So tonight we find ourselves, again, without a manager. Something that I suspect many Charlton fans (or customers) will lose no sleep over. That is a start, but it's not enough. I don't know that the actual relationship is between the owner and the CEO but irrespective as to how much she tells him there is no doubt that she has been spinning the truth to the fans for a while now.
I will stop short of calling Ms Miere a liar, but there is, certainly, some inconsistency in what she says. The uncredited statement today suggesting that Fraye has left the club and a recruitment process to replace him will commence is, exactly, what I'm talking about. If Fraye was an interim appointment while they carry our a recruitment process then what have they been doing.
I have to confess if this another club I would find it slightly amusing. If it was Millwall or Palace (or a few others that don't need to be mentioned for the point to be made) I would find it hilarious.
I have, over the years, had what I would call rivals. Palace and Millwall are the obvious ones but West Ham were considered (maybe not by the fans of the club that won the World Cup) to be a rival. We were in the same division, we finished above them and beat them. Now I feel as though West Ham and Palace are so far ahead of us that I can't, really, consider them rivals - just like I can't think of Millwall in that way as they are so far behind us - for now.
More recently, however, the situation at Charlton has been so bad that I've not considered any side to be worth being bothered about. I've just felt as though we have enough of a fight on our hands with those running the club. This is not a new thing, however. I was not up in arms when Chris Powell was relieved of his duties. We were struggling at the time and did look in trouble. The new owner had a lot of money and new ownership often comes with a desire for their own man.
When Kermorgant was sold, along with Stephens, I gave the club the benefit of doubt as both players had six months on their contract and had indicated that they wanted to leave. I assumed that the multi-millionaire was just making a sensible financial decision and would bring in better players in the sumner as he has the wealth to do so.
Riga managed a great run and I was a little disappointed that he was let go but, again, I thought that maybe the new chap would be good enough to make the Riga decision look OK with hindsight. Bob Peters was allowed to bring in some decent players and we did start the season well and for a while I dared to believe that maybe we were going to make a decent challenge for promotion. Then Vetokele got injured and the wheelers came off.
I was very angry with the departure of Michael Morrison - especially as by this time Bikey had shown glimpses of, shall we say, anger management issues. At this point I was changing from blindly supporting the new owner to having concerns. I was able to put these concerns to one side, however, as Bob Peters was sacked and I believed that, maybe, it was him that moved Morrison on.
Then the debacle of the appointment of Guy Luzon. What, I think, made that worse for me was that I'd allowed myself to believe that Curbishley was going to come in and with the owners wealth and proper support we would build a side that would win promotion within a couple of years and would play some nice to watch football along the way. It is a myth that all Curbishley's sides were dour. He was good at then when necessary, but his teams did play too.
The timing of the Luzon appointment made me believe that the promises of a proper appointment process were rubbish. I was starting to turn then but the side started to win and I way Ms Miere at two fan meetings and she came across ok. I actually wrote something about it at the time. On reflection I think I am biased. We always look for the best, both intentions and outcomes, of our friends and family, and I think we lie to ourselves to make us feel better. So towards the end of last season I found a way to be satisfied, again, with the club and how it was proceeding. I was not completely convinced, but our run in the second half of last season under Luzon was very impressive.
The summer saw players sold and new ones coming in. I was inclined to believe that the new players would be good. The suggestions were that we had paid good money for many of them and even though there is no guarantee that the price will equate to the player's ability I was inclined to believe that if the club spent money we would be ok.
Despite a couple of early wins the squad was not good enough. I have to assume this is down to the scouting. I believe that the owner has a game plan that can work but only if the scouting is exemplary. And it has been far from exemplary.
Luzon was, clearly not getting the results and had to go. The manager always Carey's the can as to replace a whole squad of players is too expensive. Again, rumours of one of the owner's 'friends' boasting that he was going to have the job surfaced and Fraye was appointed. Initially on an interim basis, presumably because this would go down better with the fans. The plan was that he would hold the seat while a proper recruitment process was carried out. Clearly this was not a true and accurate statement.
An inexperienced and, I'm embarrassed to say, an incompetent interim manager has left us second from bottom with a squad so low on confidence and so reliant on young boys that are, almost certainly, not ready for the battle ahead that I wonder if it's not already beyond us.
What I do find staggering is that after all this time we are only three points (plus maybe another one due to goal differnce) from safety. Do we dare to believe that we can still get out of it?
All the while we hear that a very wealthy investor wants to buy us and take us to the Premier League. I know better than to believe that we can be the new Chelsea or Man City, but if there is any chance that we could make a genuine challenge at the other end of the table to where we are that would be a massive step up from what we have now.
So tonight we are free of the amateur interim manager we just need to get the CEO out of the door and convince the owner to sell up. We still have a long way to go but we have made a step in the right direction.
Up the Addicks!