Charlton fans scrap protest after club director agrees to meet supporters’ trust

GIUSEPPE MURO
Listen up: Fans have waged a long campaign against Roland Duchatelet but his exit from Charlton has been delayed by protracted takeover talks: Getty Images

Charlton director Richard Murray has agreed to meet representatives of the club’s supporters’ trust at The Valley on Saturday.

Angry fans demanded Murray address them before the game against Walsall to provide answers about the club’s future.

Takeover talks drag on and Murray, who has said no transfer funds will be available to manager Karl Robinson this month, will now meet the chair and vice-chair of the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust to discuss the situation at the League One club. Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet is in contact with several parties but there has been no breakthrough.

The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) had asked fans to assemble outside the main reception at The Valley on Saturday but has now cancelled the protest following Murray’s decision.

A CARD statement said: “We welcome the fact our statement on Tuesday has forced Richard Murray to seek a meeting with elected representatives of the CAST. Of course, it remains to be seen whether any satisfactory answers are provided. Clearly, what is discussed in private must be shared publicly afterwards.

“This meeting is a direct outcome of our statement and in the light of it we are postponing our rally, since it makes no sense to ask Richard Murray to hold both a private meeting and a public one on the same day.”

Robinson today said he is still in dark over when a takeover will happen but says there are “many more obstacles” to overcome.

“I do not think any of us are any the wiser,” he said. “What I will say is that is over the months I have spent here Richard Murray has always been the one fighting for where we have been and been the constant in that.

“The owner will be the one who determines when [a takeover happens]. We all know he has come out publicly and said the club is for sale. We all know there are consortiums looking to take over. I do not know the figure [of what the club is valued at]. I have heard people are speaking to him [Duchatelet] but that is all I know. I am in the dark.

“People have seen a light at the end of the tunnel but there are so many more obstacles. You are buying a football club. There is due diligence that has to be done.

“I believe people are speaking to the owner. My concern is that it is in the middle of January and I want to bring in players.

“Richard wants to speak to people one-to-one. I think people get their point across better when it is in a calmer environment. The fans have conducted themselves in an impeccable manner.”

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