Thursday 15 January 2015

Katrien: this is how it is

The following report appeared in this evening's Sub-Standard:

'Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire admits she understands fans' frustration but has told them to accept owner Roland Duchatelet's way of running the club. Some supporters are unhappy with the appointment of Guy Luzon and have criticised Meire on social media, claiming she "lied" about the process of his arrival. Meire released a statement after Bob Peeters was sacked last week and said Charlton had not earmarked a new head coach before his dismissal.

But some fans believe Luzon, who worked under Duchatelet at Standard Liege before the owner axed him in October, had been lined up. They also fear Duchatelet is running Charlton like a business and not a football club. The Belgian moves players and coaches within his network of European teams and is rarely seen at The Valley.

But Meire has defended Duchatelet and the appointment of Luzon and has called for patience. She also admits it is up to the club to prove that Duchatelet's business model can be successful. "Of course I can understand their frustration and they have every right to be [frustrated]," she said. "But I hope they understand the owner wants the best for Charlton. He does it his way and they need to accept that.

"They will not always agree with our decisions. No fans in the world will always agree with the decisions of the board. I always try to take into account the fans, but sometimes you have to make hard decisions. We are investing in Charlton. I feel the fans sometimes forget that. At the moment, they only notice the results on the pitch. But it is not only in the squad we are investing in. We are going to build a training ground and build for the future.

"We do not want Charlton to lose their identity. We want success for Charlton and they need to be patient. We have improved a lot from last year and it is up to us to prove to the fans that we do not only want to bring in imports from Standard Liege."

Luzon is Charlton's fourth manager in a year and Meire now wants stability. "I would like him to be the next Sir Alex Ferguson," said the Belgian, who says the immediate aim is to make Charlton competitive in the Championship. "I know people are a bit worried about the instability. But our recent actions have shown a sense of decisiveness and I hope that Guy will stay for a long time."

On criticism of the way Duchatelet is running Charlton, Meire said: "It is important to find a balance - the reality is that a football club is a business. But every decision I make is judged by thousands of people, which is different from any other business."

Luzon was due to meet the players and take training for the first time today and he has held discussions with Meire about plans for the transfer window.'


Anonymous said...

3 points
1 Football is results business.
2 it operates in the leisure industry.
3 It relies upon brand loyalty.
1. She seems to be saying that we are impatient with results without any sense of irony. My god do these people know anything about this club's history and mid table is ok.
2.3. We are Charlton if we wanted Lord Sugar we would have switched to Spurs years ago. So Roland is going to employ Guy (Sir Alex) Luzon for 30 years as he did at Standard, when he hasn't even had a match yet. Why are these people talking down to me, like I am a child? Is this called PR?

Anonymous said...

I think Charlton need to employ a few English people. First a proper PR Officer. I'm sure that she's a good lawyer, but she's shot herself in both feet now. PR, Noh. Ok Roland,s probably not helping some successful business people are bullies, but this PR needs to change.
Coordinate with the CAFC Supporters Trust, who seem to be pleading for their ear. Why not before? Do they want to, we'll see?
An English Director of Football.
Integrity, Fraternity, Results.

Anonymous said...

She and Roland do not give a shit what supporters think. If they are successful on pitch supporters will come simple as that, The trust and Richard Hunt and Rick Everit and Ben Hayes and all the other jumped up supporters whobthinkbtheybhave a right to a say in how they run club are of no interest to the owner. It is his club his money and he will do what he sees fit and if they don't like it he doesn't care simples.

Anonymous said...

If that's the case why give such long damage limitation statements to the Standard. They need as many Charlton supporters as they can get, not because they like them but because that = the balance sheet.
It's business.

Anonymous said...

"But every decision I make is judged by thousands of people, which is different from any other business." Other businesses have shareholders doing just that!

Anonymous said...

I do think Katrien is naive on two counts ; in the whole culture of English Football and Charlton culture.
I don't buy 'it's Roland's club he can do with it whatever he wants'!
He is a custodian of history , Tradition and a certain way of doing things.
We have seen a PR disaster unfold in front of our eyes. TRUST is gone and with it a lot of goodwill.
If they had been straighth and direct and stated we are replacing Bob with Luzon , we may not have liked it but it was honourable and decisive.
But no we have a sham of nonsense about other candidates blah blah, what we need now is a simple clear Policy statement from Roland.
1. what is our likely actions in this window
2. what is Luzon's target this season
3 Now FFP is out , what is the transfer and retention policy.

Finally , how did Murray just sit there and let this particular can of worms occur???? Richard Murray start acting the role you are supposed to have or ship

Anonymous said...

Katrien you silly girl don't patronise us, we actually can smell the rotten fish. We know the way Luzon was appointed , we know you didn't review 20 candidates , why would you THE DEAL WAS DONE THE WEEK BEFORE as our Israeli blogger told us.........
As comparing this stumbling incoherent twat as the next Alex Ferguson , what are you smoking Kat
Cos' I'd like a Took! Are you fixing Lose On some English Lessons ?????

