Friday, 20 October 2017

Why Duchatelet is selling and why we need to move on...

News of the ongoing takeover of our beloved football club continues to stir debate and emotions. Whilst the majority look delighted, there remains a rump who are worried about the risk of incoming owners and some who think we would genuinely be better off with Duchatelet 3.0 or that change risks our promotion chances. There are even a few members of the Flat Earth Society who refuse to believe it because they still think Duchatelet has a long-term commitment and plan to atone for his disastrous ownership!

1) Worried about new owners?

It's an obvious concern. Unknown new owners are going to carry risk. What we do know about the Aussies (if indeed it is them as believed) is that they have had one bite at the cherry previously and appeared not to have had all the money or to have been able persuade Duchatelet to sell. Indeed, the rumour was that the deal excluded the Valley and Sparrows Lane which would have left us at the mercy of Duchatelet. However, given the turmoil of the last three and half years under this man which in headline terms has seen us relegated, gates halved, revenues slashed and the club reduced to a laughing stock, the only thing that could possibly get worse is we could end up in financial difficulties. New owners would be investing millions. They are taking the biggest risk here, not us. Plenty of clubs get into financial difficulties and the vast majority resurface - look at Southampton and Palace. 

2) Better off with Duchatelet?

There is a debate that pre-supposes there is a even a medium term choice here! This bloke wants shot and has done for over two years. He bought us as part of a network of purchases to exploit FFP and that failed within a year of his acquisition. By far the two biggest financial liabilities in that network of clubs was Standard Liege and Charlton Athletic. The sum total of the other three would still make them third in that list. Liege were promptly sold for a profit but Charlton Athletic were not in a position to be sold for profit as Katrien Meire had steered us over a cliff and the club was at "war" with it's supporters. We were heading down and were duly relegated. He had to steady the ship and that has taken time. Look at the facts, he hasn't even seen us play at the Valley in three years! Meire has been put in a cupboard (and humiliated in the process, let's face it) for almost a year and Pitch PR have been providing common sense and pragmatic judgement on key operating decisions which has seen the steadying Duchatelet needed to sell. Duchatelet has continued his cost-cutting and there has been no real term investment for a very long time. 

Some see this 'steadying' as an option and proof that Duchatelet has learnt his lesson and changed. To some extent he obviously has but it's been driven by his desire to cut his losses not because he wants to continue to run, develop and progress a football club he has no interest in any longer.

3) Change and Promotion Chances

Again understandable but a chance that we have to take if the opportunity is there to move Duchatelet out. From what I can see, new owners will have a very long list of things to tackle and changing the manager and playing staff are definitely not top of the list. We will be halfway through a season and the January transfer window will be upon us. We are handily placed and there are no clarion calls for Robinson to go beyond those who would like a completely clean sweep. They are far more likely to give him the rest of the season and some money to see if he can immediately inflate their asset. How much do you reckon Roly's going to give him otherwise? Do you think Roly would avoid the opportunity to cash in on one or two players if he's still a reluctant owner?

If Robinson wins promotion he would deserve the role going forward. If not, he should be replaced so we have a complete fresh start next season. Any new owners would be better served getting rid of the likes of Tony Keohane and all the others who have followed orders with unnecessary enthusiasm and enjoyed doing it.

As for the Flat Earth Society, well it's all over when it's all over. A few might content themselves with still believing they knew better but most will be wise after the event.


  1. In all honesty, there is a lot of people that deserve to go. A lot of people that criticised the fans, especially the likes of Sue Parks, Paul May (Reams), Tony Kahone, are a few that I can name off the top of my head. These people are anti-Charlton and anti-Fans.

    Once RDs gone, we should look at removing all those that never supported the fan protests and efforts.

  2. Appreciate the sentiment but not sure that's helpful or practical! The idea of expelling fans because they don't agree with your viewpoint would result in a much reduced support-base and we need everyone behind the club when we eventually get new owners with genuine ambition and an honest dialogue with supporters.

  3. I reckon all the anti Roland N Queen Kat brigade n their ilk should go, there the exenophobes anti semites n omophobes day in day ahrt doin their best to undermine our gaff, tell lies juss like your leave lot did in the reffy, n url abuse at our CEO. There aint no place for them type of fans nahadays n the sooner yourn are gawn the better. You still aint sayin nothin abahrt the plans of other owners to sell parts of our gaff cos thass wot theirn would do like building ahrsin somethin yourn lied abahrt with Roland who as done nothin but invest in our gaff n trainin grahnd. Yourn the exenophobes ave done nothin but destroy the club.

  4. a2c - congratulations - your persistence has paid off and whilst I have deleted your last 37 posts, I have decided to post your latest contribution as I am sure it will bring a smile to many faces.

  5. Thanks for keeping the a2c post up Dave. As a Charlton fan in NZ it's been hard watching from afar and seeing Charlton fans have to argue with each other about the pros and cons of RD but a2c's comments always bring a smile to my face regardless with its translations into a strange dialect with wild and wacky statements. I must see if I can put together a translation of this into Kiwi dialect but I know it won't be as good! Fingers crossed for the Aussies, even though I'm a English Kiwi that shouldn't be keen on their involvement!

  6. Graham - you are welcome. A2C is one of my more dedicated followers and is actually the most consistent poster. I would publish more of them but they are usually exactly the same give a word or two. I actually think he's trying to have a laugh at my/our expense but part of me, deep down, worries he is for real and actually thinks like this.


  7. Thanks Dave, always enjoy reading your work. As a Charlton supporter in Australia, I am heartened by the news. Hopefully we can bring the current era to an end and usher on a new one with an onwards and upwards plan. Thanks also to Graham's post, I always get a laugh out of our friend a2c!

  8. The problem with a2c's posts is that I can't be bothered to finish them. They may well be funny and he may be having a laugh at our expense but because of the spelling and grammar the point is lost. In fact once I see its him I don't bother to read them now.

  9. Howard - just think of an Alf Garnett speech and you are there! He will be loving all the attention from the exonophobes!

  10. Howard - just think of an Alf Garnett speech and you are there! He will be loving all the attention from the exonophobes!

  11. For those needing a translation

    exenophobes = those who used to be scared of Brian Eno
    omophobes - those who are scared of an old brand of downmarket washing powder
    nahadays - clebratory days in the capital of Okinawa
    abahrt - without a hat (Yorkshire - mistranslation)
    yourn - yawn (Sloane)
    ilk - a bloody big dear (Sloane)
    ahrsin- naughty things done by anchors

    Still gibberish even after translation. a2c clearly needs to return to her finishing school to complete the course.


Go on, you know you want to....