So we are nearly a full calendar month without a manager or head coach, and let's face it, Riga's resignation was not exactly a surprise, so in many ways, the period without a defined focus on next season extends longer than that. It is a little under three weeks until the new fixtures are released and a little over 4 weeks until I expect the players to report back to Sparrows Lane for pre-season. I bet they can't wait...
I'm afraid if you can honestly tell me you have any hope whatsoever for the new season then I must assume you are stupid!
And all the while Katrien Meire continues going about her business in such brazen, shameless fashion. It beggars belief how anyone of sane mind can defend her performance as CEO of Charlton, and quite how she is still in the post is equally as baffling.
I recently tweeted that I felt the passive fan is as dangerous to the future of Charlton Athletic as Duchatelet and Meire, and from the comments I received it would appear I confused some people with who exactly I was pointing the finger at. I'm not quite sure how, but it is hard to articulate yourself in 140 characters on twitter! Anyway to expand my point, let's first briefly examine the three types of Charlton fans at present (as I personally see them):
1. *THE MILITANT FAN - The fan who has long-since given up on The Regime and has decided direct action by way of boycotts and/or disruptive protests to 'claim back their Charlton' is the overwhelming priority focus, even above supporting a failing team. The Militant fan will have only one wish going forward, for Roland to sell up and go away. Once their goal is achieved, the militant fan will revert quickly to the 'Back The Boys' type.
2. THE 'BACK THE BOYS' FAN - The fan who considers the otherwise perfectly reasonable 'back the boys' mantra above anything else and does not accept the disruptive protests despite openly disagreeing with The Regime. The 'Back The Boys' mob will renew their season tickets and be keeping their fingers crossed for a decent new manager and some new players above anything else, whilst hoping fortunes change on the pitch.
3. **THE MINION - The fan who accepts The Regime and can't see what all the fuss is about. The Minion blames the fans for the current demise of Charlton Athletic. The minion (probably) hopes that the prawn sandwiches and vol-au-vents in the VIP lounge are as good as last season.
*Perhaps militant isn't the right term as it implies violence, but let's roll with it for now.
**I'm only aware of one person, whom I don't know personally, who falls in this category if her infamous Facebook posts are to believed...
I simply have no time whatsoever for The Minion, so let's move swiftly on from them idiots. My 'passive' comment was really directed at the 'Back The Boys' type; those who recognise a problem but stick their heads firmly in the sand. It is their right, and ordinarily I would respect the alternative view even if I don't agree with it, but seeing my club being reduced to the heart-breaking mess it's currently in means I am struggling to accept it. Given the brazen disregard for the fans and history of the club makes it painfully obvious Duchatelet has learnt nothing despite an endless stream of mistakes and is not about to change course convincingly, so ignoring the harm just adds to the problem.
I do accept, however, that there is probably a grey area between types one and two, where certain elements of the protests are not supported but some are. I would never suggest everyone has to throw things on the pitch or use industrial language to ask Roland why he has a certain personality trait to prove their dedication to the cause. In the same way, I don't join in with the anti-Belgian songs as I don't see them as relevant, nor the Meire chant that references Naby Sarr, which is childish at best. Those forms of protests devalue the overwhelming clever and well-though-out initiatives put forward by CARD and many others (the Liar banner above the directors box was a fine example of hard-hitting protest action that will resonate deeply due to high exposure).
Ultimately, the grey area stops at the hopes going forward. I would class myself as a militant because my only desire is to see this Regime gone.
So in summary, apathy is harmful enough, but inertia is, in my humble opinion, as harmful as every one of Meire's gaffs and Roland's ill-judged decisions. It's hard for me to accept a fan can be against The Regime but is unwilling to voice their discontent.
But this is a personal view cobbled together quickly to fill time during a short train journey, so I welcome comments. I'm pretty sure I've divided my modest readership anyway on this...