Back in October 2016, fans from the Charlton Supporters Group CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet) were joined by travelling Sky Blues supporters in a combined Protest against the Owners and Directors of both clubs.
An initial march to the Valley with placards, banners and raucous chanting was followed by the now-legendary Flying Pigs incident in the ground. This achieved both national and international coverage on TV, Radio and in the press.
The problems caused at Coventry City by our owners, Sisu Capital - led by Joy Seppala - and Club Chairman, Tim Fisher are well-known to CCFC supporters. These problems have only got worse during the course of this season, to the point that we now face inevitable relegation to League 2. Attendances have been dwindling during this dreadful campaign and are set to get worse, with indications that perhaps only 1 in 5 season ticket holders will be renewing this summer. The crisis with the Academy tenancy at Allard Way looms large; we have no ground and only one season left at the Ricoh; Ryton Training Ground is under threat for housing development; despite a magnificent win in the Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley, a day that we will all treasure, the playing squad has not been up to the more important task of competing in League 1.
Yet it was Roland Duchatelet of Charlton who was recently voted the worst owner in English Football in a survey conducted by the pressure group, Against League 3. A spokesperson for CARD said: “Whether it’s the litany of failed managerial appointments, the drastic fall in home attendances, the constant turnover of players, the incompetence of the day-to-day decisions made by senior club officials, the worrying increase in debt, or the contempt with which the regime treats fans, Duchatelet is failing by every measure. We’re committed to maintaining our campaign for him to sell the club.” Club Chief Executive, Katrien Meire also comes in for much criticism and contempt for her management at the Valley.
Failed and incompetent leadership at both Coventry and Charlton has distressed many fans at each club. So, when our teams meet again on Good Friday, 14th April 2017, there will be a further opportunity to express our concern to the wider football public about the damage caused by Seppala and Duchatelet, Fisher and Meire.
Supporters of both clubs are invited to assemble at the Cherry Tree Club, CV6 6FT, on the junction of Lythalls Lane and Bedlam Lane. A march will then commence at 2pm along Bedlam Lane, onto the footpath by Phoenix Way and then into the Ricoh complex, finishing by Jimmy Hill’s Statue on the North side of the Stadium. Fans are invited to bring banners, musical instruments and other devices that add to the atmosphere, though people should be aware that Arena Security may restrict items being taken into the ground.
Further instructions on continuing the protest during the match will be issued on the March. As always, we request that any protest activities are lawful and responsible. Please pay particular heed to the safety of players and match officials, other employees at the ground and fellow supporters.
Organisers from CARD and the Jimmy Hill Way intend that this event should be fun, demonstrating a solidarity of purpose and re-emphasising the serious anxieties that supporters share about the future of both Coventry City and Charlton Athletic.
Please come and join us.
The Jimmy Hill Way Campaign