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New Article: Why Duchatalet has shown the market his hand...

Duchatalet has virtually, through his inept mouthpiece, told the world that his objective is to break even whilst being competitive in the Championship and having Premier League ambition. Ignoring the fact that the first objective is rendered nigh impossible by the latter two (and depressingly for supporters, vice versa), the basket case economics of European football dictate that his business model requires a high churn of players to obtain sufficient revenue to support this model (given that our contribution is a mere third plus what we spend on chips).

This largely involves the sale of fattened- calf academy products and hitherto relatively unknown network/other players taken to market having been paraded for the minimal amount of games requisite to get them noticed in the shop window. As abhorrent for us fans as this is selling your best players is the stark reality of the vast majority of the 92 clubs in this fine land albeit it is usually executed in a less clinical and ruthless manner as purported to be the proposed method of Charlton's ownership.


Gomez served the model well in the Summer ticking the box for the first half season's sale targets. Very few of even the most unrealistic of fans would argue that the club is in a position to block the move of such a talent to a club that could overnight shoot him to global stardom and eternal financial security. Watt now appears to be the next asset to be cashed, perhaps due to circumstance rather than by foresight.


Speculation on the Watt thread suggests that the £xm (guesstimate) fee we would have received for the feisty Scot would be realised as the war chest used to quickly shop around to secure the signatures of those due to come in and help us avoid the looming abyss of relegation to League One.

However a spanner has hit the works with his proposed move to Cardiff and whilst this episode not the fault of the club (a broken clock is right twice a day) clubs now know that we have a player we are desperate to unload in the next 14 days. All clubs are also pertinently aware of our precarious position and the disharmony in SE7 which has played out across the national media of recent weeks and fully cognisant of the fact that we need to recruit heavily within the minuscule timescale of a fortnight.

The January transfer window is notoriously poor value for buyers outside of the 3 or 4 financial giants in the top flight. It is generally out of favour or under performing and undervalued players who are usually moved on at an inflated price

Whilst these type of players may fit neatly into the scope of the alleged "Moneyball" model being followed by CAFC it falls down because we do not have any real football people calling the shots when it comes to player recruitment (or manager recruitment or any other area of running a football club come to think of it). And critically it falls down because such players are obtained at an overvalued price (the complete antithesis of Moneyball).

To stay faithful to the "break even" philosophy we result in getting players in on the cheap. As our recent drubbings and subsequent league position points to you pay peanuts you get players who are not up to the standard of successfully competitive Championship football. Or even competitive football in certain cases.


The market is holding the cards. They know we want Watt off the books and will not abide the lost revenue and drain on wages it will present on the all important P&L if he's not unloaded in the next 2 weeks. Therefore any competent CEO or Chairman (they do exist apparently) will be knocking the price down quicker and more ruthlessly than an 20 year old Mike Tyson would a stunned opponent. It is likely that the player is then released for an nth of his true value (again the polar opposite of what is prescribed).

Now this doesn't merely translate to the panic - stricken madness that is the British January transfer window. It will carry over to the summer. And each transfer window thereafter.

Lookman perhaps is the likely cash cow that will perhaps tick the budgetary box to fund next season's turgid stutter towards mediocrity and further obscurity.

However where normal clubs might get £10m for their promising starlets we have candidly announced to anyone who will listen from Deptford to Dublin that we are a selling club. Chairmen and CEOs no longer have to come knocking on our door to find out how much they need to further leverage their club to entice their target away from the Valley. Instead in the fashion of Cromwell's MadHouse we have patently stated that "Everything Must GO!!!" and by doing so we have significantly reduced the asking price by playing their hand. Whereby a Burnley or Bournemouth may have sold Lookman for £6m or £7m we'll likely be cornered into accepting a far lesser return having basically informed every buyer out there that to achieve the club's objective means we have to sell.

Whilst having an academy to be thoroughly proud of it is not La Masia and we are not producing a line of Messi's for which the world's powerhouse clubs will be falling over themselves to offer tens of millions to take of our hands even if it means they overpay.

These lower returns also means there's less in the war chest to fund the squad and therefore the squad will be padded out on even more of a spendthrift basis of further diminishing quality as each season passes until it is so threadbare in quality we are left dreaming of a team of Makienoks.

It's been made clear the worm's not for turning and the Belgian Euro billionaire is not going to dip into his vast wealth to adopt a more sensible approach to recruitment in the Championship, which would ironically also strengthen the club's future in the selling market by substantially mitigating the desperation by which they need to offload players. His objective has never been about football though and as we have heard from the Board winning isn't that important/ the most important thing to Roland. His intentions appear to be to prove that he can buck the trend and beat the market against fellow uber- wealthy business people who have the advantage of football knowledge or have had the acumen to obtain those in their employment possessing enough acumen about the game to give their clubs a competitive edge over ours.

One of the multitude of reasons why the reclusive businessmen cum politician will not succeed at Charlton Athletic.

