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Richard Murray's three-year plan

edited December 2008 in General Charlton
I have been away visiting friends in New Zealand and so only had odd snippets of information about our disastrous plunge down the Championship and the sacking of Alan Pardew.

I got back just before the game at Norwich which I went to jetlagged, missed the QPR game at The Valley, and then went to the game at Sheffield United. Both the Norwich and Sheffield United games had a similar pattern. For someone like myself who had not seen the team for many weeks, we seemed to play very well at first in each game – far removed from what I expected of a side in relegation trouble.

At Norwich, we played well until they scored. Then we were just like a punctured balloon. No confidence. No spirit. No fighting qualities. At Sheffield, we had an excellent first half and went a goal ahead, but when they equalised in the second half after a spell of consistent pressure, again we punctured. No confidence. No spirit. No fighting qualities.

In short, we look like a team certain for relegation. Until we can keep clean sheets, show fighting spirit and be consistent throughout a game, we will go down.

How did this all come to pass? I was and still remain a great admirer of Richard Murray. He was the driving force off the field that got us up into the Premiership. At that time, he sensibly left the playing side to Alan Curbishley while getting on with the task of building up the club off the field.

But as we seen with so many business leaders during the banking crisis, he fell into the old, old trap of believing his own publicity, and started passing over the boundary into football matters where he simply was not qualified.

When he announced his ludicrous new coaching structure for the club, planned before he even brought in Ian Dowie, I thought he had taken leave of his senses and wrote a letter to the News Shopper questioning why he had abandoned the model of a football manager in complete charge which had brought us so much success.

The News Shopper the following week published an angry reply from Richard Murray. If you read it now – I still have the copy – you will see the self delusion that had set in. I’ll just quote one section briefly of the tirade.

“I am very excited about the new management team and the new management structure… Iain Dowie has embraced the new structure wholeheartedly.

“It is modern, progressive and forward-thinking, and I am convinced it will be viewed as a blueprint for other clubs and will produce positive results at all levels of the football club.”

Richard Murray’s plan for our future was intended to be a three-year one. When I made my criticisms of Richard Murray, even I little dreamed that it might end in Charlton playing in the Third Division.

Richard Redden

Comments

  • At Norwich, we played well until they scored. Then we were just like a punctured balloon. No confidence. No spirit. No fighting qualities. At Sheffield, we had an excellent first half and went a goal ahead, but when they equalised in the second half after a spell of consistent pressure, again we punctured. No confidence. No spirit. No fighting qualities.

    We've noticed that at games for a while now, the players heads drop and they just don't know what to do.

    Parkinson has said we can't just play well for 45 minutes, he's recognised the problem, unlike Pardew who often blamed it on the referee, bad luck and a few supposedly key players being unavailable.

    If we can get the right players in with the right character it could help the team so much, a bit of quality, experience and leadership.
  • Criticisms may well be justified, but when its dressed up as a personal vendetta and some form of justification, then you kind of lose your audience IMO.
  • Was it Murray's decision to switch that party from Eastmoor Street to the club car park perchance?
  • Hello Richard, I remember you of old, not just from your Charlton book circa 1990, but a decade and more before that, I believe, in Bromley Labour Party!

    We were on opposite sides back then and I seem to remember you leaving to join the SDP, when I'm pretty sure you made comments about a bold new progressive structure for British politics along very similar lines to Richard Murray's comments about his brave new model of football management !!!

    Much as I opposed your views back in those days, I have to say I'm much more in harmony with what you are saying these days, old friend...
  • Richard you are quite correct to highlight the decision made by the club after Curbs left of the coaching set up that has lead to the problems that we now. At the AGM after the club had appointed Dowie, then sacked him and replaced him with Les Reed you were the only one to put Richard Murray on the spot over this and it would have been interesting to have heard him explain. Unfortunately you then went on about the street party and he used this opportunity to rubbish your arguments due to this. Stop using the personal stuff and keep asking the relevant questions because they are bang on the money.
  • [cite]Posted By: AFKABartram[/cite]Criticisms may well be justified, but when its dressed up as a personal vendetta and some form of justification, then you kind of lose your audience IMO.

    None the less RR has a fair point. I listened to Richard Murray a season before Curbs left and my view then was that Richard was starting to believe in his own publicity.
  • So, Richard, you were right because you wrote a letter to a local paper in Orpington? Well, who's the big man, eh?

    Another glass of hindsight? With ice?

    Any other members of the pink oboe list want to come out and air their personal vendettas?
  • [cite]Posted By: InspectorSands[/cite]

    Any other members of the pink oboe list want to come out and air their personal vendettas?

    so true - hope the northern soul night was good inspector - i'm off to a random indie night here in van and we've still got 3 hours to midnight
  • What was the point of that post? Other than a long winded way of saying "I told you so". Well a big round of applause to you.
  • Whilst there is clearly an element of "I told you so" in the posting made by Richard, I can't help thinking that, judging by the other comments, there is some "history" behind and beyond the issue raised and moreover between all concerned.

    Happy New Year.

    Come on you Reds!!!!
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  • Nothing more certain than RR would come out of the woodwork at a time like this, you've waited very patiently to stick your oar into RM with your personal vendetta haven't you.
    Satisfied now...there's a good lad.
  • RR


    i dont know who you are or what vendetta you allegedly have against muzza, but what you have posted has little fact or relivance to your point alll i read in it is that you thought muzza had got it wrong he didnt.

    i thought Franny jeefers was going to be the bollox i was wrong my pal was right.

    i dont understand what you are indicating here is it that his 3 teir mgmt policy wouldnt work if yes suerly we realised that and Muzza changed it with pardew

    I am confused

    Soundas i feel that you may need to give me some of your wisdom with regads to Richard Redden
  • edited January 2009
    Reality check...

