Sunday, 9 April 2017

Katrien - Q & A

not many answers though

A much needed win for the Addicks yesterday. Just about deserved with the players clearly showing more urgency and determination than on Tuesday.

Having slunk off following recent defeats Robinson was keen to lap it up and to high-five anyone in the same postcode. Remember the manager tells us that he's the same win or lose!

After this game Robinson couldn't praise the players enough. No doubt there'll all be useless again should we lose to Coventry.

All that aside earlier in the day I was part of the audience for the Q&A with Katrien that the trust organised.

It was always going to be a pretty futile exercise as you knew she wouldn't put her hand up to most of the mistakes and her general incompetence. That she was quite so brazen and dismissive in her responses was a bit surprising.

Apologies for a long post but you ought to know this. Some you may have heard or read this elsewhere but some you may not.

Meire was flanked by Dave Joyes and Tom Rubashow - chief financial officer and head of comms or PR guru if you like.

There were about 25 people in attendance. Most details have been posted on Charlton Life and I'm sure that the Trust will post a summary.

One questioner John ( coyote John ) has posted his question and the subsequent response on Charlton Life. John's question was very well worded and thought out and he followed up with points as he obviously felt she wasn't going to give the desired answer. 

It was a question I guess we'd all ask and her refusal to acknowledge the extent of failure is staggering. Meire's response was to just say " that is your opinion ".

I have the accompanying video for a couple of questions which I'm unable to post sadly. I'd welcome suggestions as to how to do so as folk really ought to see it.

Here's the text for John's question :-

Preamble: CJ:
KATRIEN. YOU’VE TALKED ABOUT LEARNING FROM YOUR MISTAKES BUT YOU HAVE FAILED TO ADDRESS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF ALL. AS CEO, YOU HAVE PERSONALLY PRESIDED OVER A CATASTROPHIC THREE AND A HALF YEAR PERIOD FOR CHARLTON ATHLETIC 

WHILST MANAGERS HAVE COME AND GONE YOU HAVE STAYED IN YOUR SINECURE POST WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH ENORMOUS RESPONSIBILITY BUT WITH NO ACCOUNTABILITY WHATSOEVER.

YOU CLING TO A MEANINGLESS MANTRA OF 'NOT DOING FAILURE' WHEN ALL THE EVIDENCE PRESENTS OTHERWISE. IF YOU REALLY HAD THE BEST INTERESTS OF THIS CLUB AT HEART YOU SHOULD HAVE RECOGNISED THIS LEVEL OF FAILURE AND RESIGNED

Question: CJ
IN FACT, THE DECENT AND MOST GRACIOUS THING YOU COULD DO IS RESIGN RIGHT NOW TODAY. THAT’S RIGHT ISN’T IT?
Response: KM
WELL THAT'S YOUR OPINION

Follow up: CJ

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DEFEND THREE AND A HALF YEARS OF FAILURE?

Response:
 KM
ITS YOUR OPINION 
SO, 
RELEGATION TO THIRD TIER
LOWEST LEAGUE POSITION SINCE 1926
DISAFFECTION OF FANS
PUBLIC AND IN-GAME PROTESTS
LOSS OF AROUND 4,000 STHOLDERS
DWINDLING CROWDS

NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, 
NO ACCOUNTABILITY, 
NOTHING?

Response: KM
IT IS FOR SURE OUR RESPONSIBILITY BUT FOR YOUR QUESTION OF THE RESIGNATION THAT’S YOUR OPINION.

NO REAL RESPONSE THEN.

Incredible that she didn't bother to defend herself or her record. Simply that's your opinion. However, it's not though is it, it's fact !

I said when she finally rides off into the sunset she'd be remembered amongst other things :-

  • The sofa
  • Silly mascots
  • Falling attendances
  • Lowest league position in living memory
  • £1,000's wasted in transfers and manager payoffs
  • The Dublin Conference
  • Numerous managers
Generally abject failure.

How do you think you'll be remembered ?

KM then started waffling about the academy and telling me that it didn't matter as she doesn't have an ego! Really ?

I pointed out that the academy has been here for years but I never got anything else that she felt she'd be remembered for.

A further question was made about non-renewal of season tickets and people not coming to games. It was pointed out none were ex-staff or been involved in CARD activities. They are just discontented fans.

A point was made that on a similar Tuesday night to that just gone when we were in our second season in League One following a spell of 3 draws and 3 defeats the attendance was just over 17,000. So obviously something is going wrong it's not just the football.

