Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ashamed; Thanks Chris, Please Forgive Us

Being an Addick has been for me a source of entertainment and pride, you invest emotional commitment, through choice, and take the highs and the lows. Today I feel ashamed. We’ve sacked managers before, sometimes with good outcomes, sometimes bad, for various reasons. At the time we could ponder on whether they were good or bad moves. But they’ve all been sacked ultimately for footballing reasons, in the hope that someone else will do a better job. At the extreme the dismissal of Sir Chris is no different in that Duchatelet presumably does feel that a change will be in the long-term interests of his consortium (let’s not call it an empire). The difference is that Powell’s dismissal is really not down to his abilities as a manager but what has to be seen as a refusal to accept being treated as a puppet – or more kindly to buy fully into the Duchatelet vision, which includes accepting that in all things Duchatelet knows best.

I’ve never witnessed a manager get dealt a worse hand than Sir Chris over the past year. Having achieved the goal of returning us to the Championship he made changes to deliver a competitive Championship team, delivering at the end of last season a speech on the pitch that left none of us in any doubt about his ambition and desires. He then had the rug pulled from under his feet by the previous owners, didn’t walk away but tried to make the best of his lot, for the good of our club. He kept his council through the takeover and was ready to try to make the best of the new set-up, again for the good of the club, only to see changes made in January that would have given him every reason to walk away. He is then (presumably as I don’t know the details) presented with a contract extension that clearly made changes on ‘footballing issues’ that he couldn’t accept and keep his dignity intact. My feeling is that no self-respecting manager could. Duchatelet must have felt he couldn’t make a change with a Wembley appearance on the line, but once that was removed he can make a change that has the appearance of being purely for footballing reasons. Surely he can’t be stupid enough to believe that we will buy this.

Sir Chris leaves us (for now) with his dignity and growing reputation as a manager entirely intact. I hope he realises that he still has the backing (and unquestionably the deep affection) of the majority of Charlton fans. All I can say is I hope he quickly gets the opportunity at another club to continue to develop his talents as a manager and that once the wounds heal he will retain affection for our club. I hope so, but today we don’t deserve that.

I haven’t yet seen a club statement even to confirm that Sir Chris has gone, but have no reason to doubt the reports. As things stand, we have to say farewell to Sir Chris on Wednesday night and then next week say a proper farewell to Kermorgant, whose departure is testimony enough to the ineptitude (at best) of our new owner.

What happens then? The boundaries are now set. Either we decide, as some have already expressed, that we support the club and that is more important than the individuals in place at any one time. As someone who did go to Selhurst Park it is without doubt a choice/view to be respected. Others will walk away, not renew season tickets. Those that decide to do so deserve similar respect for their views. Whichever camp people fall into leaves all as Addicks. I’m not prone to hasty decisions (hasty comments are another matter, such is the nature of football blogging). But for the first time in my life I will serious question whether being an Addick and what I believe it stands for is no longer compatible with providing the (very limited) support for the club in its present state.

The king is indeed dead (again, subject to confirmation). Long live the republic.


21 comments:

Al ways Charlton said...

COULDN'T AGREE MORE. tHE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF THE bELGIAN BAFOON IS TO BOYCOTT ALL MATCHES AND NOT BUY ANY SEASON TICKETS. Boycott, Boycott, Boycott,

Anonymous said...

Chris Powell has been a model manager and I have fully supported him but lets get this into persepective please.

It has been Powell's team selection, his tactics and his decision to play players out of position which have also been a major item in Charlton being where they are, we were already in a bad position before the take over. We have only one won league game this year QPR and that was without Kermy and Stephens! At Leceister he plays a completely negative formation, as he has done many times this season to just try and hold out to get a point and we were thrashed. What does he do, play the same team at Sheffield Utd, bar one change and we were dire, just one decent shot on target from sub Raza, who should have played from the start! The fans turned up but the team didn't!

I think if we are all honest Chris Powell should have been replaced a while ago as he didn't seem to know what to really do and had no plan B or C or alternatively they should have replaced the two muppets who assit him Dyer & co and got someone well known and able to assit him over this season!

Anonymous said...

Roland the rat is Glikstein on disguise!!

Anonymous said...

Al ways: what would that achieve?

