Charlton’s relegation from the Championship to League One was confirmed on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw at Bolton – prompting a rare display of contrition from the under-fire ownership.
After weeks of guerilla warfare between Roland Duchatelet’s senior management team and supporters, who have been vocal in wanting to oust the Belgian, comes an apology from the boardroom .
Chief executive Katrien Meire, who has come under fire for belittling the groundswell of anger, said: “We apologise for our mistakes and now need to learn from them so that we can put firm foundations in place for the future that ensure the long-term stability of the club.
“We all acknowledge that this is a difficult time for the club, but I and the senior management team will start the rebuilding work immediately. Our sole aim is to be fighting for promotion next season and our top priority is to put together a squad that can help Charlton Athletic get back into the Championship.”
She also offered an olive branch to fans, thanking them for their support and loyalty, adding: “Our fans are integral to the success of this club and we want to work together with our supporters to make sure we move forward in our pursuit to return to the Championship.”
But members of Card – the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet – are not in the forgiving mood. “The truth is that she is wretchedly inadequate for her role and so are most of her senior management,” said a spokesman for the organisation in response to the Charlton statement.
“She and the owner Roland Duchatelet have made mistake after mistake since they came to the club and despite numerous promises to the contrary they have never learned from them.
“They are the reason the club has been relegated. If they had a shred of integrity or self-awareness, they would walk away now. We are not interested in their excuses or their plans.
“There will be no collaboration with them, now or in the future. They are the enemy of everything that Charlton has been and will be again. We must remove them, chairman Richard Murray and their other apologists before they destroy the club completely.”
Card has also announced a series of demonstrations before, during and after Saturday’s match against Brighton at The Valley on Saturday (April 23).