Yesterday evening I was on a train back from a meeting in York. In any case I would not have been able to go to the Bromley Addicks meeting, so I am grateful to a fellow blogger for the following notes.
As ever KM was charming. She was worried when she left Belgium friends and family she would be lonely but she has been fully immersed in Charlton and loves it here. She does not feel that she could go back to Belgium in a similar role because the Championship is so intense. The meeting started with a question from the host about the academy.
Duchatelet was over yesterday and today and was meeting with architects and others relating to then redevelopment of Sparrows Lane. The developments to SL will move the existing building to a new site and refurbishment of the pitches. There will be reseeding and work also done on the Valley pitch.
The clear objective of the Club is to develop talented young players and put them on long term contracts. Gomez is on 3 years plus 1 which is the longest a player of his age can be put on. The club accepts that they will not be able to keep players, but they will not sell them except for good money.
Gomez's agent was phoning KM during the summer to ask why he was not in the first team squad, then when he was he was phoning to say he should not be played at right back, but at centre half. KM is constantly contacted by agents and now does not clear her voice mail she gets so many calls.
I asked KM about the club's objectives of breaking even and challenging in the Championship and what time frame they were working to. She stated that it was difficult to be clear on timing and to be honest did not really answer the question, I got the impression that break even is not a plan but an aspiration and that they did not know how they would achieve it so we'll see!
KM was asked why she always called Duchatalet The Owner, to which she answered that she always called him Roland to his face but we did not pronounce Roland correctly its more guttural, so she called him the owner in Belgium he is called Le President.
The club are hoping to hold onto the players they have and build over the summer with 2-3 new players. Luzon likes Eagles and Johnson and they were brought in because the club felt it needed Championship experienced players. Neither are contracted to beyond the end of the season, but both are interested in a new contract, Luzon wants them to play for it and keep the season going. Luzon will not the team rest on its laurels now that the club has achieved safety.
Under Bob the players had lost confidence and he did not seem to be able to turn it around. We were now winning and in a way that was much better than earlier in the season.
KM did state a couple of times that the club wanted to get into the Premiership but was not willing to put a timetable on it.
KM is quite defensive of RD and stated (my words) that it was unreasonable of people to expect him to spend any amount of money just because he is rich he has and continues to work hard for his money, she has never known him to take a holiday and he often calls her before 8.00 am.
The issue of the Trust was brought up and KM clearly feels that they have a vendetta against her and that she is reluctant to meet with them as a single entity. A Trust member stood up and said that the club were in a strong position after the recent wins and now would be a good time to meet with the Trust which was the organisation that represented the fans. This was met with a rebuttal by some in the audience and a mini argument ensued. KM said that she was happy to meet with fans but she did not want to meet every group separately as she would be spending all her time in these meetings.
She felt that the viral ad was too explicit and had told the marketing team that she did not agree with it, but they issued the teaser without letting her know, they had to decide whether to go with it and come clean which they did. She also had to explain to Roland the they were responsible for Belgian headlines like 'Sex on Duchatelet's pitch or something like that.
RD is a very private man. He said though when they saw the results that it had worked. The club will do other virals but not following the same theme. 50% of pitches have been sold and enquiries have been received from parties that have never enquired before, very few clubs do pitch hire so this is unique. It was asked if the hirers realised it was only for football.
She has told Guy that if he beats Millwall he will be a legend.