Running CAFC to the budget

”Apparently in common with every other transfer window since the idiot Belgians arrived we are working hard to identify the new players who will bring success next season.  Well Karl we can tell you from bitter experience that it never happens. All of your predecessors said the same thing and got short changed. The promised players never quite arrive for a whole variety of reasons –.We always run out of time or money or both and are left woefully short”

That’s what I said in my blog last December as the January window opened. We are now 2 weeks away from the opening fixture and currently lack ( at minimum) a Goalkeeper and a Striker who is going to score some goals. You only need to compare our League One winning side strike force of Wright Phillips and Kermogant to the current strikers and you know that we are desperately short of firepower. Despite the club’s best efforts to ship out Sarr and Watt, they are still here and lets hope they can fulfil their promise but their continuing presence means that the problem is that Katrien has hit the budget for staff wages and so there is no further room.

Katrien undoubtedly runs the club to an agreed budget with Roland. Annual losses sit at around £6-7m so in order to keep the house vaguely in order a decent player gets sold – this year at some point, its likely to be Konsa for £3-4m.

The obvious problem with this strategy is that we are stuck in League One Groundhog Day – but Roland apparently isn’t that bothered about losing a couple of million a year or indeed whether we get promoted or not, but he doesn’t want to lose £5-7m. You can understand his position – but then why bother buying a football club ……………..and so it goes on and on. We seem to be stuck in this loop until he departs.

Finally – Well Done Charlton

After 3 years of driving customers away with stupid statements and half baked ideas , someone at Charlton has suddenly realised that they are important and the box of goodies which arrived with my season tickets today is an excellent innovation.

Well done to whoever came up with that idea- it is certainly a great shame that there will be fewer season tickets going out than ever since we moved back to The Valley 25 years ago , but hey these are steps in the right direction. There have been big improvements to the website and the newly launched Valley Pass which I have subscribed to. We kept Holmes and Da Silva has arrived, without getting carried away (not sure who is going to score the goals) there are grounds for some optimism.

If you are still boycotting , please reconsider and come again – its your club, not the clueless Belgians and we need you, your passion and support. They will be gone in the next 12 months or so and we can look back on them as a bad dream.

To quote a famous chef turned football Chairwoman ‘ Come on where are you , where are you – lets be aving you ‘


Katrien Meire is the abject failure at Charlton

The revelation that football is just a sideline for Roland in which he takes little interest should come as no surprise to any Charlton supporters

The biggest scandal at Charlton is that he has allowed Katrien Meire to systematically destroy the football club, whilst he just signs the cheques and allows her to stumble from one shocking decision and disaster to another. From the moment that she allowed Yann Kermogant to leave without telling the owner that his departure would be a disastrous outcome to the procession of under performing players on ridiculously long contracts that continues to render the club impotent in the transfer market , she has proved herself to be a serial incompetent.

Where I am slightly in disagreement with CARD is that to my mind the focus of the fan demonstrations should be against Ms Meire who is actually running the club rather than Roland who just signs the cheques. If he had been sensible and appointed a CEO who actually knew what a football looked like and had experience of running a business ( any business !!! ) we wouldn’t be in the position we currently face.

In any other normal business that haemorrhages customers at the rate of 40-50% a year, the CEO would have been fired or resigned. Ms Meire clearly has no honour and feels no shame about her abject performance otherwise she would have done the right thing by now and Roland could have hired a competent CEO.

Todays revelation that the club looked at redeveloping the car park typifies the rank stupidity of those running the club. At some point , the club will be sold – would you like to be the person who tells the new owners that there isn’t a big enough car park for a Premier League club because Katrien thought it would be a good idea to put 2  or 3 bedroom flats in the car park – you couldn’t make this stuff up. Even the expenditure on the surveyors report is yet another example of a shocking waste of money, when it’s obviously a stupid idea.

In order for Charlton Athletic to move forward in any meaningful way, the departure of Ms Meire and the appointment of an experienced and competent CEO in her place ought to be the principal objective of any continuing campaigns next season. Imagine for a moment where we would be today if Peter Varney had been the CEO for the past 4 years – very possibly where Huddersfield are now.



I love Charlton Athletic

What a lovely day, what great entertainment on and off the pitch. We played pretty well , scored 3 good goals and could have had 6 or 7. Swindon were woeful , but hey , who cares. The ballons, the protests, the ticker tape season tickets , the pitch invasion were all great.

There is a big temptation to give up my season tickets next year as many of my mates have and thousands of others have done, but I can’t and won’t be driven out by the ownership.

Im not going to criticise anyone who is boycotting but I honestly think it is the wrong choice. It is much more powerful to hear 10,000 people singing ‘ Get out of our Club’ and cheering when we score or play well than it is when people just don’t turn up.

Its not just me, if you listen or read the comments of Chris Powell or Steve Brown, they urge us to keep going and supporting the team. We will be rid of these incompetents eventually.

I’d rather have 20,000 people reminding Katrien that she is a compulsive liar and making her attendance a complete misery than 5,000 people because otherwise she has been successful in her mission to destroy the club.

I love Charlton Athletic football club , it represents my youth, my roots, it is part of what defines me. We need to keep fighting and we need to do it inside The Valley, not from afar.

It’s raining awards at Charlton

What great news we received this week at Charlton

We won ‘ The EFL get 3 kids in a car park and play badminton with a bloke in a Charlton Tracksuit ‘ award and to top it all we’ve been nominated for the ‘The Directors Choice award ‘ which is a nomination by the directors of all the other teams in the division as to the most welcoming hospitality they have received.

So let’s just understand how this works ? –  while the catering options in the ground for the club’s own fans are now either dire or non existent and the crossbars’ East Stand’ food stall now specialises in pies which have only had a minimal encounter with a heat source of some sort and the other food is disgusting and on many occasions it’s impossible to get a cup of tea after a game in mid winter- no worries because the visiting directors had a whale of a time. Let’s face it not only did they get great food and free drinks , but they also got to go home with 3 points too.

If it wasn’t so tragic it would be really funny

I guess it will all look good on Katrien’s cv when she finally does the decent thing.

Will Katrien Meire finally do the right thing ?

Surely Katrien will resign at the end of this season. I have been a Chief Executive and Chairman for the last 25 years in a variety of different businesses and industries and I cannot imagine any business scenario where the level of ineptitude and incompetence which she has exhibited at Charlton would not have resulted in resignation or more likely dismissal. This season has been yet another disaster and the CEO is ultimately responsible for that catastrophic failure.

Although CARD and other fan organisations are totally focussed on the  removal of Roland Duchatelet, to my mind, the CEO is and should be the public face of the club and Katrien has demonstrated on countless occasions that she cannot fulfill that role properly.

She has no respect or support from the club’s fans and they are the business’s customers.

How on earth can any leader continue in those circumstances.

Come on Katrien – it’s finally time to do the right thing


Only one Jason Pearce

What a difference it makes to have a warrior in central defence. There were some good performances all over the pitch today notably Da Silva and Byrne, but the real reason we have started to get results is Jason Pearce. He wins battles in the air, on the floor, he is aggressive all the time, he leads by example – he makes Patrick Bauer,in particular, try harder and he shows all the others that you have to win battles to win football matches- it’s a war.

We need 2 or 3 more leaders like Jason next year and we will challenge at the top rather than the bottom.

The other helpful thing is that Robinson seems to have finally realised that you need a solid structure rather than constantly fiddling around and putting players in wrong positions.

Today all the players looked like they understood where they were playing.