CAST, along with other attendees, was dismayed to discover only hours before yesterday’s scheduled Fans’ Forum meeting that there was an attempt to hijack the agenda by the club.
There had been more than a dozen questions submitted in advance of the original date (a week earlier) relating to the takeover position and the contract situation of both the current management team and key players.
By postponing, Fans Forum representatives felt that addressing these critical issues was being overlooked, or at best delayed.
The club informed us earlier on the afternoon of the meeting (scheduled to start at 6:15) that the agenda would now consist of two items:
- The vandalism in Belgium last weekend.
- A club proposal regarding the takeover.
The Fans’ Forum rejected these limitations which they saw as ignoring the purpose of the Group. Lieven de Turck (Roland Duchatelet's representative) stated he had not had time to prepare for the contract renewal questions, but agreed to include a takeover update alongside the new proposal.
Fan representatives present at the meeting were unanimous that the reported vandalism was not something for discussion, and quickly dismissed this item.
There had been much speculation that Duchatelet's proposal would involve some sort of offer to sell / give the club to supporters. Instead, the proposal was one that could not possibly have been predicted.
De Turck announced that Roland Duchatelet intends to contact the EFL to propose they purchase Charlton. Yes, the same EFL that organises the competition we take part in.
Indeed, there is now a statement on the official club website to that effect (although the proposal has now become a demand)
We were asked for our comments at the Fans’ Forum. It will come as no surprise this was instantly and unanimously dismissed as presenting a conflict of interest as well as being totally impractical. Nothing more needs to be said.
Duchatelet's approach emphatically demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of how football operates. How can someone who thinks this is feasible be allowed to control a football club?
The Fans Forum emphasised the obvious: over a year has passed in which no deal has been completed, providing evidence that the price is too high. We unanimously urged Duchatelet to lower his expectations.
A further Fans’ Forum meeting has been arranged for next Monday, 4th March. We will report the outcomes as soon as possible after the meeting.