Wednesday, 4 February 2015

So, who will cast the first stone?

Relationships between the owner of Charlton Athletic FC and his paying Customers is at all time low in modern history. Journalists, Bloggers, Messageboards and day-to-day conversations are increasingly negative.

It appears evident, not only that Roland Duchatelet is unconcerned, but he is going to persevere using his Network model to run his clubs with least cost and convenience favoured over best value and good management practice. His decision on Monday to reappoint Jose Riga as manager at SL was hard to understand. Us Charlton fans are largely supportive of Riga based on his cameo and relegation avoiding stint at The Valley, but why wasn't he good enough to carry the job in the Summer if he's good enough for the top Network job?

The token addition of 32 year old Roger Johnson to our defence on deadline line has also amused as many as it has disappointed those of us who know precisely where the teams shortfalls currently lie and has lead to even more criticism.

There is still a vocal lobby of eternal optimists and those who accept completely that the owner can do whatever he likes with his football club and that us mere supporters, without whom there would quickly be no club, would do well to join their Uriah Heap impersonations.

What's for sure is that there will be consequences. I said at the top if this post that things are currently the worst they have been in modern times. The levels of disatisfaction and anger aimed at the Glikstens (Michael in particular) was more pointed and direct. The common argument at the time was that the family had bled Charlton dry over the decades and this contrasted badly with the parlous state Michael left us in with the club a shrunken image of it's previous pre and post war glories. The "Glikstens out" protests raged during and after matches and there was an angry mob baying for blood behind the West Stand on occasion.

The whole Back to the Valley campaign wasn't driven by any anti-ownership feeling but by the single issue of saving our club from slow death away from SE7, although the strength of feeling and conviction of the fans to do something has never been rivalled.

So, I am left wondering when the disaffected will make a stand. Some are calling for the Supporters Trust to pick up the cudgel but I think that unlikely. They exist, ultimately, to represent the supporters at large when interacting with the Club and to safeguard the existence of the club. Whilst there are still Uriah Heaps and the owner is minted, the Trust won't be burning bridges.

On the basis that dialogue won't work, we need a strategic plan of independent action to get under Roly's skin and encourage him to sell us on. Perhaps it will take relegation to ignite the fans but there will be several thousand less by then who give a toss. I wonder what the "Royal Oak" group are up to - they have been unusually quiet?


Chicago Addick said...

Looks like your post has had the desired effect.

Dave said...

A. The Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust

Fair play - 100% Support from me.

801912601 said...

Think the lack of transfer window activity is the last straw for many of us. Great to see the move to get a public meeting going & can count on my support. 45 years of being an Addick but never been so peed off since the move to sell out.
I went there and to wet spam and will still be wathcing Charlton next season as they are in my blood & wont give them up!

Jon said...

I won't be going and these individuals activities are hardly supportive to the players who are trying hard to turn around a poor run of results under a new Manager who doesn't deserve all this nastiness.

There needs to be some counter demonstration in support of the Board's stewardship of Charlton Athletic and I would be the first to join in.

Dave said...

Jon - we are all supporters of the team but there is evidently no strategy around the playing staff or the management. We have no continuity, far too many temporary appointments and are in deep trouble. Would you ever be prepared to say enough is enough?

John O'Sullivan said...

Been a supporter since the 70s and ST holder for 20 yrs. Been involved in protests and supporter action a number of times and wonder what it will take for some to realise there is a problem with the way the club is being run? When we're losing 5-0 every week in league 1 it will be too late. Action is needed now. The Trust needs to find a way to unite fans being a campaign that changes the direction the club is taking while disrupting the playing staff as little as possible. Without action the club will die just as surely as if Roland hadn't 'saved us from administration'. @cafcjohn

801912601 said...

From my perspective I will give the team my full support whilst also engaging with the trust initiative. This is with the aim of making the owners understand the fans are important and should be heard whilst we all fight for the clubs future.

Floyd Rhode said...

Its hard to believe that some respondents on here actually are aware of what is going on with our beloved club. You can only think that someone who wants to get behind the board (what board? What stewardship?is either not following what is going on or is Roland D in disguise.

I,like others on here have supported this club through the Gliksten years and was one of the people protesting against their poor husbandry of our club and later was up at Greenwich doing whatever I could to support the Valley party. I don't want to - I would far rather do other things and make watching and being a CAFC supporter something that I enjoy on a Saturday or Tuesday but we have come this far and I sure as hell am not going to sit back and let this owner ruin the spirit and heart our great club.