The past couple of months have certainly been different both for our society as a whole and also our club. Though one would be tempted to argue that for our club events have not been that unusual given our history over the last 40 years or so.
Charlton are never far from a crisis and thus, to an extent perhaps, we oughtn’t to be that surprised by the latest happenings in S.E.7.
It seems that for us, bad owners / chairmen are like buses but even they are red at heart!
Naturally, we hold our time in the Premiership in close affection for what was achieved, enthralling matches, winning against the odds, players that made you proud etc.
More than anything now though we reflect on those days when the only remarkable things were happening on the pitch.
The chairman ( then at least ) was good and saw eye to eye with the management team which was supported. He genuinely cared and wanted the best for the club.
Sadly, it all unravelled like a house of cards following Dowie and relegation and it’s something we’ve never recovered from.
A succession of ever changing and largely hopeless managers barring a couple of notable exceptions certainly hasn’t helped. Owners who hold no real affection or concern for the club and its fans have done untold damage.
It’s been a steady decline punctuated by more than one false dawn. As someone once said “ it’s the hope that kills you ! “.
I guess we should have expected that when Duchatalet was replaced by a seemingly rich benefactor from the Middle East accompanied by a chairman who made all the right noises, it was going to be too good to be true!
Thus it came to pass. Southall has been exposed for what he really is and the odious and deceitful character has apparently left the club. Sadly, like a tenacious bogey, it’s not so easy to part ways.
Southall still has some investment in the club although thankfully, His Excellency’s share, means that he doesn’t hold the overall say and decision making.
Last week’s events were astonishing, even by Charlton standards. It all led to an amazing crescendo on Thursday with some staggering scenes that saw Southall lash out like a cornered animal.
He attempted to fire more people than Lord Sugar! Thankfully, Louis Mendez was on hand to capture our erstwhile chairman as he disappeared into the South London night in his luxury car.
Leaving without comment, Southall demonstrated that his lovely motor might loosen lingerie but certainly not his tongue! For once he had nothing to say.
One hopes we’ve seen the last of him at The Valley or even the training ground.
It’s not ideal but we now pin all our hopes in Nimer with the dream that he has sufficient money with a willingness to invest in order to make our club at the very least sustainable.
The only people that emerge from this sorry saga with any credit are, as ever, the club’s loyal and long suffering staff. Most notably the suspended Chris Parkes, the sacked gang of three and the management team who never let on about the transfer embargo and took the flak for the poor transfer window.
The EFL has again proved to be flawed organisation that really shouldn’t be trusted with safeguarding football’s club, players and fans. How on earth it thought it acceptable to impose a transfer ban and not make that public is beyond belief.
That is aside, of course, from how they apparently sanctioned a takeover telling us all was ok following the usual tests only for that clearly not to be the case!
They along with the Premier League and the F.A. are now entrusted with making decisions regarding this season and future of the domestic game going forward. God help us!
Clearly no football will be played on 4th April or any time close to that. The suggestion to play games behind closed doors is as ludicrous as those organisations!
Players may be fit and virus-free, although that’s unlikely, but more than players are needed! No regard for the officials, physios, stadium staff etc.
Extending the season when players are out of contract really isn’t an option either.
On that basis it seems a non-starter. This week they should decide that all things considered to write-off this season. It’s the only sensible option and I don’t only say that as a fan of a club in a relegation spot.
To promote or relegate any team without the completion of all fixtures just isn’t practical and would open up a whole raft of legal action.
We can but hope that sensible decisions are made for our club and that all the events on a national and local level are sorted we can go back to supporting our club as we would hope!