Charlton vs Sunderland: Addicks owner Roland Duchatelet to miss League One play-off final due to safety fears

21 May

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet says safety fears will stop him from attending Sunday’s League One play-off final against Sunderland.

The unpopular Belgian has claimed he is a victim of a ‘witch hunt’ from ‘uncontrollable’ Addicks fans, who are desperate to see the end of his five-year reign at the Valley.

Duchatelet has not been to a Charlton game since October 2014 – and that run is set to continue this weekend.

Roland Duchatelet says it’s ‘too risky’ to make a Wembley appearance on Sunday

Speaking to Jim White, he told talkSPORT: “Some people are still threatening me, so would you go if you were threatened like me? I think that’s the problem really.

“It’s certainly too risky. The problem is these people have developed an intense and very emotional hate against me, so it’s more or less like a witch hunt.

“They cannot control themselves anymore and that’s the problem. I’m sorry, I’m just not coming.

“Basically, what counts today is that we all support a team that’s doing well, but unfortunately, I will not be able to come.

“What matters now is that we all support the team and that’s the only thing that counts. We need to win and that’s what’s important today.”

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has led an unlikely promotion push on limited funds this season

Player sales, the constant hiring and firing of managers and relegation to League One have seen Charlton fans protest against Duchatelet for most of his time in SE7.

The 72-year-old has been trying to sell the club for over a year, but his inflated asking price is understood to have stalled a Valley ext.

Despite guiding Charlton to within one game of a return to the Championship, Addicks boss Lee Bowyer and assistant Johnnie Jackson remain out of contract this summer.

Charlton have been operating without a chief executive or chief financial officer for the past 14 months, while star men Patrick Bauer, Joe Aribo and Jonny Williams could all leave for free at the end of the season.

It has highlighted the need for a long-awaited takeover to be completed.

When asked if he would still sell Charlton regardless of promotion this season, Duchatelet added: “Well, I have tried to sell for quite a long time now.

“I hope it will be easier to sell when we go up, I hope so.”

You can listen to Sunday’s League One play-off final LIVE on talkSPORT.