BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic Women’s chairman Stephen King has spelled out that any fans who commit to buying season tickets for their games will be giving total financial backing just to their club.
King is hoping to boost the average attendances of the Women’s Championship side next season.
And King is clear that Roland Duchatelet, who owns the men’s club, makes zero financial gain from the ladies set-up.
King said: “If you can stump up the £40, or £25 if you’re an existing men’s season-ticket holder, even if you only expect to come to come to one, two or three of the games then you are helping us out and showing a bit of willing and support our way.
“We have gone out of our way to emphasise we are independent. We’ve got the Charlton badge and are licensed to do that. We’ve got an agreement with the club. I’m conscious there are quite a few Charlton supporters who think ‘I don’t want to put any money into the club, I don’t want to buy a programme, a shirt or come to a men’s game – I don’t want to do anything which puts money into Roland’s pocket, although money seems to be leaving it far quicker than it is going in.
“If you do anything for the women it has no relevance to Roland – he doesn’t get anything. The money comes straight to the women’s club.
“Yes, we could do with the financial support. But we’d also like, now and again, if you can spare the time to pop down on a Sunday to the Oakwood and watch what we’re doing.
“People might find they like it and it’s quite a genuine form of football. People are there for the love of the game, not just to pick up their salary.
“At the back of my mind is still this FA requirement which was there in the first season – you were supposed to have an average crowd of 500. That’s supposed to go up to 600 next season and then 800 the year afterwards.
“One thing with Man Utd [being in the league last season] was that you knew you had half a chance of a decent crowd. Our average was between 400-500 this season, which it wouldn’t have been without them being in the division.
“We’ve got to make sure we at least do that and build on it next season.”