Charlton Boss Meire Part of Select Female Football Club

Charlton Boss Meire Part of Select Female Football Club

Katrien Meire probably didn't imagine when she sent a friendly email to the club she supported that it would eventually lead to her becoming one of the very few female executives in English football. But that is exactly what happened to the 30-year-old Belgian, who has been chief executive of Championship team Charlton Athletic for nine months.

She is a rare breed in the male-dominated world of football - joining Sunderland boss Margaret Byrne and West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady as female powers in the boardroom.

So what does this former student of University College London make of life in the often macho world of the English dugout?

"First of all I am a football fan - you cannot do this job if you are not a supporter," she says, having grown up as a keen supporter of Sint-Truiden, currently in the Belgian second division. "I am in this role because the owner believes in me. He also believes that women are better than men at managing budgets. "I haven't felt I have been treated differently from men, it has been positive so far," she adds. "Sometimes in meetings, for example, it can be an advantage - I am not just another guy in a suit. "But of course it is up to me to prove that I am talking common sense too."

She worked for law firms Olswang in London and then Baker & McKenzie in Brussels before being offered the chance of a dramatic career change by Belgian businessman Roland Duchatelet in late 2013.

 

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