This was summarised to :-

a. why have the attendances fallen so low in comparison to our last time in League One
b. If Roland Duchatelet is aware why does he continue to say that the discontent is really just the result of some unhappy previous employees.

KM : obviously we dropped some attendances because of the situation what happened last year it wasn't a pretty sight and the fans turned their back on the club.

Why was that ?

KM : because of us. I recognise that and we have a huge task ahead of us to bring them back in.

You're never going to do it.

KM : Well that's your opinion.

You'll never do it.

So you do accept responsibility, you said because of us.

KM : Yes, because of the ownership, I'm not a fool.

You do accept responsibility now ?

KM : Yes.

But you're still here ?

KM : Excuse me ?

Still here. Still don't feel any professional responsibility that you ought to resign or anything, no ?

You've sacked countless managers. Has Roland ever questioned your position as the person who's appointing those unsuccessful managers repeatedly?

KM : You obviously have to ask him that question.

General laughter in the audience to that response given that Roland is never around to ask anything !

Ask yourself, Katrien ask yourself that question. Three and a half years !

KM : I think I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could handle the situation.

You know you're in a sinecure post. You know Duchatelet won't remove you. When you go home at night after three and a half years you don't recognise that anything's wrong ?

KM : Roland has businesses everywhere across the world and if he's not happy with a senior manager he will take action, believe me.

Well I'd like to know what you're objectives are, I think we'd all like to know what your objectives are. If you're objectives are to reduce the fan base, take us to the lowest position ever then you're achieving all that.

Would you publish your objectives so that we can all see them.

KM : Our objectives are...

Not our objectives, your objectives !

KM : My objectives are aligned with the club's objectives, what's best for the club and best for the club is to get back in to the Championship and try to and re-engage with the fans. The why I'm here  here sitting today. As long as Roland has the club this is the way forward.

Amongst other things it seems Robinson is here to stay and Katrien told us she has been reviewing players with Robinson. They are looking at 5 attributes like pride and wait for it.....playing for the shirt ! Yes, she really said that !

It may take longer to secure some players especially if they're involved in play-offs. Presumably from the conference......she didn't specify !

Much was made of the new website. This was talked about at length. Great ! We'll have the best website in League One or Two then.

Overall one left with the feeling that neither Meire or Robinson are going anywhere. In her case Meire will cling on as long as she can. She'll never admit her time as CEO has been a failure despite almost admitting it.

She again insisted that she and Roland are fans of the club and passionate about it. This akin of course to a parent saying they love their kids and getting Shannon Matthews to babysit !

Nothing will improve whilst Roland owns the club and Meire is our CEO. We've known that for some time of course. Let's hope they go soon before the damage they do is terminal. As it is it will take a long time to recover from the harm done to date.





  











  







Thursday, 6 April 2017

Desperate Times

Tuesday's tribute to Keith Palmer was everything that one hoped it would be and was impeccably observed by all those present.

Sadly the performance on the pitch was nowhere near that.

It seems that the players lacked not only organisation but also motivation on a night when the memory of Keith Palmer should have been the only motivation needed.

Having now lost both Saturday's and Tuesday's games the decision to postpone the original MK game  looks as ill-judged as I thought it might be. I understand the thinking behind it of course but feared the two week break would prove as pointless as those matches.

Robinson had a full two weeks to prepare the team and one wonders what he had them doing in that time. Again he made a number of changes on Tuesday and again to no avail.

Post match and the manage was back to publicly criticising the players again, a ploy that didn't work well last time.

Today Robinson was again spouting drivel, little of it making any sense. He keeps telling us of his honesty saying he is too honest sometimes. What ? If he wants some honesty then why not tell us what it is he keeps saying is wrong at the club.

Today he was saying that the slide has been going on for years. Maybe but it ought not to be beyond any half-decent manager to arrest that at this level with this squad.

He really does talk some garbage one of the best was attempting to take credit for MK's performance on Tuesday ! Only in the sense that you set up so badly Mr Robinson.

I see that Ritchie Barker is expected to leave to take up the Rotherham manager's job. I can't say he'll be missed. After his time as MK's interim manager following Robinson's departure I'm surprised he wants to dip his toes in that particular water again.

Aside from Barker one wonders what the rest of the coaching staff are doing. Bowyer doesn't seem to have made one iota of difference. Hardly surprising though given his lack of experience and I'm not sure given his fishing interests well away from SE7 just how committed he is. I could be wrong of course but I don't see much evidence to the contrary.

