I greeted the news that our South London neighbours had gone in to administration with a groan and a genuine sense of disappointment. This is not about the implications for Palace, or concerns for the well being of the dislikable Simon Jordon - I couldn't care for either. It’s more about the anticipated response from some Charlton fans that fills me with a sense of dread. I can almost hear the laughter from SE7, and whilst it is easily explained and largely understandable given the circumstantial history and immense rivalry between our clubs, it doesn’t sit comfortably with me one bit. As saying goes, ‘you must be careful what you wish for’. Our financial situation is perilous at best and what we laugh at today, may well come back to haunt us sooner than we may hope. Some will not believe in tempting fate, whilst others will fear it. All I know is laughing at Palace at this present time just doesn't feel right to me, and I'll happily admit it. He who laughs last…and all that!
A subtle, dignified and very deliberate silence would be more appropriate at this time, but sadly, I don’t think it will happen.
As I said earlier, I don’t care for Palace as a football club one bit, but I’m not heartless enough not to empathise with any genuine Palace fan (or a fan of any club in a similar position) who will inevitably be concerned about their clubs future. As confident as I am in the efforts of those at Charlton who are attempting to safe-guard our future, Mr. Murray amongst them, I can’t deny that I have had many dark thoughts about what may happen if it all goes horribly wrong. I struggle badly with Saturday afternoons without football; safe in the knowledge a game is only a matter of days away at worst. Sooner rather than later a notable club will go out of business as the appalling state of football finance finally catches up. Naturally, the thought it could be Charlton is truly frightening.
As Thomas à Kempis, author of ‘The imitation of Christ’ (c.1420) wrote, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be”.