Thursday, 1 October 2015

Interview with Katrien

This long interview with Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire is in French, but the pictures themselves are interesting: C'est Katrine qui parle

My French isn't good enough to translate the whole article, but I get the idea that she doesn't like older, long-standing supporters like me!

As it so happens, I am going to France tomorrow to visit an old English friend who has become a French citizen, so I will get him to provide a reliable translation.


James O'Brien said...

"I should not say it, but I do not care about the history of the club"

One of several daft comments she makes.

I have no idea if Katrien is doing a good job behind the scenes. I'm not best placed to judge but she has to be far more media savvy than to be so ludicrously candid, even if it is to a French publication. Surely she knows in the modern age that these comments cannot be contained.

She has no background in football and that's the easiest criticism to pin on her. She needs to start learning that shooting from the hip can be very damaging when talking about something that thousands of people feel very passionately about, rather than assuming it is a refreshing approach.

Katrien may have a lot to offer the club and bring a fresh perspective to running the club as a business that is unbounded by the nostalgic traditions of the game. The trouble she faces is that Charlton fans do not attend matches because of the unrivaled quality of the product on offer (let's face it, it is often painful to watch), they attend largely out of that same nostalgia/tradition that she is only too willing to disparage.

Nostalgia and passion for the club's traditions is why fans loved Chris Powell, it's why there's an uneasiness about a rotating door of unknown managers. Tradition can hold clubs/businesses back but it is also fundamental to what supporters buy into and I can't help but think Katrien may be too inexperienced (both in football and in business) to grasp this key point. If the club finds itself in relegation trouble and the knives come out, she cannot start showing her frustration so publicly and instead needs to keep channels of communications with fans open, even if she does it through gritted teeth.

Wyn Grant said...

I have had a post from Jonathan Acworth which I have not been able to accept. For someone who claims to have royal blood, it wasn't expressed in the best way.

19forever said...

Oh dear! I had hoped that there might have been an element of mistranslation but, having read the original article (as a reasonably fluent French speaker), I must confess to being shocked by the comments reported.

Either this interview displays the naivety of (relative) youth in dealing with a journalist who has already decided on the slant he wants to give to an article or Katrien really doesn't care what long-term supporters of Charlton think.

She comes across as being principally focused on her own career and with a complete lack of respect for anybody associated with the club prior to the Duchatelet takeover. In fact, she is quite apologetic about her attempts to recruit staff to work in such a dump!

Whatever "noises" she may have made in the past about solidarity with the fans,or the cultural heritage of the club, it is clear that Katrien only sees Charlton as a poorly-run business that her boss requires her to turn into a successful commercial venture and - apart from the financial risk of relegation that it might represent - anything that happens on the pitch is fairly irrelevant. It seems that food and beverage turnover and profit is much more significant to Katrien than sporting performance or success.

After this, I shall find it difficult to take anything she says to supporters of the club at face value

Jonathan Acworth said...

i refrase it then hasnt a clue what she is doing but a coyr never the less she could b a cheerleader though