We are a month in since Global Football Partners acquired CAFC from Thomas Sandgaard. A failure to adequately prepare a balanced squad to start the season there season has seen us lose five games in-a-row and Dean Holden as well as Danny Senda and Glyn Shimel have now been been sacked as a result. So what have we learnt in a month?
1. There are no Head Honchos with any serious ambition.
All the talk of 'billionaire owners' has proven to be wishful thinking at best and deliberately misleading at all other times. The facts are that we have seven investors who own the shares between them but none with overall control.
None of them have said a meaningful word and I don't believe any of them have attended a game. What this tells us is that the notion of the main investors being invested enough to be actively managing affairs via co-investor (small change) Charlie Methven is poppycock.
Rather, it suggests very strongly that the investors have all been sold a plan of limited exposure in an English football club for relatively small stakes and a proposition that says Methven and his team can out-perform the market within the existing financial constraints of running the club.
If this plan falls short, Methven will be expected to cut their losses and sell the club on. Do not expect them to be bailing the club out for any more money.
2. The Summer Rebuild was always hugely overplayed.
Methven told us repeatedly himself and via his social media stooges that there was big money behind the takeover and that they had their targets all lined-up and ready to go. The actual takeover was protracted but since they took charge we have seen neither big money nor a slew of signings to balance the squad, let alone support the early season injuries.
This was precisely what Rodwell and Scott did during the January window when appointed on short-term contracts by agreement with Sandgaard. They actually managed to reduce the playing budget overall whilst still making changes.
Indeed, I would go as far as to suggest the dealings we have done so far this Summer have been paid for from the 14 departures we have seen since the season finished.
The transfer window closes on Friday and I suspect it will another disappointing day for Addicks fans as we face the prospect of a continuing struggle in this damned league.
3. Unless something miraculous happens quickly, dramatic cost-cutting will be next.
Methvin has been clear about his plans to increase revenues. He has taken Steve Sutherland back, albeit on a temporary contract, and really needed a fast start to maintain momentum and keep the fans onside and attending games in growing numbers. Unfortunately, he has seen the absolute reverse. Actual attendances have dived off once again and no-one wants to be paying a premium in hospitality to watch us struggle to beat Fleetwood. Even Greenwich Council will be struggling to offload free residents match tickets at the moment.
Last week, with the pressure on, Methvin told the Daily Telegraph that he would see us reduce operating losses from c£6m a year to "£1m to £2m" and that with clever player sales (the Academy), he could turn a profit. "You will do that if you have any kind of competence at all, and particularly, like Charlton, if you've got one of the most productive Academies in the country." Words that I fear will come back to haunt him.
I think his chances of trading his way to a bottom-line improvement over the season of £4m to £5m is pie-in-the-sky unless we are incredibly fortunate with the next managerial appointment as well as our remaining loan player gambles. In the event we can't do this, we have already seen where he thinks savings can be made (womens team, Charlton tv, stand closures, academy cuts etc). Selling Miles Leaburn for £5m won't do it either if our operating losses remain high going into next season.
4. We are at risk of asset-stripping and a quick sale.
If Methven can't make his financial plan and our losses continue to outstrip his operating contingency he will need either a cash injection from his investors or face an early exit. As I have already said, I cannot see our investors throwing good money after bad. The make-up of the shareholding also makes that difficult. They could provide loans on favourable terms but why risk it when Methven has already careered off course? No, at that point I can see them looking to cut their losses. Selling assets and touting the club. They can probably reduce their losses by half and get out earlier than planned if they can find another mug punter willing to take their place.
In the meantime we wait with baited breath to see who is unveiled as Holden's replacement. I really don't want to see another of Methven's mates but Lee Johnson was sacked by Hibs on Saturday which may have precipitated Holden's clumsily managed exit yesterday - was he really fired by text? Perhaps the least-cost option would be to keep Pearce and Hayes?
As for the window this week and Fleetwood on Saturday - Heaven help us.