Friday 30 October 2015

The Great Discontent...

So, according to this piece on the club's official website, "the club’s hierarchy are fully aware of supporters’ discontent" and will meet with fans. The meeting cannot come around soon enough. That discontent has been brewing for 18 months or more, and certainly since we knew in our hearts Chris Powell was a dead man walking. In that time there has been no credible attempt from the club's hierarchy to appease the concern with action, and for too long they have hidden away, relying on the odd decent result every now and again to pour a thimble-full of water on the raging flames.  
Cynics will question whether this is a shallow attempt to ease or even halt the impact of any planned mass protests in the short term, particularly with a televised home game coming up, but whilst I will be keeping my powder dry for now, I will give Meire and Murray the benefit of the doubt. And so should everyone else: I mean, why wouldn't we all hope some good comes out of this?
Perhaps the greatest frustration of all is knowing that if Mr. Duchatelet recognised and learnt from his obvious mistakes he could actually be closer to success than he is in trying to create an illogical model for the mundane at best.  
In case you missed it, Joe Hall, the man behind Valley Talk wrote this exceptional article that was printed yesterday in CityAM. Every single word resonates deeply with the vast majority of Addicks. I would love someone to stand up in front of Katrien Meire and Richard Murray and read it word for word and demand a response. I just hope that whomever is fortunate enough to address the pair can articulate themselves with the same depth of feeling as Joe did.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Deluded and Devious V's The Diluted?

You know what? I don't think Katrien Meire is as stupid or na├»ve as her actions would suggest. I think she has us, the Charlton supporters, well and truly sussed out. And if I'm right, I think her battle plan to ride this storm out is actually pretty devious clever.
I noticed a comment from a well respected former Charlton media employee in which he suggested KM is "very switched on when it comes to fans forums and social media". He went on to say "she'll know how unhappy fans are for sure". Of course, we all know that she is making absolutely no attempts whatsoever to appease our fears, so I'm left with the fair assumption she doesn't give a toss about us.

And that got me thinking...
I said myself via Twitter on Sunday evening that any fan protest against Mr. Duchatelet's bizarre, disrespectful and illogical running of our club needs to be very well coordinated or the effect of a number of smaller factions will be heavily diluted and the results easily dismissed. Within a few hours of Luzon's sacking a number of anti-Duchatelet Twitter accounts had opened up to 'compliment' those already out there, and with all due respect to the those behind the accounts and their worthy intentions, most barely get past double figures in followers.

Hardly readying the foot soldiers for action: something I honestly think KM is well aware of.

And yet, if you combined them all together, and had a single 'leader' directing the 'troops', then the effect is quite different. I think she knows that as well. In every respect, the vastness of social media is actually working on her side.

Again, on Sunday evening numerous suggestions for peaceful demonstrations appeared on social media, ranging from boycotting games to banners and focused chanting at certain times. All valid, but without coordination they will pass the majority by and have little or no impact.

We already know that KM has little regard or respect for the Charlton Athletic Supporters' Trust as she has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of willingness to talk to them. I think she knows the 'younger fan' will not take guidance and leadership from the Trust, and unfortunately I think she might be right there.

So who else is there?

So in my view, the 'call to arms' that appears universally supported, is in great danger of diluting itself down to little effect.

La Union Fait La Force! Unity Makes Strength! We just need a credible and well-respected 'Che Guevara' to step forward. Wouldn't it be nice if she has underestimated us?

Monday 26 October 2015

Waiting For The Punchline...

I doubt you've noticed, but this blog has fallen by the wayside lately. I've always believed blogs have a finite lifespan and I felt mine had reached the end of the road. I seriously lack the time, and, I'll be honest, the motivation to write anything Charlton related and as such I felt I'd run out of things to say (*insert obvious joke).
For the past 8 months or so I've forcefully tried to switch off from Charlton and concentrate on other things, many of which should have been my greater priority all along. I've still attended all home games, holiday aside, but it just doesn't feel the same. Not even close. I'm doing it purely out of habit; a 22 year habit. I can't remember the last time I actually looked forward to a game. Why the apathy? Well that's simple. Roland Duchatelet.
Ignoring the sacking of Sir Chris, Riga and Big Bob at this point, I was completely against the appointment of Luzon. At the time I wrote this which contained the line "I can't even bring myself to welcome Guy Luzon. I don't want him at my club". Now he's gone I actually feel sorry for him. Another victim of a crazy macabre experiment gone wrong. It was never going to work, Guy, but I genuinely admired your passion and the way you carried yourself and I wish I'd shown you more respect. It wasn't your fault, I know that.
Once again, in sacking Luzon and putting another flunkey Karel Fraeye in charge, Charlton's owner has shown a total lack of respect for our club, it's proud history and most of all, us, the fans. Once again he has treated us like mugs. For me, this latest episode is the final straw... 
I am not fooled and nor is anyone else. Interim Head Coach, my arse! Who gives up a job to take a temporary one? But I have nothing at all against Karel Fraeye and unlike Luzon he will get my full support from the outset. He is not the problem here, but more of an embarrassing answer to a very difficult question. There cannot be a single argument that can justify the appointment of a man without any credentials or experience in managing a club of Charlton's size and in such a competitive league. Place Fraeye's CV alongside the long list of established, experienced, available and UK-based alternatives and he shouldn't even warrant more than a cursory glance.   
If we are to believe there will be a process to find a replacement, why not ask Jason Euell or Sir Keith of all Peacocks to look after thing? Perhaps both. At least the fans would back them 100%.   
This is all so unfathomably bizarre, so ridiculously deranged. It makes such little sense it feels like a terribly sick joke where, when the punchline is delivered, it attracts nothing more than a deep groan from the irritated audience. I can only imagine what sort of conversations Mr. Duchatelet has with the hapless Meire, but how on earth can a man be so detached from the majority view (including any observers outside of our club), and why can nobody make him see sense?
That last point again...why can nobody make him see sense? What exactly is Mr. Murray's role these days. How can any of this make sense to him?
My view on this is that Mr. Duchatelet simply doesn't have the skill set in place to carry out a thorough process to appoint the right head coach, and rather address that embarrassing failing in his 'model' he takes the easy route to appoint people he knows and then turns off his phone. It's a little like asking a kid to pick his team in the playground and realising he's just chosen his mates and left the team with no credible balance.    
So why write this? I certainly don't want to add to the doom and gloom to which I've been trying to escape in the last 8 months. Well, in short, in a text exchange with Marco from Charlton Casualty yesterday evening he suggested it "might be worth cranking up the blog again to publicise things". He's right. If I can help spread the word of any coordinated fan protests or demonstrations to even a small number of fans who might otherwise not hear about it, then it will be worth my time and effort.
This is my club, our club. I will be here long after Mr. Duchatelet has blamed someone else for it all failing and moved on to his next bizarre experiment. Let's stick together. Unity in numbers.