I Have a Dream
To have a dream and hoping it becomes reality was something Martin Luther King was preaching all those years ago. I too have a dream. I constantly dream that our team Charlton Athletic has the strength in numbers to compete this season and be victorious come next May to bring to their supporters the long awaited price of promotion back to the Championship, the next step back to the big times.
This season has not started very well. Not with the results but with sending`s off at the Valley and then again at St James Park Exeter. The game of football is a tough sport. The competition is of a very high standard. Lower divisions are constantly at war trying to fight themselves to the top so they can enjoy the fruits of their efforts by knocking at the door of the riches league in the world The Premiership.
Unfortunately there are many clubs who will never be in the position to climb this ladder to a better future because their infrastructure will not allow them to expand. But we at the Valley have a ground ready for the big times. Languishing in the lower league is a nightmare.
We have enjoyed the hard work of our labour in the past. Our very highly rited manager at the turn of the Millennium, Allan Curbishley worked wonders on a shoe-string budget and took Charlton to the heights of the very summit that is the Premiership. Seven glorious years we kept in touch with the elite of football that had the Valley buzzing. It could happen again.
Apart from all this, what really made this era so special were the supporters. Our supporters were always regarded the best behaved, the most loyal. We were the envy of the football leagues. So what has changed?
Attitudes: This single word has many meanings. A viewpoint: many have those and not always very complimentary. Opinions: Freedom of speech is sometimes over expressed and very hurtful. Perspective: Understanding of how important things are in relations to others. Many will say, what has all this to do with our present position? And quite rightly so, you should ask this question!
For years now the rot has been setting into our football club. The decline started long before Roland was even a name on the lips of our supporters. After our drop from the Premiership, this club was sliding down a slippery slope. A short term solution coming from our very own Chris Powell who like Curb performed a minor miracle by getting us promoted back to the Championship with a record number of points.
But like many dreams, it did not last long and we were relegated from the second tier and have stayed in the third ever since. The Valley was heading for a meltdown. A rescue package was needed and quick because we were facing extinction from the football association.
Like it or not a benefactor by the name of Roland Duchatelet came to the rescue and saved this old club from going down the drain and getting washed away never to be part of this community again.
Many at first saw this as a road in the right direction. I included had visions of better things to come by this take-over and have still a firm belief that we will overcome all that has been blighting this club ever since. But the storm clouds were gathering. Supporters were dissolution by certain introductions namely incompetent managers and inferior players. This saw all the hard work by our past managers disappear down the river without a paddle to steer as back on course.
Upheaval followed more discontentment. This brought about the birth of C.A.RD that staged many demonstration to show the owners they and its supporters are not going to lay down without a fight.
Without realising what they are doing, their actions have turned this club and the Valley back to the seventies when we also suffered many stay away supporters who felt the club and team was lacking the woe factor and the attendance dropped down in figures.
That was different I hear many of you saying. Was it? I don`t agree! Then we had an owner who allowed the Valley to rot. Now we have an owner who has stood by his word and made many improvements. We now have the chance to bring back the good times if only the supporters would realise our teams potential and stop this compulsory boycotting of this fine club. The first home game was an embarrassment so many seats empty and for what. The point has been made, now is the time to be counted.