Anger, apathy and action
Anger, apathy and action will come together at The Valley tomorrow with a 2.30pm protest against the club owner Roland Duchatelet and his CEO Katrien Meire set to take place behind the West Stand.
I hope the protest is peaceful especially with kids and families occupying the same area thanks to the club’s Family Activity Day. However I also hope the protest makes Meire as uncomfortable as possible with her office and ‘her’ lounge facing out towards the car park. After, during the game, there will be plenty of time to express how deeply we are hurt and angry by their mismanagement of our football club.
I have been leaning towards Rick Everitt’s view this week in that we have to deal with Duchatelet separately and although I fear a leopard can’t change his spots, with rich saviours of football clubs few and far between, supporters should be prepared to work with the Belgian in the future, only if he allows himself to enagage with us and open his mind to an alternative and more preponderant view.
Meanwhile Meire’s leadership and management of the business, both the footballing and the commercial side has been terrible. There is a laundry list of errors of judgement and ill-conceived ideas and her brazen attitude towards communicating with fans, the lifeblood of the business, frankly stinks.
Add to that the complete disregard of our history, and it’s older supporters, her position is now untenable. Her lack of experience, knowledge of the industry and useless communication skills gives her no credibility as a CEO and while some were prepared to give her time and understanding, we are now left with this mess. She has to go.
As for Karel Fraeye, he won’t be able to hide behind a wall that Meire has, and his abilities or lack of them will be in a public eye, which is getting bigger by the way, for everyone to see.
Fraeye sent Conor McAleny back to Everton this week. Fraeye, or someone else, also allowed Harry Lennon to extend his loan at Gillingham. Jordan Cousins will miss tomorrow and as anticipated will JBG. With youngster Ollie Muldoon injured as well, Fraeye’s crass comment of “we can only play 11 players” may actually be a struggle tomorrow against an in-form Sheffield Wednesday. Word is that Fraeye will be gone by tomorrow night. What a farce.
McAleny was sent back with a flea in his ear from Fraeye. I would love to know what Roberto Martinez thinks of our handling of his player. Don’t expect another deal with Everton anytime soon.
Tomorrow with 3,200 Massives packing the Jimmy Seed will be interesting to say the least. Anger over apathy though, now is the time to care and give a sh1t.
Good post CA and sums up the feeling of many of us fans, both at home and, like you and me, overseas and unable to do much with regards to protest apart from blogs, social media and forum comments.
Looking forward to you in absentia match report tomorrow, though somehow I think it may again concentrate more on matters off, rather than on, the pitch.
Gone by tomorrow evening sounds encouraging!
Interesting to see what happens now SA. The cynical in me has joked that as soon as we scored a goal KF would be given a 3-year deal 😀
Good post as always but once again I am left feeling this is all for nothing. Even if the CEO is removed (and i cannot see RD doing that anytime soon) Why is he going to suddenly start listening to his clubs supporters? If however she has a soul and is embarrassed enough to resign RD will only replace her with another useless figurehead. Perhaps someone worse because at least she has served some time and must understand some of the machinations of running a football club.
The answer is not a protest behind the stand – although I understand that is a very useful and necessary means for our fellow fans to let steam off – but it is to get at RD in a variety of ways.
I have been saying for some time that we need our colleague supporters who work in the media – possibly have knowledge of the Belgium press – to write copy and distribute to them and the European press. We need to rewrite the CAFC story and let the world know that we are not just any old club that we have a history and experience of over turning even politicians.
We need to get to the clubs sponsors.They cannot be happy with all this and they will certainly be able to get in the door where us mere mortals cannot. RD is a politician (failed) and like a lot of successful business men needs the oxygen of publicity to keep their
We need to organise properly as we did once before.We are not an ordinary set of supporters we are CAFC – we are special and we will not see our club slowly ruined.
Keith, that is a great post and I understand your points on KM, however for me the CEO of a large consumer based company needs to take some responsibility and yesterday again just underlined her complete naivety.
But you are right the puppeteer has to be our ultimate target. I think getting to him in his own country would be a fantastic move. Anything that rattles his and his companies personal business would give our protestations a very useful audience. Likewise the clubs sponsors.
There are differing views of how to get change amongst the fan base, I get that, but together we will prove that we will cannot be ignored.
We will see if Ms Meire is worth her salt. My experience of CEO’s is that this is precisely the point when they feel the need to prove their worth – not resign. Frankly I think that resignation is a pipe dream and wonder if we really need more instability at this point notwithstanding the benefit of a fresh start. Now is the point to see if she has learnt anything from the Charlton experience and whether we fans are seen as “valued customers” or just another bunch of mugs to be taken advantage of – frankly most of the fans who post on this blog are much too intelligent for that.I would encourage Ms Meire to begin to see the fans as a vital part of the business and to learn from their institutional knowledge and support – we all know that we can be the 12th man and that vociferous support is worth half a goal in any game home or away. I have bled the last few weeks and feel sick when I look at the table. C’mon Ms Merie – show us what you can be made of. Great blog Chicago – I usually agree with you but not this time.
Your last few sentences are very poignant and I always value your viewpoint SLC.
CEO’s if given full reign of decision making can always change their spots for the greater good of the organization. It is the mark of a true leader and visionary. I have been willing to have an open mind but her record and bloodymindedness is getting beyond reproach.