Tuesday 11 September 2018

Valley of no hope

Demoralised Charlton staff are losing hope that the Australian takeover of the club will take place. It felt very close at the end of last season (when some of the Australians turned up at The Valley) but feels some way away now: Collapse of takeover deal

In a sense this has been evident for some time, but it leaves no clear way forward with the club continuing to lose money. I would not put a lot of faith in the alternative bid.

The club has issue a statement claiming that a key issue between it and the fans has been one of communication and asking whether the protests have helped the sale of the club: Club comment

The CAS Trust response to the statement can be found here: About more than communication

The CARD response can be found here: Serial incompetence

I and others are having difficulty making sense of the statement which suggests that it might have written by Roland himself rather than by a hired hand.

The Chicago Addick makes a good point in his blog when he says that the real significance of the statement is that it shows Roland is up for a fight. In my view it wouldn't take much for the EFL to back down in the face of owner resistance, issuing some anodyne statement about better communication.

Charlton fans are due to protest outside the offices of the Football League on Friday. However, it has to be recognised that the League's perspective is very different from that of fans with the clubs are seen as independent businesses with decision-making in the hands of the owners. The League is not happy about reputational damage, or the prospect of a club failing, but the speed with which it has initiated talks on Charlton suggests that it does not see it as a priority issue.

The fact that the League allegedly misled clubs about the live streaming of matches last Saturday is symptomatic of their attitude. There is no doubt that they would like to exploit this market, even if it means fewer fans in the ground as away fans might not travel and also some home fans who travel long distances. For more on this controversy, see our sister site: Why iFollow row is important

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