Annual Report 2017

The annual report of the CAS Trust board was presented to the AGM last week and adopted unanimously. Section 4 (below) of the report relates to activities during the year and planned activities for the year ahead.

  1. Business Review and Future Developments
  • At June 1st 2016 CAS Trust had 1050 members plus 61 junior members. At June 1st 2017 membership had grown to 1093 members plus 63 junior members. During the year we welcomed 267 new members and the membership of 212 members lapsed.
  • The board continued throughout the year to attempt to establish dialogue with the club’s owner Roland Duchatelet. He did not respond to our requests for a meeting.
  • Fans Forum – we have continued to attend the Fans Forum which is the club's preferred vehicle for fulfilling the English Football League (EFL) rule to meet with supporters at least twice a year for “structured dialogue”. We have endeavored to ensure that the Forum considers strategic matters such as the owner's vision for the club, the training ground development, the club's finances and wider football issues. We persuaded the club to abandon plans to widen the Forum into a larger Supporters Council because this would make discussion of strategy even more difficult.
  • We also facilitated two meetings for CAS Trust members with the CEO and her senior management team. These were part of a series of meetings she held with various supporter groups during the season. The meetings provided an opportunity for fifty members to question the senior management and to make their views known.
  • In response to Karl Robinson's statement soon after his appointment as manager that he didn't fully understand the protests against the owner we held a meeting with him, Richie Barker and Tom Rubashow (Head of Communications). The meeting allowed us to make it very clear to Robinson why there was such a high level of supporter anger about the way the club had been managed during the Duchatelet ownership.
  • During the year we made representations on behalf of supporters on a number of issues:
      • Stewarding - we liaised with CAFC and The Metropolitan Police about the actions of stewards after the game on 15th October and policing after the Millwall game.
      • Ticketing – we challenged the club on the administration fees charged for in-person ticket purchasing.
      • League Managers Association - we wrote to the LMA to bring to their attention the dismissive and disrespectful comments made by Roland Duchatelet about former manager Chris Powell.
      • We wrote to former manager Russell Slade to request that he instruct Roger Johnson to apologise to supporters after the abusive comments he made at Bury.
      • We wrote to the FA to complain about CEO Katrien Meiere appearing to link protests against her with racist chanting at football.
      • We wrote to the club Directors questioning the way in which they had treated Directors’ emoluments in the club’s annual accounts.


  • The board undertook two surveys (of members and non members) during the year to ensure that it remained in touch with supporter opinion. We received a total of 2240 responses, more than half of which were from non members. In October 2016 we surveyed supporter attitude towards the club ownership and management   plus supporter opinion on wider matters in the game – eg The Whole Game solution; The Checkatrade Trophy; FA Cup reorganization and the winter break. In April 2017 we surveyed season ticket renewal intentions. Although only a very small percentage of respondents felt very optimistic about the future of CAFC under Duchatelet we took the initiative to publicise their reasons for optimism in an article on our website.
  • The board invited members to submit their thoughts about what made CAFC an attractive proposition to a potential owner. This elicited a rich response noting the many advantages the club holds – not least in the dedication and determination of its supporters. These were published in Trust News 14.
  • In April we wrote to introduce ourselves to the Australian Football Consortium when news of their possible interest in CAFC broke.
  • We have continued to be represented within CARD and to play a role in staging peaceful protests to draw attention to the dismay of the majority of our members at the mismanagement of the club under Duchatelet’s ownership.
  • CAS Trust board members were interviewed during the year by a number of media outlets (BBC television; BBC radio; TalkSport; The Guardian; and others).
  • Throughout the year CAS Trust has maintained a presence at almost every Charlton home game through our stall on Harvey Gardens. The stall enables regular contact with supporters; the opportunity to canvass opinion on relevant matters; the chance to publicise matters of interest about football generally.
  • The Board maintains a website (CASTRUST.ORG) which provides up-to-the- minute news on the club plus articles about the club and football generally. We have sent regular news updates to Roland Duchatelet in order to ensure that he is fully aware of events at the club.
  • The Board has published two editions of Trust News during the year. The magazine provides information about CAFC plus discussion of crucial matters of more general interest. We have now changed our policy so that the magazine is distributed to members only.
  • The Board continued to work together with thirteen other supporters’ trusts in the Olympic Stadium Coalition. We welcome The London Mayor’s decision to order an enquiry into the escalating costs. Richard Hunt of CASTrust was interviewed as part of the enquiry which should be reporting soon.
  • Representatives of CAS Trust attended the Supporters Direct / Football Supporters Federation Summit in Burton on Trent. Steve Clarke represented CASTrust as a speaker at the Fans Not Numbers campaign roadshow at Leyton Orient.
  • In response to supporter complaints about the away game coach service provided by the club CASTrust provided an alternative service in the first half of last season. We ran full coaches to Fleetwood, Oxford (x2), Millwall and Milton Keynes plus one half-full to Gillingham. However, there was very little interest in coach travel to Bradford, Swindon, and Bristol and we had to cancel the trips. The enterprise made a loss of £204. We formed the view that there is not at present sufficient demand to justify the expense and time involved.


The Board are planning the following developments for the year ahead:

  • To continue to campaign for supporter representation through CAS Trust at boardroom level at Charlton Athletic.
  • To continue to strive to achieve an ownership regime for CAFC that demonstrates ambition and values and respects our history – reflecting the wishes of the majority of Trust members and supporters.
  • In the event of a change of club ownership we plan to be fully prepared to promote CAS Trust as the appropriate body with which new owners should work to ensure supporter involvement in the running of the club.
  • To continue to attend the Fans Forum and to endeavour to ensure that it addresses strategic matters.
  • To re-apply for Asset of Community Value (ACV) status for The Valley (currently runs to November 2018)
  • To work with CAFC to publicise and promote the issue of safe standing at football matches. This to include a presentation to local politicians in January 2018
  • To continue to undertake surveys to ensure that we are always in touch with supporter opinion.
  • To continue to produce regular publications on matters of interest to Charlton supporters.
  • To continue to work with the Olympic Stadium Coalition in the campaign to ensure appropriate and fair use of public money in the matter of West Ham’s occupation of the Olympic Stadium
  • To continue to work within C.A.R.D. to ensure that the concerns of our members about the running of the club are given maximum publicity.
  • To liaise closely with Supporters Direct and The Football Supporters Federation to support and provide publicity for their campaign work. In particular on the strengthening of the Directors & Officers Test (formerly known as The Fit & Proper Person Test) and the regulation of football clubs.
  • To continue to respond to unfolding events in a timely fashion, reflecting the views of members.