After a month long search, Katrien Meire has finally found someone
desperate keen enough to take the undeniable risk of leading Charlton Athletic. British and very experienced, particularly in the lower leagues, Russell Slade has put pen to paper on a three year deal at the Valley, and get's the title of 'manager' for the first time under Duchatelet's ownership.
A hint to a change in direction from Roland? I won't be holding my breath...
The appointment was deemed important enough for Meire to offer her words of wisdom, saying "We don’t underestimate the challenge of getting Charlton back into the Championship. We believe Russell is the man to help us achieve this and, with the help of everyone involved in the club, ensure that Charlton have a successful 2016/17 campaign". Quite what her idea of 'successful' constitutes is unknown at this point, but remember, this is the lady who said at the most recent fans forum meeting that she doesn't "want to build up expectations" in League One!
Katrien has failed in understanding 'the challenge' consistently, refusing to accept good advice over Roland's stubborn vision of football, so forgive me if I continue with the thinking that this club will be considerably better off without her.
I'm not going to waste my time analysing the chances Slade has in succeeding where everyone else has failed under Duchatelet, not least of all as I'm going to try very, very hard and see this as positive worth getting behind. From what I know of him, I like Russell Slade. I have a Leyton Orient friend who worships him like we do Sir Chris. It's undeniable that Slade's experience means he's a good fit for Charlton in our current position, and you'd have to assume he's negotiated the level of control you need as an absolute minimum, otherwise his appointment will be over with pretty quickly.
Actions will speak louder than words, so let's also see what Slade has been able to negotiate in terms of keeping the better players at the club and supplementing with new, hungry talent. I found it interesting that Slade made reference to the "passionate fans" in his statement. I wonder if he is fully aware at how pissed off the overwhelming majority of those fans are with his new employers?
Good luck Russell, you're going to need every single ounce of it going forward. My priority is to see Duchatelet go, but you will have my full backing from the outset.