Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Charlton meh

I was eating posh Indian canap├ęs after 8pm last night speaking with a distant work colleague whom I discovered (much to my surprise) is a fanatical Boro fan, when he glanced at his mobile and told me were two-up. I replied "Lookman?" and he seemed impressed. I then suggested it wasn't all over and he said 'if you can't beat Bolton with a two-nought lead then you are going down." Indeed.

The Boro fanatic then proceeded to tell me that he once wrote to Steve Gibson in a moment of frustration and two days later his PA handed him a phone saying "there's a Mr Gibson wanting to speak with you." Steve Gibson spoke with him for half an hour and listened intently to everything my colleague had to say - the contrast and irony with our current situation couldn't be more stark.

With an unusually heavy head I have just about caught up with the verdict on our performance last night and it is all so sadly predictable. Around 8,000 actually present, dire performance and the only bright spot is an 18 year old who is doing all he can to ensure he has a brighter future next month away from SE7.

Whatever your perspective on the current owners, it's impossible not to view the club as a solvent shambles at the moment. Karel Fraye is a dead man walking despite the owner's desperation that he is able to carry it off. We have a total incompetent running the club who is presiding over a flawed strategy in an arrogant and patronising manner which is seeing the value of our club plummet as we become a League One outfit in terms of stature as well as performance. Target 20,000 empty seats is very close to achieving it's ambition and we still have half a season of suffering yet to go. Meire's response is to set-up an unrepresentative lame focus group - God help us.

Burnley must be rubbing their hands and even Bristol City will be targeting a six pointer over us. Christmas is always a difficult time for Charlton fans and this year promises to be a proper wipeout. 

Roll on 2016 but in all honesty it's most likely a relegation in Spring when I fear the club will take another massive and largely irreversible step backwards. I know I keep banging on about it but after 38 years I can't believe it has come to this and I think I am going to throw the towel in. 

The Cinnamon Club was a big disappointment last night (overpriced and under-spiced) but I didn't even think about our game until I was told the score and I am genuinely happier today because I wasn't there to suffer it. If it wasn't so sad and a tragedy in the making you might actually be able to laugh about it all.


Anonymous said...

I went to the Cinnamon club a short while BACK, I too was slightly disappointed, maybe the expectation played havoc with my taste buds, who knows. Charlton who ?


Anonymous said...


I had the same moment last night. A Newcastle supporting mate texted me at home asking how we were 2-0 up and that it bode well for a positive result. I replied that we still had 60 minutes to f*** it up and sadly I was proven to be right - and it could have been even worse from what I heard coming over my computer, with any half-decent Championship outfit should have scored a third against our colander of a defence...

I am not proud to say that after 50+ years of mostly suffering at the Valley I can't take any more and I am off until a decent British manager who knows the League comes into manage us and hopefully drags us out of the current mess. I know that prospect is unlikely, which is why I'm going to boycott the club I love - the current regime most definitely does NOT deserve my financial support.

The difference between Steve Gibson and the fool who know owns our club couldn't be starker. Someone who cares for, and does his best for, his club - against someone who uses it as an experiment for his egotistical theory (I was going to write theories, but our owner like many of his so-called managers only has a Plan A, not a sniff of a Plan B...).

Those that are left need to continue their pre-match demonstrations against the regime. I saw the demo before the Wednesday game from the top of the west stand and it looked impressive. That must grow.

People power saved our club once before, it must do so again... we are now in another Battle for the Valley - a battle for the very survival of Charlton Athletic.
IF the club go down this year, and at the moment that's looking a dead cert, then it will be very hard to stop the rot. Three relegations and we are out of the League - don't think it can't happen, just look at the names in the National League - a dozen former Football League clubs languish down there, with some even further down the pyramid.

The very survival of our club is once more at stake - not this time facing financial ruin but ruin of a different kind, at the hands of a rich megalomaniac who cannot admit that his theory is totally wrong despite the evidence before his eyes (or reported to him by his smiling, dopey side-kick as he never even watches the team playing himself).

I personally cannot stand the frustration or the anger any more... I have given Duchatelet a chance, given him the benefit of the doubt - 2 years of his governance and we are in an even worse mess than when he took the club over.
I am not proud to admit that I am one of the 2% - I think that M/s Meire is about to find that there is at least a nought after the figure that she used - and then she can probably double that figure...

Duchatelet has two choices open to him - admit that his theory does not work and change it - or sell the Club to someone who cares about it...

Geoff said...

You may not be old enough for the original "Hancock's 'Alf Hour", Dave, but have probably seen the re-runs. As well as being a good fit for Mr Bean, KF also looks like Kenneth Williams and he could easily be saying either of the well-known catch phrases, "Oo, don't be like that!" or "C'mon, stop messing about!" Trouble is the messing has already been done.

I also opted for a (ex)-work thing last night, and found myself having to grin and bear it as a Boro fan condescended - and he is 6'5" so superiority is not a problem, a Lion exalted, a Spur expressed his disgust (native of SE7 and brother a ticket-holder) and the Pompey and Argyle fans looked forward to six easy points each next season. Our infamy (sorry, K Williams again) is nationwide.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

I don't know you and have never responded to a blog before but like most Addicks I find the pain is almost too much to bear. I am (was?)a third generation supporter that suffered the Glickstein / Selhurst eras. Even during the worst of these times there was hope and together the club and fans overcame a hostile council, put in place new enthusiastic supporting owners and worked with them to return to the Valley rebuilding the club and fan base. There is still a decent stadium but it's only a monument as there seems to be nothing left of our Charlton.

For me the rot started when the club was sold and it was decided to disenfranchise the fans and run it as a purely commercial venture. Until then my family had 5 season tickets a year and was happy to contribute extra for what we knew would be worthless shares / Valley Gold etc for the good of our club. I no longer recognise what Charlton has become and can't justify putting my hard earned money into something I no longer feel part of. Consequently only my father has retained his season ticket but no longer attends every game and even he is saying this will probably be his last year.

Charlton have become a joke and an object lesson in how not to run a football club. The owners should stop wasting their money on target 20 thousand and instead dust off the "target 10 thousand" campaign as I think they are going to need it.

Sadly I have to say that not going is like a bereavement, it's distressing to start with but the passage of time makes it easier.

Dave said...


I feel exactly the same and I am angry that we have a couldn't-care-less owner who looks like he's holding a busted flush and an infuriatingly smug and incompetent doing his dirty work. Until they are gone supporters like us will continue to drift away, many never to return irrespective of our future fortunes. The irony of Target 20,000 is wasted on Katrien Meire. She simply doesn't get it and I cringe thinking about her focus group and the level of debate. I fully expect her to attend the first one or two over a few months and delegate to another minion. Another six months gone and more expectations managed. What we must now look forward to is a disastrous relegation in the hope that it will force Duchatelet's hand and he sells on at a knockdown price to someone who understands the Customer Service business and who is passionate about this club. Until then I will see this season out but I will definitely not be renewing even at £150 and I won't be bothering to continue to watch the next batch of mercenaries and underlings scrapping in League One in an empty monument to the 1998-2007 years.