Saturday, 31 October 2015

Middlesbrough 3 v Charlton Athletic Nil

Fourth straight defeat and only two points from the last 24. We did manage to hang on for an hour before being swept aside but the other stats from today's game are alarming and make it clear that the squad haven't responded to the uninspiring appointment of another inexperienced Belgian network manager.

One effort on target and a paltry 26% possession. We did, however, make 16 fouls. Karel Fraye can obviously make an improvement on that but first we have to try and get something at Milton Keynes on Tuesday night. Fail there and the Valley could be a pressure cooker when the high-flying Owls visit on Saturday.

I can't see anything changing as things stand and the temporariness of Karel Fraye's appointment will come into sharp focus throwing even more ridicule on Roland Duchatelet's running of our club. In the meantime we fall further behind and join Rotherham as firm favourites for the drop.

Roland Duchatelet is rapidly turning our club into a national joke. Newcastle have been the perennial under-achievers, Sheffield Wednesday the most deluded and Leeds the worst run until now. The fact is we could challenge Newcastle for under-achievement, match Wednesday for our bouts of overblown optimism on the back of half a dozen results and make Leeds look a modicum of professionalism. The difference between us and those clubs, of course, is that they have larger fan bases who wield some power at their clubs and with the national press. The way things are going, "doing a Charlton" could soon have an altogether different meaning than when it was in vogue for us punching above our weight and steadily establishing ourselves in the top flight.

Pissed off, angry and strangely not bothered all at the same time.

Friday, 30 October 2015

They are rattled

The dire state of Club-Supporter relations has finally been noticed by those running the club. The Official Site is this morning telling us that Katrien Meire and Richard Murray will meet a select group of supporters to discuss the current lows. My guess is they are seeing an acceleration in the decline of all the vital signs in terms of income.

I have to say that opening dialogue can't be viewed as anything other than a step in the right direction but the damage has already been done and we will need to see action now to improve matters not just talk. They are already limiting the discussion to Fans Forum reps and a 'randomly selected' supporter audience. That isn't a great start as Katrien has already neutered the Fans Forum and I fully expect the randomly selected list of fans names to then be heavily vetted. In any event, I can't see what La Meire will do short of seeking to justify the indefensible in terms of what we have already seen and learnt. 

We live in hope, of course, but we know what we need and it's regime change because the leopard doesn't change it's spots. The timing of this meeting has yet to be confirmed but talk of "the international break" looks like an attempt to buy time and possibly defuse any protests in the meantime at the upcoming games. Speaking of which, no news that I can see of any output from the Trust meeting last night which is disappointing given the current furore.

Thursday, 29 October 2015


That's the bookies verdict on our chances of winning at the Riverside on Saturday. Simon Makienok may well be lumping on given his confidence this week following the arrival of the Flemish-speaker now filling the team-sheet out.

Personally, I reckon 8-1 is realistic odds for Boro hitting 8 (eight) against us. If you took it though, you would have to go for Charlton Nil, given our powder-puff strike force. I hope Big Mak gets a start so he can prove me wrong and show us his lethal finishing qualities as we power to victory. Hopefully he won't be repeating his line this week about the Preston game when he said "when I came on I tried to show some energy, but they scored their third and the game was finished." My advice is Simon might keep his gob shut this week and try to let his striking prowess do his talking.

Whilst in the mood for dispensing wisdom, my tip for Karel Fraye is to ham-up his inability to speak English so he can swerve some of the anticipated post-match questioning from the assembled hacks. He could always pretend that Guy Luzon is still working his notice and that he's not actually in charge until next week.

I might also suggest that Katrien Meire takes a lift if she's going to away matches in future because there will be a large queue wanting to harangue her, Watford-stylee, if she ventures onto public transport. Given the strength of feeling this is a serious risk for La Meire even if travelling numbers are likely to be down to double figures given the dross we are serving up.

I am not going to make the Trust Meeting this evening and have been put off by reinforcement of the fact that first and foremost, it's an AGM. It's about time we heard from the Royal Oak Rebels of whatever they were called. At least they had seen the writing on the wall and had the capacity to agree a decisive course of protest.....

Monday, 26 October 2015

Two Belgian Nonentities Confirmed

As widely predicted, Karel Fraye and another bloke unqualified to do the job, have been appointed as temporary First Team Coach and Assistant. As well as earning some decent money whilst it lasts (I hope they haven't accepted a month-in-hand), the pair should qualify for appearances on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in future.

Katrien Meire has been working overtime to come up with the brilliant idea to appoint the pair 'temporarily' whilst the trawl of global talent doesn't continue in the background. It's a great wheeze because they can claim it was only ever temporary when the pair are replaced in short order once it's clear that the squad aren't convinced by two blokes from Belgium who can't trap a ball and are less qualified than they all are to be picking the team and sorting the tactics. Expect our consistent recent form to continue apace as the players send a message to Dumb and Dumber that they will only play for someone they respect.

In the meantime, let's fire-up the war machine and get our message across as supporters that we have had our fill of being dicked over, lied to and taken for complete idiots. In my view it's time for a boycott of sorts and everything we can do to embarrass Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire to sell our club on and get back to what they know and understand which isn't professional football. I wasn't going to attend the Trust Meeting this week but I am now rearranging my plans.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

It's not who next, but what next?

Charlton Athletic Football Club have been suffering under the Roland Duchatelet's 'network model' for two years. Four managers have now been sacked during that period and three of them  deserved more time or more financial backing (Powell, Riga and Peeters).

Luzon had lost the support of the players and had to go, although he too wasn't supported fully in the Summer and had to make do with a paper-thin squad outside his first choice eleven. The question we are all absorbed with now, is who next? The strong view is that whoever it is, it will be the wrong choice for our club and someone who will simply perpetuate the decline and the suffering of our supporters. Malky Mackay was photographed at the match yesterday which set some hares running. His appointment would reflect very poorly on Katrien Meire (what's new) given her recent vote of confidence in Guy Luzon and the fact that Mackay was bound to be spotted. Ordinarily you would assume that, that level of incompetence might suggest Mackay might have been  there for other reasons (Brentford are also to appoint a permanent manager) but given Meire's track record it would be entirely in keeping that she invited him. Karel Fraye is the other name being strongly bandied and as a network manager you can see him being appointed next after the customary exhaustive search for the best candidate on the planet. Fraye's credentials have seen him appointed to his current third tier Belgium club role where his side are struggling and who were hammered 4-0 yesterday.

The question we should all be asking is 'what next?' Whoever the incoming manager is, it will either make no difference to our relegation battle or it will simply prolong the inevitable and that is that we have to move Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire on. You can argue that we are financially secure and that Roland is investing in the future but it's also clear that he expects the club to break even sooner rather than later and that means we will be remain uncompetitive in the Championship where the only clubs who get close to that typically go down. The eternal optimist will also say that we should struggle on and wait until our Academy begins to bear fruit. That presupposes that Duchatelet would hold onto his emerging talent in sufficient numbers to get us promoted. The facts are that Poyet was sold a year ago and Gomez this year. Frankly, I don't trust him not to just sell the talent on and continue to fund a side that could compete in League One. I am not prepared to wait for four or five years to see and probably experience another relegation in the meantime.

I am going to vote with my feet and protest. Boycotts are never popular because they are counter-intuitive. As fans we want to watch our side and support them financially. However, the current regime is driving fans away more successfully than we have managed to attract them in the past. The money is irrelevant given Roly's wealth and, well, the football we have been playing is hardly an attraction either.

Like Riga, Peeters and Luzon I will support the individual and hope for the best but we can't let form affect our focus on removing the Puppet-Master and Pinnochio. Standard Liege fans have shown us the way and we must imitate their successful campaign. No-one likes bad publicity but businessmen and politicians absolutely hate it. My guess is Duchatelet will cut and run if we get our act together this season. The idea of a state of the art training facility is attractive but I'd rather we had owners who were committed to getting the best and most competitive side out that they can with an experienced and credible Chief Exec and First Team coach.

Credit to LeaburnForEngland for the cartoon.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Charlton Nil v Brentford 3

Back to close to a first choice eleven today but still nowhere near good enough to get a result. After the initial ten minutes of inertia when Gudmundson, Watt and Moussa all missed chances, the visitors settled into the game and took control in midfield. Old boy Alan McCormack and his sidekick Alan Judge ran the show although Cousins and Jackson gave them the floor.

Brentford's passing and movement was simple and embarrassed us. They were strong down our left and played triangle after triangle as they worked their way into our box. Possibly guilty of being too elaborate, they finally found the scoring formula with a fast break and delicious deep cross which was so good, Swift was able to time his run and shape his leap to perfection. Henderson had no chance as the header powered past him.

After that it was largely one-way traffic and McCormack deserved a goal when he finished a fine break with a shot from distance which beat Henderson but bounced down off bar and post. One down at half-time and I wondered if a second Bees goal would finish it after the break. Sure enough ten minutes in and with a Charlton attack stopped, McCormack broke out and with Judge supporting alongside they played a one-two, one-two before Judge looked up and curled a belter beyond the despairing dive of Henderson and inside the far post in front of the jubilant Bees. Two-nil, game over.

That's two points from the last 15 at home and we have conceded first in all five of those. The football we have been playing is fractured and largely hopeful. You can't expect to win games like this and Brentford showed us how it should be done. Sorry to say it again but our side aren't playing for the manager. I am not in favour of repeatedly changing but you can't keep one for whom the players aren't playing. Like his predecessors, he's not been given a good hand by Roland Duchatelet but he's not played it well either and must go.

As I concentrate on the rugby, I see we have conceded a third. Nail in coffin for Luzon.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Charlton Athletic 0 v Preston North End 3

Glad I missed this one. Guy Luzon cannot pin this on anyone but himself. He picks a bizarre looking weak and unbalanced side with three left-backs and we are behind within two minutes and play like no-one gives a toss. We fail to score again and concede three to yet another bottom three team.

Pretty simple really, he's lost the dressing room.

I feel another Katrien Meire foot-in-mouth moment coming on....

Monday, 19 October 2015

That's apathy for you

A first for me. A few weeks ago I was invited to a work dinner by my boss. It was a team meal but I declined as we were due to play Palace. Unusually, the meal was rescheduled (for tomorrow night) and I accepted the invite without checking my personal diary. I subsequently realised that the dinner is an excuse to say farewell to me as I started a new job (same company) on 1st October.

I was aware last week that we are at home tomorrow but the penny didn't drop until I looked at my work diary for the morning. The fact that home fixtures barely register is a sign of how disinterested I have become. Ordinarily, I would make another excuse and prioritise on being at the Valley, but having considered it for a few minutes I am going to break the habit of a lifetime and miss a game I could easily be at. It will be a decent meal and it would be rude for me not to be there after all. Will I miss anything?

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Dr Eva Carneiro

We might be short on the playing side but I am told Chelsea's former high profile first team Doctor could be joining us to help deal with the queue of walking wounded. Having felt the wrath of the Jose Mourinho and having been hung out to dry by the Chelsea hierarchy, Eva would surely find a more welcoming environment at Sparrows Lane and the plans to upgrade would make it even more attractive. This could prove counter-productive!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Reading 1 v Charlton Athletic 0

At 6-1, we were the longest odds in our division for a win today.  There's a reason for that and, frankly, it was what the vast majority of us expected. I assume all three experienced strikers are injured, even after the two week break, which was why we started with 18 year-old Karlan Ahearne-Grant and hitherto League One midfielder Franck Moussa as the front two.

So, it was a rear-guard action as we defended with two banks of four and sought to keep a clean sheet. Reading had 22 attempts to our two and I think we managed two corners to boot. No surprise whatsoever that we conceded and lost. Pretty hopeless but I guess you have to go with what you've got. It was clear to me we didn't start the season with enough goal-scoring threat and that's the simple reason we now find ourselves preparing for a relegation scrap.

We have Preston at home on Tuesday and Brentford visit us on Saturday. I won't say the obvious but they are two matches I am not looking forward to. Given current performance and player availability I suspect we will come out of the pair looking for three sides we might be better than.

What's just as worrying is the current level of apathy amongst our most loyal supporters. Barring the promotion season from League One, which wasn't exactly vintage stuff, it's been a slog going now since relegation 8-9 seasons ago. We have seen so much change in playing staff and managerial teams  that we have had no continuity of play or tactics. We may have managed several mini-runs but outside of those we have been inconsistent and particularly disappointing at home. Often losing to the bottom sides and failing, far too often, to capitalise in games where we have been ahead and on top. Far too cautious and unadventurous for far too long.

The running of the club has been a side-show but not one that has helped build any rapport with the fans which might have made things more bearable or hopeful. As duff as the football has been, it's been depressing to listen to an arrogant Belgian Lawyer telling us we can like it or lump it. The fact is, many are choosing to lump it and I believe that is doing us long-term damage. Damage that will continue to hurt us long after Roland Duchatelet finally gets tired of it and returns to his Chateau. Let's face it, he staked his lunch on FFP and that's failed. He's in this to prove a point more than to make money (he is worth £700m and his business continues to generate substantial income) and you have to wonder how much longer it will sustain his interest. Having sold up on Standard Liege we are his largest remaining footballing asset. He has committed funds to invest in the Academy and that will take several years to bear any fruit. That's not to say he couldn't sell up in the meantime and realise the equivalent value as part of any sale but you have to think he will be around for a couple of years yet and would want to ensure we were holding our own before he sold. It will take us a couple of seasons to be doing that looking at the squad we have.

Relegation is always a huge blow to any club but I strongly believe it could do us irreparable damage given what we have suffered in recent years and the fact that so many diehards are giving up or seriously on the cusp of packing it in. Katrien Meire and Co simply don't understand this or naively believe that any future success would see the fans rushing back through the turnstiles.

I watched the Rugby this afternoon and will be glued again this evening and tomorrow. If club rugby was anywhere near the spectacle of internationals, I would be at Blackheath on Saturdays. I am also drawn closer to watching Welling United where I expect the footballing ride is very similar to our own but you know they are managing it on a tiny budget and being as upfront and honest with their fans as they can be. 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Scotland 36 v Samoa 33

Slumped on the floor of the train heading back to the Smoke after 24 hours on the Toon. I was up to see Scotland finally putting a cohesive performance together and notch a comfortable victory over the misfiring Samoans. Instead it's all been about getting the result and making the last eight of the Rugby World Cup.

True to form, Big Vern's boys had me chewing my knuckles between 2.30 and 4pm yesterday as they played cat and mouse with the Navigators from the middle of the Pacific ocean. Behind for much of the match and conceding tries with alarming ease, it was only naievity and ill-discipline of the barrel-bodied Polynesians that allowed Greg Laidlaid's big toe to keep Scotland in touch and it was the quick thinking and spirited dash of the wee man which saw us finally win the game.

Newcastle made us welcome, as always. We warmed uo with a few pints of Toon Broon and Southwold bitter in the Newcastle Arms in the Gallowgate before kick-off. The ground was full and strains of "Scot-land, Scot-land" could be heard over the city after 3.30 as the ever-hopeful Tartan Army urged their side on. The relief at the whistle was huge and we know we will have to be much better than that just to stay close to the Aussies next Sunday. In fact, having watched the Aussies give no quarter to a vibrant Welsh display, I reckon we well get walloped by the Wallabies.


Friday, 9 October 2015

Lucky promotion vision

The Newsshopper's latest reveal from the interview with Katrien Meire, CEO of Charlton Athletic, quotes her once again on thin ice, this time talking about ambitions for promotion and confirms what I have long believed and that is we don't have any.

Not unlike the piece the Newsshopper showed us the other day when she was making circular arguments about our January transfer plans that would have had a politician smiling, Katrien tells us that there is no time frame for promotion. Instead they will continue to see what happens in terms of youth coming through and which of our players stick around or renew contracts. She then says that they might consider an investment in a January transfer window if we were handily placed. 

This would appear to be a contradiction in practice. What she is really saying is if a host of stars aligned for us - enough quality youngsters coming through to see us retain some of them whilst still selling enough to balance the books and still improve the side, as well as enough of the better experienced players still being contracted to us - then Roland might weigh out to go for it if were were well positioned at the half-way stage. The reality, of course, is that the better young players will continue to be sold to balance the books and we won't run enough of a experienced squad to make us truly competitive anyway. 

Her quote "no, we can't set a specific time frame on it (promotion), because by then our best players could have left," is very telling. It suggests the Board's player policy isn't  strong enough to have any confidence that the better players will stay or renew their contracts. Of course, they become free agents and the those offered better opportunities and more money at bigger clubs will move on, but the complete submission on the point suggests she doesn't have any confidence the better players will stay. Of course, having perhaps played for us for several years, a la Gudmundsson, and seeing no realistic ambition, then they are likely to leave us, thereby perpetuating the whole cycle.

This precisely the reason I am slowly falling out-of-love with my lifelong passion. It's a relief not to worry about Administration and great to see investment in the infrastructure and facilities but if that is primarily to improve the value of youth players or as a sop to fans because we are under-investing in the quality of our squad, then we are being duped. 

Katrien Meire has an arrogance about her which carries her into these media interviews where she likes to think she is a cutting edge young CEO at the forefront of the game, when in reality she is attempting to make up for the policy of communicating as little with the supporters as possible and actually telling us nothing via the media nonsense. She can tell a Belgian journalist our ground used to hold 90,000 or that she stopped complimentary tea and coffee for the masses because they know no better and she's unlikely to be challenged. She can't do that with the supporters because we know our record attendance was 75,031 in a 1938 F A Cup match against Villa and that our capacity for generations was 66,000. We also know that any Stalinist purge on tea and coffee was likely to have affected a tiny number of privileged supporters in a lounge or as part of their package and, frankly, it was probably a short-sighted counter-productive measure.

Until there is a change in policy and honest dialogue, Charlton Athletic will continue to stagnate. Cheaper seating and marketing gimmicks can never make up for the end quality of the football and the ambition of the club. 

Monday, 5 October 2015

Charlton Athletic 2 v Fulham 2

They say you should never bet against your own side but I don't follow that. I have always been prepared to and it occasionally softens the blow. Yesterday was a case in point. Based on our league form, our thin squad and the Sky Hoodoo, I had anchored two accumulators with a Fulham victory.

When Conor McAleny wasted a golden opportunity in the opening minute to put us one-up I gave my wife a knowing smile. Karlan Ahearne-Grant's chance was nowhere near as easy but he was caught by Hangeland and I was sure it wasn't going to be our day. When Nicky Pope spilled a first-half free-kick and Fulham reacted quickest, I did feel slightly less pissed-off.

A largely unrecognisable Fulham side edged the first half but looked good value for a second goal. One name that was familiar was that of Ross McCormack, and whilst he looks to be living well on his big London wages, he was busy and increasingly direct. I told my wife we would leave once he had netted the second but as that came on the hour we persevered. There was no response and as good as we were left to right and right to left, up and down was not happening. Gudmundson and Solly whipped in a number of decent balls from the right but Watt and Ahearne-Grant were never going to capitalise. With ten minutes left Super Jacko was unleashed and he appear to run straight on and into the box to thunder home a header from off the bar from a corner.

The lack of leadership was so apparent at that moment. Jackson lead the team at pace back for the kick-off and his clenched fists urged us to get behind the side. We did and they upped their game. Suddenly Fulham were back-pedalling and their noisy contingent was finally rescued to nail-biting as we piled men into the box and slung balls over the top. We got to 90 minutes and four were added. Once two of them were gone I settled for the defeat our 90 minutes deserved and headed out.

The roar that greeted us on the concourse behind the East was too loud for it to be a Fulham third and it was quickly confirmed that Jordan Cousins had rescued Luzon's blushes and cost me the thick end of £600.

Left to mull it over in the White Swan over a few pints of Howbury (Bexley/Erith brewer) and homemade pork pies,  I came to the conclusion that today we were probably only a striker short (and maybe Kashi) of our strongest eleven and we were well short of the mark. I don't see Fulham as promotion contenders but our performance would suggest a lower half battle for the rest of the season. Our squad is too thin but it's our striking options that will ultimately leave us short of goals. Big Mak is probably worth no more than five a season and without Vetokele firing, Tony Watt cannot play the foil he so good at. Time and again yesterday he had two or three men to beat.

I haven't had time to check the attendance yesterday but the actual turnout was paltry. I was surprised that the Covered End sounded so loud given it looked so empty. Clearly, given the option of watching from home, several thousand decided not to bother. Transportation has been woeful in recent weeks but that is a really bad sign for the future. Still, I am guessing most of them were old gits who live in the past and whose opinion don't really matter. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Katrien Oops!

Our brilliant young CEO has been blabbing about her job to the French publication, L'Echo. She might be surprised that the echo is now being heard back in South East London but judging by her comments, I am guessing she won't care less. Google Translator mangles it a bit, but you will get the drift so I am not attempting to clean it. It also reads better!

The older fans amongst us will be interested to learn the ground once held 90,000. We always suspected the gates were fiddled. Perhaps we won't be too happy to learn she "fired ten older workers" after arriving or that she "doesn't care about the history of the club." Presumably, that's how she knows about our secret ground capacity.

However, she acknowledges all those complaints she receives and ignores. Just in case you think she might be ageist, it's reassuring to know "Duchatelet was seduced by determining Meire."

