Fans from the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) will carry a coffin to The Valley 45 minutes before Sunday’s televised kick-off to symbolise what the club’s owner and chief executive Katrien Meire have done to the Addicks, and they are inviting supporters to line the route to pay their respects.
The mock funeral procession will kick off what CARD intends to be an afternoon of protest and unrest. Other protests are planned that will become apparent during the game, showing live to a national audience.
A CARD spokesman said: “This is not just about the team’s prospects, although they look very grim. It is a measure of the damage being done to Charlton by Duchatelet and Meire, which is unlikely to end with relegation. They are destroying decades of work to build up our club in the name of a soulless experiment conducted by remote control from Belgium. This is not the Charlton Athletic that has been a vital part of so many people’s lives for decades.
“Football and the media are laughing at Duchatelet and Meire, but the joke’s on us. We will not allow them to continue to run our club into the ground. We are asking the many disillusioned and angry fans who have been staying away to come back on Sunday and turn the afternoon into the biggest protest Charlton has ever seen, including when the old board took the club to Selhurst Park in 1985.
“In our view, the threat to Charlton’s future this time is just as real, and we will not let it carry on. We are also encouraging fans to walk out of the stadium on 74 minutes – the number of goals conceded so far this season – and reassemble in the west stand car park.
“The intention then is to protest outside the ground while the match is still going on, and if the club locks the main gates we plan to assemble either side of them.”
CARD are also encouraging fans to wear black and while and bring thousands of balloons of the same colour, continuing the funeral theme by staging a wake, as well as banners.
The spokesman added: “It’s important to keep the messages simple and clean in order to retain the moral high ground and avoid things that will divide supporters rather than unite them. We do not condone or encourage breaking the law. We have also been asked by the police to make clear that they will arrest anyone who brings flares. We want people to protest loudly, visibly and effectively, but safely.”
The funeral procession will leave the Charlton Liberal Club in Charlton Church Lane at 2.45pm, but to avoid congestion fans are asked to line Floyd Road from the junction with Charlton Church Lane and as far as the Valley Superstore from 2.30pm. Fans can then follow the coffin as it makes its way to The Valley.
The change of the game to Sunday means I now miss it in it’s entirety and won’t even by able to see the demonstrations play out on TV as I will be sat on an airplane, however I believe that Charlton fans will make the afternoon as difficult as possible for the owner and his puppet administration.
CARD has also produced another fantastic video in time for Saturday’s game. Watch it here.
Fans are also being asked to bring anti Duchatelet and Meire banners. Stewards and police will be beside themselves on Sunday but they can’t stop you bringing in a banner as long as it is less than 1.5m X 1.5m in size as fire regulations and any certification do not apply.
Long time executive box sponsor Data Techniques which has been displaying Pinocchio posters in their box window during matchday’s have been told by the club to remove them or they will be forcibly removed on Sunday.
And finally we will have a big CARD supporter sat in the Sky TV box in the East Stand. Chris Powell is covering the game and will no doubt be nodding his head in approval. A few bursts of Chrissy Powell’s red and white army would great to hear.