This morning's Football League Paper has a major article by Chris Dunlavy criticising Roland Duchatelet headed 'Forget fairy tales, Roland, and get real.' It is accompanied by a not very flattering cartoon of the Belgian.
The article compares Roland with Massimo Cellino for Leeds, not company I would care to be in. To be fair, Roland has never been convicted of evading taxes.
The article states, 'the Belgian thought he could rock up, sign a few cheap foreigners, and stroll straight into the top flight [Actually, I think that his motivations and aims were more complex, but still flawed]. But like the unhinged Italian, he has discovered that the Championship deals savagely with those who underestimate it.'
Dunlavy poses the question, 'Does Duchatelet even know what he is trying to do? Fundamentally, his aims are laudable. Build an infrastructure, bring the kids through, minimise financial losses. A guy worth £500m knows how to run a company and the fact that he rescued Charlton from the brink of ruin should not be forgotten. But none of that means much when the core of your business - the team - is an unstable ragbag outfit.'
Roland's claims to have spent £8m on players since arriving are put under the microscope and argues that 'Players have been brought on for their youth and sell-on value rather than their suitability to English football, Youngsters promoted too soon in the hope of making a quick buck.'
Dunlavy quotes extensively from an earlier interview with Yann Kermorgant and concludes, 'The manager has never been the problem. The problem is an owner who badly misjudged the strength of English football.
I have no connection with the FLP, but I do recommend it as a good value Sunday read.