So Katrien want's a cosy chat with the CARD, eh? Well I'll admit I never saw that one coming. Duchatelet and Meire have chosen to ignore the growing discontent amongst Charlton's fan base for far too long and thankfully, and unsurprisingly, CARD have declined the meeting through the release of this statement, which ends with this blunt appraisal.
"CARD therefore endorses the view previously put forward by the supporters' trust that the situation is irretrievable under your management and under Roland Duchatelet's ownership. You had two years to talk and you declined to do so. Now it is time for you to go"
Bravo, CARD. Superbly put.
I've always felt that Meire's approach is not all about arrogance, but as much about that child-like approach of thinking that if you ignore a problem for long enough it will eventually go away. Perhaps, finally, Meire has realised that the dark clouds will not disperse on their own, although it's more likely her outsourced PR machine has failed in an attempt to save face with the protests about to resume. Every time she's created a PR disaster for herself or the club, or has made decisions that have proven to be undeniably wrong, I get the impression she hopes a few wins on the pitch will calm everyone down and we'll all move on. Regardless of whether she's managed to surround herself with a close circle of sycophants, even Katrien must begin to wonder if she's in the right job. Money aside, quite what she's getting out of it beggars belief.
I expect the club to now make public their disappointment that attempts to reach out to fans have been rebuffed and what a shame that is, blah, blah, blah. Don't worry, Target20k, I'm sure Meire still loves you...
I can't deny it, I'm struggling massively with Charlton at the moment. Of the three home games I've watched this season I've yet to be inspired by anything I've seen on the pitch and the falling attendances are beyond depressing. This is the lowest the club has been in terms of league position since I've been a regular supporter, and there are no signs it will improve.
Of the games I've attended, I felt absolutely no emotion whatsoever whenever we've scored or even when Johnnie missed that penalty. I'd hoped things might be different under Slade, but his cautious and unattractive style of football is a depressing appendage of Roland's dark and depressing regime. I get now why Slade has never seen promotion as a manager.
I've also come to realise that I cannot easily coexist with those fellow Addicks who want me to ignore the immense harm caused by Duchatelet and Meire and to simply 'back the boys' in a naïve belief that success on the pitch is even achievable, let alone would lift the gloom. I'm also growing quite resentful of those who actually think the protest action is the reason Charlton are shit. I'm a fair-minded man and I can understand, even if I don't agree, with those folk who just want to turn up and blindly watch the football, just as they've always done, clapping like seals, but I just can't do it anymore.
Because of that, I came away from the Rochdale defeat convinced I was done with Charlton until this regime has gone. In the space of 7 months (which, by coincidence, is around the time I last saw Charlton win) I've gone from a loyal season ticket holder of some 20 years, who's missed little more than a half dozen home games in that time, to a man more than capable of completely walking away.
But with CARD resuming their protest action, I now have an undeniable incentive to attend the Coventry game. I've got a ticket for the Lower West (coincidentally that's where I've been sitting this year anyway, now I have the freedom to choose a seat anywhere) and I will voice my discontent with everything I have.
What happens on the pitch is largely irrelevant to me now, sadly my only motivation is to fight for the future of my club in the slim hope I can get back to those days I miss so much, when winning felt wonderful and losing really hurt.