Can I add anything useful to what has been said by others in the wake of Ms Meire's regrettable breakdown yesterday? Always a first time. Start with the obvious: most of what she said was quite simply factually wrong. "I know what they're trying to do, to break me down ...". It's all been said before, by many Addicks, but she doesn't seem to listen or understand. Nobody means you any harm, we just want you to leave our club as with each passing day you are in situ you progressively ruin something we care deeply about. It's not because you are female, or Belgian; it is because from day one you have insulted and alienated us, ignored us, lied to us, and behaved in a fashion unacceptable for the head of any organisation, while at the same time you have made countless mistakes, related to matters both on and off the pitch, which along with the daft strategies and actions of our owner have resulted in our club progressively failing, with the prospect of more of the same. Just look at the evidence.
For the good of Charlton most (but not all) fans want the owner to sell and Meire is really just a bit part in the unfolding drama. It is sad that she does not have the insight to realise that she is utterly unsuited to be CEO of the club, which requires a very different skill set from a legal advisor. And for some time now it has been cruel of Duchatelet to leave her in the job. Many moons ago in a post I cited a comparison with the actions of the guy I sold a company to; he installed his PA and she told him everything that the employees, including myself, said and did. They in response shunned her, which led the new owner to complain to me that people were being unfair to her. The fault was his, he put her in place and kept her there for his own benefit, not the good of the company. No matter, Meire is ostensibly an adult and responsible for her own actions and career. We don't know if she has a contract (or who she is paid by), but if there is one the grounds for her dismissal on the basis of bringing the company into disrepute should be compelling. Unlike Ms Meire I'm not a lawyer so I can't tell if what she said constitutes grounds for charges of libel, but I hope someone is investigating that possibility.
You have to ask just what was Meire trying to achieve yesterday? To alert the world to her plight? Surely there's already been enough on that. To rally the media and football world to her cause? Now that is another area where CARD deserves praise for ensuring that these two groups remained on our side. Most if not all football fans who look at the coverage will, like us, be shaking their heads in bemusement. Besides bringing yet more humiliation on herself, all she achieved was to, yet again, drag our club's good name through the mud.
Of all that was reportedly said, there's two sentences that really stands out for me: "When I started supporting football 15 years ago, whenever there was a black player they would make noises. That has evolved, why can we not also educate fans ...." The first sentence is at best just clumsy (even glossing over the idea of starting to 'support football', as if the sport in general was graced by her benevolence) and at worst deliberately offensive; combating racism in football is an ongoing, serious matter and trying to associate that with peaceful, law-abiding protests against a regime is itself offensive. But really the insight is perhaps in the second sentence. 'Why can we not ...' Just who is the 'we'? Her and Duchatelet alone? Or perhaps she means all intelligent and successful people, or all people in authority, compared with the illiterate mob that constitutes football fans.
In addition to not being a lawyer I'm not a psychiatrist. I began by thinking that any good one could have a field day with what was said by Meire yesterday, but then perhaps not. Anyone whose studied psychiatry would take one look and point out the obvious. Just try Googling 'evidence of an inferiority complex'. The page I went to outlined seven signs:
1. Hypocritical attitude: people who do not feel alright about themselves have problems feeling good about others;
2. Tendency towards blaming: some people project their weaknesses onto others in order to lessen and ameliorate the pain of inferiority;
3. Feeling of persecution: when carried to the extreme, blaming others can extend to believing that others are actively seeking to ruin you.
4. Inappropriate response to flattery: some may refuse to listen to anything positive about themselves, others may be desperate to hear anything good and are constantly fishing for compliments;
5. Sensitivity to criticism: although people who feel inferior 'know' they have shortcomings, they do not like other people to point this out;
6. Tendency towards seclusion and sensitivity;
7. Negative feeling about competition: not coming first is evidence of total failure.
Does it all sound familiar? I don't know what in Ms Meire's past made her what she is today and am well past caring. In the words of the immortal Debby Harry:
'Don't go pre-fab
'Cause you been had
Don't go be sad
Don't go away mad
Just go away (go away)
Go away and stay away'.