Nicest club in country
Roland Duchatelet took time out from his busy schedule to visit one of his children this week. He praised his CEO Katrien Meire. “She is a fantastic lady and she has a huge heart for Charlton. Charlton is something she lives for and it hurts her tremendously to be attacked that way by some fans.” and the “very influential” Richard Murray. “Richard is, in my view, the ultimate fan.”
The owner did agree that there maybe more than 2% of the customers not happy. “I think most of the fans are extremely unhappy now, at least a big part of them.”
But fans “don’t understand everything” and have to rely on Roly and his team even though he is “away, far away,” a million miles away the other side of the Channel, and he has “so many other things to do.” Warren Buffet would know what he meant.
“We are all fans, aren’t we? We all want the club to stay in the Championship. This is the answer to the question.” So that’s easy then and “we got into trouble mainly because we had so many injuries and the squad size was not sufficient to cope with that high number in the first place. There were other reasons as well.” Probably such as every head coach decision not being better than the previous one.
Strategy is still high on the agenda though: “We are not spending time on planning for relegation. That’s not something we want to do.”
“We have sometimes made the same mistakes again. But in my businesses we have a culture of learning from mistakes. This is very common in industry. If you don’t do that you are stupid.”
Regarding the threadbare squad and budget that Duchatelet has imposed on every head coach: “We thought when we had a lot of injuries we would fix that with loan players. But that appears to be quite difficult too. Sometimes it is okay, but sometimes it is not okay, because they are not always the best possible options. If you introduce a player it can take him a number of weeks depending on the character, type, position and relationship with the coaches, to adapt and integrate. It’s not such a good idea to do too many loans.”
“It’s better to have your work in order at the beginning of the season rather than to rely on loans.”
Really quite bizarre.
More on the academy, and news that coaches that are good with young players are only found in his address book, and not within these shores.
And if you hadn’t already stabbed yourself in the eye with a pencil: “The thing is, this is a fantastic club. The fans don’t really know me because I’ve not been here so often. Now we’re in a crisis situation and it is the right time to get to learn each other, to work together. To go forward.”
Asked about the inquiry from Peter Varney to discuss major investment in the club: “I diverted this email (from Varney) to my CEO to handle it.” She, if you remember didn’t and “it is only five or six months later it became clear that what he wanted to talk about was a takeover of the club.”
Maybe Peter Varney “wanted to invest in a new billboard?” One like this I would assume.
And to sum up Duchatelet’s ambitions in one sentence: “Charlton can regain the importance in London of one of the nicest clubs in the country. That is what I will contribute and try to do.”
Roly has so many other things to do so he had rush to the other side of the world on the Eurostar and him and his cat will watch an online feed of Saturday’s game from the sanctuary of his man cave.
Meanwhile the protests against this absolute simpleton of a football club owner and his team will be ramped up on Saturday. CARD are calling for another huge turnout of fans in the west stand car park after the match, and will add a little twist this time, which will be revealed on the day.
And if you haven’t seen these video’s then they are a must: