Being at The Valley these days is like being trapped in a particularly messy divorce.
The fans and the ground, always well turned out but bleary-eyed through tears, represent the wife.
The ownership is the husband – accused of neglect and keen to spend more time with more fanciful conquests overseas.
In this scenario it’s easy to see who the players represent.
Fragile, subdued, they keep asking if it’s their fault, while often bearing the brunt of dissatisfaction and anger. They are the long-suffering children.
It’s all too clear the players often play better on days out at friend’s houses, away from the frontline. But at home, they crumble.
The latest 0-0 outing on Tuedsay (March 8) in front of a sparse Valley summed up the strife.
MK Dons were there for the taking but Charlton didn’t seem that bothered. Up front was Simon Makienok, given a thankless task in a lone role. He was only cheered when he trudged off to be replaced by Ademola Lookman.
Hopes of breaking the deadlock rested squarely on the shoulders of Yaya Sanogo
And while getting that knockout punch, it was poorly directed, taking out an MK Dons defender and earning the big striker an injury time red card and three-match ban.
It was obvious Jose Riga wanted his side to work at getting their confidence back starting with Saturday’s win at Brentford.
But so relaxed were the Charlton side it took nearly an hour to have their first noteworthy shot on goal, when Jordan Cousins curled his effort wide.
MK sub Rob Hall replied in kind forcing Nick Pope to turn the ball round the upright.
There was very little otherwise to raise an eyebrow before Sanogo’s right hook.
The substitution of Callum Harriott had the North Upper chanting at Riga: “You don’t know what you’re doing.”
And while that’s misplaced, it is unlikely he knows enough to keep the Addicks away from the drop.
As for the side, the jury is still out on what impact the new signings of Yun Suk-Young, Rod Fanni and Marco Motta will have but they have already passed the Alan Curbishley test of being an improvement on what we already have.
That’s not to say Chris Solly, for example, is not missed. It just exposes the sheer lunacy of going into the season without cover right-back cover, or much of the rest of the pitch.
On Tuesday, all three did themselves proud, especially wily Motta.
But who if any of these players will be here next season? That doesn’t bear thinking about.