Friday, 14 March 2014

Statement by Charlton supporters

The statement below has been issued by a group of well-known Charlton supporters. Most of the names will be familiar to long-term supporters. It is a sensible and constructive statement which represents a good way forward and has my full support.

A meeting took place on Wednesday evening prior to the match against Huddersfield Town at The Valley bringing together campaigning Charlton supporters from across the generations. It was called by supporters who formed the Valley Party in 1990 to contest the local Greenwich elections in the light of recent events, including the dismissal of Chris Powell, and in response to widespread concern about the identity and future of the club following the latest takeover.

The meeting included people who have previously been directors or senior and long-serving staff of the club, ex-Valley Party candidates and officers of the former Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Club and well-known local journalists who write about the club, as well as current representatives of Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust and fanzine Voice of The Valley.

This group is not intended to be exclusive. An invitation has been extended to Charlton Life, members of the Fans’ Forum and others with an Addicks internet presence and all concerned want to proceed without factionalism or internal politics. Any other supporters’ groups are welcome to participate too. The purpose of the meeting was to try to establish a temporary umbrella group from which to seek a constructive and positive dialogue with the new owner of the club, and if that does not prove possible then to create a basis to recommend and to co-ordinate any appropriate action to respond to events.

In the first instance, the group is seeking an urgent face-to-face meeting with Roland Duchatelet or Katrien Miere in order try to get a better understanding of the owner’s intentions and report back to the wider support. If we are unable to enter into a useful dialogue with the owner or his representative then it is our intention to call a public meeting in early April to take matters forward.

The group recognises that it cannot direct the owner, but we hope to persuade him of the merits of constructive dialogue with Charlton supporters, with particular reference to the achievements that we have all had working together with the club over the last 25 years. In the meantime, we want to let fans know that we are all coming together for the good of the club and that however they are feeling about the current situation there are experienced and committed people working behind the scenes to improve it.

Issued on behalf of the following:

  • Jonathan Bangs
  • Steve Clarke
  • Peter Cordwell
  • Steve Dixon
  • Rick Everitt
  • Mick Gebbett
  • Richard Hunt
  • Corinna Huxley
  • Glynne Jones
  • Dominic Matthews
  • Kevin Nolan
  • Hazel Nolan
  • Craig Norris
  • David Norris
  • Nigel Pamment
  • Steve Perfect
  • Ken Sinyard
  • Sue Townsend
  • Ben Tegg
  • Jeremy Watkins
  • Matt Wright

17 comments:

Dave Lewis said...

Good luck to you guys. Looking in as an outsider it is worrying that more and more owners have fingers in far too many pies in terms of controlling several clubs in Europe and it remains to be seen who will really benefit from this. Chris Powell always struck me as an honest straight forward bloke and both you and he deserve better. All too often the fans are not considered at all.
Dave (Huddersfield Town fan).

RedMick1 said...

All the very best to you. I will follow your progress with great interest.

We must stay behind the players to give them the best chance of staying in the Championship. We must not get negative about losing Chris Powell on match days.

Blackheath Addicted said...

Wyn, that's excellent news. I wish the new group every success in their efforts.

Anonymous said...

Poor Roland must be wishing he bought another club by now....gratitude for saving club from administration = nil.

Anonymous said...

Ere I was unappy abahrt the sackin of Chris Powell but don't think iss right to undermine the new gaffer or board by wot yourn are doin.Iss more important the club stays up n thass wot fans on ere should be doin, gettin behind the player to elp them stay in the league not callin meetins abahrt nothin when they aint needed n thass all there is to it.

Anonymous said...

Pompous and pointless.

A well meaning owner will of course meet with such a group, supply them with sufficient sausage rolls and platitudes to serve their self-importance and pay lip service to what they have to say. A not so well meaning owner will just treat them with contempt.

I definitely do not see any danger to our identity: no change to home kit, no change to club name, no plan to sell Valley and move somewhere else in Greenwich. All good things in my book.

