Sunday 9 March 2014

Enfant terrible?

The Times carried a feature article on Roland Duchâtelet and Charlton yesterday and posed the question, 'Which of Roland's children are Charlton?' After yesterday's results with the Addicks bottom of the table, the answer might well be 'enfant terrible'.

The article describes Roland 'as something of an eccentric' and suggests that in addition to Italy and Portugal, he may add France to his collection of clubs. His attempt in 2012 to take over Fortuna Sittard in the Netherlands failed.

A civil engineer by training, Roland once calculated the best angle at which to make a throw in and demonstrated this in the dressing room to the amusement of the players. New signings often have to undertake basic mathematical tests to understand how players solve problems.

Very much an innovator, which of course goes against football's strong attachment to tradition, Roland believes in artificial pitches which would allow him to stage several matches in one day to maximise revenue. Once artificial pitches are approved, it is clear what the solution will be for The Valley pitch.

Roland regards Charlton as 'attractive and historically rich', but he rarely even watches matches at SL. Indeed, he finds the passion of Standard fans puzzling, wondering which former Belgian prime minister Yves Lterme travels hundreds of miles to watch matches.

What is clear is that he regards football as an interesting social phenomenon in the context of Europeanisation. And, as The Times points out, one Belgian, Jean-Marc Bosman, has already revolutionised the European game.

As for Charlton, as Mourinho was asked yesterday, which would you prefer, three games in hand or nine points clear?

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