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.