Those long, lazy days of summer must feel like a long time ago for the supporters of Charlton Athletic. When the new football season began, Charlton couldn’t have had a much more successful start to it. An opening day win against Queens Park Rangers was followed by going a further five games unbeaten before the month of August ended with a first league defeat of the season, at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Since then, however, the club has entered a precipitous decline which leaves it entering 2016 staring relegation to League One in the face and its supporters have had enough. This afternoon, The Valley will bear witness to a protest against the owners of the club.
The problems that Charlton Athletic face come as a result of often bewildering decisions taken by Roland Duchâtelet, who has been in charge of the club for the last two years.
Over the course of those two years, the club has had four managers – Chris Powell, José Riga, Bob Peeters and Guy Luzon – but at the same time has had no permanent manager since October, when Luzon was dismissed and Karel Fraeye was made the club’s interim head coach despite an almost complete lack of experience in such a position and absolutely no improvement in results. There’s no director of football and no chief scout, an unusual position for a club whose owner has stated its intention to survive by developing young players to sell on to Premier League clubs. And there doesn’t seem to be any clear and co-ordinated plan to lift the club back onto its feet.