12 March 2014

Heartbreak (part 2)

I'm still trying to work out my response to Chris Powell's sacking. What is clear is that the experience we've had at Charlton for the last three years is one that most football fans will never have. The sense of being emotionally united with the team and manager, sharing in the joy, of course, but more importantly sharing the pain. Sometimes the team played really badly and it was difficult to watch, but most of the time this just brought out a stronger performance, by the team and by most of the fans, next time.

This season it's been obvious that the squad as a whole is only just good enough for the Championship, but every so often they've surprised themselves and us with a performance that massively overreached their abilities. We'll need to hold on fast to the memory of that game against QPR.

There have been other positive things to see. Above all, the emergence of young players like Diego Poyet and Jordan Cousins promised a brighter future if only someone would provide a little cash to build a team around them. And we've seen the way otherwise neglected players have been transformed under Chris Powell's leadership and coaching. Devastated as I am, I can only imagine how Johnnie Jackson, for example, is feeling.

We've been spoilt, perhaps. Or isn't that how it should be? Isn't that the deal? We support the team, financially and noisily, and in exchange we expect the team to do its best, and we expect the club to enable the team to do that. When we see a team skiving, like Pardew's side did, we're entitled to withdraw our support. When it seems the club's owners have no ambition, as happened when the club left the Valley, we're entitled to withdraw our support.

So I can't go along with people I've seen saying things like "We still need to support the team, they're still our club". They're not, and never have been. But for those three years we had the same ambitions, the same passion. They- mostly - kept their side of the deal.

Now, it seems Duchatelet's ambition is nakedly to make Charlton a Standard Liege development team. Charlton will get their reserves, and they will snap up any promising youngsters. Success for Charlton isn't his priority. If it suits his masterplan, he'll be quite happy for the team to be relegated, and he'll just change the level of players he sends over here. And the players employed on this basis will never have the connection with the club and the fans that Chris Powell's hand-picked team developed.

I can't support that. I don't "welcome the new era". I won't be renewing my season ticket.

To be continued, hopefully with some idea of what else we can do ...


Anonymous said...

Not a real CAFC gfanmion my book: better off not cpmong back.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who turns up tonight is showing their support for the new regime. Good luck to all of you if that is what you want.

Desperate Pete said...

I totally agree with your sentiments Stickleback and I also will not be renewing my season ticket, even though I have been watching Charlton for over 54 years! I obviously do not support this regime but will be there tonight to clap after the 3 minutes and also to register my disgust in a way that I have yet to decide.