .

Ray said...

Great post Dave, I am beginning to get tired of it all as well. However, if we get a result at Watford the mood will change a bit. One thing is for sure, I don't like people insulting my intelligence by telling lies...Ray

Anonymous said...

....perhaps, just perhaps, Katrien is as much a victim in all of this as the Charlton fans? Her item in the programme last Saturday went to press around the middle of last week, the result of the Brighton game obviously brought things to a head in the Boardroom. Perhaps she was given mis-leading information by the Great Leader himself...?

I have to admit that there's a nasty whiff in the air around SE7 this week - something that only 6/7 points from the next 3 games will start to dispel. If those games result in 3 points or less will Luzon be on his way?
The owner of the club clearly runs the club along less than democratic lines - he decides, it happens, no democratic Board of Directors to offer a contrary opinion - least nothing that he will take note of...!

As has been said, the owner has undone in 3 days all the work that has been done (largely by Katrien) over the last year - that takes some doing.

Charlton will continue to be a basket case until the owner concedes the running of the club to a Board of Directors that put CHARLTON first instead being just one of several clubs on an accountants ledger.

Living far from the Valley as I do I have no inclination at the moment to spend £100+ a game on fares & ticket to watch first hand what is going on within my beloved club. I hope that Luzon is successful, not for his sake but for my club's sake - but the jury is definitely out on that at the moment.

Phil said...

Colin G, I think the majority of us were there and remember the pain and anguish of Selhurst. They were the worst of times and we don’t want to go back there. I’m not convinced that our owner is determined to have right manager in place and to bring in the right players. Look at the last few days…..QED ! The current situation is an avoidable mess and entirely of RD’s making. No one’s overlooking the investment in some areas but it’s the main ones of management and playing staff that are being neglected. He seems intent on hitting the self-destruct button very hard whilst taking several others with him !

Dave said...


Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather be appeased than obviously lied to! I'm not saying we are in a worse position than when Slater and Jiminez were here at the end but it doesn't feel like better than when they started and had financial backing. At that time we spent some money and won promotion. At the moment we are largely being fed recycled network players and now managers who are on the payroll and available. Their handling of Bob Peeters sacking and his replacement hasn't been done with care or consideration for all involved, including us.


Dan Briordy said...

I like Colin G's comments. Whilst this has been a bit of a mess at least we are not a few weeks from liquidation. I feel rather sorry for Katrien - who has understandably tried to take a corporate line but who has had the ground taken from under her feet by RD. She is young and has learned a hard lesson I think. If I were her I would resign with dignity and get away from RD.

One thing for sure is that if Luzon does not make an impact then he will be on his way before long. It's not very Charlton really but as fans all we can do is get behind the team.

Anonymous said...

Great piece Dave. Its a sorry mess and no mistake, just when you think that our club could not become anymore of a joke than it already is, there is always another isue for us supporters to endure. I truly dont know how I feel at the moment, my heart will always want us to win every game we play but part of me wants the situation to get worse, I do not want to see RD vindicated in the way we are being run, if there was a clear plan/strategy then OK but we just seem to be bumbling along.

I too was concerned when I read Luzons remarks about Watt and Buyens, it just doesnt bode well.


Anonymous said...

There is a plan /strategy. To run a football club and not lose money. Part of that involves moving players and coaches around. RD wants the club to be successful. In the end failure reflects badly on him, and as a businessman, he won't want that I'm sure.

Dave said...

Anon-Financial Fair Play is years away and may never happen. Unless and until fully implemented logic says you can't compete against 23 other clubs who are spending and losing their owners money. You might hold your own with clubs with much smaller gates but you won't compete with the bigger ones with more money to burn.The only way to break even is to compete in a lower league with smaller fish. Who really wants that? I want us to aspire to greater things.

Boneyboy said...

Looks like GL will not manage the team this saturday as he doesn't have a work permit for this country yet. This seems to be a very elementary mistake by the club to announce his appointment without checking that they can legally employ him. The club imply that the permit will be granted next week, but this can't be an absolte certainty. Who else would want the job knowing that RD really wanted someone else and that everyone knew it ?

Devlinpowelll said...

Ok I have forgiven Katrein , her lovely French accent and big brown eyes , means I cannot be angry at her for ever.