Most fans are in 'wait and see' mode in relation to Roland Duchâtelet's takeover of Charlton if the results of our online survey of fans are to believed. It was the most popular response to three of the four questions in which it was available as an option. It seems to me to be a very reasonable response. We don't really know yet how things are going to pan out and some us do not have access to the worrying information that some claim to hold.
Some of the initial responses have been a little over the top. The notion of Charlton being a feeder club to Standard Liège depends on the willingness of players to go there or to any of the other clubs in Roland's network (the Hungarian one seems to be in deep do do, see an important post by the Chicago Addick). They are not university students in an Erasmus scheme with some knowledge of foreign languages. As for being Standard Liège reserves, this overlooks the great longer run potential of the Addicks as an investment.
I do not claim that the survey is representative of Charlton fans as a whole. It is based on 165 responses from fans who happen to visit this blog and bothered to answer the survey. It may, however, be indicative of the state of opinion, particularly among less vociferous fans.
Asked for their overall view of the takeover, two-thirds chose the 'wait and see' option, while 15 per cent approved and 18 per cent disapproved (1% don't know). Only 15 per cent said that Chris Powell should have been dismissed when he was, although I didn't include a 'should have been dismissed in January' option. 24 per cent chose the 'wait until summer' option, 15 per cent approved the action and 8 per cent didn't know.
Asked whether the identity of the club had changed since the takeover, nearly half of those responding (46 per cent) thought it had with 'wait and see' coming in second this time at 31 per cent. 21 per cent thought that there had been no change and 2 per cent didn't know.
Roland's European network model won approval from just 14 per cent of respondents, although nearly half (47 per cent) chose 'wait and see' in relation to his experiment. 31 per cent disapproved and 2 per cent didn't know. Slightly more (20 per cent) thought it would be beneficial for Charlton, just over a third (34 per cent) thought it would be harmful but nearly a half (47 per cent) chose 'wait and see'.
60 per cent said that they would continue to attend home games and only 5 per cent said they wouldn't. 15 per cent said they would come occasionally (but that might have been their pattern of attendance anyway). 11 per cent said they would come until their season ticket expired but some of them might well renew when the time comes. 3 per cent didn't come anyway, probably supporters living a long way away.
My summary would be that most Charlton fans are less agitated about the takeover than some of the activists and are at least prepared to give Roland a chance to show what he could. Given that the alternative to accepting his bid would probably have been administration, it may be best to stick to nurse for fear of something worse. Some believe that something worse is in store, but I haven't seen their cards.