Further to the recent public meeting of Charlton Athletic supporters, the Supporters’ Trust continues to make efforts to build a meaningful and ongoing link between the owner of Charlton Athletic and its supporters.
The meeting, which was facilitated by the Supporters’ Trust, aimed to understand the growing concern being expressed among supporters and to seek consensus on a way forward. Approximately 400 people gathered together in the Woolwich Grand Theatre - a powerful message in itself as to the level of concern - and a good range of ages, backgrounds and views were represented.
The Supporters’ Trust understands the main areas of concern as being:
- The club’s apparent lack of interest in meaningful supporter involvement
- An ongoing erosion of club identity and autonomy
- A general instability, evidenced by a high turnover of Head Coaches and players
- Undermining of the Head Coach role
- An apparent lack of candour from the club
In seeking a consensus for response to these concerns, we heard:
- The overwhelming majority of those present wanted the club to enter a meaningful dialogue with supporters, and mandated the Supporters’ Trust to pursue this on their behalf.
- This desire would not change regardless of the form of the team.
- We should seek more direct action should the club continue to ignore the wishes of the club’s supporters.
The Supporters’ Trust is encouraged by the upturn in form, supported by a transfer policy that appears to have changed direction somewhat since the meeting by targeting players with Championship experience. Nonetheless, the meeting’s consensus remains our primary objective.
As we committed at the meeting the Trust board has met and discussed an action plan. Our immediate priority is to seek ongoing conversation with the owner, although we note that the CEO has indicated she is the sole conduit for dialogue with M. Duchatelet.
We have approached the board once again in order to secure an initial conversation on these matters. We hope to start to build towards a meaningful and ongoing link between the owner and the club’s supporters, for mutual benefit, in order to support success and preserve the long-term identity of Charlton Athletic Football Club.
We hope and expect that the concerns of supporters will be recognised by the club’s leaders, and that they will respond appropriately. Therefore we do not support alternative action at this time.