Charlton are looking for their seventh manager in two-and-a-half years after the sacking of Russell Slade.
The Addicks are 15th in League One following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Swindon, and dispensed with Slade on Monday after just 21 games in charge.
In a brief statement, the club said it had made the decision to axe the former Leyton Orient boss “to give itself the best possible opportunity of achieving its number one priority – winning promotion to the Sky Bet Championship at the earliest opportunity”.
Ex-Southampton and Reading manager Nigel Adkins has been linked with the job but the bookies’ odds-on favourite, is unheralded Northern Irish coach Chris O’Loughlin.
The 38-year-old has been spotted at recent Charlton matches and last season spent a brief period in charge of Sint-Truiden, where Addicks owner Roland Duchatelet is majority shareholder.
But many fans on Twitter have been less than impressed with O’Loughlin’s potential arrival, comparing it to the so-called ‘network’ appointments of Jose Riga, Bob Peeters, Guy Luzon and, in particular, Karel Fraeye, who arrived with little managerial experience.
And some called for the protests aimed at Duchatelet and chief executive Katrien Meire – which have included throwing beach balls, balloons and small balls on to the pitch during matches – to be ramped up if O’Loughlin is appointed.
If Chris O’Loughlin is appointed the new Charlton manager the protests are gonna be off the scale. The board should tread carefully #cafc
— Alex Rogans (@RogDog_CAFC) November 14, 2016
— Paul Garland (@londonpaul82) November 14, 2016
If this O’Loughlin guy is appointed then the protests need to be ramped up to a whole new level, this cannot continue #cafc
— Alex Rowe (@alexroweee) November 14, 2016
I swear Roland better not be planning to appoint Chris O’Loughlin from St Truiden. If he does then there needs to be a massive boycott #cafc
— Nicola Selby (@selbs90) November 14, 2016
Anyone who is boycotting – make sure you’re at The Valley for the next home game if O’Loughlin is appointed. This needs to escalate. #cafc
— Glenn Southam (@GlennSoutham) November 14, 2016
I’m sorry, if O’Loughlin appointed, he has to get stick from day 1, another network puppet that deserves no support @CAFCofficial
— David Powell (@powelldavid9) November 14, 2016
Agree with people saying if it’s O’Loughlin we don’t “give him a chance”. Enough already. #cafc
— Rick Everitt (@airmanbrown) November 14, 2016