"Now you understand why I fell in love with this club ? " Exclaims Katrien Meire jokingly . At 31, she holds the position of CEO of the London football club, Charlton Athletic. Around us, 15,000 supporters of the old guard and their families, bellowed loudly singing the anthem of the club before the start of the match against Hull City , the second division of " Championship" English. In this working-class neighborhood of south-east of the British capital , unable to find more traditional than this venerable club 110 years. Meire shows us a lot in a corner of the stage , behind the sampler . " This is where supporters are scattered ashes of deceased . The chaplain of the club still hosts a ceremony. Do you know that thirty years ago , the stadium could accommodate 90,000 people ? "

But this golden age is over. Late 2013 , the entrepreneur Roland Duchâtelet bought this moribund club, who had just been relegated and was poorly managed. " It was a real culture shock ," recalls Meire , CEO since January 2014. This law lawyer competition was behind her , barely five years experience in offices of international lawyers in the Brussels region and with the European Commission. " The staff at Charlton was bloated, and many of them did not have the required skills ," said Meire . In May last year , she fired ten older workers. The timing was tricky because the players had just avoided relegation.

I warned my staff for weeks it would be a disaster down in the third division . And a few days after lifesaving sport , I separated from a part of the staff . It was difficult, but necessary . I have kept the CFO. We are putting in place a good team. The problem is that we are very close to central London . The good people prefer to work there, seen here , wages are more modest. Sometimes I want to climb the wall. For example, a contributor to our sales department failed to send, to a potential sponsor for our jerseys , a rag erased by way of introduction , instead of preparing complete documents and impeccable. So it was 480,000 euros (laughs). I have often said that I needed a punching bag in my office ! "

Clenched Fists

On the ground, not a goal in sight. The first half? A long series of yawns. But just after the restart Meire is recovering at once. Charlton opened the scoring. "Yes, yes," she shouts, fists clenched, before falling into the arms of a pensioner club featured! Meire has fun. "I'm crazy about football. Since I was nine, I followed all home championships STVV. I always wanted to work in the field of sport and football in particular." She realized her dream by reaching out to Roland Duchâtelet few years ago. "It was still the owner of the club STVV (Sint-Truiden), who was playing at the time in second Belgian division I read that several clubs wanted to seek advice from Jef Vermassen -. A criminal lawyer, shit then - on the sale of . TV rights I thought, I do know that it is precisely Roland my specialty. " Duchâtelet was seduced by determining Meire. He incurred during Winter 2013 Standard Liege - he owned at the time - as "Legal and international relations manager." Barely two months later, he sent into the arena of Charlton Athletic.

"I was not ready, I had no experience in managing a football club, and I had never talked to a player agent. The first months, the pressure was very strong, I do not want to be responsible for a relegation. I struggled. Especially the first few months, I happened to cry. I could not speak at Roland but it was busy and I had ensure that it does not have to endure our problems. Fortunately, the staff lovingly supported me. It may be that Roland had asked them to do (laughs). " "I negotiate myself all transfers". Through layoffs and outsourcing, Meire rose from 150 to 100 employees. She gave a great sweep in this dusty club. "Examples? I can cite many as you want. Previously, only one person managed all food stands of the stadium. There was no signed contract, only a 'gentleman's agreement'. After each match, the person we communicated the sales amount and the club received a percentage. There was no control. "


And suddenly , silence. " Damned" , Meire repeatedly swear ! Two minutes before the whistle , Hull City equalized . "Do your job ! " Screaming fans furious at the head of the players. There is among them a clan of diehard fans , Meire has learned the hard way from day one . "Most of the letters I get are complaints. In some subscribers supporters for sixty years , and who know everything better than anyone. So a lady representative for over 80 years , criticized me because we have changed the mascot of the club..."

When Meire eliminated free tea and coffee for fans during the competition days, many have found it a real sacrilege. "I still always get criticism." What difference does it make to give us some tea or coffee? "They ask indignant. Unfortunately it's important! This is where we are likely to achieve our better margins. " "I should not say it, but I do not care about the club's history. We need the pampering, but not at any price." While the fourth official shows eight minutes of stoppage time, Meire emphasizes that she has no regret for having abandoned his career as a lawyer. "The work was too monotonous. I was sitting 13 hours a day at my computer. This job will also exhausting, but so much more exciting. For example, I negotiated myself all transfers. In football, you see faster results. This is positive. My only frustration? Things are not progressing as quickly as I would like. " "This summer, Roland has invested millions of euros in seven new players. It also has invested 2.7 million euros in our stadium and spent € 16 million in new facilities for academy young. He starts to put pressure on me in terms of return on investment (laughs). Of course I'm aware of. I fear that one day something does not go as planned and I'll be fired. But as I think Charlton can progress, I'll stay. I'm really happy here. "