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Football protests: We look at various methods used by fans

Beach balls delayed the Charlton v Middlesbrough game

Supporter protests are nothing new in football with Charlton fans' efforts on Sunday just the latest in a growing list.

Charlton fans held a mock funeral prior to kick-off and then threw beach balls onto the pitch during the match, temporarily suspending the team's clash with Middlesbrough to show their displeasure with the club's ownership.

Over the years, supporters of numerous clubs across Europe have used protests to try to get their views heard, with the manner of those demonstrations as varied as the issues driving them…

Walkout on 77

Perhaps the most discussed demonstration this season, and which also looks to have made the biggest impact, came in February as approximately 10,000 Liverpool fans walked out after 77 minutes of their home game with Sunderland in protest against the club's proposed ticket prices for the 2016/17 campaign - the highest of which was £77.

Liverpool fans
Image: Liverpool fans walk out after 77 minutes against Sunderland

"Enough is enough" was the chant from the crowd as the stadium emptied with the scale of the protest shocking Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) into action. Within four days FSG had apologised to the supporters and announced that their previous ticket pricing structure had been scrapped with ticket prices frozen for the next two seasons.

Other Premier League clubs have followed suit, some even cutting ticket prices, and earlier in March, the Premier League announced the price of away tickets at all grounds will be capped at £30 for the next three seasons.

Green and gold

Another well-publicised protest in the north west came at Manchester United with their fans campaigning against owners, the Glazer family.

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AC Milan's English midfielder David Beckham wears a green and gold scarvf after their UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg football match
Image: David Beckham wears a green and gold scarf after Champions League tie at Old Trafford

During the 2009/10 season, Manchester United fans opted for a colourful way to show their discontent, taking on the green and gold colours of Newton Heath; the name the club was originally founded under.

The campaign received further backing after David Beckham, on loan at AC Milan at the time, draped a green and gold scarf around his neck as he left the pitch after a Champions League tie at Old Trafford.

Blackpool sit-in

Blackpool took a more direct approach at the end of the 2014/15 campaign as they protested against owner Karl Oyston.

Blackpool fans hold sit-down protest
Image: Blackpool fans hold sit-down protest

After a series of demonstrations in the preceding weeks, things reached a head on the final day of the season as hundreds of fans invaded the pitch early in the second half and staged a sit in.

"Oyston out" banners were held aloft, flares were set off and after stewards were unable to remove the supporters from the pitch, the game was abandoned.

Unexpected pitch invader

One of the more bizarre protests came at Ewood Park in the form of a chicken as Blackburn fans railed against the club's owners, the Venky's.

A Chicken is put on the pitch by Blackburn fans in protest of the Venkey's ownership of the club
Image: A Chicken is put on the pitch by Blackburn fans in protest of the Venkey's ownership of the club

Supporters, disillusioned by the club's financial problems and impending relegation from the Premier League in 2012, released a live chicken onto the pitch during a match against Wigan with Latics goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi having to usher it from the field.

With Venky's still in charge, the protest was repeated ahead of a derby match with Burnley in 2014.

Lazio fans cause a stink

Of course, it is not just in England that such protests occur and in Italy, Lazio's ultras are never shy in making their feelings known.

Charlton fans stage mock funeral
Charlton fans stage mock funeral

Addicks supporters stage mock funeral before Championship clash with Middlebrough

In December 2015 they found a novel way to express they displeasure after seeing their side go two months without a win in Serie A in the form of manure, with 10 bags of it delivered to the club's training ground.

New balls, please!

Finally, to Germany and Borussia Dortmund. The German model has been the subject of much praise in recent years with affordable prices seen as key to the fantastic atmosphere at stadiums throughout the Bundesliga.

Both sets of players clear tennis balls from the pitch at the  Mercedes-Benz Arena
Image: Both sets of players clear tennis balls from the pitch at the Mercedes-Benz Arena

However, in February, Dortmund fans boycotted the first 20 minutes of their side's German Cup victory at Stuttgart and then threw a volley of tennis balls onto the pitch in protest against high ticket prices for the match - with a quarter of the away tickets costing 70 euros (£55).

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Football Supporters' Federation Chairman Malcolm Clarke discusses protests at Arsenal, Liverpool and Charlton.

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