Sunday, 24 April 2016

Even They Want Him Out...

At 2pm I stood close to the front of the huge crowd gathered outside the Liberal Club ready to march to The Valley. A huge helium balloon with Roland's face on it was bouncing around in the breeze above me. As proud as I am of the protest efforts to date, I long for a time we can all return to our former pre-match routines; the one's forged over many, many years of supporting our club. Let's face it, this protesting thing is an essential means to an end, but it isn't fun. It isn't what any of us want to do with our time. The incentive to rattle Duchatelet and Meire enough that they might leave could not be greater, but I dream of a time it will all be over.
I may not be able to judge the business acumen of a man who's accumulated millions, but certainly in a football sense Roland will never succeed. It's not that 'Roland doesn't do failure' it's that he simply doesn't recognise what failure is. His stubborn, selfish vision of football is fundamentally flawed and Charlton are dying a painful death because of it. 

Rough estimates suggest there was over 5,000 people who joined the pre-match procession. The images shared around on social media portrayed an impressive, unified mass supporting a change in ownership. Within seconds of the match starting, the game was bought to a halt for some 7mins whilst black and white beach balls and balloons swirled around the edges of the pitch. Albeit poor quality, my own footage can be found below.

No sooner did the football start again, Brighton scored. Who cared?
The football yesterday was completely irrelevant for me. I felt no joy whatsoever at JBG's equaliser, nor pain at Brighton's 2nd and 3rd strikes. I can appreciate there are still some people who came to support the team and enjoy a day at the football, and I respect their view, but I'm afraid I can't share their ability to ignore the catastrophic effects of Roland's ownership. My attendance at The Valley was to add weight to the protest and nothing to do with supporting a group of players I feel little or no attachment to.

Many of them I won't miss when they jump ship after this disastrous season...

According to CAST, Meire and Murray have finally offered to meet with them. The Trust has openly asked both members and non-members how they feel about that before responding. I was pleased to read comments on Twitter overwhelmingly encouraging them to decline the meeting completely on the grounds that the regime / fan relationship is completely irreconcilable.

It's impossible for me to put into words just how much I deeply resent what Duchatelet and Meire has done to my club. Nothing they will ever say or do can heal those wounds. I want a time when I can completely forget about them even existing.  
Last word to the fans of Brighton who were hugely supportive all afternoon. There is already a strong history of fan unity between our two clubs, born out of similar desperate times and fuelled further by a shared dislike of Crystal Palace!  Hundreds of Seagulls joined the pre-match walk to The Valley and anti-Roland chants rang out of the Jimmy Seed all afternoon. Many delayed their journeys home to add weight to the post-match protest behind the West Stand. Their support was appreciated. The truth of the matter is, knowing how deeply hurt I feel, I wouldn't wish this destruction of a football club on even our fiercest rivals, and the empathy those Brighton fans showed will not be forgotten. I came across this YouTube footage below this morning: emotional stuff.
The Seagulls will get my full support as they attempt to secure promotion to the Premier League. Meanwhile, what exactly do I have to look forward to? The long-awaited end of the Duchatelet ownership is all I have to dream about now!


  1. Ted, your comments exactly mirror mine. I long to just go to a match and enjoy it. I want to buy a season ticket for myself and family. But I won't not while these awful people are running our club. Whereas I used to get upset when opponents scored against us, now it doesn't matter. That's what these people have done to us. Great support by the Brighton fans.
    Keep up the great blog.

  2. Ted - great panoramic in Floyd Road. I too, was pleased to see Brighton restore their lead. Sad times.

  3. Who's going to buy the club if Roland sells out of interest??? Are you?? Rick Everett??

  4. Who's going to buy the club? Even the regime, in the aftermath of wasting Varney's time, acknowledged that they get regular approaches. These probably include some time-wasters but others not. It's not 'if' Duchatelet sells, but 'when.

    1. "It's not 'if' Duchatelet sells, but 'when"

      BA - how I hope you're right! Sooner rather than later!

  5. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, Fustymccrank, but comments like that do make me smile (to be fair, I thank you for that). I can recognize the problems but I don't profess to know the answers. But because I personally don't have the solution (alas, I don't have millions behind me) it doesn't mean I should accept Roland just because he does have a few quid.

    Varney's consortium? Elliot's interested party? That could answer your question but I have no idea if either are valid options, no more than I could 'guarantee' it would all end happily if either bought the club.

    All I do know is that Duchatelet's ownership is killing the club completely, so I'm happy to roll the dice on this and hope it works out. There is no alternative I will accept.

  6. Interesting comments all round.I agree a new buyer at £38 million is going to be difficult, but I guess as Roly and Meire are so stupid surely we can het them tied up in knots with a deal that on paper seems worth his asking price but so wrapped in legal jargon so that once the ink is dry he subsequently finds he ends up with little more than covering his original buy in. Meire is supposedly legally astute andlets see how she wriggles out of this one. It would at least give us some pride back. A long shot but an interesting thought......don't you think?