Thursday, 7 January 2016

Murray the apologist

Well I suppose someone had to say something and it's fallen to Richard Murray.

Poor Richard has taken a bit of a battering from supporters of late and his legacy as a Charlton legend is in serious danger of being re-written. They say that history is written by the victors and if that holds true I am afraid Murray will be remembered more for his disastrous association and defence of Duchatelet and Meire than for his Chairmanship which saw our halcyon days of the Premiership.

Unfortunately his latest tame Q and A does nothing more than play the harp and trot out the previous lines  albeit with one or two rye observations. For example, I note that the much-trumpeted strategy  ("which I thought we'd done before, but anyhow....") now has an added emphasis. "Financially stable" is now the first part and the competitive bit in the Championship is added with the pipe-dream for the PL. As for the rest of it, maybe easier just to include one of those key word themes which are all the rage now....

Financially stable. A bigger challenge. Difficult and interesting times. One of the most difficult leagues. Not everyone can win. Danger of Administration. Triple figure debts. Keeping a handle on outgoings. Hopefully..overseas players will be better next season. Can't legislate for injuries. A problem in December, in particular. Probably falling just a bit short. The obvious missing strand....We have acted quickly. Hoping the players are good enough (Relegation Roger and Old Williams). There are some supporters who don't like the ownership. 40% increase in the player budget. Affordable ticket prices. Our owner subsides the club. A little bit of good fortune.

No mention of the amateur Chief Exec, the ongoing fibs, the haughty arrogance, the under-investment in the squad, the inadequate coaching appointments, the 2%, the growing protests, the absent thousands, the loss of die-hard supporters, the confusion of loyal football fans with restaurant customers, the blanking of Peter Varney etc.

Richard, we are going down. Wake up and smell the coffee. The three clubs with the smallest budgets last year went down and we are there this year on merit as we balance the books. If Roland has increased the playing budget by 40%, Meire should be sacked for that alone. Frankly, I don't believe that and neither will the players. Financial stability is admirable but you can do that much easier in the lower leagues and that's where we are headed. The overseas duffers won't be any better next season - we have binned most of last season's non-entities this season and this season's will be headed out sooner rather than later. Tony Watt has been the pick of the crop but you've flogged him. It's not all just gone wrong in December although it's probably just a coincidence that it's when the latest overseas coaching success has got to grips with the job. Affordable ticketing is admirable but we aren't offering value even for that as things stand and many won't be back next season even if it's free. Don't get me started on the Academy - it makes us a proper Feeder Club under Duchatelet. Lookman to Palace anyone?

The damage being done to this club could barely be worse and much of it is irreparable. You can hope for the best but the strategy we are pursuing is not working and the person executing it has lost the confidence of your Customers and needs to be replaced. It wouldn't be tolerated at a restaurant, let alone a football club. Relegation will see our club take a massive step backwards but I believe that won't bother the Shareholder anything like the rest of us because it will help cut his exposure and allow him to be more competitive in a league he is willing to afford. That and the fact that he isn't really a fan and doesn't watch us play.

Sorry Richard, you have backed the wrong horse here. Roland will lose money but you will lose your reputation. I have been a huge fan of yours but it's all headed south I'm afraid and you either can't see it or are hoping for a miracle.


Alan Oakes said...

Sadly all you say is true. What was the point of that statement? Do they really, really believe that statement would change anyone's mind about how they are a bunch of liars, fibbers, idiots etc etc....

Not one mention of their manager philosophy...

Sadly,when we are saddled with this manager,old hacks ( and I sure hope they prove me wrong), we are not far away from what we all know and they dont seem to.

8000 supporters is where we are heading in Div 1 and they have the stupidity to talk about 20000.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant article hits the nail on the head for me.


Dave said...

I reckon home support could drop to 5,000 next season and with much less away fans, we could see gates of under 8,000.This would effectively see our club reduced to the lowest point in my lifetime to rival the dismal late-70's and the Selhurst years. So much for the richest owner in our history.

Anonymous said...

Desperate times are these, for people of my age, reminiscent of the Gliksten era in the 60s/70s. The difference being that Gliksten, despite being uninterested in the club which he had inherited, at least bothered to attend matches and listen to the flak. It should be borne in mind however that the crowds in those days dropped to 3000-4000 at one stage.

Anonymous said...


5000 at the Valley next season to watch division 1 football? I think you are being very optimistic...

The difference between next season in div 1 and previous years down in that God-forsaken division is that in previous years there was hope .... hope that the Board / Owners would provide the money and the set-up to get promoted. That is what kept the fans watching.

This time there is no hope - Duchatelet appears willing to let the club fester there ... that is if he can stop the rot and prevent a further fall into division 2.
Charlton are a basket-case. No player with half a brain would want to join the un-ambitious outfit that we are likely to become.

I have cancelled my Valley Gold membership as the Academy (according to Meire) is now going to be a production line for Premier league clubs and the kids will not be used as a basis to build a good squad able to get Charlton promoted - I don't want to watch them for a year (or 3 months in the case of Lookman...) and move on - I want to see them stay with MY club as part of a strong team led by experienced pro's.

I do not intend to pay any more money into Charlton, I've been to my last home game until the Club employ a BRITISH manager with suitable experience AND either Duchatalet goes OR he totally changes his policies. I fear that I am in for a long exile.... I will watch the odd away game when it suits me, but only because my gate money will not find its way into Duchatelet's grubby paws.

IF we avoid relegation this year then I have no doubt that we'll be in the same mess next year... as we have been for the last 2 years. On that point at least Duchatelet is consistent...! At the moment there is no hope at the Valley - there has always been hope in the past and that's what has kept us turning up.

RIP Charlton Athletic, born 1905, destroyed by a Belgian idiot 2016.

Charlton Scrapbook said...

along with a lot of other supporters, I bought shares in the club when they were offered in 1998. It made me feel as though I owned a very small part of the club. We were all in it together. To be called customers is a real insult. Katriene Miere is losing Charlton thousands of pounds in business by alienating her 'customers' and she should resign. These people are not fit to run a football club.

I want to watch players that are proud to play for Charlton. Not foreigners who are just here because they belong to the owner, or youngsters who just see us as a step up to something better.

I can understand the idea of trying to run the club without losing money. Everyone wants that and we don't want a club with a large debt, but we also know that realistically it's going to lead to relegation, which is then going to lead to more debt. Relegation will also damage the youth set up because youngster won't want to play in Division 1 or 2. The big problem is football in general. The only money is in the Premier League and I can't see how a club can be successful without having money thrown at it. These Belgians are doomed to fail.

Interim Idiot said...

If it was a restautant it would have closed already, as the food at home is better. If it was a cinema it would be closed because the films on TV would be better. Its a football club so it still has 'Customers', even though the football on TV is better. Why dont they get this? I am starting to think that the black and white thingy makes sense. But we need to spell it out to them

Boneyboy said...

Yes, this statement from the Board is too little and too late to be credible, and of course it fails to address major questions such as the many changes of Coach and the interim who is in post at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Says it all really!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Murray,

We will see you at the Blackburn game, hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are.

Yours Sincerely

A Customer