Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Late Kick Off

Before I got the watch the segment about Charlton on I-Player I was interested in these comments from an Addick which reflect my thinking about Roland:

'Well I’ve just read the BBC website story and watched the video and I don’t see anything to be worried about. Given the relative level of Standard and us we’re more likely to get players that aren’t quite good enough for their first team coming to us.'

'And since when have we not had to sell our better players to balance the books? We’ve done it throughout my time as a supporter going back to before the return to The Valley.' [It was certainly happening in the 1950s under the Glikstens].'

'This really does smack of the BBC trying to find a story when one doesn’t exist. The video appears to me to have been edited in such a way as to reflect negatively on both Duchatelet and de Sart. Duchatelet has said on multiple occasions that he’s not going to throw money at any of his clubs and that they need to stand on their own feet. Makes sense to me. It might also help us attract good young talent in this country if they know that, should they outgrow Charlton, they’ve got a potential shot of going to a Champions League team. Of course, time will tell.'

I have now watched the clip on I-Player which started with dramatic and gloomy music playing to set the tone. I suppose if nothing else it got a BBC reporter a trip on Eurostar to Liege. The independent coffee shop analogy amused me as the main consequence of my local coffee shop being taken over would be that I would no longer have to struggle with my order in Portuguese. (The broader point here is that we do live in a Europeanised environment). The most interesting revelation in the programme which no one else has mentioned is that there is going to be a meeting of all Roland's clubs in the next week to discuss how they are going to work together. That could be an important meeting.

The Liege fans were clearly very fed up with Roland when he arrived and staged demonstrations of a type consistent with the history of the city. However, they have all been mollified now that SL are top of the league, although they have lost their last two matches and could fall foul of Belgium's curious play off system (see Chicago Addick for more details).

One Liege fan said that he thought that Roland was out to make money, but he is too shrewd a businessman to think that you can make money out of clubs. He certainly doesn't want to lose money, and may sell Charlton players if that is necessary to balance the books, but his real inspiration is his 'grand projet'. Like all experiments, that could succeed or fail.

Jean-Francois de Sart struck me as a bit of a plonker in need of some media training, but his English is reasonably good and almost certainly better than Chris Powell's French.

I don't think we needed someone from Millwall to tell us that fans should be worried, particularly when he claimed that his team was playing well, just not getting the points.

If I have a reservation about Roland's strategy, it is its reliance on financial fair play working. I am certain there are going to be legal challenges at international and domestic level and some of them might succeed given a possible incompatibility with competition law. Even if the legal challenges do not succeed, it is going to take some time for the full benefits to be felt.


Al ways Charlton said...

Sorry but if you can't see what is happening here then you are very naive. Roland obviously sees Charlton as playing second fiddle to Liege and it appears he is not concerned what Division cHARLTON ARE IN AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT LOSE MONEY. I am extremely worried as Charlton are now effectively just a feeder club with no hope of ever going to the Prem as Roland will not spend any money{it is against his strategy). Charlton is simply being used to produce talent via our academy to produce talent which if good enough will be shipped off to Liege. Mark my words Poyet, Cousins, Solly and Wiggins will all be shipped out once we are relegated + Roland will save £4 million on the agreed price which he had included in the sale contract. I would not trust this man as far as I could throw him.This may sound negative but as you will see it will be a spot on analysis.

Wyn Grant said...

One might question whether Charlton would be punching above their weight in the Premiership, but at least there is the potential for that which would interest RD. But SL is for now the bigger club. What do you mean 'once we are relegated'? There is nothing inevitable about that. As for players being shipped out, they might have a view about it. Poyet will presumably move to Sunderland anyway which has been on the cards for some time. Solly has a career threatening injury. Cousins and Wiggins don't speak French as far as I know and might prefer to play in England. In that case they would both command a decent fee.

Anonymous said...

Football is a business and in my world a good business does not loose money, so you really cannot blame Roland for at least wanting to break even. My view is he is looking to bring in young talent either through the academy or his scouting network that can spot good young players with the opportunity to offer a ladder of clubs for them to progress (or even buy them, look at Peter the Pole) . Agreed at the moment we are second behind Standard liege in terms of ability but that could change and you have to believe that the goal for Roland with Charlton is the premier league ,( you really cannot imagine that anyone would buy a English club with depressed fans a depressed team for 20 odd million to act as a feeder club for a club in Belgium ! ) With the potential valley capacity of 40,000 and our London location , I really believe we have a lot to be positive about and I for one think the strategy of Roland is a breath of fresh air.
5,500 Addicks on Sunday is going to create a wonderful atmosphere and a possible victory at the new Den will feel like winning the World cup !

Cafca said...

As has been said often, Duchatalet is first & foremost a businessman & he hasn't become one of the richest in Belgium by being a dick. As such he will understand the law of diminishing returns & the chances of Charlton breaking even in a lower division to be unrealistic. So, for now, I'm taking all of this with a pinch of salt.

What was interesting about the BBC report was that it was so obviously & heavily edited that what was left out would almost certainly have been more illuminating in terms of context. If the report faithfully reflected what was said & meant then there is great cause for concern. I'm going to wait & see how Duchatelet responds before I leap to conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah good balance here. Where can Roland, the businessman, make decent money? Of course in England, not Belgium where his club is already as valuable as it is likely to be.

Also, maybe I'm massively out of the loop but 'Solly has a career threatening injury'... Does he? News to me.

Wyn Grant said...

The rumours about Solly seem to have been exaggerated, he is apparently now in light training, but I would be surprised if he played again this season. I do think that he has quite a serious problem with his knee.