Protesting Charlton fans make Roland Duchatelet pay price for bonus row – Lee Bowyer insists it will not affect his team

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Charlton Athletic fans have been sparked into fresh protests after owner Roland Duchatelet refused to pay staff bonuses – but caretaker boss Lee Bowyer insists it will not affect his side against Fleetwood Town tomorrow.

Valley staff were told on Wednesday morning that the extra money – which could amount to 10 per cent of their yearly salary – would not be paid.

Addicks owner Duchatelet said a “very bad financial year” meant that the priority was to “restore the club’s financial health”. 

But that development saw Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet [CARD] announce they will resume protests against the Belgian tycoon this weekend.

It is not clear yet whether CARD’s demonstration will target inside the stadium and disrupting the match – a strategy that was employed on a couple of occasions during Charlton’s slide out of the Championship.

Duchatelet has been unable to put any timeframe on takeover talks being completed – although a fans’ forum on Wednesday saw Lieven De Turck, representing the owner in negotiations, claim a price has been agreed with two parties.

That lack of movement has left so many sections of the club in limbo. Bowyer has been in a caretaker role since March and there is no chief executive, chairman or financial officer.

Top defensive talent Ezri Konsa has been sold to Brentford with Josh Magennis transferring to Bolton Wanderers.

Now there are set to be fresh scenes of unrest in SE7.

Bowyer said the first-team squad and management team will crack on with the task at hand – trying to fashion a League One promotion push.

“Like all these things behind closed doors, we have no knowledge of them and no control,” he said. “It has got nothing to do with us.

“All we do is come in and train every day and play games. The financial side – and what happens there – doesn’t interfere with us in the way we prepare and play games. There is no change regarding that.”

Bowyer does not expect to be charge by the FA for his comments following the ill-tempered 1-0 defeat to Peterborough on Tuesday when he slammed referee James Linington.

The South London Press also understands there was an altercation in the tunnel as both teams headed back to the dressing room at full-time.

But Bowyer said: “I’m not expecting to hear anything – I didn’t say anything out of turn.

“It was the truth. I don’t think it was a penalty. What do people want me to say? I’m going to say it how it is. I wasn’t lying, it’s not like I made it up.

“The hardest thing for me is to pick the players up because we have been at rock bottom for the next two nights. I haven’t slept properly. Myself and Jacko [Johnnie Jackson] will pick them up again.

“Fleetwood have just won 5-0 [against Scunthorpe]. What is happening? Every team we play go and thump the team they face before us!”


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