Comments

  • Great post. With reference to the last sentence, it is a statement of fact but begs another question - how long until he realises the model can never work? By the time he does, we might not even be in the football league anymore.
  • edited January 2016
    I think parts of the model can work, but he has to adapt the bits that don't. That is his problem. He doesn't adapt. He sees the cliff edge but keeps going! I mean, why has he not publically sacked Meire - even if what she said at the web summit was true, it has done him a lot of damage that she said it. There was no advantage to her saying it, simply to massage her own ego. Her position at the club is untenable and he keeps going...... I do think he can't be all there.
  • and what happens to his plan when the well runs dry from the academy?
  • Not only has the price of our players dropped so has the price of the club.

    Back in August Roland could have got a good deal from Varney's Kuwaitis or the other interested parties.

    Now buyers, if still interested, will be likely to take a wait and see approach knowing the value of the club and so the price must drop even if we stay up. It will collapse if when we go down.

  • Good post and just about sums up the flaws in the plan. As @cafc999 has pointed out, the academy will have lean years. What then? And, did anyone see Lookman being a prized asset six months ago? The rest of the plan is the hope that one of the Negos of this world turn out to be worth £5m. Looking at recent recruitment of unknowns, that's about as likely as someone discovering that I could be a useful striker at Championship level,
  • Fumbluff said:

    Not only has the price of our players dropped so has the price of the club.

    Back in August Roland could have got a good deal from Varney's Kuwaitis or the other interested parties.

    Now buyers, if still interested, will be likely to take a wait and see approach knowing the value of the club and so the price must drop even if we stay up. It will collapse if when we go down.

    They are so thick that they won't see it that way though
  • Real estate in and around the Valley & selling players on for a profit. Everything else is secondary and always has been.

    Only a select few saw this early on, but he's shown his hand to all, as you say, now.
  • But League One players are devalued!
  • Great post again Rodders.
    We have a poor record for maximising the return on the sales of our player assets.
    Now,as you say we have declared our hand and our desperation.
    Contrast with the likes of Palace who managed to get £18m for Zaha and then get him back for tuppence ha'penny.
    What makes it so frustrating, annoying and depressing in equal measure is the apparent pig-headed stubbornness of the owner and his refusal to be deflected from his path, oblivious to any wise and well intentioned counsel.
    We are left as bystanders whilst a loved one burns to death.
    All this in the knowledge that there is likely Kuwaiti or other money in the background that could we quell the fire at a stroke.
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  • cafc999 said:

    and what happens to his plan when the well runs dry from the academy?

    See the CAFC of the North: Crewe Alexander.
    The team that Duchatelet wants to emulate.
    In recent seasons, was Nick Powell the last one who got a big move ?
    Since then the academy at Crewe is only producing Players who are good enough to play in the lower division, hence why they will be playing in League 2 next season.

    Gradi's contract with Crewe was one of the most controversial in the football league, he personally took a percentage of profit on any player sold on to another club, according to many Sources.

    I would be amazed if Duchatlet doesn't do the same thing if he stays any longer with next seasons new manager/coach: In the spring after winter !

  • But League One players are devalued!

    This is blindingly obvious to all that are not in charge. Even Mrs Cat, who knows nothing about football, and regularly says after a defeat "why don't you support another team?", when the strategy of selling players for a profit, rather than winning games was explained to her over a cup of tea this morning, immediately said "surely they're worth less if you go down?"
  • @RCT, really good post.

    Much of the strategy that the club has said it's pursuing is sensible. Don't gamble with the club's future with unsustainable spending. Selling players when it makes sense to do so. Invest in the Academy and give the youth first team chances. Trying to improve the match day experience to generate more income. Exploiting the network to reduce agents' fees etc. Gradually building a competitive squad that has the potential for promotion.

    Of course execution of the strategy has been appalling and in practice is achieving the opposite of what RD/ KM have said they want. I agree that openly declaring yourself a selling club will lead to lower player sale income. Buyers will respond by lowering their prices. It's a bit like a chess player telling their opponent how they will play the game before they start- it reduces your chances of winning.

    Like many posters I really fear what will happen if RD attempts to implement the strategy again in League 1, with lower quality new signings and even more youngsters in the team. Active protests rather than passive boycotts gives us the best chance of getting rid of the Belgian canker.
  • Contrast with the likes of Palace who managed to get £18m for Zaha and then get him back for tuppence ha'penny.

    It's very frustrating to see that the post-Jordan Palace have become a very well run team.

    I have heard Steve Parish give interviews, and unfortunately he seems exactly the type of person that we want running our club. Bit like Peter Varney I guess.
  • edited January 2016
    Mackle said:

    <blockquote class="Quote"

    I have heard Steve Parish give interviews, and unfortunately he seems exactly the type of person that we want running our club. Bit like Peter Varney I guess.

    Not with that floppy hair..

  • Good piece. I'd forgotten about Cromwell's Mad House.
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