Thomas Sandgaard is set to fly into the UK later this week – the Charlton Athletic owner switching his plans after Lee Bowyer’s resignation as manager earlier today.
The Addicks’ Danish owner is based in Colorado and recent visits to the capital have been made more difficult by travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bowyer, 44, is set to take charge of Birmingham City, who he played for towards the end of his career.
Asked if he had any inklings that Bowyer was set to quit after nearly three years in the Charlton hotseat, Sandgaard told the South London Press: “Well, we kind of knew that Lee was always pretty close to Birmingham – so from that perspective you could see it makes sense that it happened. But other than that, no.
“Lee and I still have a really good relationship. Lee has been a very important part of rebuilding the club on the football side. I’m very thankful what he has done up until this point. He is leaving the club in a good place for someone to build on further and that is the best you can hope for.”
Bowyer had faced criticism in some quarters of the fanbase, who felt Charlton should be better placed in the League One promotion shake up.
But Sandgaard rejected that Bowyer’s job was under threat.
“For someone like Lee Bowyer, in a position like that, you always put a lot of pressure on yourself. As well as things went shortly after I took over the club we had a little streak of games that didn’t go our way and puts pressure. I would also assume that is some self-imposed pressure to keep doing better and push the team.
“But in terms of the relationship that I had with Lee Bowyer there wasn’t ever any pressure imposed on my part. I always knew it was a rebuilding phase at the club.
“I think he got a really good offer from a Championship club and Birmingham makes a lot of sense.”
Asked if there was compensation due to Bowyer, Sandgaard replied: “I can’t reveal that at this moment in time.”
And Sandgaard still has every confidence that Charlton will not only clinch a play-off spot – but also reach the final in May.
Asked about their top-six prospects, he said: “Oh, that’s easy. I’ve already booked a flight to come over and watch us play at Wembley. I’ll also be over in the next few days, because of what’s gone on.”
PHOTO: PAUL EDWARDS
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