That is the claim made by the Football League Paper makes today in article illustrated by a cartoon of the now famous revolving door at The Valley. The network model can work, the paper argues, if it is done properly, as it is at Watford, but not at Charlton.
The paper reckons that Roland Duchatelet saw Watford's 'foreign loanees waltz through the Championship. He saw them change managers with no apparent dip in performance. He saw them pushing for the Premier League and saw the riches at the end of the rainbow. He thought, "I'll have some of that.'"' [I'm not sure that Roland has ever given a moment's thought to Watford, but the argument is interesting nevertheless].
'Unfortunately, he failed to factor in some crucial differences. Like the fact that Pozzo also owns Udinese and Granada. One play in Serie A. The other is in La Liga. Or that the Italian employs more dedicated scouts than any other owner in world football. Not only is that a powerful, well-connected network, it has also been running like clockwork for 20 years. The upshot is a pool of players that Watford - or any other Championship club - could under normal circumstances neither attract nor afford.'
Listing Roland's clubs, the FLP says, 'Equating that ropey stable to Pozzo's resources is like comparing Steptoe and Son's backyard to a Swiss bank vault. Is it any wonder that almost every player Duchatelet has imported has proved unfit for purpose? This season has shown signs of improvement, but it is not like Yoni Buyens or an ageing Tal Ben Haim would walk into any Championship team.'
'Duchatelet's formative system has nothing to offer Charlton. That's not to say it won't in the future. The theory is proven. Right now Charlton need either investment in players or - as is happening - youth development. But that will not bear fruit without stability.'
Noting that managers are Charlton are changed like a broken light bulb, the paper argues that Roland needs to stop aping Watford's tendency to jettison managers.