You can probably count the number of Addicks in Warwickshire on one hand. Apart from me, I know of one near Warwick, one in Stratford and one in Coventry. One of the leading lights emigrated to Canada a long time ago, but at least I was able to get a ticket for him for the Greatest Game.
Yesterday I was giving a presentation at King Henry the Eighth School in Coventry and I started with a joke about Charlton because everyone in Coventry thinks you are barmy to support Charlton when you could be supporting the glorious Sky Blues (at least that's an easy away game for me). Somehow or other, sitting in his Ramsgate fastness, VOTV editor Rick Everitt picked up on what I said and tweeted about it.
Having tea in the staff room afterwards, one of the teachers asked me incredulously if I was really a Charlton season ticket holder. I pointed out that for each home Saturday game I would be setting off from Coventry Station adjacent to the school.
It is crazy when you think of what Roland has done to the club. Fans have been heartened to some extent by the appointment of Russell Slade. If Roland really wanted to mend bridges, he could find Katrien Meire a suitable job in his Belgian operations. He could then appoint a chief executive with relevant experience and less of a reputation for offering contentious versions of reality.
Roland's whole scheme was premised on the assumption that financial fair play would kick in and create a level playing field. Even someone who is not a lawyer like me knew that this was likely to be challenged as a breach of competition law, as it has been.
Katrien Meire is a competition lawyer. She is a graduate of University College London and has been an intern at some leading law firms. Before she came to Charlton she had a post at Standard Liege that involved responsibility for legal affairs. Why didn't she warn Roland? Or did she think it would be unwise to speak truth to power? I don't know, but I am puzzled.
This post also appears on Addick's Third Division Diary.