That is what Chris Wilder has demanded from Roland Duchatelet as he and Alan Knill discuss contract terms with Charlton to be their 7th manager/head coach in just over two years. Today both clubs announced that permission had been given to Wilder and his assistant Alan Knill to open discussions, although it is thought that Wilder at least had a conversation with the Belgian owner last week.
Compensation on the year Wilder and Knill’s contract has to run has been agreed and those contracts have break clauses in them allowing a move. Wilder and Knill are the archetypical journeymen football people. Good people, but neither would be more than comfortable financially and they will feel they deserve their opportunity following recent success at Northampton and, for Wilder anyway, Oxford United. I don’t begrudge it them at all.
Wilder doesn’t come across as naive, but he might be impulsive and wide-eyed. Roland has a persuasive Flemish tongue but what comes out of his mouth is either poppycock or unsubstantiated promises. Just ask Chris Powell or Jose Riga or Mercia Rednic.
Wilder has never managed above League Two and the temptation to move to a club of Charlton’s stature is too good to turn down. We as Addicks should be pleased that the club are prepared to headhunt men who’s star is high. Historically as a club we have rarely ‘nicked’ other club’s managers, and from what we have lived these past two and a bit years, this is a huge departure.
And I am deeply suspicious.
How men known to Duchatelet or even his favourite puppet Meire could not get him to change his single-minded dictate, yet Wilder, who Duchatelet would never, ever have heard off until last week, is able to convince him otherwise is beyond derision.
Of course there is a small chance that suddenly the man who never planned for relegation and doesn’t do failure might have opened his mind to a different, more judicious path. Personally I don’t think a 69-year old ideologist can change his spots.
There’s one other little road bump. Wilder and Knill tomorrow will have to sit down with Katrien Meire to negotiate a contract. Chris, Alan, look into those eyes and you will see dishonesty as big as a bed sheet. From Kelvin Thomas to Pinocchio. Good luck.