The large majority of the Charlton Athletic fan base have united around the idea of Roland Duchatelet is damaging our great club. A club which is not the largest in the land, a club which has not won trophy after trophy, but a club full of fans who hold the beloved Addicks in their heart.
The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet in recent times has been taking the headlines with innovative, well-organised and impacting protests. But today, it is time to cover another protest group within the fan base, a smaller group, who identify themselves as “just Charlton fans” – The Belgium Twenty.
The Belgium Twenty are a group of Charlton fans who prepare protests, but take the fight to Roland Duchatelet’s home country of Belgium.
A couple of weeks ago The Belgium Twenty, challenged the Charlton Athletic supporters to write messages that they would want our infamous owner to read, and they promised they would deliver them on our behalves.
On the weekend of December the 3rd, The Belgium Twenty did just that – to see their full experience over the weekend, watch the video clip in the tweet below.
On behalf of the Charlton Athletic fans I think it is appropriate and acceptable for me to thank The Belgium Twenty on behalf of the Addicks, for the all the money, resources, work and effort they have put in once again over at Belgium.
To conclude, I wanted to share with you the letter I wrote, and the letter which was delivered to Roland by the Belgium Twenty over the weekend on my behalf.
Dear Mr. Duchatelet,I am writing this letter to urge you to reconsider your position on deciding not to sell Charlton Athletic Football Club.Football in the United Kingdom, more specifically England, is the national sport, it is the lifeblood and soul for many individuals, families and friends, so you can understand that it is extremely important to the nation, and is simply a national treasure to many hearts.From your recent comments to TalkSport and Sky Sport presenter Jim White – which implied you were rather shocked and stunned by the rebellion that you currently face in South East London – I would like to offer an explanation for that and maybe you can understand where we are coming from.There is a saying that you cannot change your family or where you come from which is true. But this also applies for many football fans. For many of us we have adopted a love for a football club in a hereditary manner, the love and passion for a specific club is passed down generation after generation – for others they attended a game for the first time and fell in love with everything that club was about. These experiences create an unbreakable and powerful link which last until the individual’s dying breath.When I was five years old I went to the Valley, when we were in the Premier League, and I was lucky to see excellent footballing under Alan Curbishley – a true club hero. We were 2-0 down at halftime, and I remember my mother saying to me “let’s go home”, I said to her “No you never walk away from your club!” – baring in mind I was five years old and already had this mindset in regards to Charlton. In the second half, in the final minutes, we scored an equaliser to make it 2-2, and I cried my eyes out with such love and passion.Can you see the perspective of football fans? We are not just customers.So surely you can understand why we are struggling with the current environment and turbulence at our beloved club? For us it is not like attending the Cinema or a Supermarket, we cannot change the source and attend a competitor because we are dissatisfied with the service or experience because the unbreakable bond and link cannot be broken. It genuinely feels like to many fans you are trying to break that bond and link, and fans are reacting and fighting for what they believe in which is Charlton Athletic.You must understand we are not customers, we are internal stakeholders, we are the lifeblood and you cannot disregard us. Any owner who treats the fans as such will always be successful because it will ensure that you have the backing of thousands – you now have a resistance of thousands as well as the footballing family of the nation.I am not sure you are aware of our history, but in recent times, Charlton Athletic lost The Valley – the proud home of our Football Club, and our club defied all odds, united and fought to return and we did. After this turbulent time, we rose to our prime and became a strong community driven club which had reached the highest echelon of English Football – we earned respect, admiration and national pride in what we achieved – and the footballing world has not forgotten.They have seen us decline under your stewardship and under Katrien Meire.Recently national media has been writing articles and media pieces about the pestilence which has infected our beloved club since you purchased us back in 2014. The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet is not only being supported by local fans, but is being widely recognised and commended throughout the nation. Do not underestimate the power of Charlton fans.A lawmaker in the UK Parliament has just posted an Early Day Government Motion (EDM) which is scrutinising owners and the higher executive levels of the FA to hold them to account as they are a threat to our beloved support and communities – it specifically mentions Charlton Athletic.You had a chance to purchase Charlton Athletic and support Chris Powell with the necessary funding and you would have been regarded as an exceptional owner – You have failed!Sell the club before this gets even more nasty.We will oust you out of our club, we will win!It is just a matter of time.Regards,Freddie Saunders