The umbrella protest organisation based in Southeast London, the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD), released a statement on Monday, pleading to all fans who are planning to renew their season tickets for next season, to wait for further developments.
The 3rd of January 2017 marked the unpopular, disturbing and simply heartbreaking three-year anniversary since the infamous Roland Duchatelet bought the former Premier League outfit in Southeast London. At the time, Charlton were facing mounting debts, as the two former bankers cash pool simply dried up, the club was failing to find the cash flow in order to pay salaries, maintain The Valley pitch and conduct general day-to-day business operations.
However, one thing that was unbreakable was the large crowds showing up under the on-pitch stewardship of a growing managerial Charlton hero, Chris Powell, who routed League One with an impressive 101 point first place finish in the 2011/2012 League One campaign.
A memorable chant which roared out of the Covered End was “We’ve got our Charlton back, we’ve got our Charlton back!”. The Valley faithful referring to their Southeast London club on the positive climb, emulating signs of success which were achieved under Alan Curbishley a decade earlier.
Once it became apparent that the bankers cash flow had dried up, and there was simply no money left for operations or for Chris Powell, fans understood and supported a takeover at The Valley. However, no one knew what would embark on The Valley which has been witnessed in the last three years, under the multi-millionaire Belgian politician.
The Valley faithful have lost their Charlton once again, and now roar out in protest “We Want Our Charlton Back!”.
The Valley has seen dwindling attendances, season ticket sales plummeting, and attendances being announced by the club brought into question on each match day, as on most Tuesday evenings it is predicted that an estimated 5,500 Charlton fans show up for the games under the flood lights, and not much more show up for the standard Saturday fixtures. Thousands of fans deciding to boycott and not provide a penny more until the unpopular Roland Duchatelet finally sells.
The 2016/2017 League One campaign is entering its closing month (April), which marks the period where clubs have released their season ticket prices and strategies to drive support for their clubs in the upcoming 2017/2018 campaign. In fact, Charlton released theres on Monday morning, which saw four blocks being closed, and some season ticket prices raising despite an underperforming season. However, football is part of many Charlton fans lives, and many will continue to renew their season ticket rather than boycott because they simply are unable to drag themselves away from their sporting home.
But, the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet is pleading to all Charlton fans who are planning on renewing to hold out for the time being, to wait in case any further developments unfold. The developments the protest group are referring to, is the quiet rumblings and postive signs of a takeover discussion currently taking place in Southeast London. However, nothing is a done deal as of yet, and they want to emphasis to fans to hold out for as long as they possibly can.
In their statement, their spokesperson had the following to say.
“Last summer the club lost 40 per cent of its season-ticket holders and many who did buy later felt they had been tricked by false promises of a promotion challenging squad.
“It is obviously for each supporter to make their own decision, but we would strongly encourage anyone inclined to renew to wait for developments.”