    This message board is highly vociferus at the best of times, yet there was no criticism at the time of Dowies' appointment, or the coaching structure - which attempted to establish a boot room structure (not really sure why RM thought this would work though) he was viewed as a progressive coach and welcomed by most if not all as I recall.

    In a similar vein there were few voices raised against Pards who was welcomed much like a returning hero.

    Its all very well laying criticism this late in the day, but it doesn't really stack up that well - even immediately after Dowie's exit - if there was no mention at the time of these appointments and smacks of hindsight.

    The job of a business leader is to lead and innovate particularly in football and especially at a club like ours. Some decisions will lead to failure some to success.

    The reality of our situation at least under Dowie was the inability to make sound purchases on what was even that summer a limited amount by premier league standards.

    With so much money tied up in such poor players, we were well and truly f*cked in my view, this is nothing to do with the coaching structure - indeed giving more power to the manager might have made this far worse.

    I doubt very much that having Reed a respected international coach, and an agent to help negotiate deals was really going to cause a problem, which incidentally Richard you haven't actually explained - how was Dowie affected adversely by this? He could simply circumnavigate them if he desired (which i believe he did)

    Murray will be judged his decisions, but based on the information available, appointment of Dowie, even Reed, and Pards simply were not poor decisions on that premis.

    The other retrospectively poor decisions in my view either been made by the manager or have perhaps been forced upon RM and the club (as far as we know),

    buying Faye, traore spending 4m on diawaraa, and later inflated prices for Varney, McLeod, Gray

    selling Reid, Iwelumo, Bougherra, etc

    Not giving Pards the boot sooner (despite shocking results), and employing Parky despite no good results.

    Perhaps you could criticise RM for some of the above but even then it is difficult to know what finances have forced on us.

    R
  • edited January 2009
    The thrust of Richard Redden's 2006 letter - which he sent to all the local newspapers, but not all of them published - was that Murray had appointed Mills in a director of football role. This was never the case, as has been explored many times and was rebutted by Murray in his response.

    A director of football sits above the manager, as does our current chief executive. Mills had no authority over Dowie. He did, however, have the ridiculously overblown title of "general manager", so the club must share some of the blame for the perception that flowed from that.

    Redden went on in his 2006 letter to predict that Dowie would be successful, which is probably why he doesn't ever publish the full text.

    However, if Richard Murray ever did start "believing his own publicity" no one was more responsible for this than Redden himself, with his year-on-year gushing over-the-top sycophancy towards people he hardly knew and certainly never understood.

    Here's the news, RR. Directors get involved in football matters because that's why they become directors in the first place. They pay almost no attention to other customer-facing aspects of the business because if that was where their interest lay they could do it elsewhere with none of the handicaps attached at a professional football club.

    We're been very lucky with our directors over the last 15 years, from Alwen to Chappell inclusive, but part of that is because the context was set for most of them by Murray and your other old mate Peter Varney. That doesn't make any of them saints or geniuses. It's your delusion that they were and expectation that they should be which is the whole reason for your disillusionment.
  • edited January 2009
    all well and good folks but now the question remains Who is Richard Redden and why are his views so widely known yet i know fudge all (new years resolution no cursing) about him or them.

    Is he an x netaddick is he a journo or is he just like me a no one
  • [cite]Posted By: nth london addick[/cite]all well and good folks but now the question remains Who is Richard Redden and why are his views so widely known yet i know fudge all (new years resolution no cursing) about him or them.

    Is he an x netaddick is he a journo or is he just like me a no one

    He is a Big Beast of the Charlton Fans Jungle and wrote an excellent Club history about 15 years back.

    None of the other Big Beasts appear to like him much though!
  • edited January 2009
    Thank you Len so a form of Journo with an addicks heart.

    Fair play to him then.

    Bit of job advice RR if you want to keep doing stuff like the Charlton history book it would proberly be easier not to allienate one of the biggest pieces of our History in Muzza :-)
  • edited January 2009
    It's a smashing book - The Story of Charlton Athletic 1905-90, published by Breedon Books in 1990.Coffee table style tome, lots of pix but intelligent, informed and well-written text.

    He does seem to have a tendency to fall out with people, though. I knew Richard in the Labour Party way back in the 1970s when he made many enemies and eventually led a break-away faction into the SDP under very fractious circumstances!

    You can't fault his Charlton credentials. Saw his first match in 1949, and although being a Charlton Lifer is not a competiton, I suspect that few can mach that...
  • Good summary Len.
  • [cite]Posted By: nth london addick[/cite]all well and good folks but now the question remains Who is Richard Redden and why are his views so widely known yet i know fudge all (new years resolution no cursing) about him or them.

    Is he an x netaddick is he a journo or is he just like me a no one

    Come along to a bromley meeting. Good chance you may see him.

    Or even better the Shareholders agm.
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  • edited January 2009
    '...year-on-year gushing over-the-top sycophancy towards people he hardly knew...'

    Like it.

    That reminds me of a certain familiar poster or two around these parts....

    No-one on this thread mind, before everybody understandably gets defensive!!
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