There has been much speculation on Charlton Life and elsewhere about the POTY Dinner which was originally scheduled for Sunday 23rd April. Here are the facts.
For 6 years it has been arranged by Jean Huelin (alias Fanny ) and myself, plus last season, Marilyn Toft of the Community Trust, and the 3 of us were all set to arrange a similar event for this season but were advised at the last Fans Forum Meeting that the club intended to change it from a formal dinner into an afternoon buffet following the last match of the season . I argued strongly that the POTY is a supporters and not a club event and it is not for them to call the shots. With only one exception I received support from every known supporters group and the minutes of the Fans Forum Meeting on which it was discussed, plus the Powerpoint Presentation outlining the proposed changes, can be viewed on the Club Website. They were happy for us to do the work and arrange the event but it would have to be controlled by the club.
Since the Fans Forum Meeting, I have continued my negotiations and eventually they conceded that we could revert back to our preferred 23rd April date and hold the Dinner as we wished, but then another problem arose.
Instructions came that the club would no longer accept Fanny as one of the organisers as a result of an email that she forwarded to a member of the club staff in error and which was less than complimentary about their efforts. Although embarrassing, this did seem an over reaction especially at a time when correspondence criticizing most aspects of the club would appear to be far from unknown. To make matters worse, somebody in the club leaked the story to social media and on another thread on Charlton Life several people have expressed their views already. Fanny is very well known and well liked.
We made it clear that Marilyn and I would not continue without Fanny , but surprisingly the club would not see the wider picture and stuck to their guns, so last night the decision was taken to cancel the Dinner for this season. Very sad and very unnecessary in my opinion.
The vote for Player of the Year will still take place as normal (although possibly on line this year) but we will just have to find another way of presenting the cup.
In conclusion, the unreasonable constraints placed on the organising team by the club has made the event unworkable in the current climate. We are of course extremely disappointed that the actions of the club have led to this situation.