Wednesday 14 September 2022

Remarks by new director draw scorn from fans

Remarks by Charlton non-executive director Leo Rifkind have gone like a lead balloon with fans.

Rifkind tweeted, ‘Financial sustainability in football means money going out = money going in. This means that the club is its own guardian and is ultimately not dependent on ownership funding. We, the fans, as supporting a club in buying tickets effectively own the decision making of a club.’

VOTV editor Rick Everitt retorted, ‘In what sense are you a fan and who are you to tell us about Charlton? You’re just hired help and you know nothing about what works or doesn’t work at this club. If you had any understanding you’d tell Thomas Sandgaard his pricing is absurd, as fans all know.’

Legal eagle Lauren Kreamer commented: ‘The first is that it's staggeringly ill-timed, coming after a bang-average draw to Forest Green on a rainy Tuesday night with the Valley about 1/3 full (if that), where our lack of summer investment was all too apparent.

The idea that fans not buying tickets is the problem would be laughable if it weren't so insulting. People are lying awake at night wondering how they're going to pay their energy bills this winter, and tickets are over £30. There are a multitude of factors at play.

If fans "effectively owned the decision-making", we would have spent some of the Pope + Burstow millions on a striker this summer, we wouldn't have touched the Robots with a bargepole, and the proper Charlton people who have been "made redundant" would still be at the club.

Anyone who believes that ticket sales alone could ever give financial sustainability is deluded. On Duchâtelet's (admittedly daft) valuation of the Valley, we would have to sell it out at £30 a ticket (with zero other expenditure) over 60 times to buy it back. See the problem?

The idea that fans are to blame for what we're seeing is deeply concerning. It's out of a playbook we thought had been thrown out. If you can ask us with a straight face "how we are prepared to support our club", you have clearly learned nothing in your short time at our club.

It's 30 years since our fans founded a political party, dug weeds with their bare hands, did everything in their power to get us home. I was six months old. 28 years later, I did what little I could to keep our club safe, like so many have done before me. It's what we do.

Supporter groups have tried time and again to share our combined centuries of knowledge about the club we love. We've mostly been ignored. If you genuinely want to hear our thoughts and learn from our expertise, you know where we are.’

A response from CAS Trust is here:

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