As protests against Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet continue, every home game become a potential minefield for protests organised by the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) fan protest group. Today’s game was no different.
After a mock funeral and the throwing on of inflatable beachballs into the field of play in the game against Middlesbrough, today’s game against Birmingham was stopped inside the first minute as protesting Charlton fans threw hundreds of small stress balls onto the field.
— News Shopper Sport (@NewsShopperSprt) April 2, 2016
With demonstrations against the club ownership fuelling protests at home games, with an expectation that each home game will bring fresh protest, Charlton fans were warned by the Metropolitan Police and Charlton Athletic that protests must “take place in a way that is safe and lawful.”
With the match barely seconds old and the opening whistle having hardly died away, Addicks fans made their intentions clear by launching hundreds of small stress balls onto the pitch, loud chants of “We want Roland out,” and “We want Charlton back,” providing the backdrop to the protest. Play was immediately suspended in order for the obstructions to be cleared from the field of play.
Part of the joint-warning issued by Charlton FC and the Metropolitan Police said, “A reminder that the following is illegal and will be investigated…the throwing of any objects in the ground,” so it will no doubt be the case that the protest activities from today will be investigated by the club, and possibly by the Football League themselves.
The game itself ended in a 2-1 win to Charlton, Johann Berg Gudmundsson (38′) and Jorge Teixeira (90′) giving the Londoners the victory after Jon Toral gave Birmingham a 32nd minute lead.