I fail to see what RD has done so wrong: realised some value from two assets that would be worthless in the summer (YG and DS), fired an under performing manager, improved the quality of our squad as a whole. I do not object to the European model in principle. Yet to be convinced we're the feeder for Standard Liege etc and not vice versa, the rewards in English football are far greater. There is a shortage of billionaire owners to go around so perhaps this is one way in the long run we can achieve some form of parity.

Wyn Grant said...

I think there is a need for greater clarity about the owner's intentions which might reassure supporters and persuade them to renew their season tickets. Communication was an issue with the last owners, although I note that RD is to issue a video on the club's YouTube channel next week. I do not think that he has necessarily got things wrong, but in a time of transition reassurance may be desirable.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's a very Charlton thing to do but I can't see how it can make much difference. Ownership and funding are big weapons which well meaning supporters don't have. However, I always think that you should put yourself in the other man's shoes before pontificating too much. What would these individuals really think of such a group if they had committed £20m up front and potential deficit funding for several years to com?

Anonymous said...

So we now have The People's Front for the Liberation of Judea joining in and making demands on RD. Obviously they feel the Fans Forum and the Fans Trust are not fit for the purpose. I fail to see what their problem is and the knee jerk reactions are frankly just plain daft. Some people seem unable to exist without turmoil. Some just want to feel important.

When The South Africans Were Here said...

It can only be helpful for there to be communication between the fans and the owner. At the moment, it feels as though RD is interested in pursuing his “experiment” regardless of any consideration of the fans. His financial support should be appreciated and much of his new strategy given a chance. However, his determination to impose a coach with little control over recruitment lies behind the sacking of Chris Powell and seems to show complete disregard for the vast majority of fans. Football is a business but is much more than that, as the campaign to return to the Valley showed.

When The South Africans Were Here said...

It can only be helpful for there to be communication between the fans and the owner. At the moment, it feels as though RD is interested in pursuing his “experiment” regardless of any consideration of the fans. His financial support should be appreciated and much of his new strategy given a chance. However, his determination to impose a coach with little control over recruitment lies behind the sacking of Chris Powell and seems to show complete disregard for the vast majority of fans. Football is a business but is much more than that, as the campaign to return to the Valley showed.

Anonymous said...

Brighton and Bournemouth bought our players to bring success to their clubs. Our focus is totally different - it is to make SL a success. If the plan is unacceptable the only option is not to finance it.

Ken Jennings said...

Our focus is not to be successful? Where does this come from? This is baseless negativity. Unless it was in the Mail, of course.....

Matthew Blake said...

The right intentions, but I think too quick. Nothing the supporters group does this year is likely to change our final league position and I hope this isn't a distraction.

Maybe engaging the owners post season would have borne more results. I'm also concerned about the size of the group, 21 and counting. Is their an internal organization or do the supporters take multiple views to the new owners which may lose clarity on the bigger objective as (re)defining the status of a feeder club. I'd have also suggested a stealth mode.... Rather than all this publicity that seems to be drawing mixed opinions.

I'm a capitalist at heart, it's Roland's money, so he's the decision maker. Unless he wants to shut us down and build a supermarket or move us to MK, then I think he needs time.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Anon post.... Pompous and pointless.

The comment about not moving from the Valley. Well, at the VIP meeting Katrien Miere made a comment that CAFC would never be a top five club!! Mr Murray immediately said... "Not at this stadium!" Interesting?

Mick from Sidcup said...

I am positive about this development because I think there are a lot of questions that need answering. However, I wonder if we need another group in addition to the Trust and the fans forum.

I do not believe that Charlton are or should be behind Standard Liege. The Belgium League is not that good - their 2013 champions Anderlecht did worse in the European Cup than Celtic. It is probably on a par with Scotland and we gave Inverness a game in pre-season and thumped St Mirren.

So are Standard Liege reserves good enough for the Championship?

Anonymous said...

Too many of these signators have got their own interests rather than the club's at heart. If I were RD I would ignore them.