Tuesday 10 March 2020

What Would Lee Say?

Like every other Addick I’ve been trying to follow and make some sort of sense out of what has been issued, in various forms, by Matt Southall, Tahnoon Nimer, and the EFL. I’m by no means ‘in the know’ and don’t have sources for inside info, so please don’t expect any. Like everyone else I’m holding my head in my hands as we wait for the drama to unfold. But quite frankly it stinks and to date nobody is looking like coming out of the affair smelling of roses.

Just one thought. If I was the majority shareholder and (presumably) major funder of a company and was informed that the chairman was behaving in a fashion detrimental to the company, I would – if direct communications with the chairman were not possible – convene a board meeting at which either the air is cleared to the satisfaction of all, the chairman is deemed to be in breach of his contract and immediately dismissed, or you ask for the chairman’s resignation and discuss terms. I wouldn’t turn to social media to spread the allegations, which can only damage the standing of a company in which I am a majority shareholder, as I already have the power to act (unless of course for some reason I do not).

That is not to suggest in any way that I’d be lining up alongside Southall in the power-struggle. I have simply no way of telling who might be telling the truth and who, if anyone, has the best interests of our club at heart. As and when a couple of facts are established – first, has Southall been making and taking payments which are inappropriate; second, has Nimer promised investment and not come through (whether via a change of mind or lack of funds) – we should be able to tell whether either or neither stack up.

Bottom line is we are back to being a club in crisis. There is of course one person in whom we have confidence to do what is in the interests of the football club and who, to the best of my knowledge and for good reason, has been silent today. That is of course Lee Bowyer. So if he is unable to speak out, perhaps we might suggest what he might say right now in a letter to supporters:

“If this had been any other club I would have walked away a long time ago. I put up with a great deal under the previous owner (although to be fair by the time I was installed he had lost any interest he might have had in what we were up to and did leave me and my team pretty much to our own devices) and, like all Addicks, hoped that a resolution of the ownership situation would pave the way for clarity, support in the January transfer window, and the club moving forward in a sustainable but ambitious fashion. These hopes have if not gone out of the window now been put in serious doubt.

But you know what? Screw it. I can walk any time I like but I’m not going to, there’s a job to be done. Nine games left to get the points to stay up beginning with the next six-pointer at Hull. Win that and we are back out of the bottom three at least. So any doom and gloom from supporters regarding the situation off the pitch is entirely inappropriate.

At the same time, any player carping about this or that, wondering about whether he should be playing, thinking about whether or not those who came to us in January are good enough to do what’s necessary, is going to get short-shrift. I want to see players who are hungry to show me they will put their bodies on the line, hungry to prove doubters wrong over their ability, hungry to work to forge (quickly) the partnerships in key areas that we need – and I’m only going to pick those that are up for this. Any player right now starts moaning to me or the rest of the squad, or not pulling is weight, screw him too.

Players and fans alike have common interest in avoiding relegation. Although I wasn’t here at the time the players and management achieved this in the first year of Duchatelet’s ownership, in spite of his antics. Beating the odds is usually what Charlton is all about and right now I’d guess the odds on us going down have shortened further. Well screw the bookies too.”

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