If it was possible for Katrien Meire to make matters worse, then it would appear she has done just that. The hole she began digging 18 months ago has just got a whole lot bigger. Last night's fans meeting should have provided an opportunity for her to reach out to the disenchanted, angry and apathetic, but instead, if the quotes prove to be a genuine and fair representation of the events, then it looks like she as thrown petrol on the fire. Rather than admitting the repeated failings of the regime on a number of massive issues, it appears Meire has reinforced her defences and thrown a few hand grenades over the barricades.
I should quickly point out that I wasn't there: unlike the privileged few in attendance I was left to follow matters on Twitter. Perhaps I should wait until the video is released to draw conclusions? Possibly, but there appeared to be a level of consistency to the reporting from well-respected sources, so a change of opinion seems unlikely.
A couple of stand-out Meire quotes from the night via Brad Pinard of London24Sport:
"We have improved with every manager we have had. They have been the right decisions"
"I want [Charlton] fans to stand up against the negative people and don't giver them a platform. It was unacceptable"
The first quote beggars belief! There is some confusion surrounding the second quote, with some suggesting it only related to the behaviour of the minority at MK Dons a week back. Naturally many, many others have assumed it was in reaction to the fans protest. Either way, she needs to question the cause of the negative vibes and deal with that.
I also noticed a quote from Meire that suggested "they will give Fraeye all the support he needs". So expect the word 'interim' to be dropped shortly then. No surprise there. As she says, improvement to every manager...
I would love know if anyone asked her about the photos she took whilst sniggering at us gathered behind the West Stand. If anything was 'unacceptable' it was that.
To offer a sense of balance to this, I noted that Rich Pemberton, who is a CAST board member and was present at last night' meeting, said in a tweet that he was "surprised by the tweeted reports. Lost context I think. Nowhere near as bad as presented and fans' contributions understated". I noticed something similar from another attendee, but can't find the quote on my timeline now. Fair enough, those chaps were there so I fully respect their opinion. We will get a chance later to view the video and judge for ourselves.
But one thing is for sure, regardless of the arguments and whomever is right or wrong, and regardless of whether it's the minority or majority that feel anger and resentment towards Duchatelet's regime, Katrien Meire is completely responsible for the mess this club is in. In many respects, I see her as the greatest immediate problem to solve. I don't care one bit if she's being treated shoddily by Mr. Duchatelet. That's down to her to deal with. Mr. Murray needs to take a long hard look in the mirror as well, in my humble opinion. His credibility is rapidly going downhill, and it pains me massively to say that.
The peaceful protests must continue until Duchatelet and Meire accept the damage they are doing. Last night should ensure those that may have otherwise have sat on the fence will join in.
See you outside the West Stand on the 28th.