Throughout Roland Duchatelet’s two-year ownership of Charlton there’s been deep divides in the stands.
While many have been pessimistic of the Belgian’s approach from the start, other kind souls have been a bit more patient.
The optimists overlooked the staff cuts which kicked off Duchatelet’s tenure and the firing of fans’ favourite Chris Powell as manager.
While raising an astonished eyebrow at the sale of heroic Yann Kermorgant and classy Dale Stephens to Championship rivals, those fans awaited an upturn in fortunes.
For a brief period there were promising signs. Jose Riga’s short stint as manager was sterling while incoming players like Astrit Ajdarević steered the club to safety.
Since the end of that first season the bright spots have been very few and very far between. Signings have flopped and manager after manager has failed.
Money has been wasted and chief executive Katrien Meire has angered fans by belittling their fears and complaints.
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Still many, especially those who endured the true dark days of the ‘80s have refused to condemn the club’s owner, pointing out the multi-millionaire is the only option.
As the hundreds who were previously protesting outside the West Stand in recent weeks were joined by hundreds more, screaming in unison through the rain for a change of ownership, what was it that tipped the balance?
It is, of course, Peter Varney.
The main fear of those who refused to condemn was if Duchatelet pulled the plug financially then the club would be unwanted, collapsing under its debt.
But Varney, the former CEO at The Valley in the glory years, who now represents the interests of a wealthy Kuwaiti firm, has disclosed an “investment opportunity” made known to Duchatelet and Miere.
Repeated cancellations of the meeting by the Charlton owner and his sidekick have led to the apologists to say enough is enough.
Varney has filled the gaping hole of the “leader of the revolution” by releasing a frustrating and ultimately fruitless email chain, published by the Voice Of The Valley fanzine.
The chants heard in and out of the ground yesterday were injected not just with anger, but with belief.
The campaign for a new owner at Charlton has become a positive crusade rather than one with negative connotations such as change for the sake of change.
The ball is now in Duchatelet and Meire’s court. A leak to the press that “the club is not for sale” will not cut it.
Why is the club not for sale? If there is no future sign of a profit being delivered at Charlton and the fans increasingly voting with their feet, then why not give supporters want they want and allow someone else a go?
Duchatelet himself has not been seen at a game for many a month.
These are questions that need answering.
On the pitch on Saturday, in between pre- and post-match demonstrations, it was similar to previous games.
The 1-1 draw with a wholly underwhelming Nottingham Forest side represented interim boss Karel Fraeye's tenth point out of 11 games.
But there was no underperformance from the Addicks side, who worked tirelessly.
Sadly, this squad was playing to its limited potential. It’s hugely in need of January reinforcements, or the abyss of League One awaits. And this time the club may not come back.