Robinson now has the worst managerial record in Charlton history and that's some going. No wonder he looked a forlorn and desperate figure today. He is now down to gimmicks such a training at The Valley.

No doubt he'll ring the changes again on Saturday. Unfortunately, it seems whatever he does makes little difference and I'm not sure even he believes the nonsense he's producing.

Sad and worrying times as League Two looks a greater reality by the day. Let's hope that the players can somehow get the points we need to survive.

Come On You Reds!


Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Fools !


Another quiet week in S.E.7 culminated in another poor defeat appropriately on April Fools Day. However, every day seems like a fools day at present with our club.

At the start of the week the club managed to doing something right with its plan to acknowledge the life of Keith Palmer and to honour his memory.

Come 6pm on Saturday night and we'd had the following :-

  • A dreadful set of financial results confirming just how bad the mismanagement of the club has been in a financial sense
  • Robinson assuring us of his planned summer targets and how if we started pre-season two earlier and in Ireland all would have been fine and dandy
  • Meire smirking at supporters again alongside Sue Parkes who not only stayed on after the final whistle to antagonise supporters but took to social media to make some ill-judged remarks towards them
  • The final part of Getting To Know The Network providing further evidence of the incompetence that has surrounded the club for the past 3 years.
  • A defeat to another average League One side following a full two week preparation for it.
What a mess !

Overlooking most of the above let's focus on the match alone. Robinson had a full two weeks to prepare for it and bizarrely opted not to start most of those players who forced the postponement of the MK game from the previous Saturday.

Admittedly Konsa was injured but probably would have been anyway. Of the other 3 Magennis came on after 66 mins and Botaka after 72 mins. Dasilva as ever stayed on the bench.

Neither Magennis nor Botaka appear to have made an real impact. Therefore, one has to ask ( as I did when we called it off what benefit we got from doing so ). It should be noted that MK were going to be without one of their players.

Now we face playing again on Tuesday. Robinson will probably talk it up as an early chance to put things right. Make no mistake though the remaining games are becoming increasingly must win ones. The players will be under enormous pressure on Tuesday now as we are almost effectively 2 points above relegation when one considers other teams games in hand and how things may look come 10pm on Tuesday night.

Pre-match and Robinson again spoke of the playing for the shirt intimating that he had a wealth of riches in terms of players available. Post-match and he criticised their mentality. I recall he tried this tack before and it didn't work then either.

The man is increasingly being described as a chancer and it's hard to disagree. He won't get a better club or job than this I'm sure. Let's hope he's not allowed to blow a whole heap of money in the summer where he may well be preparing for life in League Two.

It should be noted that one of his main targets, Chuks Aneke, has now committed to another year with MK so that's one deal that definitely ain't happening.

Some folk believe that Robinson should be allowed a transfer window asking who could do better. This is on a par with Sue Parkes warning that any new owner could be worse. Perhaps but they have to be going some to do any worse, This is very true of Robinson and Duchalelet - who could do worse ?

Let's hope we somehow manage to get the points we need to prevent our great club sinking any further.

I'll not be at The Valley on Tuesday as I am away having booked a break before the game had been re-arranged.

Perhaps more important than securing those points is that on Tuesday the life of Keith Palmer is suitably remembered and honoured in equal measure. I'm sure that everyone present will be doing their utmost to ensure this is the case.

He paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing what he probably considered to be just doing his duty. He is an absolute hero and someone we can be proud to call a fellow fan.

My thoughts at 7.45pm on Tuesday will be with everyone in S.E. 7.

RIP Keith.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Finally...........


It's taken just over 3 years but the club under the present ownership has at last done something we can be proud of. It's not clear where the credit lies but this is not the time or occasion to dwell on that.

The main thing is that the right thing is being done by a number of people and that includes our players who led by Skip are donating their match fee to the fund.

A proper and fitting tribute to Keith Palmer is planned for Tuesday with donations to the fund and appropriate memorials now and something more permanent at a later date.

The word hero is used to frequently sometimes and on occasion inappropriately. However, there's little doubt that it is very relevant in Keith's case. He gave his life trying to protect and save others. People like him should be held in the highest esteem and it's only proper that he is remembered in this way. It's the least the rest of us can do.

I'm sure there'll be a splendid turn out at the game next Tuesday against MK. Sadly I'll not be there as I had already booked a holiday as there wasn't a game at the time.

