Statement by CARD – Saturday 23 April 2016 protest day
Following the team’s relegation to League One last night, the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) is calling on all Charlton fans who want the owner to sell the club to march on The Valley from Charlton Church Lane at 2.15pm on Saturday.
CARD is planning another massive pre-match protest, along similar lines to the funeral procession before the Middlesbrough game last month, which will assemble outside the Charlton Liberal Club, opposite the junction with Sundorne Road, from 2pm.
This time we will also be joined by supporters of opponents Brighton & Hove Albion*, who are turning out to back CARD in acknowledgement of the contribution Addicks supporters made to their Fans United day at the Goldstone Ground 19 years ago.
But we need a huge turnout to show the extent of anger and the determination among Charlton supporters of all ages to drive Duchatelet, chief executive Katrien Meire and their apologists out of the club – and we’ll be bringing some protest materials along to ensure that it is an appropriate spectacle for the media.
With the team’s fate confirmed, we’re chucking the kitchen sink at the regime this weekend. The march is just the start. CARD is organising further protests during the match, and is also calling for fans to reassemble in the west stand car park at the final whistle – and to make the whole afternoon as uncomfortable as possible for Meire and chairman Richard Murray.
Since Duchatelet hasn’t attended a match since October 21st, 2014, there seems little chance him being there on Saturday. But you never know…
Further details of our plans for Saturday will follow at the end of the week and on the matchday itself, but CARD is planning its biggest show of strength yet and we need every Charlton fan who shares our view to stand alongside us.
We continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety of all supporters, and we urge fans to avoid actions that will bring them into conflict with the police, including any xenophobic, racist or sexist chanting or slogans, as well as flares.
We’re also calling in as many CARD volunteers as possible. If you can help from 1pm, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s plenty going on!
The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) notes the statement released by Charlton Athletic chief executive Katrien Meire following the club’s relegation to League One, and rejects it completely.
Last August, Meire wrote in her programme notes: “From a personal point of view, I realise that from now on there’s no one to hide behind any more.”
Yet she has been hiding virtually ever since, at least when it comes to engaging openly and honestly with supporters. The truth is that she is wretchedly inadequate for her role and so are most of her senior management.
She and the owner Roland Duchatelet have made mistake after mistake since they came to the club in January 2014, and despite numerous promises to the contrary, they have never learned from them.
They are the reason the club has been relegated. If they had a shred of integrity or self-awareness, they would walk away now. We are not interested in their excuses or their plans.
There will be no collaboration with them, now or in the future. They are the enemy of everything that Charlton has been and will be again. We must remove them, chairman Richard Murray and their other apologists before they destroy the club completely…
It’s our club. On Saturday, let’s make it utterly clear that the only plan Charlton fans will accept from this regime is an exit one.
(*In February 1997, a significant number of Charlton fans travelled to Sussex to help support Brighton fans in their hour of need. The Fans United protest that day saw supporters travel to the match versus Hartlepool United from all over the country, but few if any of the non-participating clubs were as well represented as the Addicks. The Seagulls were about to lose the Goldstone Ground and no set of fans knew more about being homeless than ours. Since then there has been a special bond between the two groups of fans – and not just because of our mutual disdain for Crystal Palace. On Saturday, we will be Fans United once again.)