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.

Aussie deal bad for our football club

I love Aussies and my experience of them in business is great . They are generally straightforward and intelligent with loads of common sense and lets face it, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue could have managed Charlton more intelligently than clueless Katrien and Relegation Roland.

However, this deal does not look good for our club. People will tell me we should not judge and wait for further details and they may be correct , but if you need further evidence of the speculative and alarming nature of this whole deal, go and have a look at this http://www.australianfc.com.au/

which is the website where they are seeking investors to raise £33m . I quote from their fundraising document

”Attractive returns on investment are expected to result from promotion to the Premier League where the earnings profile of clubs increases dramatically as a result of lucrative media rights arrangements. Upon achieving Australian Football Consortium Ltd’s vision of promoting the Club to the Premier League, all investors will share in the value created. It is envisaged that liquidity will be provided through an IPO at that stage”

So , first of all , they haven’t even raised the funds to do the deal yet and lets face it , if they think £33m is going to get us to the Premier League, they are likely to be sorely disappointed. Football clubs are not really ‘investable’ unless you are unbelievably lucky or have very deep pockets indeed. For these Aussie ‘investors’ the closest parallel would be betting on a 25-1 horse in the Grand National.

Finally , their suggestion to investors that they will get their money back plus profit through an IPO is frankly laughable. Manchester United is the only English football league club that is listed on a public exchange and that’s in New York.  I think Celtic are listed on the smaller AIM market and Charlton tried this route years ago with total lack of liquidity.

To make the potential for disaster higher and to reduce their deal cost, Roland gets to keep The Valley and charge them rent , thereby splitting the club from its home – just like we had before when Michael Glikstein drove us from The Valley last time.

We are in very dangerous waters indeed now, because this looks like a bad deal and we are approaching the time when the club needs a complete refresh on the playing staff- which presumably Roland won’t fund whilst this deal is in the offing. I wondered if there was more to Karl Robinson’s comment in the press conference the other day when ,amazingly, he said that everyone on the playing staff was re-contracted for next season – sounds like a fall back position for new owners but without lots of fresh legs its also likely to signal another long miserable season next year.

Finally, on the day that details of the bid emerge is the day that the club spokesperson confirms that the club is not for sale. Any other professional organisation would have kept quiet, but not the incompetents at Charlton. Karl Robinson will be waking up this morning – having recently received assurances that the club is not for sale realising that he has just been welcomed to our world.

 

Head of Culture and Inspiration needed at Charlton

I met with an excellent business last week ( not a big corporate like a google or Facebook ) who employed one of these. Being from an older generation, I am generally very negative about this sort of mumbo jumbo in businesses, but the guy was making a huge and obvious contribution to their relatively small business.

I then did the Upbeats walk on Saturday morning , surrounded by Charlton fans of all ages who literally were prepared to go the extra mile or nine for the club community. We also had the very dignified and heartfelt tribute to PC Keith Palmer on Tuesday .

It struck me that there is still a huge untapped potential amongst the supporter base who view the club as their ‘roots’ , a symbol of community , family and belonging. You only have to look at the incredible array of creative and organisational talent that has been utilised by the CARD campaign to realise what the club are missing out on.

We all know that Roland and Katrien are completely clueless and have no idea how to run a football club or how to tap into this latent energy and goodwill.

However , I really hope that our new owners appoint someone with a specific brief to rebuild the club with a unique and inspirational culture of which we can all be immensely proud.

Its a great opportunity for someone and what a fabulous job that would be ?

 

Here is my mate Jerry and his Jack Russell Gaddafi before our walk yesterday.

Jerry & Gaddafi

Charlton play like a pub team

Another home game , another shockingly awful performance. Admittedly, we have the poorest playing squad I have ever seen in 50 years at The Valley ( and I’ve said that all season) , but Karl seems to have welded the worst set of players we have ever had to completely unfathomable tactics and structure to create an unstoppable disaster.

Robinson’s motivational talk to the players implying that none of them will be here next season – whilst entirely accurate- seems to have the ( not entirely surprising) affect of turning them all off. The one exception appears to be Ricky Holmes who spiritedly and regularly tries to beat all 11 opposition players before the 4th or 5th dispossess him.

We have gone from a depressing defensive minded structure under Slade to an (even more) useless, depressing and completely open diamond/wing back structure under Robinson.

Going to games has become unbearably miserable , its definitely not fun on any level. In the East Stand where I sit, fans who have been going for years clash and argue in front of their children and grandchildren – it makes you want to cry when you realise what a complete shambles the club has become.