Charlton Athletic

Why has Richard Murray stayed at the Valley?

On Tuesday, at the Press Conference at the Valley, which officially unveiled Russell Slade as manager, non-executive Chairman, Richard Murray was asked why he stayed on as a board member under the unpopular regime, according to recent reports.

The non-executive chairman is credited for a large amount of success at the Valley, including preventing the side from becoming dissolved due to no finances, fighting for Charlton Athletic to return to the Valley and the prime success of Charlton in the Premier League.

However Richard Murray is now often referred to by fans as “Judus”, and will often hear chants of betrayal, upset and disregard for the once very popular man amongst the Addicks’ fans.

The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) have included protesting against and targeting Richard Murray, along with Katrien Meire (CEO) and Roland Duchatelet.

On Tuesday he was asked by the press why he did not decide to step down from the board with the unpopularity of the regime, and the targeted protests against him, Murray had the following response:

“I was disappointed with the treatment I got last year considering what I’ve tried to do for this club.

“We’re in a very difficult position, do I just resign and stand with the fans in the North Stand? Or do I try to influence from within? I decided the second was the better option, even if it does give me some personal grief.”

Murray went onto mention that Charlton’s failures last year in a dismal season were down to concurrent injuries of key players.

“We made mistakes last year. We know it. We had far too many managers. Karel Fraeye stayed too long – which was probably the biggest mistake. When we decided to replace Karel we had a decision; do you go with somebody English or the year before Jose got us out of trouble.

“It was a calculated risk that almost came off. It didn’t come off. When we got relegated the big decisions had to be made.

“What were the mistakes? Were we going to make them again or were we going to change? I think the key is Russell [Slade] is the manager – that is not just a make believe title. He is going to be the manager.

“He is going to be a very influential person at the club. And we also realise that the Premiership down to our division, if you get too many foreign players they can’t always integrate quick enough. The times you hear them say about a Premier League player ‘oh, he’ll take a year to get adjusted to this league – well it’s even more difficult when you go down the leagues’.

“So we’ve got to be careful about that mix between English and foreign players, which I felt we got wrong last year.

“The most we can do is learn from that and do something about it.”

“Being a local guy I read the press and get aggressively approached by a number of fans before and after matches, but the one thing – and it isn’t meant to be an excuse – but is a mitigating factor which nobody has discussed, is I think the bulk of our best players were out for the bulk of last season.

“You go through our team and Kashi was always going to be our star midfield. He played one or two games last year. Vetokele was our very valuable, highly-paid striker. Really didn’t play the whole season. Patrick Bauer – the one foreign player who everyone I spoke to said he looks like an English players – that guy is going to be good. Injured ever since Brighton.

“Diarra – experienced midfielder – only became fit towards the end of the season. And they are your key players. Now maybe you could say one of the common denominators is they are all foreign. But it is very unusual to have four or five of your best players out for the bulk of the season.

“Hopefully we won’t have that again next year.”

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