Protesters who spent the tail-end of last season demanding that Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet sell up at Charlton Athletic , have cautiously welcomed the appointment of new manager Russell Slade.
The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (Card) wished him success and noted that it was a break from the ownership’s policy of appointing coaches through their Belgian interests.
However, Card said that the club’s entire structure needed to be re-visited after relegation from the Championship and supporters would need a lot of convincing that the ownership would give Slade latitude to make the changes needed.
A spokesman said: “Like all Charlton fans we want the team to be successful so we hope that he will be given the necessary freedom and support to ensure he has a realistic opportunity to make this happen.
“However, Slade is the seventh incumbent since the current regime took over in January 2014, and as such we have to regard the owner’s willingness to fulfil any promises made to get him to join the club with substantial scepticism.”
Card said that every previous head coach had complained about restrictions imposed upon them although it did note that Slade was the first "manager" of the Belgian's regime.
The spokesman said: “We question the plausibility of any apparent change in direction while chief executive Katrien Meire continues in place. It is difficult to see how the club can regain any credibility as long as someone whose personal performance has been so consistently poor over two and half years remains in such a key post.”
Card pointed out that under the present regime Charlton had not signed a “single experienced British player directly from a British club under this regime other than on a loan basis”.
The culture difference and physical nature of the Championship has been cited as one of the reasons previous Charlton sides had failed to gel.
The spokesman concluded: “Our protests will carry on into next season unabated as we continue to push for the owner to sell the club, because we do not believe he is capable of making the changes required, on or off the field.”