Monday, 23 November 2015

Rickster and Spell It Out join forces

Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt has joined forces with the Spell It Out campaign to organise a 'proportionate protest' in the second minute of the game against Ipswich on Saturday: Protest plan

Katrien Meire claimed that only two per cent of Charlton fans were behind the recent protest, implying that they were a collection of hotheads and perennial moaners like Derek from Dymchurch.

The idea is that fans will hold up black and white posters (which can be downloaded online) in the second minute of the game for 60 seconds backing the two per cent, accompanied by a chant.

This is certainly to be preferred to those hotheads who have advocated throwing things on the pitch which is illegal. I also want us to beat the Tractors, but by having a demonstration early in the game disruption and distraction will be minimised. Saturday gives us the opportunity to go to the top of the Relegation League and would put us within touching distance of the Mid-Table Mediocrity League.

When it comes to tactics, there is no one to beat the Rickster. I still have some concerns about strategy, in terms of what the objectives are. 'We Want Our Charlton Back' is a powerful slogan, but what does it actually mean?

I do not think it would be advantageous for Roland to sell the club. I just don't see credible buyers out there. Wolves have been available for some time, now joined by Bolton Wanderers with all the debt wiped out and a knockdown price. Roland would not want to lose out financially on any sale.

Rick Everitt has been taking the line that Katrien Meire should be replaced as chief executive. I can see the force of this argument. She has lost the trust of many fans and has shown herself to have difficulty in coping with the role. I just don't see Roland removing his representative on Earth.

What I would want to see is two things. First, a strengthening of the squad. It is vital for the future of the club that we avoid relegation to the wasteland of League One. We also want the aspiration to get to the Premiership to be more than 'if we get lucky, we might get a play off place.' An annual relegation struggle or even a solid place in mid-table won't get us anywhere near Target 20,000.

The other thing I would hope for is more regular and structured engagement with the fans who should be regarded with less contempt than has characterised some pronouncements up to now. I know it isn't easy to engage with a group with such a wide range of views and it is all too easy to give a voice to blowhards who have nothing useful to say. However, the club was a model of fan engagement and involvement in the past. Those days can probably never be recaptured, but we need to move back in that direction and away from 'This is how it is.'

Meanwhile, the distinctive smell and noise of hot metal printing presses has been detected in Valley Road, Ramsgate. The latest Voice of the Valley will be on sale before the game against Ipswich.

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