Friday, 28 April 2017

One Last Protest?

Will Sunday's final game of the season be the last time The Valley will see a matchday endured under dark clouds set against the backdrop of passionate, widespread anti-Duchatelet protests? We can but hope. As rumours continue to circulate that maybe, just maybe, Duchatelet is finally ready to sell, perhaps by the time next season kicks off this heartbreaking and hugely depressing chapter in the otherwise proud history of our club will finally be over. Perhaps - dare I push this dream even further - we may even be feeling positive about our future once again under a new ownership that is clever enough to harness the passion and energy of Charlton's fanbase and ambitious enough to make watching games enjoyable again. 
Earlier in the week The Guardian produced this excellent video to tug at the heartstrings. If you haven't already, I urge you to watch it. If it doesn't make you want to head down to The Valley on Sunday morning to fight for your club, then nothing will.
Don't forget, Roland couldn't care less that you're on a full boycott. He doesn't miss you anymore than he misses your money. That much is undoubtedly true. What he clearly doesn't like is bad publicity, so let's do all we can (within the law, blah, blah, blah...) to ensure he is embarrassed and shamed publically again. 
See you under the Charlton badge behind the Covered End at 11am Sunday...

Thursday, 13 April 2017

It's The Hope That Kills You...

I came back from a long run yesterday afternoon and straight into a maelstrom of rumours on social media that Charlton were on the verge of new ownership, potentially as early as within a few days. A few credible sources added fuel to the fire. Something was clearly happening. I put a few beers in the fridge to chill just in case, whilst frantically refreshing my twitter feed for an announcement.
But, like everything else Charlton-related, when the news came it wasn't quite what we'd hoped for.   
If you can bring yourself to read the Daily Mail, the story of a possible takeover can be found here: Ready To Sell.
The intention of the would-be new owners, according to the report, is to turn Charlton into 'Australia's football club' which undeniably sounds ominous. As does the use of the word 'feeder club'. Most worrying of all is that the deal looks to exclude The Valley, which means Duchatelet would remain the owner of our greatest asset.
Out of the frying pan, and all that...
But on a positive, their stated aim would be to return Charlton to the Premier League and the feeder club and Australia links could simply mean we'd receive some young 'talent' to blood in the English game. You might also hope that with names like Mark Schwarzer rumoured to be involved this lot will have a better understanding of the English game than Uncle Roland has.
As a club we are not in a position of strength right now, and I think it would be very naïve for anyone to criticise any owner, Roland included, for balancing the books selling our better players from time to time. That's life, and we are far from alone. In fact, there will be very few clubs not having to face that disheartening issue. Selling out of necessity is one thing; all I ask for is realistic ambition.

I think it's also obvious that our knight in shining armour will not be a well-meaning Charlton-supporting local businessman with deep pockets...
As I've said many times, personally, so desperate am I for change, I'll roll the dice on any new ownership given how bad the current one is. My gut feeling is that it won't be Bruce and Sheila taking over at The Valley as they're currently searching down the back of the sofa for funds. But at least these latest developments give the firmest of indications Duchatelet is considering selling, despite the obvious denials from the club. That alone is a starting point I'll cling to in these dark times.

Hopefully the interest of the Aussies will force one or two others to step forward.

It's the hope that kills you.  

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A Moment To Remember, A Game To Forget...

It's impossible for me to believe that there can be a single person who is honestly enjoying Charlton at the moment. Perhaps the most hardy of come-what-may, highs with the lows types are still clinging desperately to routine rather than genuine enjoyment, but as we, the fans, continue to be taken for absolute mugs by the club, even their patience must be stretched to breaking point. At a time our 'top six budget' should be gathering momentum for a promotion push we're facing down the barrel of a gun...yet again!
Are we about to enter the fourth tier of English football? How has it come to this?
Last night Charlton should have been driven on by the high-emotions and a boosted gate ready to set aside differences with the ownership for this one special night and get behind our Charlton. PC Palmer would have wanted that, right? Instead, those players in red froze under the focus. Not for the first time this season, our team resembled total strangers, shirked responsibility, lacked any fight and showed all the body language you'd expect from individuals that would rather be elsewhere (Jacko aside).
As always, if you want a match report then Kyle consistently performs in a way I wish our football team did.
Despite the obvious concern, I don't see us going down. The points difference is frighteningly tight, but we have a cushion of four teams below us before we get to the bottom four. I think that alone may save us. Surely we can amass a better points total in the last five games than at least one of the five directly below us? (*checks the current form table and face-palms)
For this season at least, that's me done.       
In truth, I made the effort to attend last night for one reason; to pay my respects to a fallen hero and fellow Addick, PC Keith Palmer. The football was always going to be secondary. Below is the footage I took of the pre-match tribute for PC Keith Palmer. Absolute class from everyone in attendance.
I shouldn't be so cynical, but anyone else find it odd that for the first time in ages the 'official' attendance seemed about right? No, perhaps we shouldn't dwell on that point... 
I can only hope that by the next time I make the journey to The Valley, Duchatelet and Meire will have gone, Sue Parkes will have been removed from the directors box and the new ownership will be building bridges to a disillusioned and suffering fan-base. Whether the Charlton I fell in love with ever returns, only time will tell. I miss it more than I can put into words, though.