I have just tried to make a donation to the fund but I note that it's now closed. This is something I would have done anyway as having a season ticket I presume means that none of that would be included in the gate receipts.

There is reference to an HSBC account that donations can be made. If anyone reading this knows how I can donate please let me know in the comments section. Thank you.

Come Tuesday evening at 7.45pm my thoughts will be with all those at The Valley.

RIP Keith.




Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sale At Dale


All credit to Rochdale for a superb initiative with their season ticket promotion for next season. This is how it works :-

This year, Rochdale AFC will have been established for 110 years - formed on 15th May 1907 - and to celebrate, we are offering fans an unbelievable opportunity to purchase a 2017/18 season ticket for potentially only  £110 !

The £110 offer is based on achieving 4,000 season ticket sales and the final price will depend on the number of season ticket deposits sold:

Over 2,000 season ticket sales - £250
Over 2,500 season ticket sales - £200
Over 3,000 season ticket sales - £150
Over 4,000 season ticket sales - £110

A wonderful incentive for their fans. Any potential loss in season ticket revenue will no doubt be made up and perhaps exceeded by increased refreshment, programme and other sales.

How good is that ! If only we had far a far-sighted owner and CEO who could produce such an idea. Let’s hope that whoever takes over from Roland, whenever that may be, might be swayed towards this type of promotion.

It would certainly go a long way to getting a number of fans back to The Valley.

Sadly, with Roland in charge nothing short of giving the season tickets away for free is likely to have any effect. Even then I’m sure a number would still stay away in protest.


Sadly, with Queen Kat dahn our gaff there’s no sign of any improvement and the only way our tickets are coming down in price is when we drop another division. That is only a matter of time of course whilst our incompetent CEO continues to lead us on our downward spiral.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Robinson Review

Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah !

Chris Wilder’s team put an end to the Addicks recent draws. In so doing they strengthened their promotion from League One whilst ensuring that our struggle to remain in it continues.

Obviously we look at Wilder and think of what might have been if our number one choice had taken the job back in the summer. I think it’s fair to say that he would have got us into a play-off place at least.

Following his success in getting the Cobblers promoted last season his CV is looking better with each passing season.

Comparisons with our present manager don’t make good reading. In fact comparing Robinson with most other League One managers isn’t good and conversely his CV is looking worse with each passing season.

Henry Irving summed it up accurately and succinctly with a post on Charlton Life earlier today.

We'll never know how Wilder would have done under this regime. We can all see how badly Tarbuck is doing.

Slade was sacked and Robinson appointed to give us " the best chance of promotion". Robinson was given a transfer window and he brought in five players.


None have made a huge impression or improvement due to injuries, suspensions or just not being picked by the manager who signed them.

We're now told that it is about next season. But that wasn't the line when Russell "right man for the job" was sacked.

In patches we play some good football under Robinson but that has been when we play 442 using Slade and previous managers players. And we played as well if not better under Nugent who didn't have Holmes or a transfer window.

Karl wasted months, and many points and a transfer window, trying to make 4231 work and has failed.

We are set for our worse league finish in 90 years.

Wilder can hardly have done worse if he tried but at Sheffield Utd he's been allowed to get on with the job. He's built a team spirit and has a consistent way of playing.

Large portions of his budget aren't being spent on players loaned out to other clubs or paying off previous mistakes. And Wilder isn't obliged to put young players in the shop window for a quick sale.

Wilder never got £8m for a young striker either. But then again neither did Robinson. £400k from £8m to spend but even that wasn't spent well. Injury prone players or inexperienced loaners rather than proven, battle hardened performers but remember Karl you're a farmer not a coach. You job is to babysit any talent we have until they are sold. “


That struck a chord with me as I found myself agreeing with every word.

Many will cite our owners and of course they are always a factor. However, Robinson has a good squad at his disposal and it must the envy of most in the league. Indeed at MK he had pretty much of what he had in the Championship last season.

Robinson’s league record for this season, 2016-17 for both us and MK doesn’t make good viewing.

P 30 W 9 D 14 L 17 Pts 41

What ought to be an accurate comparison to a degree is to look at how Robinson’s former team are doing under their new manager, Robbie Neilson.

Robbie Neilson’s league record  - P 18 W 7 D 5 L 6  Pts 26

MK sit one place below us with the same number of points on goal difference but have a game in hand.

In the transfer window MK lost one of their better players in Carruthers and certainly haven’t been able to recruit to the extent and supposed quality that Robinson has.

