16 April 2014
As this Mariana Trench of a season reached a new low, at last my feelings have #movedon from sadness, but to anger, not acceptance. This time last year we were fancifully imagining a late, improbable and hilariously doomed foray into the playoffs. This year the best we can hope for is a late and improbable escape from relegation. After this result, who do we imagine we can beat in the remaining games? Barnsley were awful, and will be relegated, but they beat us and I'm pretty sure we'll be playing them again next season.
Who's to blame? The players? I'm a firm believer that players basically want to win. They are by nature ultra-competitive - if not, they'd never have made it into the professional game at all. It takes exceptional treatment to beat that out of them, to make them not give a toss about the result. That hasn't happened to Charlton since the great pardewing of 2008.
But there are plenty of ways to make sure the players don't give everything. Leave their contracts unrenewed, maybe. Prove your contempt by offloading three of the best of them. Sack their well-respected manager. Bring in loanees and reserve team players from some other club, saying, in effect that these people could easily do your job.
Of course, when the being known as Duchatelet collects his trophy from the Wreckers Club, he'll pay humble tribute to those who made it all possible: his parents, his creator, his accountant; above all his predecessors who apparently thought that global warming had made drainage a thing of the past, and who cut Chris Powell's already skinflint team budget with the mad-eyed glee of Iain Duncan Smith taking away a disabled child's benefit.
Unsurprisingly, we learned this week that season tickets will remain on sale at the current "bargain" rate until the end of the season. You need to be any kind of cynic to work out what that tells us about the number of renewals so far. You don't need to be Martin Lewis to suppose that the price is hardly going to rise.
So a weak team, a dodgy manager, and even less money. Next season will be such fun.
Posted by Brian at 08:32