Many times over the years, we have heard phrases like "doing a Charlton", and "Charlton are the model that we should be following". Well now, it is our turn to look for a model to follow, and the most relevant one to my mind is that of Leicester City. If you look at their relegation last term, the fans principally blamed one thing. They were convinced that Mandaric was to blame for the team’s relegation, and that belief was coupled with the question of who could step in and finiancially save Leicester City if he went? The third issue was the merry go round of managers instigated by Mandaric, that saw nine managers at the Crisp Bowl in the first eighteen months of his ownership.
So all Mandaric really then? I don't think Charlton fans would heap that much blame at the current boards door. Our demise has been the result of a combination of failures that can be principally laid at the doors of, yes the board, but also Alan Curbishley, Iain Dowie, and the main culprit, Alan Pardew. But this is all irrelevant now. What is salient, is how do Charlton recover from this? Well, with Leicester City clear at the top of the third division, what are they now doing right, that others, Leeds United included, have not emulated?
They now see their relegation as a blessing in disguise as it's allowed them to rebuild and bring together a proper team with a togetherness which hasn't been there for a long time. They are spookily like Charlton in that the feeling is, their demise started five or so years earlier, and that they were on a downward spiral, with no confidence at all, and had gone from manager to manager, since O'Neill left. One of the plus sides to relegation appears to be that they got rid of Holloway, and installed a management team that could instil a winning mentality. Then there are the players. Leicester got rid of most of the dead wood in the summer after relegation, and those that under-performed last season such as Howard and Fryatt have turned their own fortunes around dramatically. Leicester now have an extremely settled side, and one that looks as though it could compete in the Championship next year. It is also, please note, a very youthful team. And Milan Mandaric? - he's still there!
Assuming Charlton go down, we have a stark choice. We can either be like Leeds, or Leicester. I know which I would choose.