Saturday 9 April 2016

Dear Sir..

Today sees even the most optimistic among us finally accepting that we are to return to League One.
This is wholly unnecessary and purely down to the (ahem) 'correct' decisions our owner and his toady minions have made. 

A few weeks ago, I rattled off an email when the club showed it was finally going to pretend to listen to the fanbase by providing us with an email address.

I decided to explain why I am not renewing my Season Ticket. 

I have copy and pasted it below in the hope that it might encourage other people to write and explain why they are holding back on a repeat purchase.

* So far there has been no response from the club.

If you were time rich you could check that I've had a Season Ticket at Charlton for 20 seasons.

Having Charlton as a part of my life has been the one thing that hasn't changed.

It didn't change even when work conditions altered, my marriage broke up, close relatives became sick or died or moved to other parts of the world.

Following Charlton has been part of my identity. 

It's part of who I am and how I'm known to other people.

I've made myself really unpopular by refusing to attend social events or arriving at them late if they clashed with Charlton fixtures.
I've spent thousands of pounds over the years on travelling to see the team around the country and also to get back to Charlton for home games while holidaying elsewhere, then returning to the holiday.

I've loved every minute of it.
I'd say I'm a committed fan.

It breaks my heart to think that I'll be turning my back on the club, that one thing that helped me get through tough times but that's what I'm doing.

I will not be buying a new Season Ticket until this inept stewardship of the club has ended.

When Charlton won League one, the club was a beautiful organisation with supporters, players, sponsors and owners all pushing together in the same direction.

There was a unity of purpose.
There was a belief.

We knew the club was unlike any other. 

There was a 'feeling' and a mutual respect between all parties.

The one thing the club didn't have was enough money.
The Jimenez and Slater years had meant some corners were cut but we knew that with just a little bit of cash, things could get back on track.

When Roland Duchatelet bought Charlton I was cautiously optimistic.
I had of course read about how he was detested by Standard Liege supporters but I still hoped for the best.

All Duchatelet needed to do was buy into the ethos of Charlton, spend a bit of cash and we'd be looking at a successful club who'd be knocking on the door of the Premier League.

I can't deny Duchatelet has spent money. He's just spent it on things that won't help the main product, the first team.
He's also not 'spent' the money, he's loaned it, making it extremely difficult for somebody else to buy the club.

The owner of a football club should be someone who cares for it on behalf of the community, before passing it on, hopefully in a better condition, to the next person who will do the same.

Duchatelet has seen the club and the players as a Cash Cow to be bled for his own personal gain.

It's a sad state of affairs when Valley Gold have to hold back money to the club that has traditionally gone towards promoting the young Academy players progression to the first team, due to Duchatelet's 'vision' of selling them once they make it to the shop window playing squad.

Unfortunately, my early positive hopes for Duchatelet very quickly turned to dust.
He showed his lack of class and understanding of the club by removing as many 'good' parts of Charlton as he could and replacing them with poorer versions.
This was not just on the playing side. The staff behind the scenes were systematically dispensed with if they had a whiff of the old guard or they were old school 'proper' Charlton.

Good people who were fired or 'let go' all had similar stories of the disarray behind the scenes but have all been labelled as mere unhappy ex employees with axes to grind.

This would all have been bad enough but then the constant fibs and misinformation regarding the appointment of the regular new Head Coaches, (fed to the supporters by a CEO who may be excellent at being a lawyer but is beyond parody in the crass way she deals with the 'customers' ) just puts the cherry on top.

Recent (drunken?) outbursts from Duchatelet that somehow found their way onto the official website brought shame on himself but ultimately showed the club in a very poor light.

The supporters are now considered the enemy as far as the owner and CEO are concerned.

We are inconvenient. We are 'weird'.

I felt I had to let the club know why I have decided not to renew my Season Ticket.
*However, you can rest assured I will be hot footing it down to the Ticket Office (or NHS call centre) to purchase one as soon as news filters through that Roland Duchatelet has become little more than an unhappy paragraph in the history of Charlton Athletic.

I'd also like to add that this is not results driven.
When Charlton were relegated to League One last time I never for a moment considered any change in my support.
Some things don't change.

I remain a Charlton supporter but I cannot and will not financially support the owner who is taking me for a mug.


Tuesday 23 February 2016

It's All Over Now.

Mathematicians may disagree but we all know that we should start preparing for League One.

Cheers Roland. 

Sunday 21 February 2016


Fulham 3 - Charlton Athletic 0.

Hope is being washed away.

For around half an hour yesterday, I was quite enjoying myself. 

Despite my personal reservations, I'd made the short journey West to Fulham and it really looked as if I'd made a good decision.

Our team started well. 
Had just a few of our players calibrated their shooting boots, nobody could have said it was unjustified for the Addicks to be a couple of goals up within the first period. 

We chuckled as the linesman was sent crashing to the floor by a powerful clearance that had he not stopped with his chin, would surely have made it with ease to the back of the stand.

