Charlton protesters are deploying shock tactics to highlight what they see as catastrophic management failures at the beleaguered Championship club.
Members of the Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet (Card) will carry a coffin to the Valley before Sunday’s tie against Middlesbrough to symbolise the death of the club’s hopes under the Belgian’s ownership.
They using the presence of the Sky cameras to make a strong visual statement in their long-running bid to remove the regime of chief executive Katrien Meire which has seen the south London club slump towards relegation.
They have appealed to stay-away fans to show up – and then leave the ground at 74 minutes, 74 representing the number of goals the team has conceded this season. The protest will continue outside while the match goes on.
A Card spokesman said: “This is not just about the team’s prospects, although they look very grim. It is a measure of the damage being done to Charlton by Duchatelet and Meire, which is unlikely to end with relegation.
“They are destroying decades of work to build up our club in the name of a soulless experiment conducted by remote control from Belgium. This is not the Charlton Athletic that had 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.”
Fans are being encouraged to wear black and white, bring balloons and banners to catch the eye of the TV cameras.
The spokesman added: “It’s important to keep the messages simple and clean in order to retain the moral high ground and avoid things that will divide supporters rather than unite them.
• The funeral procession will leave the Charlton Liberal Club in Charlton Church Lane at 2.45pm, but to avoid congestion Card is asking fans to line Floyd Road from the junction with Charlton Church Lane and as far as the Valley Superstore from 2.30pm.