Charlton supporters are in a good frame of mind as the season gets under way. This is the overall finding of our online survey. I would like to thank the 401 fans who responded, the best response I have had to a survey.
Fans are clearly warming to Roland's regime. Asked how their views of the Belgian had changed since the takeover, 58 per cent said that it had improved considerably and another 33 per cent chose the improved slightly, giving overall positive ratings of 91 per cent. 8 per cent chose no change and 1 per cent said their opinion had deteriorated.
It's early days for Bob Peeters, and opinions could change if we start losing matches, but 26 per cent of respondents gave him an excellent rating and 65 per cent chose the good option, giving him the same overall positive rating as Roland, 91 per cent. 6 per cent said fair, two per cent said poor and 1 per cent didn't know.
Katrien has also made a good start as chief executive with overall positive ratings of 74 per cent, 22 per cent excellent and 52 per cent good. The don't know category was unsurprisingly higher in her case and 19 per cent said 'fair'.
Fans are clearly pleased with the summer signings, with an overall positive rating of no less than 97 per cent. When it came to strengthening the squad, the overwhelming preference was for a striker, 83 per cent. 5 per cent wanted a defender, 4 per cent wanted a keeper, 4 per cent wanted a central midfielder and 1 per cent another midfield position (3 per cent don't know). I included the central midfielder option because there has been quite a lot of talk among fans about this position, but it is clearly not seen as the priority.
51 per cent of fans thought that we would finish just below the play offs, 21 per cent in the play offs and an optimistic 3 per cent thought we would get automatic promotion. 22 per cent chose mid-table and just three per cent lower mid-table. Relegation is clearly off the agenda, the odd Millwall or Palace fan aside. This distribution of figures pretty much matches what would be my estimates of possible outcomes.
The answers to the question about this blog confirmed what I know from 'hits'. The news service is what is really valued, especially during the transfer season. I will probably drop match previews and slim down the match reports, keeping the match ratings provided by our canine analysts. I still hold to my view that a dog can do as good a job as the average football journalist.
As far as news stories are concerned, I clearly need to do more checking of sources to avoid repeating a recent error. In that connection fans will be aware of stories circulating on the internet regarding former striker David Whyte. They appear to have a solid source, but until there is confirmation I cannot write an appropriate story.
Detailed comments on Roland
- Since the end of last season he has made big improvements on and of the pitch.
- Had to be better than the last lot. I was optimistic and respectful of his ability to improve the club from day one.
- Never really had a problem with him.
- It is clear he has ambitions for the club that coincide with those held by the majority of supporters.
- Hard-headed investment in key areas.
- Strategy unclear then, still not clear. Opinion went down in months after takeover, gone back up slightly.
- Owing to an influx of better quality players.
- He's not perfect but I could grow to love him.
- It was good initially.
- Sceptical at first but quite like the vision he appears to have for our club.
- I do not think we can fault him.
- Given that I was never a rabid disapprover.
- SO far we haven't been pillaged for the Mother Ship.
- He rescued a sinking ship.
- I had an open mind, and continue to have. Still early days really...
- Investing in the stadium and players shows long term commitment.
- I like what he's done with the valley pitch and it's surroundings. Also like he's backed the manager in transfer market and has helped the team to improve on and off the pitch.
- Backed him from day 1.
- He appears to be interfering less.