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Ignored by The Football League

Previously, e-mails to the Football League have been acknowledged and then a full response follows.

The underlying e-mail sent in the week following the Flying Pigs game has however seemingly been ignored:

Dear Sirs,

For how much longer are you going to tolerate without comment the increasingly deteriorating situation at Charlton Athletic where an absentee owner has put in charge of the club a CEO (Katrien Meire) who has openly stated in a televised interview in Dublin in September last year that the intention was to limit the ambition of the Club to that of a player farm to provide youth players for clubs in the Premiership and in the same month said in an interview published in L'Echo in Belgium:

"Le passé glorieux de ce club? Je m’en fous" (The past history of the Club? I don't care).

Now, as you are aware, fans of Coventry City and Charlton Athletic joined forces last Saturday to condemn the actions of their respective owners and the way their owners treat the clubs with disdain (e.g. Duchatelet recently said he can only spend 1.5% of his time on Charlton) whilst both clubs treat the fans of these clubs with contempt or even threats when they speak out.

Also heard on the demonstration last Saturday was the chant 'Let down by the Football League'.

Yes, you have turned your backs on the fans, even to the extent of making Katrien Meire an FL representative on the FA Council with the undeserved kudos she now derives from that.

The situation at Charlton is only going to get worse as the campaign against Meire and Duchatelet picks up pace again and you should be ashamed of yourselves for just sitting back and saying nothing.

yours

Comments

  • 25May98 said:

    Yes. Thank you Coventry. That's a good chant. I guess that for 2 1/2 years we have mainly blamed RD and KM for our demise. We have mentioned the football league but not with quite the same passion as Coventry. After 9 years you would feel bitter towards a governing body that has done nothing.

    Let's hope we don't go to 9 years.

    I believe they have had some direct issues with the FL over their ground or something. I'm not sure exactly what but I think it's something like that.

    Point still stands us, Cov, Blackpool, Leeds and many others have been well and truly let down by that absolute joke of a governing body.
  • Except that you haven't really asked them a question they can answer.

    What would they say to "how long?" Maybe forever, some clubs good, some clubs bad? Even the Government/Regulators realise that sometimes a non-crucial bank (Bradford & Bingley, Northern Rock) run so badly it's comical just has to go.

    If the problem is not systemic.....
  • LuckyReds said:

    I believe they want the FL to give assurances that the football club could never be moved out of Coventry. The FL have refused to give assurances, stating that any decision like that involves a process whereby it's passed to their board - perhaps the board Katrien is on?

    I think they claim that preventing the club moving would give their landlords an excess of power, whereby rent could be increased with the club having no ability to "shop around" for better prices elsewhere. At least this is what I gleaned from reading around on their forums the other day.

    The fact that Meire is currently sitting on an EFL board/committee that is involved in these kinds of decisions is, in my opinion, a damning indictment of just how out of touch the entirety of football governance in the UK is. Alas, I've made clear my personal views on the subject before, but suffice to say I believe that the EFL affords no thought to fans and is rather a members club for owners. They are not fit for purpose, are woefully incapable of assessing fitness to run a football club, and they represent the biggest threat to Football in the UK.

    I do suspect a coordinated day of protests aimed at the Football League, with Blackpool, Leeds, Coventry - and to a lesser extent perhaps AFC Wimbledon and Brighton considering the above issue - may be a good idea. It would require a day of home fixtures I guess?

    NightMeire is not on the EFL Board. She withdrew her application following supporters emailing all the voting clubs asking them to vote for the Walsall CEO. NightMeire is on the FA Council as nobody else stood to represent League one.
  • LuckyReds said:

    I believe they want the FL to give assurances that the football club could never be moved out of Coventry. The FL have refused to give assurances, stating that any decision like that involves a process whereby it's passed to their board - perhaps the board Katrien is on?

    I think they claim that preventing the club moving would give their landlords an excess of power, whereby rent could be increased with the club having no ability to "shop around" for better prices elsewhere. At least this is what I gleaned from reading around on their forums the other day.

    The fact that Meire is currently sitting on an EFL board/committee that is involved in these kinds of decisions is, in my opinion, a damning indictment of just how out of touch the entirety of football governance in the UK is. Alas, I've made clear my personal views on the subject before, but suffice to say I believe that the EFL affords no thought to fans and is rather a members club for owners. They are not fit for purpose, are woefully incapable of assessing fitness to run a football club, and they represent the biggest threat to Football in the UK.

    I do suspect a coordinated day of protests aimed at the Football League, with Blackpool, Leeds, Coventry - and to a lesser extent perhaps AFC Wimbledon and Brighton considering the above issue - may be a good idea. It would require a day of home fixtures I guess?

    I agree with all you have posted @LuckyReds.
    There is one thing to be aware of. As Pedro45 has pointed out Katrien Meire is one of the two EFL reps on the FA Council so she would not be on a committee of the EFL which considers Coventry ground.

    However, she does of course gain prestige from being on the FA Council which considers the wider issues of the game etc. Others will know more the functions of the FA Council than I do.

