As anticipated, Christopher George Robin Powell has been formally appointed manager of Charlton Athletic Football Club.
Here is a commentary from a well-known Addick which for me says it all very eloquently:
I've been trying not to get carried away. Chris Powell is one of the very best people I have ever known in football. Not that I know him personally but his achievements, his conduct on and off the field, and his public demeanour, are just fantastic, and he is essentially a Charlton man. He embodies everything we like to think the Charlton "brand" stands for. If you are looking for the polar opposite of Dennis Wise, Chrissie is your man.
But can he manage?
A lot of people seem to think that a manager has to be "hard", so that his team does not get turned over. It is assumed that because Parky seems to be a nice bloke, that he wasn't hard, and therefore that's why we get turned over. The argument was that Wise would instill this "hardness". I always thought this was a complete load of [deleted]. Leaving aside that being an aggressive little so-and-so is not the same as being 'hard', I do not recall Curbs the player being seen as a hard man at all. Much more Alan Devonshire than Julian Dicks, surely. The on-field persona that we see tells us nothing at all about which players go on to be successful managers. We simply don't know.
What we do know is that Chris Powell has prepared for a management career with the same meticulous dedication that he showed in his playing career, which took him all the way to international honours at a time when other players would have given it up as fantasy. That's important to me, because I believe that football management requires professionalism as much as any other management role.
Before Christmas I spoke with [name deleted] and he told me he'd stayed with Chris in a Cape Town apartment while both were working during the World Cup. X knew nothing about what was coming, but was sure Chris would make a great manager, of Charlton. When I asked him if he wasn't too "nice" a guy, he replied "I wouldn't worry about that".
Finally, the new owners. We are all worried about intransparency, and should continue to be so. But the fact is that they have consistently denied that Dennis Wise was in the frame, and there is no evidence that this was untrue. If they had read all the objections to Wise from us supporters, and wanted to say "We're listening to you" then this appointment could hardly be a better way to show that they listened.
So what more can we possibly ask? If we had been in the Prem, this would certainly be a risky low-budget sentimental appointment. We are actually in the Third Division. We are actually the size of club where someone like Chris would start his managerial career.
I am a bit scared, but mainly because I have such a high regard for Chris Powell that the thought of our boo boys getting on his back is almost more than I could bear. But on the other hand, I just cannot but be tremendously excited, and proud too.