There was a spring in the step of our team and I found myself thinking it was like the 'old' days. 
Harriott in particular was haring about, leaving defenders in his wake. Just the final ball was missing but the confidence was there and I believed it could very easily all come good.

The Charlton support were on good form, 100% supporting the team while also, very vocally, announcing that Roland is certainly not going to win any popularity contests. 

The incessant booing of Scott Parker was, as usual, rather counter productive. 
He's one of the best players I've seen wearing the Charlton shirt. 

The way Parker left us to bench warm at Chelsea, with only hours left of the transfer window and at a time when we were pushing for Champions League, (hey Roland!!), was extremely messy but nobody can deny he always gave us 100%.

 'Spotty' has been badly treated by our support each time our paths have crossed since, which has done nothing except give him the extra boost to stick one on us. 
Yesterday, his shot that crashed against Henderson's crossbar was the catalyst for Fulham going ahead and instantly the game was up.

For most teams, 1-0 down isn't the time to accept that it's not your day. 
The current CAFC incarnation is such a fragile flower that a minor setback instantly proves to be terminal. 

By the end of the game, Charlton had shipped 3 goals, scored none and were probably a bit fortunate not to be on the end of a right hammering. 
Fulham were no great shakes. In fact, their approach play seemed quite half hearted at times - yet it was still far too much for our shower. 

It all kicked off in the Charlton section as the game entered the final minutes. 
An already angry fanbase were now witnessing players who had visibly given up.

What looked from my angle to be a rather low grade attempt to get onto the pitch, by *one* girl, escalated into windmills of arms as the stewards showed the softly, softly technique is no fun when you're bored and have an opportunity for a bit of a ruck.

What a load of rubbish.

I walked back to the tube station, through the drizzle, thoroughly pissed off.

By the time I emerged into the fresh air at North Greenwich, I'd made the decision that *finally* I've had enough.

Charlton has been a part of my life for a huge chunk. It's part of my identity. 
I care about it too much to stand by and blindly support Roland Duchatelet's crack pot experiment.

Despite having a drawer with around 20 old Season Ticket booklets stuffed in it, I won't be getting one next season. 

-(Or the season after that, unless we Get Our Charlton Back). 

I am an extremely dissatisfied 'customer'.

Unfortunately, one of the few methods of showing our discontent, that might possibly be noticed by RD, is if the take up of Season Tickets is dire. 

Dark days.

Saturday 30 January 2016

Three Points but The Fight Goes On

Rotherham 1  - Charlton Athletic 4.

A welcome 3 points today and the confirmation that having somebody who has more than the very slightest clue sitting in the Head Coach hot seat, really can make a difference.

If only somebody had thought to tell Katrien and Roland eh?

Except for the final 25 minutes, I didn't follow the game today as I was on the move.
I looked at twitter using the WiFi on South West Trains into Waterloo and then the brief moments of contact as my Jubilee line train paused at the stations heading to North Greenwich.

I've just seen the highlights on Channel 5, (with the added bonus of Chris Powell being a studio guest), and it did seem as if Charlton were worthy winners, despite Rotherham blowing the chance to get back into the game, amusingly sending a penalty kick into orbit.

While on the train, I attempted to watch the video of the Fans Forum.
To be honest, it was ridiculously tedious and was less of a forum in the true sense of the word and more of an exercise in justifying what has happened since RD arrived and denying any blame for the mistakes - or even acknowledging there have been any mistakes.

No change there then.

I scrolled forwards and watched small chunks so there may have been some nuggets I missed but one section I did see was when KM was asked to explain why Roland hasn't seen fit to watch a game live since 2014.

The usual flannel about him being passionate about the club and sitting with a live stream of every game was let loose to stink out the room but then, (and I paraphrase here as I really, REALLY can't be bothered to go back and transcribe the exact wording), Katrien made the odd statement that he was really too busy to attend.

This amazed me.

It might surprise you to learn that I am neither a multi millionaire or even the boss of where I work. Like most people, I'm a wage slave who can't pick my hours or even decide the order various projects are to be tackled.

Roland Duchatelet on the other hand, can decide what days he works, where he works or even if he is going to get out of bed that day.
There can't be many people who have made their fortune but don't have the resources and safety net of a fawning staff to answer the phones while they sneak out of the office to indulge in things they are 'passionate' about.

Katrien Meire has stated she wants to get 20,000 people inside the Valley.
What are the chances of finding 20,000 people less busy than a bloke who could be living a life of leisure?
I have a demanding job yet I shuffle things around to do all the things a grown up has to do.
 I make the time.

Surely, maybe even just out of curiosity, you'd imagine Roland might want to see first hand something he is so, (ahem), emotionally connected to?

 It's not like he's got that far to come. His potential journey is less miles than a trip from London to Newcastle yet multimillionaire Mike Ashley seems to manage to squeeze in visits to see his team each week.

Duchatelet could come for the day using Eurostar or even a half day using a quick flight into City Airport.

