Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A 'Proportionate Protest'...

This blog is intended to provide a chance for me to air my own personal views, but you'll have to forgive me if I bang the drum for what I believe is a greater cause.
Full credit to the Voice of the Valley and those behind the 'Spell It Out' campaign for joining forces to get what they have sensibly called a 'proportionate protest' underway this Saturday. Full details and the poster (as above) can be found here. It's a great idea that, in front of the Sky cameras, should provide maximum exposure to the legitimate concerns of Addicks. It should also encourage the otherwise clearly intelligent Katrien to calibrate her calculator and redo her sums. Whether she wants to believe it or not, 2% is not representative of those unhappy at certain aspects of the way the club is being run.

It is also right that the initiative encourages the full support of the players. I will extend that support to Karel Fraeye as well. I can't agree with the nature of his appointment, but like the Network flunkies deemed worthy enough to coach manage before him, he is not to blame here.

In many respects, I would favour this form of protest over the mass gathering behind the West Stand, which always has the potential of descending into primeval sexism or racial abuse, which detracts from the intended impact and plays into the hands of Meire. I'll stand alongside my fellow concerned Addicks all day long, but I won't entertain that sort of approach.      
I guess Katrien will have hoped the recent fans' meeting and the subsequent update that followed a few days later will have appeased restless fans. To her credit, it's a tentative step in the right direction and two back-to-back wins will have helped her cause still further (and those of the interim manager she has employed). Football fans are a fickle bunch, so I'm sure it has placated some, but not me. Not just yet.

Actions speak far louder than words.

My feelings on this matter are not a petulant rant against a regime that has undoubtedly done some good, but more about the concerns of what I'm slowly losing: the identity of a club I fell in love with many years ago and one that is intrinsically linked to my heart and soul.

Oddly enough, despite all this, I actually believe Katrien's intentions are good (regrettably I can't say the same at this point regarding Mr. Duchatelet), but for me, the fans' meeting highlighted just how detached she is from the true feeling of so many Addicks. She spoke in detail, but her words lacked any form of genuine depth and were, for the most part, woefully short of a credible, achievable conclusion that I can believe in. Perhaps nothing represent this better than her Target 20,000 initiative. Sounds wonderful in principle, and I'm sure some were wooed with the positivity of it all, but we all know that this club will never get 20,000 fans regularly through the gate unless we are in the Premier League. That's not being defeatist or negative, it's being a realist.

As a season ticket holder of 18 years I have never been closer to not renewing. That's not an idol threat, but the thought frightens me more than I can say.

I wonder if she even cares why I feel this disenchanted, or is her priority the 'new fans' who might not share my nostalgia for what this club has stood for? Perhaps rather than prioritising new fans she should first try and retain those who have stuck with this club through the dark days...
Anyway, as I said right at the start, this is my view alone and I make no attempts to sway anyone's opinion. Join the 2% only if you want to.

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