On my way back to Bermuda now and having time to reflect on a historic weekend in Charlton’s history.
Roland Duchatelet would not have liked the fact that 300 ordinary men, women and children, not louts and irate ex-employees demonstrated against him alongside STVV fans on Saturday in the sleepy town of Sint Truiden, where the 70-year old has always felt he had some kind of power over the people of the town and it’s football club.
Stories and tales from those that made the trip out to Belgium are both heartwarming and of legend and memories made will last a lifetime, especially once we rid ourselves of Duchatelet and Pinocchio. There has been much media coverage both at home and in Belgium and the whole thing was beautifully organized, and perfectly executed and makes me proud to be an Addick. And the lazy and misguided PR men at the club should be embarrased.
The Unity Protest was well received by locals, many of whom were empowered to show their own displeasure of his stewardship and his glaring lack of ambition for the club he originally bought in 2011 imposing his notions and developing the stadium for his own commercial uses.
STVV’s fans stories mirror our own, and like others I continue to shudder at both STVV and Standard fan’s comments on Charlton Life and elsewhere when he first bought our club because they have become eerily synonymous. Although whereas he has been allowed to get away with damaging the ethos of a football club at Stayen, he wasn’t at Liege and he won’t be at Charlton.
Whilst it is hard to separate the protests towards the owner and his CEO with what happens on the pitch they are inexplicably linked and our free fall down the football league lies solely at the doors of Duchatelet and Meire. The mismanagement of the club from top down is quite incredulous.
I was at Northampton on Saturday and the display was totally inept and although possibly only 3 wins are required to beat the drop, even the most positive of fans will be wondering where an earth those wins are going to come front. Goals have dried up, our most natural finisher on loan at Swindon, where we are paying his wages after putting £600,000 in their pocket in the summer. Then money from our best young talent sits in Roland’s bank account and was never replaced.
We are leaking goals, with a defence that has gone from being secure to broken, particularly since Pearce was injured and Robinson has just about tried every concoction in midfield but on Saturday went back to Russell Slade’s pedestrian middle.
The support, if always a little tempestuous and almost entirely in the Roland Out camp, was good on Saturday at least until we gave up after Northampton scored, because give up they did.
I didn’t agree with the stick that Rudd got after the first, but I am sure it came out of sheer frustration of again going behind. But I was one of many hundreds left at the final whistle shouting that those players were simply not fit to wear our shirt. A shirt and colours and badge worn with much pride by normal folk in Belgium at the same time.
It wasn’t pretty after the game on Saturday and I can see it getting a lot worse.