The absence of a Charlton match over the weekend because of the international break hasn’t hampered campaigners looking to oust owner Roland Duchatelet.
To maintain momentum in their protests, supporters staged a flash protest at the Addicks training ground in New Eltham on Thursday (March 24).
The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (Card) mounted a picket outside the Sparrows Lane gates to lobby club sponsors who were due to meet with the senior management team.
A Card spokesman said: “We want to convince sponsors that there is no good reason to risk the damage to their business that being associated with the current Charlton regime would bring.”
The protest was supported by the presence of mobile billboards displaying two new Card posters – one showing a £20 note with the slogan “The only score they care about” and a second with an image of a recent post-match demonstration headlined “Weird crowd at The Valley these days” – which references chief executive Katrien Meire’s description of Charlton supporters.
Card suggested that executive box holders Data Techniques, based near Woolwich, were asked not to attend the gathering after donning Pinocchio costumes – a reference to other Meire statements that fans disbelieve.
Data Techniques contracts director Bob Jacobs is reported as saying: ”Some might think we were being childish by dressing up as a cartoon character, but that’s nothing compared to the childish behaviour of the club over the past two years or so.
“They call fans customers, but a key part of any business is listening to your customers, and they have singularly failed to do that. The club seems to believe it must control fans, when it would be much better served listening to what they have to say.”
Reports suggest other expected guests also failed to show without explanation.
After the meeting, the billboards were driven to the Valley where the sponsors were due to have lunch, although protesters say security is tight around the ground.
Charlton return to action on April 2 in a home match against Birmingham City.