In his time with us Robinson has told us of how we have the most fantastic players in the league, the next Deli Alli and another who is a Premier league player in waiting.

Robinson’s league record for us :- P 20 W 4  D 8 L 8  Pts 20

The comparison with Neilson’s lesser talented squad show that he has garnered 6 points more from 2 fewer games.

The above doesn’t take into account injuries and suspensions of course but all teams get them.

Robinson doesn’t seem able to get a decent 90 minutes out of our boys. Some folk like the way we played in the 2nd half on Tuesday and for most of yesterday.

Definitely an improvement on recent performances but isn’t it a minimum of what we should expect to see from this squad ?

That the better performances have come from playing a 4-4-2 formation isn’t a surprise. It shouldn’t have taken so long for Robinson to ditch his wretched 4-2-3-1 that clearly wasn’t working.

I believe that most folk can see that Robinson isn’t all that good and of course there’s an awful lot of talk with him. I don't need to see him have a summer transfer window as I know it won't go well especially if we get more nonsense that some clubs won't sell to us or demand outrageous fees.

In addition, as Henry says his player recruitment isn’t that good. Da Silva is a case in point. Why did he get him ? He hardly plays and has only done so recently as there was no other option.


It seems that we’ve got Robinson to the end of the season. We have to hope that he can steer us to safety. I don’t think it’ll be that easy and in the meantime we have to do our best to avoid the numerous pre and post-match interviews. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Not Even In Our Wilder Dreams

If only..............

Following yet another draw the Addicks return to the road this weekend with a trip to Bramall Lane.

It is to be hoped that we could play two good halves of a match. Tuesday saw us continue our recent trend of a poor first half with improved effort and performance in the second.

I managed to catch a fair bit of the 2nd half against Bradford and we certainly put them under the cosh. Our poor finishing was again to let us down. We ought to take the rough with the smooth however, as The Bantams could have been out of sight by half time.

That was the case on Saturday too as Walsall’s strikers failed to hit the target.

Quite why Robinson can’t get the team motivated and organised is puzzling. I simply don’t think he’s all that good despite that he talks a good game with his grass and classroom sessions, passion, desire, playing for the shirt etc. etc.

The Blades unsurprisingly perhaps given their position have enjoyed a pretty successful February and March to date. They will no doubt be confident of a win on Saturday.

Chris Wilder will no doubt look at the state of our club and be reassured that he was right to turn us down in the summer. Whether he did use us as a bargaining chip I don’t know but it’s clear the loss is ours. Even under this ownership I think he’d have got us up in the position that reflects our budget.

For our part we can only watch his team march onto to the league title, promotion back to the Championship and think of what might have been.

It would seem that we need at least one more win as a minimum to ensure survival at this level. I really can’t see that coming this weekend. 

After that we'll now have a break as it seems clear the club have taken a short-sighted decision to postpone the MK Dons game. For me, whichever way you look at it it's a poor decision. The crowd would have been bigger on the Saturday for a start. 

In any case look at when we postponed against Millwall..........a lot of good that did us ! I don't think those players who would have been missing would be that big a loss. Da Silva has rarely played and Magennis hasn't been pulling up any trees of late. 

Robinson has been under pressure recently but I read with interest that some feel Robinson should be given more time. Their reasons for this hardly inspire confidence as it’s not because they genuinely believe he is any good or the right man for the job.

Generally it’s borne out of a desire not to sack another manager and to have some continuity. Many will cite the appalling injury list. That has a bearing of course but then again Robinson makes some bizarre decisions when he has players available.

For example clearly Chicksen is our best left back but he rarely plays there. I’ve never understood that. One can cite that only Mageniss can play as a lone striker yet Robinson has had a number of folk in that role. All totally unsuitable.

Today he's been talking of bringing in 10 or 11 players before the break for summer. This has to be more nonsense even only if time wouldn't realistically allow for that to happen. This is aside from the question of ownership. Even if it's still Roly in charge it's hard to see him sanctioning the type of spend needed.

I hope that come next summer we’ll see Roly gone and the new regime bring in a decent, proven manager and back him. I wouldn’t expect instant success that would equate to a play-off place. I just want to see us heading the right direction again.

Obviously a lot of hard work is required to rebuild our club. Getting folk back and fully behind the team and management won’t be easy. However, clear plans for the future and a proper connection with the fans would go a long way towards that.

Here’s hoping !


Come On You Reds !