Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm Chileing out

It's been a dramatic 36 hours in the history of Charlton. The only comparable events I can remember are the replacement of Jimmy Seed by his nemesis Trotter and the 1984 bankruptcy crisis.

I'm now going to Chile out as I am off to Santiago. It's a long way to go for two days of meetings, even if I am going to be treated to drinks with the Governor of Santiago and a reception at the presidential palace. Incidentally, many of the Chilean football teams have English names, one of them being Everton. The great Chilean hero is apparently Arturo Prat which might be a good name for a match official.

So I won't be spending Saturday afternoon at the Reading game but in a Chilean vineyard. It's an important fixture, but as Peter Varney pointed out in his interview, we should not let everything rest on this one game.

As Peter Varney also said, it's a results business and I am sure that this was the main factor in leading to the departure of Iain Dowie, even if there were other issues. Given the amount we had laid out on transfers and wages, and the boost to the Sky TV contract next year, we couldn't afford to be relegated. So the board took a hard nosed decision to tackle the problem before it was too late. The board have served us well and I trust them to make the right decisions, even if there are risks involved.

Gossip at the time of the Seed departure was that Trotter had had his knife into him for some time, certainly relations were said not to be good. A very different story with Les Reed, of course, as this Daily Mail story makes clear:

Much is being made of us having the worst defensive record in the Premiership, but it seems to me that the problems are often caused by the midfield giving away possession and it is the Addicks midfield that remains my greatest area of concern.

In the words of Peter Varney, enjoy the game if you are going on Saturday. I will be back in the UK next Tuesday.


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