    The situation at Coventry is worse than ours. They have lost their old home of Highfield Road to development, were exiled to playing home games at Northampton a few seasons ago and now having returned to their new rented home at The Ricoh Arena are I believe going to be expelled from there next season in favour of Wasps Rugby who have taken up residence there.

    There is therefore scope I agree for more joint action between the clubs threatened by irresponsible and cavalier owners who nevertheless pass the current fit and proper tests of the Football League.

    The EFL IMO should introduce some mechanism whereby they can monitor and call to account owners who once in place are clearly not acting in the best interests of their own club. The Cov owners would surely fall into that category and Meire's 'player farm' statement re Charlton cannot be a healthy one for the good of the ambitions of Charlton nor one suspects should it have passed without comment from the EFL.
  • You do undermine your argument by taking Meires comments out of context though
  • The football league have let every club down through their incompetence, but I don't blame them for RD being with us.
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  • The football league have let every club down through their incompetence, but I don't blame them for RD being with us.

    Nah, Ive said it before, but RD looked like a good option. Previous experience owning multiple clubs, proven business man and a sustainable financial plan..

    I do blame them for not intervening since though, not only in SE7 but also elsewhere.
  • edited October 2016

    You do undermine your argument by taking Meires comments out of context though

    Whilst that may be fair comment perhaps Meire has only herself to blame if critics pick up on things she perhaps shouldn't have actually voiced if they provide ammunition for opponents of the regime.

    Plus, I would remind you that in the case of the "I don't care (about the history of the Club) comment
    Meire actually pre-fixed this with the words "I shoudn't say this but............

    So for that one I'll put the full quote (although a translation)

    "I know I shoudn't say this but I don't care about the history of the Club.

    I think she either said it twice or L'Echo printed it twice in the interview one in a bullet point and one and I think which you may be referring where it appears in the fuller text where she was trying to say that there were other priorities.
    Nevertheless, she made the 'don't care' comment in the full knowledge that she shouldn't be saying it and no doubt arrogantly believing it wouldn't be reported in England.

    As for the 'player farm' thing I put it in inverted commas but that is effectively what I took from the full interview or did you detect something more subtle?




  • edited October 2016

    You do undermine your argument by taking Meires comments out of context though

    The 'player farm' inference made by Meire in its immediate context:

    "My proposition would be a unique kind of real football experience, kind of fan experience and see hopefully the next stars of the Premier League which we will have play for Charlton in the first team and then probably sell on to the Premier League."

    Note that Meire uses the term 'unique' (or kind of unique).
    English is not her first language so we can forgive the fact that there are no gradations of uniqueness
    So, the context for me is clear (i.e. to be the only Club with an avowed agenda to be a nursery club for the Premiership teams).

    I would however accept a much much wider context where no-one wants to see a financial collapse of any club in an over-ambitious quest for Prem status and this and player wages were discussed in the full interview.

    But Meire was unwise to say what she did in Dublin together of course with the other comments she made about fans not seeing themselves as customers.

    I make no apologies therefore for quoting things Meire has said in public - some of which on reflection she will know, as CEO of the Club, she should not have voiced and if those comments come back to haunt her - then, in the current situation we are in I certainly don't think re-visiting those comments does in any way undermine the argument that Meire is not a fit and proper person to be in charge of a Football Club but rather the reverse.

    PS. If I have misunderstood CAFCNick1992 completely and the comment at the top means I should have put Meire's comments further into context in the e-mail to the EFL then I apologise but at least it has helped me to re-examine them with a more critical eye.

    Now I think the other comments raised in this thread by Prague Addick and others are now more deserving of attention. Plus, there is the Gills game to follow.

  • Finally a reply to the OP from the EFL sort of............

    Hello,

    Thank you for your email.

    We again note your comments, however we are unable to provide any further response to the reply we issued you on 18th August regarding Charlton Athletic and Katrien Meire. We assume you received that reply ok?

    Thank you for contacting the EFL.


    11 days waiting for that!

    I agree that my OP e-mail was less than specific but it did introduce the element of Coventry and Charlton fans coming together in joint protest and did in fact point out that both sets of fans had felt they had been let down by the EFL.

    11 days to decide they weren't going to address any of that and just fob off with referring to a reply they had made some months earlier and prior to the match in question v Coventry.

    How do these people continue to get away with ignoring the genuine concerns of fans?
  • The EFL seem like a corrupt oganisation.
  • The EFL seem like a corrupt oganisation.

    A corrupt Footballing Body / Organisation :open_mouth:.... NEVER!!
  • EFL (shite re-brand, by the way), just a two-bob FIFA.
  • Individually we can get nothing out of EFL unless someone can prove some firm financial or procedural infringement by the regime.
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  • The EFL represents clubs so no great surprise - it does not represent fans.

    The Professional Footballers Association is for players and the League Managers Association is for managers/coaches. Sorry if I've missed it but what have we done with the Football Supporters Federation? That's the body that (should) represent fans.
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