Belgian Charlton: it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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Charlton wrapped up 2015 with another defeat. This time at the hands of a very average Wolves side. Some of our defending was comical and our impotence up front was frankly, pathetic. In my mind, there is no real doubt that the players are trying their best but many of them are simply not good enough and others have had any fragment of confidence they once had, completely shattered.

The situation at The Valley is awful and I fear, will get worse before it gets any better. Not only do we have a dangerously weak squad but also an incompetent ‘Interim Coach’. Karel Fraeye is wildly out of his depth and if he had any real respect for the club, would walk away immediately. Following the defeat at Bristol City, he referred to them as Bristol Rovers and after losing to Wolves, seemed to imply that the hostilities he faced as he left the Valley pitch were actually aimed at the players!

His tenure has been nothing short of shambolic but even if he did walk, what next?

No self-respecting manager would touch Charlton with a barge-pole as things currently stand. The club is rotten to the core with Mr Roland Duchâtelet at the helm. His involvement in player recruitment and team selection means that only his puppets will be allowed to take the job at CAFC. Furthermore, all the signs are there to indicate he is pig-headed and arrogant enough to avoid realisation that his model of running a successful club is simply not working. Surely someone with his business acumen should realise to get the best return on his investment, he needs to invest in the first team squad to the extent they can win promotion to the Premier League? Why is this not happening? According to Katrien it’s because other Championship clubs are willing to invest £20-30million in their squad whilst Charlton ‘are not prepared to do that’.

One theory I overheard in the Upper North vs Wolves suggested that it would be in Roland Duchâtelet’s interest that we get relegated as support would dwindle further. This in turn would lead to our need to stay at the Valley to come into question. He would then be able to move Charlton Athletic to a smaller stadium in the regenerated Greenwich Peninsula site and sell the Valley site for a reported £25million. Therefore, doubling his original investment! This is in complete contradiction to the target 20,000 initiative recently touted by the club but we already know that lying comes very naturally to our owners.

Personally, I can’t see it happening but it is not beyond the realms of possibility. The sheer arrogance and belligerence the Belgians have shown towards Charlton fill me with dread. They talk about business and profit as if that is the point of football. In this interview (at 13:30) Katrien Miere suggests that football fans are “funny’ because they think they have ownership of a club. She goes on to compare running a football club to a restaurant or a cinema! She simply does not seem to understand that football is not like a restaurant. In the dining world, if you don’t like the food you can go somewhere else. True football fans are the lifeblood of a club and do not have that option. However, they can simply stop going and that appears to happening at Charlton. At Wolves yesterday, the attendance was boosted by the kids for a quid initiative – which I took advantage of myself. However, the dross served up by our Belgian leadership team meant that instead of nurturing the next generation of addicks, they may well have put them off for life.

Roland, Katrien and Karel – get out of OUR club.

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