Unity Protest update
Charlton fans organising Saturday’s Unity Protest against the club’s owner Roland Duchatelet in his home town of Sint-Truiden have confirmed that every seat on the two coaches travelling has now been sold.
Dozens more protestors are travelling to Belgium by Eurostar and local rail services as well as private cars, with up to 250 supporters of the London club expected to march through the town ahead of the local team’s Jupiler League match against Eupen at 8pm local time.
They will be joined by disaffected Sint-Truiden (STVV) fans who recently announced the launch of GrAS, their own protest group, urging Duchatelet either to run their club on a competitive basis or sell it to someone else who will.
Media interest in Saturday’s protest is already high, with both BBC and ITV sending a camera team on board the coaches, and other reporters expected.
The protest has been planned jointly by the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD), including Women Against the Regime (WAR), and the Belgium 20, who have previously confronted Duchatelet at the Sint-Truiden stadium, Stayen.
Charlton protest band The 2percent will play a set at 4pm ahead of the main march.
A CARD spokesperson said : “A huge amount of planning has gone into Saturday’s demonstration and we are grateful to the police, both here and in Belgium, for their assistance in making sure everything is in place.
“The response from Charlton fans of all ages and both genders has been magnificent and we know they will acquit themselves well on the day. The numbers in Belgium alone give the lie to Duchatelet’s claim that the protests are down to ‘a few hotheads who were shown the door’.
“Hundreds of people do not spend 12 hours and their own money travelling to Belgium and back for a march for any other reason than their passion for Charlton and shared conviction that Duchatelet is destroying the club.
“What’s more, we are putting him on notice that he can expect to be embarrassed and upset for as long as it takes to persuade him to sell up, just as he has caused so much frustration and unhappiness to Charlton fans over the last three years. We will act lawfully, but we will never leave him in peace.”