Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust Calls Fans Meeting.

I haven't blogged for ages.  I'm not going to bore you with all the details but I just wanted to try to support the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust and share their latest message.  If this helps to get the message out to more people, then it has been worthwhile.

Here are the details:

Further to our statement of 14th January 2015, the Charlton Athletic Supporters' Trust wrote to the club's CEO Katrien Meire to follow up our offer to discuss the growing anxiety of supporters about the direction of the club, and how they might be better involved.
We have received a disappointing response. Whilst Ms Meire has suggested that we meet with a colleague to discuss what the club needs to do to maintain and grow the fanbase, she declined any dialogue on the vital matter of where the club is heading.
Her explanation - that she had nothing more to tell supporters regarding the direction of the club - reminds us of her words in the London Evening Standard, when she insisted that fans would just “need to accept” the owner’s way. We respectfully but strongly disagree with her. We continue to hear daily from supporters of a growing discontent at the inconsistency between the club’s words and actions, and a frustration with a lack of true engagement.
The Supporters’ Trust’s offer to meet with Ms Meire remains open, but with regret we conclude that the time has now come to seek other channels by which the supporters' voice can be heard regarding the damage being done to our historic club and its identity.
Therefore, we intend to:
• Organise and chair an open public meeting within the next two weeks, for all Charlton supporters to air their views on the current situation. This meeting is intended to be an opportunity to bring together as many as possible of the various organisational, internet and publication elements of the Charlton family, as well as individual supporters, and secure the widest possible mandate for any approach we jointly decide to adopt. We will also seek input via the Trust website from those who cannot attend the meeting.
• Based on conclusions from the meeting, agree a unified and appropriate supporters’ response at the earliest opportunity
History tells us the club is at its strongest when its supporters are informed, consulted and involved in the setting of its direction. We are committed to persuading the board of that fact and restoring the supporter to the heart of Charlton Athletic.
We will provide further details as soon as possible.

This statement was taken directly from the Trust's website which can be found here.


  1. The board are doing a great job and fans should be supporting the team and players and getting behind the new manager instead of scoring points and accosting club staff.

  2. Katrien,no need to be anonymous,we know who you are.

  3. I'm sure the Trust would be the first to encourage supporters to keep showing up and supporting the team. But there is a growing feeling that the board are not doing a great job and despite attempts by various groups, the Club do not want to engage with fans on the matter.

    In my opinion, the two issues you've pointed out are completely separate. Fans can support the team on the pitch AND express their displeasure at the perceived direction and ambitions of the club.

  4. The Board have saved the club from administration and are already investing in improved infrastructure - you haven't. There needed to be a change of direction after a string of disappointing results and the Board took appropriate action by replacing the Manager who needs to be given the chance to turn things round by doing his job without acrimony.

    What you and the Trust are doing is undermining the Club and players at a time when their confidence is low. I also detect a hint of xenophobia from these supporters whose negative energy is destroying the very fabric of Charlton Athletlic.

  5. The previous owners had nothing to gain by putting the club into administration, they were looking to make a profit on their investment. Roland was not the only interested party, he was just the preferred option of the previous owners. It's common knowledge that the investment in infrastructure was funded by sales of players (Kermorgant's fee being the most substantial part of the monies spent).

    With regards to the string of disappointing results, the board have to take responsibility for the predicament we find ourselves in. They exercised poor judgement in terms of the playing staff they have recruited and with the managers they have appointed.

    It appears to many of us that the decisions that are being made are for the benefit of Roland Duchatelet and his network and not for the benefit of the club and it's supporters. So you'll forgive me if I have a different opinion as to who is destroying the very fabric of the club.

    I would just like to point out that whilst I am a member of CAST, that's as far as my affiliation with them goes. I am merely a humble Charlton Athletic fan and my post was made to convey to the growing number of fans that are feeling disillusioned, that somebody is stepping up and wants to take their concerns seriously. Because at this point, the club do not appear to want to do this.

  6. The previous owners wanted to sell the Club that was quite clear at the time. I don't think you have the full financial facts at hand as to the viability of the club and one player's wages doth not fully fund infrastructure projects such as pitch improvements etc.

    The Board has done a great job since its arrival and has taken action to ensure the Club keeps afloat and brought in the necessary players. Mr Riga wanted to move on at the time and Bob Peeters was then appointed, he started well but when groups of fans were calling for his departure after a series of disappointing results the Board reacted and appointed a new Manager who deserves the chance to turn things round and improve results.

    Far from being made for the benefit of one individual, the Board are continuing to guarantee the future of Charlton Athletic and as a humble council estate fan myself, they continue to have my fullsome support from myself and hope they reject this offer to meet with an unrepresentative ungrateful group.

  7. Kermorgant's transfer fee to Bournemouth paid for the pitch, the most significant and costly part of the renovations at The Valley in the summer. It's not the saving the club made in his wages that we are talking about here.

    Riga did not want to leave. He was very vocal about this at the time. Duchatelet never offered him the job. In Duchatelet's defence, Riga's contract was only short term and there was never a guarantee that he would get the job at the end of it, but it is a fact that Riga wanted a new contract, a longer term contract. In my opinion, he deserved that after the successful job he did of keeping us in the Championship.

    The dismissal of Peeters wasn't helped by the poor results on the pitch. I find it hard to have sympathy as was clearly struggling towards the end. But, he probably should never have been appointed in the first place due to his lack of experience. Riga had done a great job in keeping us up AND he wanted the job permanently, replacing him with Peeters made no sense.

