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Katrien’s charm offensive

An international break to relax before our thoughts turn to Millwall on Good Friday. Addicks’ fans have only been allocated the top tier, which was quickly sold out, but the game will be beamed back to The Valley. I will be in the far more scenic and hospitable setting of Florida Easter weekend and will have to rely on mobile updates.

During this break Guy Luzon has returned to Belgium (not for good, hopefully) whilst Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Tal Ben Haim and Simon Church, who face each other, are away on international duty.

Back at home Katrien Meire is making the most of the upturn in fortunes by getting out in front of the press. I can’t blame her, I am always looking for my boss when I’ve had a good result.

The Evening Standard, who I expect had to Google where Charlton was, are the latest platform for Katrien to tell us how much she is enjoying herself despite “the frightening abuse.”

Yesterday was Sky Sports, where we see her sing along to Charlton songs and question why Luzon has picked a certain player. Yes, I know I’ve used a little bit of artistic license here. More eye-opening is that we see that Guy actually has a seat and doesn’t crouch at his desk.

Katrien being a 30-year old female English football CEO will always be a story, although by all accounts other club’s chairman were unaware. The Standard article still rakes over the Chris Powell story, probably unaware that we have had two other head coaches since. The ‘Watford train story’ also makes good copy, albeit it was over two months ago, hardly investigative journalism. I am more interested in looking forward now than going over old ground.

It is obvious that, selected fan meetings aside, Katrien Meire is not going to engage with the Trust, which I find irksome but she has I think cleverly turned it around portraying the Trust in the role of aggressor and abusing any olive branch there may have been. That bloke on train back from Watford didn’t help matters, because from what I could see, it was only one bloke, but it was unnecessary and allows Katrien to portray us as antagonistic. When all most fans have wanted is to be engaged.

I am happy for her to be the CEO and have never belittled her or called for her to leave, in fact I actually admire her, but for me the challenges lie ahead. It is now hard to blame anyone else for failings, and there will be more, because that is football, otherwise on the current trend we’ll be Champions League winners in 3 years time.

Call me old fashioned but I would still like to understand what the summer plans are on contracts and investment beyond valuable and important infrastructure improvements, such as the training ground. I am happy that mistakes have been accepted, but will they be learned upon. Christophe Lepoint sat on a two and half year contract tells me that it is network first, Charlton second and although I am loving Tony Watt, his signing was hardly down to insightful scouting and negotiation.

I am very much enjoying not having to worry about these last 7 games and I am very much enjoying Guy Luzon’s influence on my football team. After the Bournemouth game I want to see stability aligned with improvement. Those plans shared or not, should be on the drawing board now.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. confidentialrick #

    The woman’s got balls.. Right now things are going in the right direction so let’s sit back and enjoy the ride…it doesn’t happen that often at CAFC..

    March 25, 2015
  2. Phil Reddy #

    Yes I have to agree as well. She does have them!!

    End of season mid table mediocrity must be a first for Charlton and Ive been going there 50 years:)


    March 26, 2015
  3. LP #

    Hmmmm. Really boys? Funny how you men see it differently – a pretty face got something to do with that? And Phil, if you haven’t seen us finish mid-table in 50 years you must have a funny idea of what mid-table is. Have I missed something? Is she playing left back and I haven’t realised? You boys have missed the fact that she is a lawyer – of course she’s not a soft touch. And she is earning a shed-load of money. Loving the games but really don’t want any of the other crap that is going on, and am absolutely not buying into this PR exercise. If she ever gets round to answering my letter from last year I’ll be impressed.

    March 30, 2015
  4. Kap #

    Two issues came out of the Trust meeting … Lack of communication and poor recruitment. If we take the second issue first, recruitment subsequently has been spot on but sadly too late for a run at anything over mid table mediocrity, the real test of recruitment will be who is signed, who is retained and who is extended by August.

    On the 1st point she has communicated in abundance and has answered a lot of the questions about direction in the VIP and fans forum meetings she has attended. I spoke to a member of G21 and he was impressed with the plans for the club.

    As for the Trust, I am a member, but I do feel they need to re evaluate their strategy, having antagonised the owner and CEO, if they want to have serious dialogue then maybe they need a less confrontational approach and as the CEO has suggested work as part of a group of supporters representatives and build up the Clubs confidence with them and then a natural engagement will take place. Let’s also not forget that Trust board members regularly talk to Richard Murray and also have had an hour and a half meeting with the CEO and are on the Fans Forum – which the CEO has said that she would listen to suggestions for changes to its remit.

    March 31, 2015
    • Kap – agree with your comments on recruitment, although the signing of LePoint on a 2.5 year contract points to the fact that Duchatelet is still insisting on players signed as some kind of storage facility for another day.

      Remember also that PP, Reza and the Nego are still under the auspices of the club.

      Agree however that Johnson, Eagles and Diarra have all bettered the squad with their experience of playing to previous higher levels. They all have contracts that run until June, and as you say let’s see what happens then. That is the key for me too.

      Re communication, belatedly Katrien has talked to the press, guided I am sure by the PR folk at the club. However she lives in cuckoo land if she thinks there will ever be a bigger representation of Charlton fans than the Trust. Yes they got things wrong but so has the club. Now is the time for unity and between them they need to use Luzon’s fantastic run to reach across the isle.

      March 31, 2015
      • Agreed CA that both sides have got it wrong, but the club “have the club” and if there is to be any conciliation then the Trust in my opinion need to step away from any confrontation and work with the club, demands for meetings and refusals to talk to KM won’t work. Rightly or wrongly KM feels maligned by the Trust and they have to rebuild any faith that she may have at one stage had in her.

        The biggest representatives of the club are the silent majority who are just interested in the results on the field and as long as these are positive then the power is with Duhcatalet and KM.

        March 31, 2015

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  1. Chris Powell’s Flat Cap End of Season Awards 2014/15 – Part Two « Chris Powell's Flat Cap

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