24 April 2016

Charlton 1 Brighton 3

It's my unimaginative habit to use the scoreline as the title of match review postings, and I'm stuck with it, but I had to think for a moment what the score was yesterday. Another heavy defeat - the 14th time this season Charlton have conceded 3 or more - was irrelevant to the home fans, who gladly saw the points go to a Brighton team whose supporters were magnificent in joining in with the protests.

The fires of protest had been stoked in the morning by the revelation that in January Katrien Meire had drawn up an agreement for Chris Solly to go on loan to Gillingham for the rest of the season; an agreement that he had flatly rejected. Funnily enough he wasn't in the squad. Presumably he was sat on the naughty step with Stephen Henderson, with a space saved for Johnnie Jackson, in the squad but not used. His manner on the touchline was silently eloquent, though, making it clear he supports the aim of the protest. He's made a very public commitment to being at the club next year, making it defiantly clear that if he isn't, it won't be by his choice.

I'm fairly sure Duchatelet would like to get rid of him, but Jackson's statement has made that a deeply poisonous action. Doesn't mean he won't do it, of course. Every day Katrien Meire remains in her job is an insult, but there she is, grinning unscathed while she wrecks the club. Every game that Duchatelet doesn't attend is an insult, but there he isn't, once again.

No-one really knows if Duchatelet is interested in selling the club. Even if he wants to, he'll be hiding his cards. He'll deny any interest, while leaking out inflated estimates of what it would cost to prize the club from his loving embrace. In the two weeks of season that remain, we've got to convince him to leave it, Roland, it ain't worth it.

Next week, at Leeds, the mad-owner derby is likely to be nothing more than a curtain-raiser for the game that's already being billed as Judgement Day. Truth be told, Judgment has already been made. We're just waiting to see what punishment follows.

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