A Personal View from Albury
Open Letter to Charlton CEO Katrien Meire
Dear Ms Meire
I am writing this letter asking you to resign your position as Chief Executive of Charlton Athletic Football Club.
When you arrived as CEO, the club was struggling through lack of funds, but it had an excellent young committed manager in Chris Powell with a core of talented, experienced players and some exciting young talent emerging. It also had a passionate and committed fan base.
Since your arrival, we have sold or given away our best players, Yann Kermogant, Dale Stephens, Michael Morrison, Rhys Wiggins, Ben Hamer, Joe Gomez and Diego Poyet nearly all of whom now play for clubs either in the Premiership or in the upper reaches of the Championship.The players that have arrived to replace them ( on whom we have incredibly spent £9million pounds !!) have been largely foreign imports with no experience of Championship football or its physical demands and have mostly failed. Over this short period, you have also presided over the dismissal of 4 team managers and have either dismissed or lost a huge range of backroom staff, many of whom had many years service to the club, Alex Dyer, Ben Roberts, Damian Matthew, Nathan Jones, Phil Chapple, Paul Hart, to name a few.
The fan base is withering before your eyes with continuing and rapid crowd decline – these are your paying customers, these are the business stakeholders who are voting with their feet. It might interest you to know that of the 11 season ticket holders who sit with me, only 1 turned up for the Sheffield Wednesday game. Obviously, the results are paramount in football and much of the disenchantment stems from that. However, club loyalty is tribal and belonging is essential and you have managed to alienate the supporter base and greatly weaken the sense of belonging through lack of sensible communication and poor decision making. The embarrassing ‘score on the pitch’ video was a particular example of poor judgement, which reflected badly on the club and your leadership.
Under any measure of organisational performance, I do not think it would be possible for you to argue that the club is successful.Having worked for many years in a series of Chief Executive positions, it has always been my understanding that the buck stops with the Chief Executive for the failure of an organisation. Furthermore, football is a particularly precarious profession to earn your living as your own swift response to failing managers clearly demonstrates.
I am sure that you have worked hard to achieve success and that your intentions are genuine but sometimes it just doesn’t work out and on this occasion you have palpably failed
The honourable and appropriate action for you to take therefore is to resign your position immediately and for the club to seek an experienced and competent replacement who has sufficient gravitas and determination to deal with the club’s absentee owner and re-establish a productive dialogue with all Charlton supporters.