Thursday 28 December 2017

Puppet Departs, What Of The Puppet-Master?

Right to the bitter end she couldn’t bring herself to tell the truth. “I believe I need a new challenge”. We believe you Katrien, nothing to do with the prospective sale. The news that Ms Meire “has decided to stand down” and will leave our club at the end of the month is of course going to be welcomed by the vast majority of Addicks. Indeed, assuming that the end of the month means 23.59 on Sunday, the entire country will join us in counting down her final moments of involvement with Charlton, Big Ben may chime, followed by howls of joy and fireworks to mark the moment of her formal departure. Quite a send off.

It is perhaps a pity that her departure is not to be put back by a day, to give a Valley crowd the opportunity to say goodbye, even a formal presentation. I thought that the burnt embers of a sofa would have been appropriate. No matter. No doubt there will be some sentiments expressed in any event, maybe even the opportunity for some tribute photos in the programme to mark her time with us, involving some people wearing masks and a certain bedsheet being moved along the West Stand into position. And perhaps it is better to wait for the real celebration, when there is confirmation that we have new owners, when the puppet-master departs rather than just the puppet.

Let’s get one thing straight though. There is absolutely nothing personal in any of this. I’ve never met her, she may be absolutely charming, kind, considerate etc. She is clearly intelligent and, as long as she cuts the apron strings, will presumably go on to have a rewarding career. It is that she had no experience or understanding of what it would take to succeed as a CEO of a football club (and made no attempt to learn), and that her incompetence would have resulted in any sensible owner replacing her before long such that her stubborn retention only served to strengthen the view that the best interests of our club were not what motivated Duchatelet. A trustworthy sycophant was the requirement of the job and she made that bargain. And any periodic sympathy for her plight went out of the window as she either oversaw another gaffe or insulted fans with her statements.

Meire’s departure is good in itself for the club but obviously the fact she is not being replaced can I think be seen as a fair indication of how advanced the takeover talks have become. If the stumbling block is as indicated elsewhere the asking price, I just hope that for once business sense will win out. The fact that Duchatelet paid well over the odds for us when he did is no-one’s fault but his own. If he is trying to secure a price that enables him to claim he has not lost out, why bother? We will never know the full terms of any deal. Claim you made a small fortune, just please don’t let it get in the way of a sale. Meire’s time is up – and should have been a long time ago. Same applies to you.

For me personally the window of opportunity, to be able to return to The Valley 
in the near future at least, has closed. For reasons that have nothing to do with 
football, on Monday I have a train to Lyon and no return ticket. The plan is for 
three months but what happens after that is unclear: return to London, stay in 
Lyon, or try to split the time. We shall see. So my intention was in any event to 
mark the end of the year with a hearty Bonne Année to all Addicks 
everywhere. That stands. And who knows? Perhaps I won’t be the only one 
claiming a love of Charlton taking the Brussels Eurostar on Monday. Now that 
would be funny. 


a2c said...
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Anonymous said...

Very best wishes on your trip to France BA - hope it turns out really well for you. You'll be missed.

And it would be very funny if you sat opposite the witch on the Eurostar....

Stay lucky

Pembury Addick

ChicagoA said...

The bets of luck in Lyon BA. My one wish is that you continue to tell your story of France and life as an overseas Addick on this Blog.

Burgundy Addick said...

Thanks guys. Seems my chances of a Eurostar encounter have diminished if she has indeed landed a job with another English football club. Just what club might be dumb enough is another matter; please let it be the Spanners or the Nigels, that would be good.

I do plan to switch to be Lyon Addick and join the splendid overseas Addicks community. But things really are up in the air and dependent on a few variables. I will be in France for three months but could be back after that, or I may indeed find that life full-time there really suits. We shall see.