I feel sorry for Chris Powell, he was a fantastic player for the clubm, is a wonderful man but the league table does not lie, we are four points adrift of safety and the quality of football has been really poor, on the whole. Doing what we have been doing all season is unlikely to yield much.

Give the new guy a chance and support the team - that's the only way we are likely to achieve survival. Maybe in your case you should stay away, I suspect you will be very happy booing and hanckering after a manager that left when we were in 24th place. The league table really doesn't lie.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree with the last comment. Sir Chris is an absolute legend and always will be but the table and the results don't lie. There is no escaping that most performances this season have been dire and team selection has definitely been questionable on numerous occasions.

Boycotting games is the most ridiculous and harmful thing that could be done to the club. If we are to escape relegation this season then everyone connected with the club has to pull together and get behind the team. Whoever now comes in deserves a chance and will certainly have my support!

Blackheath Addicted said...

Please let's get rid of the idea that those who opt for 'boycott' are necessarily boo-boys. Some may be but I'm not and I feel similar emotions. There are stretching points.

As for the league table not lying, do you blame the manager for having the guts of a team that needed strengthening in January ripped out and replaced by a mix of players who are untried and of course needed time to gel in any fashion.

Has Sir Chris made mistakes? Of course (mistakes being apparent with hindsight). But at the start of January I would have put our chances of relegation at around 10%, based not least on the team spirit under him. By the end of January they had (in my opinion) risen to at least 50% and that was nothing to do with the manager.

Anonymous said...

well i wont be renewing the season ticket,whats the point,no self respecting manager would let an owner no matter ho wealty pick who sign's and plays for our club that is the managers job and that's what he gets paid for,the new owner is a joke who know's nothing about football but pretends he does,he sold our best goal scorer and replaced him with crap from europe,crap that other teams he owns did'nt want cos they aint good enough,if the belgium bozo wants to pick the team then any manager coming in is just a puppet who has his strings pulled by the owner and will have no authority over anything.

so where does it leave us the fans of this great club,we are left hoping the new manager dont agree to sell our star players after we get relegated,as far as i can see at the moment charlton athletic football club is dead in the water with no hope of rescue we will just have to see how far down we go before all fans decide to vote with their feet and refuse to attend the games untill the belgium bozo sells us hopefully to someone who knows how to run a football club and has some idea about football.

farewell CAFC i had some great times at the valley but i am not going back till he's gone.

good luck sir chris with your next position i hope you find a club who's owner will let you manage as a manager should do.

Anonymous said...

After Sunday I do not know whether to laugh or cry.
The reality is we are bottom of the league and he was the 8th. Longest serving manager in the Leauge. It is not rocket science that he has gone.
Look what curbs and grit achieved with far less. CHRIS still had a 15,000 plus crowd fully behind the team week in and week out .
Charlton Forever,

Anonymous said...

I don't know what I'm doing on blogsites like this which I normally despise - its all part of bereavement I suppose and wanting to share. But this is the end of the line for me for now- and it has been building for sometime. After over 40 years I deserve a sabbatical - although the club tell me this morning I can't get a refund on my season ticket. But of course I can choose not to renew and sit back and wait to see what happens. He may not stay long and I'll get my club back. As for protests - as has been proved at SL - there is absolutely no point. Just staying away is far more effective - so unless every season ticket holder turns up and asks for a refund forget it. Good luck to all of you who are happy to see CP go, but personally I can't turn up tomorrow night not caring if my team wins or loses - which is how I feel at the moment. And I'm certainly not watching lower league football again because the people in charge don't give a toss about the fans. All the players not renewed will know they are on their way out - so now its just down to professionalism on their part. And that won't keep the team up - they need to care desperately. There will be a few busy agents actually earning their money for once.

Desperate Pete said...

BA,I always look forward to your posts and you express perfectly all my feelings towards our club.
I was becoming very disillusioned with football until Chris was appointed and I became proud of Charlton again. Now I feel almost abused by this new regime and that my feelings are of little consequence.
I have been watching Charlton for 52 years and this is the worst that I have ever felt. I have a season ticket and I will probably go on Wednesday but I will not be renewing and I fear that I may never return to the Valley after this season has finished or even before!
Good luck with your choice.

Blackheath Addicted said...

Anon, hope you get over the self-disgust at looking at a blogsite like this. Didn't think people took it so seriously.

