Roland Duchatelet – Fact or Fiction?

Article researched and written in late December 2013 for Charlton Life. Time has  told a very sorry tale given the state of Charlton Athletic in June 2018. Photo courtesy of Ken Sinyard/ CASTrust.

As Charlton fans wait impatiently to find out whether this latest takeover alert turns out finally to be fact or yet more fiction, I thought it would be useful to summarise what we do know for certain about Mr Duchatelet.

While not quite following BBC principles of two independent sources to corroborate every fact, I have tried to look a bit beyond instant claims, Google Translate and Wikipedia.  Understanding both Dutch and French hopefully qualifies me a little to get under the skin of this Belgian man.

I was once told, by someone from that country, that there is no such thing as a Belgian – you are either Flemish (speaking a dialect of Dutch) or Walloon (speaking French).  And rarely shall the twain meet.  The name Duchatelet sounds more French, whilst Roland is a common first name in both languages.  In articles he is sometimes described as a Flemish businessman, and in a Youtube profile of him as a politician he speaks fluent Dutch.  However, his French sounds just as good in an end of season Standard Liege press conference.  So maybe he is that rare specimen –a genuine Belgian?


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