Charlton supporter group, the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet, has urged Addicks fans to boycott the purchasing of season tickets for next season in protest against the running of the club.
C.A.R.D have called for the action against the Belgium owner until there is clarity over the manager, players, and sale of the club.
Some key personnel including manager Lee Bowyer and assistant Johnny Jackson are out of contract in the summer.
Charlton Athletic made national headlines last week after Duchatelet was interviewed by Jim White on his morning Talksport show. The outspoken Belgian suggested that he spends as little as two per cent of his time on club issues and that he should have never been allowed to buy the club in the first place, causing uproar amongst supporters.
Fans were also left embarrassed when he later demanded that the EFL should buy the club from him in a statement on the club’s website.
It is the latest in a long line of controversies surrounding Duchatelet who has been persona non grata at The Valley for nearly four years. Despite an 18th and 12th-place finish in the Championship in his first two seasons, Duchatelet took the unprecedented step of accusing the fans of wanting the club to fail in 2016, and the relationship with the supporters has been deteriorating ever since.
The club is reported to have lost £10m a year every season since Duchatelet took control in 2014, which is also the last time he went to The Valley to watch a Charlton game. A lack of investment on the pitch saw the Addicks relegated to League One in 2016.
Despite sitting fifth in the table with an excellent chance of a playoff spot at the end of the season, it is clear the owner has lost all interest in seeing the club move forward. C.A.R.D acknowledges this in its statement which says “It must now be apparent to everyone, whatever their position over the last five years, that behind the scenes the club is in chaos and the owner is out of control.’
“There is no commitment to the staff, no commitment to the players, no commitment to the manager and hence no commitment to the fans.”
“Why would any supporter want to make a financial commitment to Duchatelet in return?’
The statement goes onto say that unless they see a commitment to the manager, players and a serious effort to sell the club at a reasonable market price they would advise supporters to reject any season ticket offer for next season.
The more unbelievable controversies of Duchatelet’s ownership have included the youth side not having enough water to drink during training, staff not being paid bonuses and office employees requiring permission to eat crisps at their desks, due to the lack of cleaners on the payroll.
He quite clearly does not care about the club or its people.
He needs to go, and as Blackpool supporters have shown, boycotting can be an effective weapon.
It goes against the culture of what it is to be a football supporter in this country, but Addicks fans must do something if they are to rid the club of this man.
They will get no help from the EFL, who once again sit impotent and lifeless on the sidelines allowing the running of another one of its member clubs to be chaotic and unacceptable.