Charlton Athletic go extra mile for young fans



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Stadium section created for 16 to 20-year-olds Image: Charlton Athletics (Facebook)

The English Football League (EFL) League One club Charlton Athletic F.C. have worked with the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust to create an area for 16-to-20-year-olds in the Covered End West Quadrant of their home pitch – The Valley in London, England (UK) – with an aim of increasing the younger fans’ engagement in the club and enjoyment on matchdays.

‘CHARLTON ATHLETIC’ stated that the supporters, aged 16-20, will be able to purchase season tickets in the area for just £125-£5.44 per game. Click here to purchase your 2024/25 season ticket.

Preston (UK)-based the English Football League (EFL) is a league of professional football clubs from England and Wales (UK). Founded in 1888 as the Football League, it is the oldest football league in the world, and was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split from it to form the Premier League – the highest level of the English football league system. The Football League was rebranded as the ‘English Football League’ (EFL) from the 2016-2017 seasons.

The English Football League One, known as the Sky Bet League One for sponsorship purposes or simply League One in England, is the second-highest division of the English Football League (EFL) and the third-tier overall in the English football league system.

The Charlton Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Charlton, South-East London, England (UK). The team compete in the EFL League One, the third level of the English football league system. Their home ground is The Valley, where the club have played since 1919.

The Valley is a 27,111-capacity sports stadium in Charlton, London, England (UK) and has been the home of the Charlton Athletic Football Club since the 1920s, with a period of exile between 1985 and 1992. It is served by the Charlton Railway Station, which is less than a five-minute walk away from the stadium.

The Covered End West Quadrant is a section of the Charlton Athletic’s London stadium, The Valley, which has two tiers and is home to the most passionate fans.

The Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust (CAS Trust) is a group that aims to protect, preserve and promote the Charlton Athletic Football Club for the future generations. The Trust also gives fans a voice and acts as a positive force to help preserve the club for its community. The CAS Trust Board is made up of supporters from different backgrounds who are elected by the members to represent them.

‘CHARLTON ATHLETIC’ further stated that a statement from the Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust (CAST) read, “The CAST is delighted to work with the club on this proposal, this is the first step to realizing its full potential. The idea came about when the Board Member Sam White was away in Brussels (capital of Belgium) for a Football Supporters Europe (FSE) youth working group meet, where the Swedish representatives introduced the ‘Apberget’ section specifically for the young supporters at Djurgårdens IF Fotboll (a association football club in the town of Stockholm in Sweden).”

The Charlton Athletic stands as the first club in the United Kingdom, and first outside of Scandinavia, to set this type of area/stand up.

Professed White, “It’s been something I immediately wanted to get at The Valley. In terms of fan engagement, and particularly youth engagement, it’s a huge opportunity for us to get a little community built within the fan base and the stadium but also offer a great experience. It’s the perfect lifecycle for the young fans – you may start in the family section, before wanting to have more independence and being able to sit on your own in the new section before graduating to the Covered End or the other areas in the stadium.”

Initially aimed at the 16-20 age brackets, it’s hoped that this will be extended to the younger fans over time.

Added White, “It’s been fantastic to work with the club on this proposal. When I introduced it to the CAST Board, they liked it immediately, so it was always something I thought may take off. Big credit also must go to Nils at Djurgården IF for his expert knowledge on the idea. I know he’ll be desperate to see it in action too.”

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