The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) is calling on Charlton fans opposed to the club’s current ownership to assemble at The Valley one hour before the midday kick-off of this season’s final game at home to Swindon Town on Sunday, April 30th.
CARD wants as many protestors as possible to meet at 11am by the big Charlton badge at the rear of the north stand to join a major demonstration, details of which it will reveal on the day. And it is urging fans to turn up there in black and white, even if they plan to boycott the match itself.
Protestors who intend to go in are being encouraged to buy seats in the lower west stand
A CARD spokesperson 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 this month by the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust among nearly 1,500 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.”
CARD was instrumental in delivering the largest Charlton protest in Belgium yet on March 4th and joined hundreds of Coventry City supporters for a joint march and demonstration at the Ricoh Arena on Good Friday.
It has also called on any fans considering buying season tickets to defer a decision until the end of the summer, based on the club’s failure to deliver on its promise of a top-six challenge in 2016/17.
Charlton are currently 15th in League One and on the brink of the club’s worst finishing position in the Football League since 1926, when it had to seek re-election.
The spokesperson concluded: “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 reduction 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 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.”