I can't say whether Russell Slade was being refreshingly open and honest or craftily indiscreet at today's press conference, going on the reports and quotes that I've seen. Only time will tell but for me, for now, he has the benefit of the doubt. Many will conclude that he needs his bumps felt for signing a contract which apparently does not include "control over my players", instead relying on a "verbal agreement". I'd guess it's a little more complicated than that - and Slade may be boxing smart.
Assume that Slade wants the job but either knows or suspects he can't get full assurances over player transfers and team selection put down in writing. And to be fair it's not easy once you start going down that road to try to cover all possible eventualities, even if the club CEO portends to be a lawyer. No contract can do that. So instead Slade gets some words, words which he will remember but Duchatelet and/or Meire will no doubt remember differently. He must know that were he to resign on the grounds of these assurances proving to be lies, actually winning any case for compensation would be very much in doubt, his word against theirs (and they lie) - with nothing on paper. Pretty poor deal on the face of it, one which Chris Wilder did not sign up to (and which may not be far removed from the sort of contract that Sir Chris also rejected).
However, by answering today's question as he did Slade has put it in the public domain that assurances have been given. Consequently, if at some point in the future he walks away the world and his dog will believe him and not them. If the club was not toxic to potential managers before, it would be then, probably leaving Duchatelet with little option but to bring in either someone so desperate it would be laughable, or revert to a network crony, which in light of the latest U-turn (now we want a manager, not a head coach etc) would be absurd. So by my reading Slade is not without cards in the game, even if his only meaningful one would be to actually quit (meaning once or twice he could threaten to do so). Doesn't sound like the start of a relationship built on trust, but who in their right mind would trust this regime?
Otherwise it seems what Slade said was reasonable and fair; in other circumstances there could be grounds for optimism. Unfortunately for him Ms Meire could not keep her trap shut, so the conference will be remembered as much for her continuing defiance of reality as for our new manager's hopes and aspirations. And Richard Murray seems to be right beside her. "Fraeye stayed too long, that was probably the biggest mistake". I suspect most would suggest that appointing him in the first place was somewhat bigger, but of course Meire has said previously that every change of head coach has led to improvement.
Murray apparently said "I was disappointed with the treatment I got last year, considering what I've tried to do for this club". He has been called a lot of names on some sites and has had to listen to some unpleasant singing after some games. Can't be pleasant for sure, but the stage has been reached whereby we can't say whether his support for the regime is motivated by his sincere belief that they are good for Charlton Athletic or personal financial interest. I have no idea. If I remember correctly he was retained by the regime to provide a link between the board and the fans. Given what has happened since, it isn't just Meire who should consider whether the extent of their failings in the job should result in resignation, before any sensible employer gave them the push. It is fair to say that whereas when Duchatelet bought the club the retention of Murray was seen as a clear positive (including by me), when the next change of ownership comes (may it be soon) nobody will want to see him involved any longer. And the longer he acts as an apologist for the regime, the further away shift the memories of the good years under his stewardship.
There's a rule in logic/argument form that I remember (and may have used before), reductio ad absurdum. This states (if I remember correctly) that if you can take an argument to a contradiction you can go back and change one of the assumptions (on the grounds that at least one of them has to be wrong). Today Meire reportedly said both "I want to stress, we have the best intentions for this club" and that "the club is not for sale". (I'll gloss over the other one - "I'm very positive we made the right appointment and this will start to bring the fans back" - as it is obviously wrong, or at best wishful thinking.) I'd suggest the two amount to a contraction; if they were truly motivated by best intentions for the club it would be for sale (or at least they would be talking to potential purchasers/investors). But it's not her decision anyway.