He could even gain some brownie points with Mrs D, or his secretary, or his Mistress, (I'm guessing here) and make a weekend break, staying in a nice chic London hotel, a spot of shopping on Bond Street and an evening at Lion King with a classy meal at Pizza Express or Nandos.
*He would of course have to nip off for a couple of hours to see that pesky sports team he's passionate about but everyone has to make compromises.

What we all know is that if he wanted to, Roland could juggle things around and come to the Valley at the very least once a month but he doesn't because he has zero interest.

Yet another example of the people in charge treating us like idiots.

Today's result changes nothing.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

The low below the last 'New Low'

Huddersfield Town 5 - Charlton Athletic 0

Pathetic. Nothing more to add.

I'm finding it hard to put into words how I'm feeling as a Charlton supporter at the moment.
So where words fail, here's a picture that neatly illustrates how 'The Shareholder' and his useless cronies are treating the Charlton fanbase.

We are doomed.

Sunday 10 January 2016

Shock? Nope.

Colchester United 2 - Charlton Athletic Bistro 1.

I have to be honest here. 
I couldn't raise myself to head to Essex despite the attractive pricing and a relatively easy journey.

What transpired is exactly the kind of performance I was expecting from the current Charlton, under the stewardship of our Interim One.

His record speaks for itself.
It's pony. 
Our club is broken.
In no way was Colchester beating Charlton a shock or an upset. 
Magic of the cup? 

To this end, I gave myself a Charlton holiday and went to visit my mum in her care home. 

Spending time with a person who is a shell of the one I remember is always done with a heavy heart. 
At present it is millions of times preferable to spending any extra cash on Charlton.

Of course, just as you might look at a totally dependent, bed bound Altzheimer's patient and remember the good times, we can all look at the YouTube clips of Charlton's amazing history- the history KM has dismissed as irrelevant to the project The Shareholder has set up.

I refuse to accept the highlight of being a Charlton supporter should now be spotting ex Academy graduates on Match Of The Day. 

I won't be getting all warm and fuzzy as I think of the handful of games they played for us before being sold off ASAP to keep the pockets bulging of our multimillionaire owner. 

(Valley Gold anyone?)

Sorry KM but we deserve better. 
If you wanted that kind of relationship with football fans customers,  your boss should have bought into a League 2 club or below. 
Of course, we may well be a League 2 club before the project is completed, though one with 'Premiership Aspirations' naturally.

Charlton Athletic 2016 is a mess. 
The 'weird' customers have had enough.

Sunday 3 January 2016

Here We Go!

Charlton Athletic 1 - Nottingham Forest 1.

'Wolfie' Citizen Smith, Spelling It Out to the Belgians.

Blah, blah, blah... Callum Harriott, blah, blah, Danish bloke haircut, blah, blah 1-0 down at Half Time, blah, blah, second half improvement, blah blah, Danish bloke scores equaliser, blah, blah, 2 quick yellow cards, blah blah, sending off, blah, blah, nearly won it in added on time, blah blah.

Right. That's the match taken care of.

I've always been one of life's protesters. 
At secondary school, I was heartily impressed by the older kids demanding changes to the way my Comprehensive school was run by having 'Sit Ins' and barricading the teacher car park with hundreds of chairs.

Now, as a grown up union rep, I've of course been on many a march, I protested against the invasion of Iraq etc, had my collar felt by a rather 'over keen' copper at a demo against US fighter planes taking off from UK soil back in the mid 80's, was one of the last cohort of students to go through Higher Education with our fees paid and a maintenance grant, (so it was our duty to demonstrate the unfairness of the situation for the benefit of those who followed) and I've been part of many a letter/email writing campaign for Amnesty International. 
Oh and don't get me started on the Poll Tax protests!

I'm one of those irritating people who to quote Vic and Bob, 
"Wouldn't let it lie".

Yesterday thousands of other people,  your ordinary folk, both young and old, (not rent a rabble), felt so strongly about the appalling situation at Charlton Athletic, they were prepared to demonstrate twice in a day outside the ground. 

If you are reading this you'll know why but just on the off chance, here's a quick summary.

There were also rousing choruses of disapproval for our absentee owner and his minions throughout the game.

I was extremely proud to be a part of something so close to my heart.

To those people who say we should not be demonstrating as it effects the team, I can dismiss your argument with a flourish.

The two biggest demonstrations the supporters have managed so far have been against Sheffield Wednesday (we won) and yesterday against Forest, when despite having 10 men, we hung on for a draw and but for some fine goalkeeping could even have snatched all three points.

I hope this is the start of something. 

Perhaps Roland may be swayed, ever so slightly, to change his gameplan, even by a mere (ahem) 2%?

We can't afford to stop now. The wheel has started turning. 
Pressure needs to be maintained.

Keep On Keeping On.
'Til The Fight Is Won!
Just before the blind came down! KM pretending it's just a normal post match slap up feast.