Friday, 14 October 2016

Lipstick On A Pig

Appropriately, as protests return to S.E.7 we play Coventry, a place most Addicks would happily send the owner and his crew. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely and in any case, Coventry would already appear to quorate in respect of bad owners.

A number of Coventry fans, as repulsed as the majority of Addicks by poor ownership, will be joining in the pre-match protests. This will probably extend to the same during the game. Protests from all four corners of the ground. Sadly, nothing new in that in recent times.

When Duchatelet recently announced that CAFC represents only 1.5% of his investments / time, you have to wonder why he steadfastly refuses to engage in any way regarding a potential sale. This is especially weird when the club must be haemorrhaging money at an ever increasing rate.

One could also ponder on why Katrien stays whilst overseeing our disastrous decline never once accepting any personal responsibility. However, let’s face it she’ll never  have another job that offer such good pay and high public profile as she does now.

This is as good as it gets for Miss Meire and whatever she does after this, unless still in Roly’s pay, she most certainly won’t be working in football.

Despite all the nonsense that has gone on for nearly three years now they still try and have you believe they mean well and that lessons have been learned.

This week has seen another application of lipstick on the pig. Wallpaper featuring great moments and stats from Charlton’s history has gone up in the tunnel area. All well and good but you really are literally papering over the cracks however you want to spin it.

What am I meant to feel about that ? Does the regime seriously expect me to touch a forelock and bow and scrape as I self-consciously slip away in awe of the magnitude of such a gesture ?

Of course they do and so I should as the least I can do after all this is what connecting with the fans customers is all about isn’t it ?

Never mind that I hear the Duchatelet apologists cry, what about the investment in Sparrows Lane and the latest phase of development announced yesterday ?

Under proper stewardship and with club heading in the right direction it would be great news. However, what is the point of a wonderful academy with great facilities if you’re slipping down the leagues.

Status is everything and any decent player is going to join a club at a higher level, no matter how much poorer the facilities. In any case, at some point, basic economics dictates that it becomes unsustainable

Over the years via various owners there has been investment in the ground and we now have magnificent stadium. However, it means diddly squat if what is served up for 90 minutes on the pitch is such utter dross that it only serves to depress you failing to inspire and excite you in any way. That’s where it’s going now as we find that we apparently are unable to compete at the lowest level we have found ourselves in living memory.

Back in the day you had an atmosphere, players you could relate to like Killer, Flash, Powell etc.  In more recent times it was Kinsella, Kiely, Mendonca etc.

It was what happened on the pitch that most mattered most and it was a real experience.  On a good day Charlton played well, maybe even won and the tea hut would avoid being razed to the ground !

In terms of refreshments you might see the occasional peanut seller. In order to get your half time scores you needed to borrow an Enigma machine to work them out !

It’s simple really, half decent football from players who care and a club to be proud of maybe watching with family and / or friends. That’s pretty much my ideal match day experience in a nutshell.

Even at its most dilapidated best just prior to the sojourn in Croydon The Valley had an appeal, a sense of belonging and a raw atmosphere that’s hard to match. You can’t buy that and it’s sadly missing at present.

Coming back home in 1992 and the appeal remained as the phoenix rose from the flames. Was it the same ? No, not exactly but regeneration and success on the pitch brought a new and exciting atmosphere albeit lacking the rawness of days of old.

League-wise we’ve been up, down, up, down, down, up and down again. No problem with that as it’s the roller coaster we’ve come to expect and associate with The Addicks. However, in the words of Status Quo “ we’re down, down, deeper and down “. Like a newly graduated limbo dancer, we’ve never been so low !

Are these the ramblings of a soppy old sod looking through rose-tinted glasses ? Too bl**dy right they are ! I make no apologies for that.

This soppy old sod just wants to feel proud of his club again. To be able to look forward to enjoying the unique atmosphere of The Valley again. To feel a sense of belonging again. To actually enjoy watching a game and see us play well !

Come On You Reds !


  1. A well written piece, by someone who has Charlton Athletic in their heart.

    I understand the right to protest, but maybe you can answer my two questions, that to quote you, seem to be papered over.

    As you say, Mr D seems to have no intention to sell. IF the protests disrupt a match, and IF the FA is investigating, and IF they see fit to deduct points, which could lead to relegation, will the disruptive protests continue?

    Secondly, Miss M, has, I'm sure she knows, made mistakes. But is that an excuse for the filth and abuse aimed at her? How would you feel if that were your mother, wife, sister or girlfriend?

    The protests are well organised. A little give and take on both sides, meet up discuss, make Charlton Athletic great again.

  2. Anon, thanks for your comment. Firstly, there's no excuse for filth or abuse. There is enough to criticise Miss Meire for without resorting to that and it only serves to weaken the argument. There is irreparable damage to her relationship with the fans and given what has happened under her watch she really ought to resign.
    As for protests there have been some inside and out. Both have been effective to varying degrees and serve to highlight our plight. I'm not really one for any that would disrupt a game and lead to any fine or points deduction. I'm not sure anyone is advocating that at present. However, points deduction or not we seem to heading one way in any case and so they are probably a necessary evil much as no one wants to see the club suffer.

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  4. people like a2c are as much a part of the problem as our incompetent owners. He'll obviously be happy watching Charlton in Div 2, whereas genuine fans want to do something about the problem. There needs to be a full boycott now, otherwise the Rat is never going to sell up.

  5. I would like to see new owners with vast fortunes with Charlton at the forefront of their interest, and a Ceo that at least knows something about football. I look at Newcastle and see an owner that the fans have tried to lose for years, unsuccessfully. I fully respect the right of Cafc fans to march chant object and demonstrate against a regime they dispise, however I don't ever support the interruption of games during play this has to be sacred otherwise how can we be football fans. That for me is as likely to stop me wanting to attend as much as the Duchmeister's master plan, this is my opinion and after over forty years of a lot of football lows with only a few days in the sun I'm bloody entitled to it.

    1. Si, as you point out he may not be encouraged to sell as the result of any protest but I think doing nothing is no longer an option. Folk are rightly angry at the current mess. Fan power does sometimes work our own history shows that.

  6. I agree but don't affect the actual match

  7. The protests, in my opinion, while directed at the incompetent CEO and the absent owner are really only useful in the fact that they keep our story in the media.
    The press and supporters of other clubs have mostly been very supportive of our situation.
    Without the high profile protests, it's unlikely the wider football public, who really only read about the Premier league, would be aware of what's happening in SE7.
    One extra thing.
    Yes we have an extremely rich owner who likes to spread it about that he has 'invested' millions of £ in CAFC.
    Never forget it is all in the form of LOANS, - he's expecting it all back with a profit.
    This simple fact means the price a new owner would have to pay to buy out RD is going up on a daily basis.

    1. Very true Marco. To a degree he could be shooting himself in the foot as he may not get that back if we continue our downward spiral. That alone would make you think he might make better decisions but everything points to the contrary.

  8. Maybe CAFC is Roland's tax loss company to offset against his other profits?