Thursday, 6 October 2016

Katrien Meire - suddenly concerned or still playing games?

Home late from work this evening and catching up on a breaking story that Katrien Meire has reached out with the Olive Branch to CARD. She is concerned about the resumption of protests and offers dialogue. Wow! Amazing breakthrough - isn't Henry Kissinger dead? This really is attention grabbing stuff.

Having caught up with Charlton Life, it appears that this is yet another lame attempt at winning the PR battle. Turns out that Meire's email to Rick Everett was sent at 6pm last night offering slots next week to meet, but the story was leaked today to the media before Rick could respond (on behalf of CARD). Cue the "CARD refuse to talk" line and "I have tried..."

In reality, of course, we all know that Meire and Duchatelet have refused point-blank to meet any truly representative group of protesting supporters. Indeed they turned down the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust twice. They have refused to recognise CARD. Instead, Meire has used the Fans Forum to legitimise dialogue with supporters where she can manage a small select group of well-meaning volunteers and report progress on her terms. She has also used Target 20,000 (i know!) as a vehicle to justify decisions she has taken and as a pseudo engagement with supporters.

Since the Summer, at least, she has been paying through the nose for one of the largest PR firms in the world, Pitch PR, to represent her in an attempt to stop the horrendous series of previous own goals and faux pas. You know, like the long awaited and much heralded new Communications Manager, Mel Baroni,  resigning out after a tortuous few weeks when she realised she was dealing with two loose cannons who were only interested in their version of events and that the rest of the world was mad as far as they were concerned.

Credit to Pitch PR, the official site comms have been much slicker since they arrived. Communications been consistent and repeated. Messages being drummed home and clever linkage from one to another.

Sadly however, the latest effort has been rumbled for the stunt it was. Meire has confronted Rick Everett in the street with her minder previously and she was in no mood to parlez. She also knows that the "we've made lots of mistakes and are willing to listen" line is one that sounds so plausible to those genuinely hoping for a change. But we've heard it all before. Many times now, and the latest is transparently thin.

Perhaps the plan is that she will attempt to use the fully expected rebuttal to whine to the police that those beastly Charlton fans (her Customers) are preparing to protest again and that the mood is so bad, and the situation in terms of the club so desperate, that she fears for the consequences. "Please help me stop them!"

It's certainly made a point with me. I am more determined than ever to protest lawfully, loudly and enthusiastically when we play Coventry on 15th October.

Ro-land Out! Ro-land Out!


SCiurus Carolinensis Nemesis said...

However cynical it might be, Meire's move is a smart one.
If CARD decline the invite they hand her the moral high ground.
Publicity wise she has CARD over a barrel.
Notwithstanding our deep scepticism as to her motivation and intentions for the meeting, the invitation has to be accepted.
There is a molecularly small chance she has positive news or may listen to concerns or even answer searching questions.
If she deflects, flannels, equivocates or attempts to railroad the event in her own direction then CARD can expose her categorically. Recording the progress of the meeting and everything that is said is simply done and can be disseminated to the expectant fanbase in a matter of seconds.
If CARD attend, and they should, Meire et al have nowhere to hide.
If CARD decline then everybody's position becomes more deeply entrenched - to no possible benefit.
CARD's representatives will also have to be careful not to give the regime any cause for complaint at the meeting itself. I don't doubt that they will have to swallow something hard and jagged to go and tolerate the foul stench while there but it should be a no lose situation for CARD and most likely will be a crass own goal for KM.
Good luck chaps - I await agog

Tony said...

I slightly disagree with the previous post.
Yes CARD should accept. But their should be an agreed agenda prior to this meeting.
This could take a number of weeks/months, but still show that they are willing to meet.
Play the regime at their own game.