I was contacted yesterday by a journalist who was under the mistaken apprehension that I was a member of the Royal Oak group. I suspect that another 'fans up in arms, they've taken our club away' story may be on the cards. My sense is that most fans would like to get behind the team and focus on the four difficult matches we have ahead of us, giving Roland Duchâtelet time to set out his stall (which hopefully will contain some Belgian beer). Meanwhile, I am not inclined to spend time sticking pins into a chocolate model of the Belgian entrepreneur.
I find it difficult to see Roland as the devil incarnate. He bought the club when it was at risk of administration. As a successful businessman who had bought a failing business, he wanted some say in how it was run. He is very keen on the Academy model and further investment is under way at the training ground. He is going to sort out the pitch and he is not going to move Charlton away from The Valley. Of course, he comes from outside the 'world of football', but that tends to be rather incestuous and conservative and could do with some shaking up.
His European network model is rather utopian, although it is an interesting experiment. He has made an effort to communicate with fans. At worst, he is a mild eccentric who thinks it is easier to change things than is in fact the case, but he comes across to me as a decent man and has to be seen as an improvement on his predecessors.
It has been hinted more than once that the Royal Oak group knows more than most of us. That may be the case and perhaps Roland does have some dastardly plot. I understand that Voice of the Valley will be on sale around the ground tomorrow and perhaps we shall learn more.
Meanwhile, there has been some interesting debate on the boards about whether we should chant 'José Riga's red army' tomorrow as I understand happened on Tuesday night. There is also some doubt about how to pronounce José: he was born in Belgium but his family comes from Spain.
My goal for tomorrow is to actually reach The Valley, hopefully it will be third time lucky. For the Huddersfield game I only got as far as Marylebone and for the Bournemouth one my back gave way, but I had a successful visit to the osteopath yesterday. COYR!