In the three-odd years of Duchatelet's ownership he and his hapless sidekick, Katrien Meire, have not given one ounce of a toss about my loyal support of Charlton Athletic, so how ironic that when the season ticket renew form dropped through my letter box on Wednesday it carried the opening line of "we've missed you!".
My former season ticket seat in the East Stand in Block E (zone 1) has risen to a whopping £500, which makes it only marginally cheaper that when we were operating in the halcyon days of the Premier League!
For nearly two decades my view across The Valley had comparable sightlines to the Directors Box and I took the many lows firmly on the chin, puffed out my chest and came back for more whilst enjoying the occasional highs with immense pride.
Nowadays my view on a matchday is hindered by the 45 miles that separate my house to
my second home The Valley.
Perhaps most shocking of all is the closure of sections of the East and West stands at the southern end of the ground. The club suggest this is to "increase the atmosphere at The Valley and feel that bringing more supporters into the fewer blocks that are open will enable us to do this". Acceptance, albeit indirectly, that gates are continuing to fall at an alarming pace. Closing those blocks will not hide the embarrassing images of a sparsely populated Valley on a matchday. It will be worst next season still, and I'm actually surprised the club have kept open the upper tiers of the Covered End and West.
By the way, I wonder what sort of person would buy a £500 seat when they can purchase a £300 one a short distance away and stroll - unchallenged - to pretty much any seat in the higher-priced zone? Perhaps the club will use some the stewards surplus to requirements after closing some blocks to police the unruly 'Vinegar Pissers'?
I agonised for weeks about whether I should continue as a season ticket holder this time last season. Breaking a cycle that ran for nearly two decades because you feel so desperately disillusioned by the direction of the club was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. But I'm a man of principles and I won't be taken for a fool. This time around the decision is frighteningly easy. I will not be renewing again. Furthermore, having not attended a home game since early Feb, I've slipped into a full boycott as my apathy towards this current Charlton grows...
But I may well break that on the final home game of the season as CARD have announced a 'day of action'.
A CARD spokesperson said: “We plan to take back The Valley on the final day of the season and are asking fans who have been staying away, whether in protest or frustration, to return and send a resounding message to the next owner about what Charlton can be. This can be accomplished inside the ground or outside, for those unwilling to buy a ticket"
Once again, CARD are urging fans to delay renewing their ST for as long as possible. Absolutely no criticism of anyone who does, by the way. To each his own. I'll be back when they've gone, and how I dream of that day.