Katrien Meire’s player farm ideology is supported by a top Premier League manager


Part of my morning routine when heading into the office, is to browse through all the football news and headlines throughout the leagues, and then have a real deep dive into Charlton speculation and noise.

I came across an interesting article which showed a revered Premier League manager essentially endorsing the ideology that Katrien Meire advocated in that infamous Dublin interview a while back. In that interview, our CEO mentioned that one of the strategic objectives – under Duchatelet – of our reputable Addicks academy was to produce and develop top talent and move them onto the English Premier League for a substantial profit. If we were to be rather blunt and honest about what she was trying to say, Charlton Athletic, and specifically our famous academy, was to become a player farm and feeder club under her and Roland Duchatelet’s ownership.


The fundamental and original pillars of English football are competitiveness, ambition and high standards of football. When Meire announced the player farm initiative, the regime directly undermined the tenets which English football was born from.

However, what if Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire’s idea of a player farm, is not far off from what some Premier League managers would like to see? What if football is heading in that direction?

The manager which arguably endorsed the setup – Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire are arguably currently implementing or have implemented in some ways – is Gunners’ chief, Arsene Wenger.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Premier League

The Gunners’ chief believes that the current system of loaning young players, means financial interests are prioritised over youth development.

“It is one of the big problems in the modern game,” he said.

“You’ve invested a lot of money into players because we are paying more and more money.

“Then at the age of 20 you don’t usually get much money for any of the players, so the reflex is to stockpile the players. That’s not right.

“When you look at the number of loans that happen here and there, the whole system has to be thought about again because we have two kinds of solution in there.”

Wenger believes there should be a cap on the number of players you can register, and that a relationship between third-tier and Premier League clubs should be developed – which would conform to Meire’s player farm initiative she unveiled in Dublin previously. He went onto say.

“Maybe you could create a possibility for some clubs to own part of a League One club as a feeder club.”

Duchatelet also mentioned in a recent Belgian interview, that promotion is not Charlton’s primary objective, but secondary, instead the primary objective is to create communal gatherings every two weeks within the local community. Why would Duchatelet want promotion when he can invest little, and exploit our excellent academy setup for a profit?

Comments like Wengers, really do show that football has recently taken a turn for the worst. Recent stories have come out over allegations regarding sexual abuse of former players when they were young; the Football Association and Football League fail to protect clubs, fans and are not preventing the destruction owners are causing to their communities, and the recent bribery scandals.

The most depressing part is, if in the future this came into effect (doubt it, but possible), that means owners such as Roland Duchatelet will sink their claws into clubs for decades, rotting the soul of the clubs to their very core, for a financial gain.

A controversial idea by Wenger, but an idea that Duchatelet and Meire would fully support and adopt, as Charlton would solidify in becoming a 1.5% cash cow for ‘President’ Duchatelet in his 800 million financial empire.

The game has recently become not so very beautiful.

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