Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet, well versed in – but not necessarily good at – picking new managers will prepare to hire his fourth since taking over at Charlton after the sacking of Guy Luzon.
Malky Mackay, yes he of the “inappropriate texts”, was the early favourite after being pictured in the stands at the Addicks 3-0 defeat to Brentford.
Soon, however, normality resumed and the man who has steered KFC VW Hamme to 12th in the Belgian third division, Karel Fraeye, rocketed to odds-on leader in the race to replace Luzon.
After previous selections of unknown Jose Riga and Bob Peeters the surprising choice is no longer surprising.
At least Fraeye has some experience of British football having assisted Riga in his brief but relatively successful tenure at The Valley.
Fraeye’s remained closely linked with Duchatelet, working part-time with the billionaire as his football adviser.
He’s been reported as saying previously he would manage another Duchatelet team when the time is right and he has gained enough experience.
The latter point is debatable but when has a manager ever turned down a job because he wasn’t ready? Despite odds of 1/10 on Fraeye getting the gig, it is still up for grabs, and if Mackay does get it there will be a whole new debate over that choice.
But, if Fraeye takes the reins, there is already talk of a boycott.
The fans don’t want someone close to the chairman, picking players in a shrewd financial strategy but at the expense of the team.
Frustrated supporters have seen their favourites leave in recent years, but in the case of Luzon, when chants of “sacked in the morning” rang around the home areas, the club has obviously acted – in part – in response to fan anger.
Anyone dreaming of an Alan Curbishley, a Nigel Pearson or a Gus Poyet is likely to be disappointed Duchatelet knows what he wants and it’s invariably someone who has worked in the Belgian leagues.
Civil war is brewing in the stands but once the dust settles the folly of that will be obvious. A boycott is hardly likely to have a billionaire businessman shaking. And looking around the ground in this week’s games hasn’t this already started?
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Fans need to get behind the new man, unless they know of someone benevolent and extremely wealthy who is prepared to pump money into a failing club.
To calm the fans, chief executive Katrien Meire needs to answer questions about the long-term aims of the club, as well as confronting the mistakes made in the last two managerial appointments.
So how can the new man arrest the slide?
He needs signings quickly. The loan recruitment of Everton striker Conor McAleny and shunting him out on the left-wing was bizarre, and it’s hard to believe it was Luzon’s idea.
They also need fortune with injuries because there’s little doubt the knocks to Luzon’s key men was the main reason he’s lost his job.
Whoever it is, good luck to them, because they will definitely need it.