Charlton this week announced that Bob Peeters would become the 23rd man in permanent charge of the club. Peeters, aged 40, most recently steered Waasland-Bereven to safety in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, before resigning earlier this month.
An ex-Millwall striker, Peeters has also previously managed at Cercle Bruge and KAA Gent, but will hope that his time with Charlton’s local rivals will assist his return to English football.
Peeters’ appointment comes after Duchâtelet confirmed Jose Riga would not continue in the Head Coach role following his success with the Addicks during the second half of last season. Rumour has it that Riga, who voiced his desire to stay with the club, had issue with Duchâtelet’s requirements regarding the transfer policy, and the players that would take to the pitch. It’s a view that was also held by Riga’s predecessor Powell, and their Assistant Manager Alex Dyer, who gave a frank interview to a local newspaper earlier this week.
Riga is not the only member of staff to have departed the club in recent weeks. Ben Hamer has moved to Leicester, whilst Dervite will move to Bolton when his contract expires in June. Alex Dyer has also been removed from his post as Assistant Manager, as Duchâtelet continues to bring his own people to The Valley.
It’s not only personnel that have been shown the door, as work began on removing the SE7 pitch. Alongside work on the Sparrows Lane training complex, Duchâtelet has invested in a new pitch for the first-team, with labourers working hard to get the turf in place for the start of the new campaign.
Since joining the club in January, new owner Duchâtelet has made some controversial and unpopular decisions. Kermorgant, Alnwick and Stephens all left during the January transfer window. Powell followed soon after, following disagreements over transfer and selection policies. However, Charlton not only survived relegation, but with money being invested in the pitch and the training facilities, Duchâtelet clearly has the club’s future in mind with the changes being implemented. Despite their indifference towards him, Addicks fans must remember that without his arrival Charlton would have been in a far worse position.
Peeters announces the next stage of Duchâtelet’s plan. With contracts having been offered to Poyet and Morrison, and rumours of the Addicks seeking the services of Barnsley striker Chris O’Grady, the restructure of the club is well under way. For better or worse, Addicks fans are going to have to get behind the new regime. Whether Peeters will be a Duchâtelet puppet or not remains to be seen, but he needs to be given the chance to prove his worth to the club. It will be a big summer for all involved, but with the right signings, there is no reason Charlton will not be a strong Championship side next year.
Watch this space…
By Tom Wallin