Charlton fans plan mass walkout during Middlesbrough game in protest at owner Roland Duchatelet

 
Joe Hall
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Charlton Athletic v Leeds United   - Sky Bet Championship
Flagging: Charlton are in trouble at the foot of the Championship (Source: Getty)

Charlton fans are being encouraged to walk out of The Valley during their home fixture against Middlesbrough this Sunday in a protest against absentee owner Roland Duchatelet.

The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (Card) are asking fans to walk out of the stadium on 74 minutes, representing the number of goals their team has conceded so far this season, as part of what it hopes will be the biggest protest in the club's history.

Card will also hold a mock funeral procession by carrying a coffin into the The Valley as a symbol of what they say has happened to their club under Duchatelet.

The Belgian millionaire bought the South London club for around £14m in January 2014 but has attended only a handful of games since.

His team are currently second from bottom in the Championship and seven points from safety.

"This is not just about the team's prospects, although they look very grim," said a spokesperson from supporters' group Card.

"It is a measure of the damage being done to Charlton by Duchatelet and [chief executive Katrien] Meire, which is unlikely to end with relegation.

Read more: Why Roland Duchatelet's project at Charlton is failing

"They are destroying decades of work to build our club up in the name of a soulless experiment conducted by remote control from Belgium. This is not the Charlton Athletic that has been a vital part of so many people's lives for decades.

"We are asking the many disillusioned and angry fans who have been staying away to come back on Sunday and turn the afternoon into the biggest protest Charlton has ever seen, including when the old board took the club to Selhurst Park in 1985."

Card have organised protests calling on Duchatelet to sell Charlton after most home matches this year and led a successful campaign to convince energy drink Coco5 not to consider a sponsorship deal with the club.

Their latest protest mirrors action taken by Liverpool fans during a home match against Sunderland last month which forced the club's board to back down over planned ticket price increases.

Earlier today Charlton revealed it made a £3.8m loss last season as match-day income fell by £1.2m.

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