Anonymous said...

It is what it is!

All the bitching in the world won't change a thing, lets just accept the situation and get behind the new manager and the team.

Anonymous said...

Bollocks! these posts are what make me believe in Charlton. The club is about the people that support it. That's why we're not MIllwall and we could never make it one club, no offence Spanners. I've given this mob the benefit of the doubt now I see it for what it is, This is not bitchin it's the truth, my truth because it's only my opinion nothing more. Thank god it's shared. Look back they flogged Powell's two best players gave him all the crap then sacked him and we said very little because of results and things were changing. Last week I was supporting this mob but now I've had enough piss taking. They care because we =££££ They care because of their network credibility. They care because of their professional egos. Don't tell me they don't F*****g care what we think. T Watt "CAFC are a big club" not with 6k come Sat there not.. They care!

Anonymous said...

KM says Charlton " fans have to accept how we run the club". Well I'm very sorry Miss. Firstly I'm not a fan and your not a boy band, I'm a supporter. Next you 'have to accept' because you are paid to be another of Roland's stooges. Who he treads on. I don't have to accept merely because I've supported the club for most of my life. I can choose to turn my back, without loss of any income.
They just don't get it, is it a language or a cultural thing.

Expcyp said...

KM does not bite the hand that feeds her but history shows that even the most loyal of sycophants are dispensable by their masters when it suits them to do so.
To be fair the attitudes of RD and KM are evident in many others who either own or enjoy positions of power (?) in football.
Supporters could always display their displeasure and stay away but that won't happen. If the results improve the present angst will soon be forgotten.

Brian G said...

When Powell was sacked, I posted a blog about the continuing contradiction between supporters claiming part ownership of a club and the economic truth of financial and legal ownership. We own no part of this club and, as far as I am aware, none of us individually or as a group put forward any realistic bid to purchase the club when RD did. We are, and always were, no more than consumers of a product to which we have an inexplicable affinity and loyalty. By being a small club, we have been sheltered from these harsh facts whereas the supporters of Man City and Chelsea have been exposed to them for some time now. The latter two sets of supporters have swapped participation for success. Perhaps we will do the same too in time. It will be uncomfortable in the meantime, I fear.

Dave said...

Arrogance - pure and simple. If Luzon doesn't work out quickly our club will take another massive step backwards. The damage done through the shambolic handling of Peeters sacking and Luzon's appointment is done and now a matter of historic record.

Dave said...

Arrogance - pure and simple. If Luzon doesn't work out quickly our club will take another massive step backwards. The damage done through the shambolic handling of Peeters sacking and Luzon's appointment is done and now a matter of historic record.

Anonymous said...

What a disgustingly arrogant statement. All those words have done is make me even less confident about the future of our club. Is she really expecting us to trust in somebody who have already proved that he cannot identify a competent manager?

weloveyoucharlton said...

well things have really kicked off here....absolutely it is Roland's club...but if he thinks he can treat the club and it's supporters with disrespect the supporters will take action.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris said...

While I agree with most of what has been written here, I think there is an even more important point which has so far been missed.

For me the key takeaway from the shambles of the last few days is that we have seen a quite staggering lack of professionalism. This raises serious questions about whether Roland Duchatelet is competent to run one major football club, let alone a network of them.

I have never doubted that Duchatelet is sincere and that he wants the club to succeed, sustainably. He would appear willing to invest in infrastructure, for example, and that has to be positive.

However, unless he is prepared to apply greater structure and discipline to the management of his clubs, including a willingness to surround himself with more senior and experienced people, then he is very likely to fail, potentially catastrophically.

The refusal to appoint a senior football figure anywhere in the network, perhaps as a director of football, combined with the absence of a real CEO at Charlton, both demonstrate a failure to understand the execution challenges he faces.

TB said...

I'm afraid this is a Gerald Ratner moment. Whilst we may be fans, supporters, or whatever, first and foremost we are paying customers. Ratner mocked his customers by comparing his products unfavourably to Marks and Spencers' prawn sandwiches and lost his job and business.

We do not have to pay good money to watch our team, we have a choice. We may not end up at the New den or Priestfield but increasing apathy may lead supporters not to go at all.

Personally I have always had a soft spot for West Ham and when they move it will be so easy to get on a train to Stratford from Kent that I could be tempted.

Anonymous said...

50 odd years ago living in Catford I would go to Millwall one week to see Arry Cripps and Charlton the next to watch Stuart Leary. In my teenage years I settled on Charlton. Now my Addiction is seriously tested by the sheer arrogance of the Johnny foreigner running this club. It isn't Charlton anymore. Brand loyalty in the business world, that Katherine has told us we now live in, is foolish be it British Gas or the AA.
We do have a choice Katherine, if you arrogantly ignore the culture of this club we can take our money down the New Cross Rd, Welling, or Upton Park. And I would never have written the above 12 months ago.

Terry said...

