CHARLTON PROTESTS UNAFFECTED BY DUCHATELET’S SIXTH MANAGERIAL APPOINTMENT IN 27 MONTHS
The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) welcomes Russell Slade to Charlton Athletic.
Like all Charlton fans we want the team to be successful in the short and long term, so we hope that he will be given the necessary freedom and support to ensure he has a realistic opportunity to make this happen.
However, Slade is the seventh incumbent since the current regime took over in January 2014, and as such we have to regard the owner’s willingness to fulfil any promises made to get him to join the club with substantial scepticism.
We recognise that this is the first of Duchatelet’s appointments not to come via Belgium and that this does represent a shift in policy of itself, as is giving him the title of “manager”.
However, we note that departing head coach Jose Riga identified the “club structure” as his reason to leave and we remain unconvinced this will change materially in the medium term. Had Riga believed that it would change then presumably he would have been willing to continue. In fact, on leaving the club, every one of the previous bosses has criticised the restrictions imposed on them from above.
Specifically, we question the plausibility of any apparent change in direction while chief executive Katrien Meire continues in place. It is difficult to see how the club can regain any credibility as long as someone whose personal performance has been so consistently poor over two and half years remains in such a key post. The fact that she is still there is a clear indication of the owner's lack of judgement.
The club's transfer activity has been a particular disaster, with large sums of money wasted under her authority. Despite recruiting dozens and dozens of new players in two and a half years, Charlton have yet to sign a single experienced British player directly from a British club under this regime other than on a loan basis, something which is clearly untenable as a policy given the differences between the continental European and English leagues.
CARD’s protests will carry on into next season unabated as we continue to push for the owner to sell the club, because we do not believe he is capable of making the changes required, on or off the field.
If we are wrong then it is for him to prove otherwise by his actions over time.
The regime's words no longer carry any weight.