Waging War on the customers

I sit in my seat on Saturday with my friends , with whom I have visited all the corners of England over the last 48 years. Carlisle [ several times ] Portsmouth , Plymouth , Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol. Blackburn, Blackpool, to name just a few. Generally , you name the ground and we’ve been there , we were Charlton.

We went to school , we went to college or university , we got married , we had kids we bought houses , we got fired , we got made redundant and had jobs. All through this, for 48 years, we stood on the covered end terrace together, we stood on the vast East Terrace together, sometimes with our fathers and mothers who are now passed away. Now we sit in the East Stand together. All that time, we were Charlton. We’ve endured pretty poor owners, Michael Glikstein, John Sunley, Mark Hulyer, Tony Jiminez and all that time we were Charlton.

We stood in the crowd of 3,001 against Halifax at home at the Valley on a Tuesday night. We went to the Friday night and Sunday afternoon experimental kick offs in the 70’s .We hired a coach and went to Wembley for the members cup final and lost to Blackburn in the 80’s and we hired a room and had lunch in a hotel before the glorious play off final in the 90’s .We were Charlton.

We nominated a nearby pre match pub and went to Upton Park & Selhurst Park every week when many others faltered. I got married the day we had our first game back in Division One ( at Selhurst after 29 years out of the top tier). We were Charlton.

We made it to the Premier League, it was wonderful, our team was fantastic, the Valley was full. It was our dream, we were Charlton.

It fell apart in time but we had Chris Powell and he was Charlton and we were Charlton too. He rebuilt our pride , gave us a proper team again  and we loved him.

Then Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire arrived and it doesn’t seem like we are Charlton any more. For the first season in a half century, some of my friends have given up. I’d really like to have it back but it feels like it is broken.

The owner and management at Charlton hate the customers and we hate them back.