EFL Protest on Friday 14th

The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) issued the following statement this morning:

Supporters of Blackpool and Charlton will take their protests against their respective clubs' owners directly to the EFL on Friday September 14th with street demonstrations planned outside the league's offices in London and Preston.

The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) is calling on Addicks to assemble at 55 Blandford Street W1 at 12.30pm. And it wants other football supporters, as well as London-based Blackpool fans, to join them. Blackpool Supporters Trust will lead the 3pm protest at EFL House, 10-12 West Cliff, Preston and welcome any Charlton and other fans in the north who are available.

Duchatelet, Charlton's owners since 2014, is currently embroiled in a public dispute with Valley staff about unpaid bonuses, while attempts to sell the club have foundered because of his unrealistic valuation. He has been the subject of a long series of demonstrations at matches since 2015. Local MP Matthew Pennycook described the situation at the club as "utterly shambolic" two weeks ago.

A High Court judge ruled last November that Blackpool's owners have asset-stripped the club to the tune of £26m, bypassing governance arrangements to do so. Ten months on the EFL have done nothing to address the concerns raised in the court ruling and the Oyston family continue to cling on to the club with the EFL seemingly unwilling to disqualify them.

CARD said "Football fans in general, and Charlton and Blackpool supporters inparticular, continue to be extremely frustrated by the EFL's apparent unwillingness to address serious issues of poor governance at some of the clubs.

"While we welcome the EFL's holding statement on the situation at Charlton and the proposal to meet with both the club and the Charlton Atheltic Supporters Trust, we need to see a great deal more urgency and focus.

"While the EFL is dragging its feet Charlton remain in a state of limbo with no executive directors, no chief financial officer and, until this week, had had a caretaker team manager for six months. The administrative staff are up in arms because of the way they have been treated, while such day-to-day management as exists is implementing ill-considered, short-term decisions that rightly earn the derision of Charlton fans and the wider community. That cannot be allowed to continue.

"What is happening at our clubs could impact anywhere, so we will welcome fans of all other clubs joining us. The EFL appears to be little more than a trade association with decisions taken by the clubs for the benefit of the clubs. But without fans it is nothing.

"We call upon the EFL to step up to its responsibility to oversee the broader and long-term health of football in England. We need more than a charter, we need a binding code of conduct with real mechanisms to ensure enforcement. The EFL has access to a range of sanctions, including fines and bans. Whether it is prepared to use them to rein in rogue owners like Duchatelet is a question of competence and will".