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Charlton Athletic

Charlton fans’ final fight to remove the disease and take back their home?

On Thursday afternoon, Charlton Athletic fans’ umbrella protest organisation, the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD), announced on social media, plans for major demonstrations on the 30th April against Swindon Town.

In the second half of Charlton’s Sky Bet Championship campaign in 2015/16 saw a surge in fan uproar and protest action. Memorable moments include the protest action in partnership with Brighton and Hove Albion fans, protests within the ground when playing against Middlesborough in front of the Sky Sport TV Cameras, and a final protest at the end of the season when playing against Burnley, on the final day of the season.

The umbrella protest organisation CARD, have plans in place for a final effective and large-scale protest once again, on the final day of the season, but this time in the league below, due to the failure and ineptness of the ownership at Charlton Athletic.

A survey which was completed by the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust, which had a sample of 1,500 (43% who are currently season ticket holders) Charlton fans found the following results:

  • 94% feel negative about Charlton’s future under Roland Duchatelet
  • 89% of fans want protests to continue to remove Roland Duchatelet’s ownership at Charlton Athletic

CARD have looked at the response from the Supporters’ Trust, which is the largest represented fan group among the Charlton faithful, and the apparent fact that Roland Duchatelet is now ready to sell the red Southeast London outfit, to organise major demonstrations to drive the Duchatelet ownership out of the Addicks in hopefully, an effective final push.

They are issuing a rallying cry to all boycotters to return in their numbers on the 30th April to take part in the large protests and demonstrations. CARD have asked all fans who oppose the Duchatelet ownership to meet outside the large Charlton Athletic badge at the rear of the north stand for 11am, in black and white (protest colours) attire. More details of the demonstration outside the stadium will be revealed on the morning of the 30th April.

The protest organisation is encouraging anyone who is planning on attending the game to purchase tickets in the lower West Stand, which hosts the executive box, which will hold attendance of the Charlton Athletic board, including the Chief Executive Officer, Katrien Meire on the day.

A Charlton CARD Spokesmen said: “At the end of yet another season of failure from this dishonest and incompetent regime, we are urging Charlton fans to send the owner and chief executive Katrien Meire the clearest possible message that they will never be accepted at The Valley.

“A poll carried out by the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust among nearly 1500 fans, 43% of whom are current season-ticket holders, showed that 94% now feel negative about Charlton’s future under Duchatelet and 89% want protests to continue.

“These are overwhelming and irretrievable numbers. Far from learning lessons and building bridges, Duchatelet and Meire are inflicting ever greater damage on the club by wasting more money and systematically destroying Charlton’s supporter base. They must go now.

“Katrien Meire likes to say to fans that it’s only ‘their opinion’ she should resign. However, the evidence of failure is obvious in the league table, obvious in the 5,500 reductions in average attendances since 2014/15 and obvious in the spiralling debt of £54m owed to Duchatelet in the latest published accounts.

“The protests we will organise will be lawful and respectful both of Swindon’s position in the table and the two sets of players, but we need to get these people out now. So for this one game on April 30th, we are urging every Charlton fan to come and take back to The Valley by sheer weight of numbers.

“Let’s make it a day that will go down in history as a massive demonstration that the only possible way forward for the club is under new ownership, with a new board and with a new chief executive.”

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