Saturday, 4 April 2009

A Bee Writes

I have a good friend who is a lifelong supporter of Brentford. Fair enough: he is now in his forties and has lived in the same house in Acton all his life.

He writes to note that we will be playing the Bees next season and asks what went wrong at Charlton, given that we were long viewed as a model club. I gave him a polite reply, but I must say that I am getting rather tired of answering this sort of question or reading analyses of our slide. No doubt when I am in Manchester next week one friend will be reminding me how down market a club Charlton is and how my support for them is hopelessly retro.

It's all water under the bridge now and we have to plan for recovery. In that context, I think that the board have made an unimaginative and uninspiring season ticket offer. A few bells and whistles would have not cost that much - some free cup games, an early bird discount, a lower premium for the East etc.

On the other hand, some of the forecasts of sales being put forward by fans are ridiculously gloomy. Some of us will renew even if we won't go to many games. There is almost a sense in which some fans want the club to fail. What we should be concerned about is that it could enter a vicious cycle of decline that could end with its effective extinction - at least as a club playing at The Valley.

One may dislike the manager, one may think that the board have made mistakes (as they have), but the club is more than one individual or group of people. Of course, times are difficult for many and the football this season has been completely disheartening. But there is a need to rally round if Charlton is to survive and recover.

5 comments:

Daggs said...

I see it like this Wyn;
Our club is in a mess, every decision made by the board seems to be wrong. The team are poor, the manager clueless. We're in the middle of what some say is the worst recession since WW2. It ain't looking good.
Next season will be pivotal in the history of CAFC. If we employ a new manager who is able to build a team that challenges for promotion from the start. The crowds will flock back.
If we keep Parky and struggle again. Worse still, head for another relegation. It really could be disasterous. I would fear for the continued existence of Charlton Athletic.
Am i being over dramatic? some will say so, but i think not!

Thom Oliver said...

Fingers crossed everyone will rally round. This difficulty is getting people to rally round around Parky. I personally think he can do a job and a good one. Im presuming you are in Manchester at PSA? Maybe see you there, Im a PhD student presenting my first paper.
Any more academics out there with Charlton leanings?

Alan Hillier said...

The club has been a major part of my life and hitherto I've renewed my season ticket without any thought, but this season I feel that those of us in the EastStand are being had over. I resent the fact that our loyalty is not taken into consideration and that youngsters can get season tickets as cheaply as they can, without having been before. I almost certainly will not renew this year.

Wyn Grant said...

In reply to Thom Oliver, I will be at Manchester: it will provide a nice contrast with the vets' conference I was addressing in London this week. Try and catch up with me - I have a busy schedule, although some of it will be no doubt taken up with answering questions about Charlton!

Wyn Grant said...

Re the posting from Daggs, all the vibes I get (and my sources are not as good as they were) are that Parky will stay It's not so much the cost of letting him go, it's the cost of hiring someone like, say, Boothroyd. I think the club will be able to settle in mid-table. If it is relegated again, then the high fixed costs of The Valley (£1m a year in business rates alone) must play its survival there in doubt. That's why I think that, whatever their feelings about the way they have been treated, hard core fans need to rally round. But I do appreciate that in some cases the effects of the recession make that difficult.