    Luzon was appointed not because he was the best man for the job, but because he was already on Duchatelet's payroll What we needed was a manager with at least some experience. Instead we got someone that Duchatelet removed from another one of his clubs because he was under performing.

    The meeting that CAST have announced, is not with the club. It's with the fans. The Trust has tried on several occasions to try to engage with the club and to try to bring about some kind of dialogue on the future of the club. The club have flatly refused.

    This meeting is to try to gauge fans opinions and to discuss any action that can be taken to try open some form of dialogue with the club. You should attend. If nothing else you may come away with some valuable information as to why so many people are so disillusioned right now.

    Not wishing to be rude, but I think you would benefit from researching some facts about the current issues before continuing further with this conversation.

    Thank you for your comments.

    1. That's your subjective view but I'd rather not be patronised on facts by so called fans on blogs who think they know it all when quite clearly they don't.

      Jose Riga was happy to move on as his contract was until the end of last season and said as such in a Belgium newspapers article I read at the time. Riga did a good job but then so did Chris Powell who was derided by fans on many sites when the results weren't good and the Board, criticised at the time for not replacing Powell sooner, took action with the run of poor results under Peeters, There were many fans venting their anger with Peeters so the Board are sometimes damned if they do and damned if they don't.

      Luzon has been appointed Peeter's successor and as with any new Manager deserves a chance to try and improve results and try his methods out which have been successful at other clubs so unlike the many negative and hostile fans I wish him all the best in a very difficult situation and with so many hostile supporters.

      I am also detecting a certain amount of xenophobia with the Club being run by a Belgian no doubt fuelled by fans with a political agenda and I think the Board are doing the right thing in supporting the new Manager, players and Club. Without the new owner, I see the Club entering administration as the other options were unsuitable at the time including frivolous bids which were not prepared to invest in the long term.

      This meeting does not interest me. I do not support CAST and it has never represented a majority of fans though it likes to think it does and to use that expression punchers above its weight.. Rather than undermine the team and owners, I'd rather turn my energies and efforts to supporting the players on the pitch and will carry on doing so.

      Kermorgant's transfer did not fully pay for the pitch but funded ongoing infrastructure spend.

    2. Xenophobia? Is this the new strategy being employed by the pro Roly campaign? No basis for argument so resort to name calling. Stop lying to yourself pal. Your obviously a club official attempting a damage limitation exercise. The club is screwed and it is a joke and people like you are allowing it to happen.

  8. Thank you Exile, just an opinion but I'm totally and completely in agreement with you. My analogy is at end of the day supporters have one shot. Boycott. Don't carry a gun unless you are prepared to use it. Other than that we are powerless and making a good case against what's gone wrong will change nothing. In a rational situation it would, but we are not anywhere near in one of those.

  9. Personally, I think that we should just keep the faith here, and support our Board, Players, the Team and our New Manager, at this critical time of the season. (That is, we who are the silent majority)!
    Unfortunately, the ‘glass half empty’ brigade always makes the most noise here, as usual, with the endless stream of negativity, and endless doom & gloom!
    United we stand, divided we fall!
    The new manager is undefeated so far. We were unlucky to concede in extra time against Rotherham. Give the ‘guy’ a chance!
    Also, I’m sure Luzon will bring a target man in on loan next week(s), when the loan window opens again. As I’m not surprised that we didn’t sign a Striker before the deadline. As they are the most expensive Players to sign – and, other Clubs will take advantage of you in January, knowing that you are desperate for a Striker!
    We are better off than the bottom 3 Clubs – and, we are only 1 Point away from 12th place! Look at the Table – it’s very tight down there. One win and things will look a lot healthier.
    Please, let’s stay united. Otherwise, the Team will continue to slide. They need our support now! Also, please give Luzon a chance! At least we are harder to beat now, which is a positive start (with a solid foundation to build upon)!
    *Without Duchatelet, we would be Bankrupt! Let’s be realistic here! Who else will pay our bills & wages at the moment?
    The glass is not always half empty!
    Let’s look on the bright side, for once, as it’s the easiest thing in the world to be negative & critical of everything!
    If we can just get behind our New Manager & the Players now, then I am sure that our luck will change! As turning on the Board, and turning on the Club, at this crucial time of the season, is absolutely crazy & completely suicidal! (Otherwise, if we start turning on each other, our New Manager, and the Board - then, Millwall will just start laughing at us even more than usual)! Thanks, John.

    1. I also agree with everything John has written.

  10. Thanks for your views guys. I don't think we're quite at breaking point yet, but I do think that this meeting could be useful for fans on both sides of the argument. It's an opportunity to get together, thrash out a debate, and show some solidarity.

    There will be differences of opinion and hopefully that can be dealt with in a civilised manner. Even if it turns out that the consensus says we wait a while longer before taking any further steps. There could at least be some time scales put in place or we could lay down some markers so we are prepared if the time for action comes upon us. Praemonitus, praemunitus and all that.

    Whilst it may not yet be time to get out the pitchforks and torches, I do not believe we should be burying our heads in the sand either.

  11. Sorry folks. Had to switch the comments to moderated and I've allowed only Google accounts to post. Unfortunately there were some unpleasant comments over night. I guess allowing anonymous comments was a bad idea as it sometimes brings out the worst in people.