Further to our statement of 14th January 2015, the Charlton Athletic Supporters' Trust wrote to the club's CEO Katrien Meire to follow up our offer to discuss the growing anxiety of supporters about the direction of the club, and how they might be better involved.
We have received a disappointing response. Whilst Ms Meire has suggested that we meet with a colleague to discuss what the club needs to do to maintain and grow the fanbase, she declined any dialogue on the vital matter of where the club is heading.
Her explanation - that she had nothing more to tell supporters regarding the direction of the club - reminds us of her words in the London Evening Standard, when she insisted that fans would just “need to accept” the owner’s way. We respectfully but strongly disagree with her. We continue to hear daily from supporters of a growing discontent at the inconsistency between the club’s words and actions, and a frustration with a lack of true engagement.
The Supporters’ Trust’s offer to meet with Ms Meire remains open, but with regret we conclude that the time has now come to seek other channels by which the supporters' voice can be heard regarding the damage being done to our historic club and its identity.
Therefore, we intend to:
• Organise and chair an open public meeting within the next two weeks, for all Charlton supporters to air their views on the current situation. This meeting is intended to be an opportunity to bring together as many as possible of the various organisational, internet and publication elements of the Charlton family, as well as individual supporters, and secure the widest possible mandate for any approach we jointly decide to adopt. We will also seek input via the Trust website from those who cannot attend the meeting.
• Based on conclusions from the meeting, agree a unified and appropriate supporters’ response at the earliest opportunity
History tells us the club is at its strongest when its supporters are informed, consulted and involved in the setting of its direction. We are committed to persuading the board of that fact and restoring the supporter to the heart of Charlton Athletic.
We will provide further details as soon as possible.