There has been an interesting debate on the list run by Glynne Jones about the 'Charlton model' and whether it is still viable. One of my opening comments was that perhaps there was never a Charlton model, simply a fortuitous combination of circumstances that enabled us to get into the Premiership and stay there for several years.
And, as someone pointed out, even if it worked in the past, it may not work now given the way in which the Premiership has moved on. In any case, we are looking for a model that would work in League 1!
In so far as there was a Charlton model, it was centred around financial prudence, taking one step at a time to grow the club incrementally rather than a 'dash for growth'. It also involved a 'fan focussed approach', maintaining good lines of communication with fans, something we seem to have lost. This was all embedded in a community based approach that we still maintain.
The consensus among listers was that things started to go wrong when Parker departed. Curbs didn't want him to go and insisted on the money being spent on replacements. But the replacements either disappointed (Rommedahl) or thought they were bigger than the club (Danny Murphy). The purse strings were loosened and these players and the likes of Smertin and Marcus Bent (!) were given much more than their predecessors.
When Dowie arrived, the strategy was to make money available for a more expansive style of football (and stay in the Premiership). However, the club didn't really have enough money to pursue such a strategy and ended up with escalating wage costs, players on deals which did not drop if we were relegated, and transfer fees paid which did not give value for money. For example, we signed players with track records in the third division (two of whom cost £4m between them) on far too much money. The old 'Charlton model' would never have allowed that type of business.
One interesting view was that 'the Board being fans was one of the greatest strengths of the club's model through the building years, but I felt that they let their heart rule their heads too much.'
What we need now is a reversion to a much more prudent model. One thing that may help is that wages at League 1 level might start to become more affordable.