Slade appointed as ‘manager’
As expected the club announced Russell Slade today as not the club’s new head coach, but it’s manager. The first time an individual has carried that title under Roland Duchatelet not just at Charlton, but at any of his clubs. He has signed a 3-year contract.
No one was witness to see if Meire’s nose grew bigger but she said: “Russell has vast experience in the division and is a two-time League One Manager of The Year. He joins us as Manager on a long-term contract and his appointment represents the start of an exciting new era at the club under his guidance.”
This certainly spells a change of direction from the owner, and also from Meire who from only weeks ago was telling customers not to raise their expectations has now charged her new employee with a target of promotion.
“We don’t underestimate the challenge of getting Charlton back into the Championship.We believe Russell is the man to help us achieve this and, with the help of everyone involved in the club, ensure that Charlton have a successful 2016/17 campaign.”
Of course I and the majority of Addicks will view Slade’s appointment, encouraging that it is, through the eyes of absolute scepticism and for me tomorrow’s press conference, also a rare event under Duchatelet’s stewardship, is vitally important.
Slade needs to be asked pertinent questions and not be allowed to ramble on about opportunities, history, the stadium and our academy. What really attracted the job to him, what are his plans on recruitment of new players, and retaining the best current ones? What say will he have in recruitment and how well does he know Steve Head?
What can he tell us about the budget and his proposed relationship with Meire and Duchatelet? What will his coaching team look like, how does he define the role of manager?
What does he expect his relationship with the supporters will be? How can he help rebuild the demoralized and absolutely broken connection between owner, board and fans? Should we expect more communication top to bottom, will he hold regular press conferences, unlike his predecessors?
Does he think his time working for Vincent Tan and Francesco Becchetti is an advantage in his new job. Why does he think he can last longer in the job and be more successful than the other six managers in the last 24 months. What are his ambitions, short and long term?
We have to rely on journos that will fill the room at tomorrow’s press conference, particularly those locally who have intimate insight into the whole host of issues since the club was bought by Duchatelet. Meire, who I expect will be present too, needs to also feel the heat. What has brought about this about turn? What is the rationale? Can fan’s believe you?
Welcome Russell. The very best of luck. You are going to need it.