I think that the time is fast approaching when voting with our feet will be the only option left to us. This is very difficult for some people who pride themselves on having endured during the worst of times, but surely the time has come when OUR club's identity and history has been sufficiently eroded by this Belgian idiot, that even the most diehard must feel uncomfortable about continuing their support.

Anonymous said...

COMPLIANCE ATHLETIC just HAVE to accept Roland Does things differently KM 2015

Or to quote one Alan Llewellyn Curbishley 'We just have to get on with it.

I seriously can't believe an intelligent woman and a successful
international corporate business leader , can make such statements.And think a pretty savvy fan base will .
nod and smile pleasantly and buy a 5 year ST.

Page 1 of the Dummies Guide to PR

We then get a bumbling incoherent Luzon , who looks like he gave the mini bar a serious shoeing , giving his first solo press interview , unprepared and clearly irritated for being interviewed.

We need and quickly Richard Murray to finally step up to the plate and help them to understand the Charlton and English football culture.

Also Luzom...Meire there is No experienced football nous guiding things and focusing things like transfer targets , negotiations and briefing Luzon on what St.Andrews on a wet Wednesday is like.As well as explaining the detailed scouting reports.We need a Director of Football

Anonymous said...

This situation reminds me of several earlier Charlton crisis periods.
The Murray engineered post Curbishley period; Dowie/Reed/Pardoo
and more importantly, The Move to Selhurst and Mr Friar. Who expected the 75 Bus to solve all his problems.

Roland will employ his Management by whim and ego and only a strong response is likely to influence him. 'We won't go to Selhurst park' ...........If ever we needed the New Valley Party it is NOW

Sciurus Carolinenesis Nemesis said...

I'll continue to attend home matches for the foreseeable future so that I can see the on pitch performances and decide for myself, plus attending games will only cost the travel fares. My season ticket this term was about 25% cheaper than last. If the doomsayers on here and elsewhere are only half right my ST next season will have to be significantly cheaper again. My continuing attendance this season will be no guide to my 'brand loyalty' after May 2015.
Railing against how RD runs his CAFC business is pointless, we know he does it his way, we know he doesn't give a damn what supporters think, say or do, RD is well aware that many of the loudest and most self-righteous critics are dreamers, crackpots and delusional egomaniacs.
FFP has certainly hit a bump in the road so RD's hoped for model won't be competing with the top half of the championship. If we are to trust the subStandard's account Katrien could have phrased things more delicately but there is no denying the fact of RD's ownership and his inherent right to do as he pleases with it. However strange and unsettling Charlton may feel at the moment we do at least have a Charlton to worry about - under the previous mob we very well wouldn't have that chance today.

Anonymous said...

Well Wyn, you have quite a selection of comments attached to this post. It would be interesting to hear your view. Personally I side with the "dreamers, crackpots and delusional egomaniacs" (see somewhat derogatory remarks of one Sciurus Carolinenesis Nemesis). From the comments I have read on the different Charlton blogs, the level of unrest with the way the club is run is growing considerably. Perhaps Mr Duchatelet should learn from Cardiff's Mr Vincent Tan, who it has been reported is finally listening to the supporters and changing the Welsh club's colours back to blue and even having a bluebird introduced to the club badge!

Behind Enemy Lines

Scoops said...

Some years ago me, my Dad and Mum along with a whole bunch of Addicks bought shares in the club, back in the days when us lot were generally and collectively instrumental in bringing the club back from the brink. You got a certificate showing how much you 'owned' 500 quid in our case. How many Vallet Gold members are there? Doesn't the money from Valley Gold go into the academy. If so, in which case all of those VG contributors are helping build the new training centre Surely? Maybe all of the Valley Gold members and owners of useless 'share' certificates should collate them all and present them to Katrien for Roland's attention just to make the point that Charlton supporters are significantly different now and historically to supporters of many other football clubs

Anonymous said...

Well well that's agreed then, the situations crap and and of course we're complaining, but there are also quite a few interesting and positive suggestions here about how things could improve. It looks like things have to get a lot worse before they can get any better and from what I've seen I've no doubt they will. I like to think that all things must pass (G.H.) and one day we'll have a CAFC back that we can identify with again.
Fancy sending these posts down to HQ Wyn, so they can analyse our thoughts? They have a lot to learn.

Anonymous said...

To Murray actually. He was in charge when he stole those shares back. Several thousand people x a few hundred pounds would be around 0.5m or so.

Brian G said...

All we can do is not buy the product but I'm not going to do that yet. See you all at Wolves next Saturday.

Wyn Grant said...

I have always supported the club, not a particular owner or manager. We have had some comedy owners at Charlton over the years and some poor managers as well. Clearly matters have been handled poorly, not least in terms of public relations. One has to hope that lessons will be learnt, although more engagement with the Supporters Trust would be welcome. If supporters vote with their feet, that will weaken the club and I would particularly regret losing them to the Hampsters, although that will be a risk with the move to the Olympic Stadium.

Expcyp said...

Well TB it could be a Gerald Ratner moment !
It could also be a Marie Antoinette moment. After all she said " Let them eat cake" and then look at what happened to her !!