It was supposed to be a moment of celebration and one to savour, but Charlton’s return to The Valley was anything but.
After almost nine months without supporters being allowed inside football stadiums, certain grounds were able to admit as many as 2,000 fans in to watch their matches this week.
The Addicks were one of the fortunate few to see the turnstiles whirring again, as their fixture against MK Dons became a first step on the road back to some sort of normality.
Any thoughts of a decent home win to send the fans home happy was soon dispelled, however, with talkSPORT noting one supporter’s ire at his team’s performance.
“Before the game everyone was buzzing to get in there, but from the first minute it was such a negative game of football… it was so bad,” talkSPORT quote ‘Sam the Addicks fan’ as saying.
“Bowyer shouldn’t have come out and said that. The players shouldn’t need the fans to get them hyped up for the fact we were returning.
“It was like they’d never played football together, and I don’t know why because in the last nine games we’ve played so well. They got booed off at full time, but I left just before.
“On the way to the game I was thinking, no one should leave before the final whistle, but hundreds of people left early tonight.
“It was the worst performance I’d seen in ten years.”
Charlton manager, Lee Bowyer’s stinging rebuke after the game is likely to upset and alienate even more supporters.
“I’m pleased to see them [supporters] back in… but I would have liked it to have been a bit more positive from the fans,” he said after the game according to talkSPORT.
“They’ve been away so long, I’d rather they get behind the team and try and get them going. Because they played a hard game on Saturday against Ipswich and when we play at home we need those fans to be positive and pick the lads up when it’s not going so well.
“[…] Even though it was 2,000 I expected non-stop singing, supporting the players and pushing them. But it wasn’t like that.
“It was very, very quiet apart from some negative shouting – and I didn’t expect that tonight.
“Listen, the players didn’t really do too much to get people on their feet – but sometimes they need a bit of help, and that’s what our fans are great at.
“It wasn’t what I expected, because we don’t stop singing normally. And there wasn’t much singing at all, from start to finish, tonight.”
One can only hope that on pitch matters improve for Charlton which, in turn, will keep the supporters in their seats until full-time.