DP, my feeling at the moment is that I'll go on Wednesday night, sing 'Chrissy Powell's Red & White Army' for as long as it last, then walk out. But I'll sleep on it.

innerspaced said...

Not supporting charlton is not an option.we have been through worse times than these and come through it.the failure of this season is with the previous owners and the slipshod way they ran the club.its been one disaster after another on and off the field but the one consistent was Chris Powell.
Thanks Chris you are a legend but life goes on and so does charlton.lets just hope the next manager can wring out the results we need and rebuild.

Tom said...

Great article as ever Blackheath. I would love to remain positive and think that a new man with new ideas could turn our season round but unfortunately we lack enough quality and quantity for this. Roland's asset stripping and sub-standard replacements will see to this.

We know for him it is probably not that important whether we are in The Championship or League One but how far could we fall? As well as losing all our best players in Summer, presumably with less revenue coming in, we have less to spend on wages let alone transfer fees (I know transfer fees are way too optimistic). Dare I say it, we could even become the feeder club to Roland's lesser clubs - forget Standard Liege.

Would love to know Richard Murray's (real) thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

Richard Murray is somebody of a similar age to myself who must have supported Charlton as long as I have, and as such will feel sick to the stomach that football (not Charlton in particular) has come to this, whereby clubs sell their historical identity and the best interests of their fans down the river to appease the ephemeral whim of a foreign millionaire in pursuit of turning our beloved clubs into businesses first and foremost. Charlton, today, became a new nail in the coffin of British football, alongside the nails of all other foreign owned clubs.

Blackheath Addicted said...

I don't know if I'm being unfair to the writer of the last comment (if I've got the wrong end of the stick I apologise), but I won't have this blog used as an outlet for any sort of deluded nationalism.

My opinion of Duchatelet has nothing to do with his nationality and I hope never will have.

Anonymous said...

Roland doesn't do failure, apparently, so I would imagine he will be bothered about what happens to the team this season. Whether there is sufficient time to turn things round (and there will certainly be enough games in hand), we shall see.

If results elsewhere go against us again tonight the table could look rather uncomfortable.

Martin Cowan

Anonymous said...

Roland doesn't do failure, apparently, so I would imagine he will be bothered about what happens to the team this season. Whether there is sufficient time to turn things round (and there will certainly be enough games in hand), we shall see.

If results elsewhere go against us again tonight the table could look rather uncomfortable.

Martin Cowan

Blackheath Addicted said...

Indeed. People who say they 'don't do failure' (and to be fair to RD it wasn't a quote from him, only about him) tend to blame others, or bad luck/some other reason, when things don't go to plan. They never learn (and end up repeating errors).

If we get relegated no doubt the line will be 'that was on the cards before the takeover, we tried all we could to correct an impossible situation etc'. Self-delusion if it happens.

Boneyboy said...

I've supported Charlton and had a seson ticket since the East Stand re-opened after the club's return to the Valley. I invested twice (and lost my money) in the supporter's share isssue, and I've gone to all the home games in the dark days as we fell from the Prem down to Div 1. I understand those who say that supporting the club is more important than supporting the individuals who work for the club, but over the last two months I've felt that the club has become something that isn't my club any more. I wasn't happy with Watford importing loans from clubs in the same "european group" so don't like us doing it. ( But if we must couldn't we at least get in some players who are good enough ?) Events today have confirmed those feelings, so I won't be going to the game tomorrow.

Like Blackheath Addicted, I'll take my time about making a decision about my future commitment to the club, but at the moment, this feels like the end

Anonymous said...

As a Charlton fan not from England I don't understand why the comment about foreign owners needs such a strong disclaimer. It seems perfectly obvious that someone from outside the country or the community has less of an interest in teams which represent that place than someone local. These guys are purely in it for the money. They're the venture capitalists of the sporting world. There's nothing to apologise for in being opposed to this culture of foreign businessmen or women (eventually) buying up English clubs whether as a cash cow or as a part of a footballing pyramid in this case.
I'll still support Charlton and pray for the avoidance of relegation but wouldn't trust the new owners as far as I could throw them and that's not far.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how barca fans did it but they run their footy club. .. its what we ought to try to do... I don't even know if it's feasible. .. just on my wish list