Saturday, 18 February 2017

Rochdale 3 v Charlton Athletic 3

Yet another draw today in a topsy-turvey match where the lead changed hands three times. Karl Robinson will be pleased the players heard his grumbles about needing to score more than a goal but conceding three wasn't part of the plan (I can just imagine Roland picking up the phone to explain to Karl how it works, if indeed, he hasn't already which may have prompted Karl's big pre-match insight that we needed to score two to have a chance of winning).

Dale raced out of the blocks to open the scoring through Canavan in the fourth minute but Jordan Botaka scored on the rebound after hitting the post just before half-time. Jose Texeira had replaced an injured Esra Konsa after 15 minutes and it was the Portuguese who put Charlton ahead on 67 minutes although the lead lasted only three minutes as Calvin Andrew levelled for the home side. Predictably for suffering Addicks we then heard Mendez-Laing score an 84th minute third and it looked all over but Tex popped up again in the 88th to snatch a point for Charlton and give some comfort to the hardy 300.

Robinson's results so far are there or thereabouts bang-on with Russell Slade's record which was deemed not good enough after 21 games in charge. I'm not calling for Robinson to be sacked because the idiots in charge have managed to do that seven times already without any sustainable change to the gradual decline of the club's fortunes. However, the season is effectively over and the calls for Robinson to go will grow louder from here on and poor season ticket sales numbers may provide added pressure.

Talking of season ticket sales, there is a view that a repeat of the cheap offer in the North Lower will stiffen numbers and ensure no significant decline. Personally, I am not so confident. Value-for-money is certainly an issue but the hopelessness of watching a Charlton side deliberately under-resourced to (hopefully) maintain the status quo has become fairly transparent to all but the most blinkered or blindly optimistic of supporters. It's been another season of disappointment and, frankly, poor entertainment. The dwindling crowds have ensured most matches are played in near silence now in the home areas and it's all very depressing. It's affected the willingness and ability of those disaffected to even get decent numbers to protest effectively, although Meire will count her blessings she's not been the subject of such vocal abuse for a few months.

What Meire should do, if she had any sense, is match the offer Leeds United made to their fans for this season which said back us with a season ticket and if we fail to make the play-offs we will refund 50% of the cost. That would capture the imagination and demonstrate an ambition that has been glaringly lacking since Duchatelet leveraged the club debt to acquire us. The trouble, of course, is Meire knows Duchatelet won't invest sufficiently to support any manager to sustain a play-off challenge, so she would be cutting her own throat and the Big Turkey won't vote for Christmas either. Instead, I fully expect them to go with another low-priced offer to entice those who will simply see it as a more economic and less-hassle way to pay for whatever games they do bother watching next season. Either way, I predict numbers will drop again, maybe by another 500-750 and associated add-on revenues with them. The match-to-match ticket sales will also take a tumble between now and the end of the season - I can't be bothered with Oxford on Tuesday - and they too will suffer next season. 

The only constant in the last three years has been Duchatelet's absence, disinterest and under-investment allied to Meire's chronic mismanagement of the club and supporter relations. Nothing is going to change until the head of the snake is removed.

3 comments:

jonty said...

I don't see how with a third of the season still to play and football being such an unpredictable,anyone can say it's all over. It isn't and results may have been disappointing recently but you need a bit of luck in football and Charlton have not been getting much.Anything can happen.

Dave said...

Jonty - I admire your optimism. Not sure we haven't had our share of luck this season as well. If we make the play-offs I will pay for your season ticket.

Pete said...

Although I won't consider buying a season ticket until this mob have left, I think the idea of a rebate on STS is a good one, but really, could you imagine this regime being able to administer such a thing?