Monday 28 November 2016

Another (not so) fresh start

Karl Robinson's tenure will be the eighth of the Duchatelet era. We are currently the most dangerous place to manage in England with seven managers departing since the start of the 2012 season in a report done by the BBC. What makes that stat even more remarkable is that the first of those wasn't until March 2014.

Katrien Meire was once again undermined with the sacking of Slade, having backed the latest manager to depart just a couple of weeks beforehand on TalkSport. It already was, but her position becomes untenable for any football club other than our one.

I wish Robinson the best of luck because I am a Charlton fan and I want us to succeed. For a sweet few minutes after the equaliser I briefly forgot about the whole sorry affair. If he comes in and turns the club's fortunes around then it will be fantastic for everyone. However with the dysfunctional way in which the club is run, I do not see a way in which any manager could do well.

Roland continues to meddle in team affairs and still has his finger firmly poised over the red button. Driesen continues to be a scout. Meire continues to be our chief executive. Yet another person is in the firing line that is the Charlton dugout. In fact, nothing has changed other than O'Loughlin being taken on to the coaching team. What makes him viable as a candidate for such a role is anyone's guess.

With that set up the club is, in my opinion, doomed to failure. My view doesn't change, we need a fresh regime in order to take the club forward. Granted Robinson may come in and win a few games but so did Peeters, so did Riga, so did Luzon. Look how that went.

Protest fatigue has certainly set in, I accept that. That said, I don't believe we should just surrender and let them win. The mismanagement and demise we have seen over the past three years is extraordinary and it should not be forgotten. There has been nothing to suggest a change in the way the club is run, we must carry on.

A change of approach is needed in our fight too, because unity was one of our main weapons and we must fully recapture that.

I just wish he would sell so that we could forget about all of this and just get on with the football. I am so bored of all this.

Monday 17 October 2016

We must continue to Peppa the Regime...

The media fallout from the events on Saturday can leave no doubt that they were a resounding success. With press exposure worth in the region of £3-4 million and the fact that we were the main story in the sports section of "moments" on twitter,  we can be content with the reaction - our message is spreading.

Despite the day being a success and going to plan, there is no back patting. These days are neither enjoyable nor fun. The fact that I am actively campaigning against the club that I am supposed to love is an extremely strange feeling. I have to remind myself that actually I am not campaigning against the club but instead for it - for the future of it. The people put in place to protect the club are not doing an adequate job and it is up to us to do what we can to remove them from their positions.

The "pigs might fly" narrative is an important one. The running of the club since January 2014 has led from disaster to disaster - there is no way we can believe that they have "learned from their mistakes". We have to look at the evidence of the past 33 months and realise that the only future needed for Charlton to be successful again is one without this regime.

It only takes one to look at the continued appointment of Katrien Meire, whose PR gaffes continue, to realise that Duchatelet does not have the best interests of the club at heart. Her latest error is from the pre-match meeting with Bromley Addicks, who are said not to have given her an easy ride. When questioned about the sale of Diarra she reportedly responded by questioning his fitness and by saying that "he wasn't playing"; Alou Diarra scored that day against PSG...

Onto the protest itself, beginning with the march. Coventry fans can be proud of their contribution in a real act of defiance against those that are meant to govern our game - they really brought home the bacon (sorry). The camaraderie between two sets of fans that are supposed to be rivals for the day, in a battle for three points, show that the spirit of football clubs go far beyond what happens for 90 minutes. The match was interrupted again and Meire was said to be furious, asserting that this cannot continue - so expect more stringent measures from the club in regards to these protests. It's pleasing to be able to put the pressure on her in this way.

One of the most poignant moments to signify this fan unity (disregarding the march, of course) was during the second half. Coventry fans started a chant of "We want Roland out" which kick started a rousing edition of the chant by the home fans. Then, about a minute later the Valley faithful started their own chant - "We want Sisu out". It was a fabulous snippet that completely captured the spirit of the day.

Unsavoury scenes followed the final whistle. A fan was reportedly "thrown against a wall" by club hired security staff, who were not showing ID, for simply having a North Korea flag. This could not have caused a more marked contrast in PR terms for the club, in comparison to that of the fans, even if they had tried. The club face a backlash from the incident - they look like a club that attacks its own fans and the irony of the fact that the fan was carrying a North Korea flag when this happened cannot be lost on anyone. 

The "them and us" attitude that the day highlighted is deeply upsetting. You can be left in no doubt of the incompetence of those running the club when this level of discontent is shown at a club such as ours, where fan co-operation and assistance used to be such an integral part of the way it was run. I can't wait for this to be over. There is going to be one hell of a party when it is...

Wednesday 12 October 2016

We're on the march again

Saturday sees Charlton welcome Coventry City to The Valley in a fixture that, for many, sees off pitch events take precedence over those on it. In keeping with the general mood of the fans CARD committed to no major protests/game disruptions at The Valley for the start of the season. That period is over. CARD's position changes from now. The 2% are very much alive and kicking.

The situation has become somewhat clearer to the majority of The Valley faithful. The squad is still grossly imbalanced and severely lacking in central midfield while we have seemingly made another poor appointment to lead the team. The problems go much further than Russell Slade but his staggeringly negative tactics are not doing much to improve the restless natives in SE7.

This is compounded by the release of the events pertaining to twenty-something network scout Thomas Driesen. It is utterly inconceivable to believe there has been a fundamental change of approach in the running of the football club while this man is still involved.

It is not only Thomas Driesen who is the embodiment of the failures of Roland Duchatelet's regime. Much-maligned CEO Katrien Meire continues to make errors which, as a fan base, is something we are very much accustomed to. The latest of these errors involves the blatant PR move whereby the club invited CARD for a meeting only to send that information straight to the press. Katrien sent the email to three addresses but one was not recognisable to CARD and was actually sent to a completely random "Joe Read". I'm sure he was rather surprised, although probably not as surprised as I would have been if it had actually found its way into my inbox like it was supposed to!

Moving onto the forthcoming game and CARD have called upon boycotters to return to The Valley to protest on Saturday and I feel that it is a point to be stressed. We need to show the strength of feeling and we need to show that we have not gone away, so please return - there will be plenty of things to do!

There will be a march from the ground at 2:15pm (fans have been asked to meet at the Liberal Club at 2pm) and it is with pleasure that we will have Coventry City fans joining us in an attempt to show that fans can fight  together against incompetent ownership.

This is not the first time that opposition supporters have joined us in their support for Charlton fans. Brighton and Hove Albion fans played a fantastic part in the last march to the ground and Burnley fans even halted their title celebrations on the pitch at The Valley to join in with the chants of "We Want Roland Out".

Coventry City fans are fighting their own battles. A disastrous nine years under their current owners leave Coventry sat at the foot of league one, I'm sure every Charlton fan wishes their counterparts on Saturday the very best in their bid to rid their club of SISU.

I believe that CARD was more than reasonable at the start of the season with regards to the lack of big protests. There was a general wish from the fan base to see how the season would start. However, it is now glaringly obvious; nothing has changed. The fight must go on.

CARD's latest video in the build up to the protest on Saturday can be found here: