Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire has reiterated the club’s ambition to regain Premier League status, but has warned fans that there will be no short-term fix.

Charlton supporters have endured a difficult period in recent years, with the Addicks suffering relegation from the top flight in 2007 and dropping down to League One two seasons later.

The club bounced back to the Championship under Chris Powell, but a sustainable promotion challenge has not since materialised.

And Valley chief Meire admitted that sealing a spot in the top division will be difficult, insisting that fans must buy into the club’s long-term plan.

“We have realistic ambitions for the club and we’re still on target,” Meire told News Shopper.

“We want to be as close as possible to the top division and will work hard every season for that.

“I know it’s maybe not easy for the fans but I’m quite confident that we have the players to be in the top half of the table, for sure.

“If in January we are doing well we’ll set a more ambitious target because, make no mistake, we are very ambitious but want to be realistic.

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“We need to plan for the future, on and off the pitch.”

Charlton have not won since August but Meire, who worked with Guy Luzon while at Standard Liege, believes the club have much to be optimistic about.

She said: “For the first time now we have a lot of players signed up on long-term deals so we have a good base.

“Having planning permission for the training ground is also great.

“It’s a big investment and the critics will say you should have invested in the team, but it’s all part of this long-term plan.

“Yes, it’s a lot of money going to the academy, but ultimately it’s a solid investment which should pay off over time and give us a solid infrastructure.”

As part of the club’s long-term vision, Meire admitted that splashing huge sums of cash during transfer windows will not be possible.

However, the Valley chief believes this measured policy is the correct approach and can still lead to a return to the Premier League.

 “Some teams in our division invest so much money each year and will always have a go at being promoted,” she added.

“I think with us it will be more of an organic process.

“You could spend £15million to have a go at it but that’s not our policy – I’m sure we would have a better team but you’re still not guaranteed to get promoted and it’s a one-off gamble.

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“It’s probably not the sexiest thing to say but it’s realistic and we think it’s the right policy.”

When questioned whether the club are putting a timeline on their battle to regain top flight football, Meire said: “No, we can’t set a specific time frame on it because by then our best players could have left.

“Every transfer window things can change and we have to have this long-term goal in mind.

“We’ll see now how the team will be complimented over the years, and we’re certainly optimistic about this group of players.

“It’s pointless setting an actual time frame – football doesn’t work like that, but myself, Guy and the board are very, very ambitious.”

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