Sunday, 28 February 2016

A Sorry Situation...

'Yes, he is investing to improve our stadium, pitch and training complex. But this spending is being loaded on to the club as a debt, on which he charges interest'
Around 3%, if the figures being banded around yesterday are to be believed. There are still the odd Duchatelet apologists out there who are prepared to tolerate this regime on the grounds that 'he saved us from certain administration', but if this financial revelation is true (and I can't believe CARD would fabricate such a thing, as if disproven it would cause great embarrassment) then even those fans must question the motives of our alleged asset-stripping Belgian owner and his hapless sidekick.

The extract above (and image) was taken from the brilliantly creative unofficial matchday programme issued by CARD before yesterday's game. A perfect way to spread the word to a crowd boosted by the 'Football for a Fiver' initiative.

The game was only a few minutes old when Charlton's defensive frailties lead to an easy goal for a man deemed 'not good enough' by the font of football knowledge that is Roland Duchatelet. Yann Kermorgant was typically majestic throughout. He's Reading's Breton Warrior now, but even so, some Addicks couldn't help but stand to applaud his goal. Respectful of the fans that still idolise him, he chose not to celebrate his first strike for his new club.

A short while later...a goal for Charlton! No, really. Yaya Sanogo grabbing his first goal whilst on loan from the Gunners. A pretty even game could have swung Charlton's way on the half hour if only Simon Makienok was an inch taller. The impressive Suk-Young's cross agonisingly a toes length in front of Big Mak.

Typical. A goal for Reading. Only one man likely to score. Again, a smattering of Addicks stand to clap. Another goal for the visitors just before half time and the game was dead.

Or at least, you'd have had every right to think so.

Sanogo thought otherwise, with two second half strikes to complete a full debut hat-trick. Neither shot hitting the back of the net but rightfully deemed over the line by the eagle-eyed assistant referee. As the team celebrated an unlikely late equaliser, Diarra beckoned his teammates back to Charlton's half so the game could restart; sensing a much-needed winner. Perhaps we should have taken our chance to run the clock down.

And then the sucker punch that happens when you're desperate and down on your luck. Reading's injury time winner the result of a needless free-kick conceded by Fanni and after another piece of laughable non-defending.

Jose thought we deserved something from the game, but I disagree. I can't fault the commitment, but you shouldn't expect anything when you defend that badly across 90mins. 
With no time for the disappointment to sink in the disgruntled Addicks gathered once again behind the West Stand to shout at the back of a building, hoping to force change. Or at least some of us did. The numbers had dwindled rather dramatically, with a few hundred braving the cold rather than the thousands that gathered post-Blackburn a month previous. I was there, but living as I do an hour's drive away, I can't deny the 5pm protest has become something else to endure on a matchday. By the time I got home just before 7pm I'd already missed dinner and my daughter was passing me at the front door, destined for a party.
Charlton Athletic have been ruining my Saturday afternoons for too long, and I won't let them spoil my Saturday evening's as well.
My personal view is that the 5pm protest needs shaking up. It is losing its impact and a different approach is required. It has been hugely successful in gaining national coverage and support, but the club have shown no signs whatsoever that it has resonated inside the boardroom. In fact, as the war of attrition deepens, so the club's counter-measures of barricades, extra stewards and police becomes all-too-easy to implement. Even the faces at the windows look disinterested at the baying crowds outside.
Last word to the 20 Charlton fans that travelled to Belgium to take the protests to Sint-Truiden, another club with close links to Duchatelet. Chicago Addick wrote a great post earlier today that rightly heralds the Addicks as 'Proper Charlton'!

Paid for out of their own pockets, those 20 fans who journeyed to Roland's back yard might just have unnerved the regime a whole lot more than those of us turning blue outside the West Stand yesterday evening.

1 comment:

  1. Blackheath Addick has suggested that we try and get 18 year old Joe Read one of the CAFC fans at Sint-Truiden on Saturday and behind the @CAFCBlackNWhite and @CharltonCARD campaign elected as Football League Supporter of The Year - an excellent idea do it here -