Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic owner on his plans to appoint CEO – and why they don’t need to have football background

Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard will look to appoint a chief executive but adds that he is in no rush to fill the position.

The US-based Dane has also claimed that he does not expect them to have a major background in football.

The Addicks have not had a chief executive since Katrien Meire stepped down at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Ged Roddy was appointed by Sandgaard shortly after his acquisition of the football club but left in December 2021.

There was a reshuffle with Sandgaard’s son Martin installed as director of analysis with Steve Gallen, previously director of football, seeing his title change to director of recruiting.

Charlton’s struggles in the league have seen some supporters call for a chief executive to be brought in.

Sandgaard, who did a Q&A session with Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust earlier this week, said: “There are still so many things around the club that need to be turned around and I feel that my business experiences, I wouldn’t want to leave that to someone.

“I don’t think if we hired a CEO it would be someone with prior football knowledge or, if it is, that could be marginal.

“I want this to run like a real business – not in the money but in the entertainment industry. Our most important product is obviously the football, that has to click really well.

“It’s my job to make sure we do that, with the help of the right staff – including a local CEO who can be around and catch some of the weirdness and bad habits that are still taking place at the club. They can catch it and correct it, faster than I can do remotely.

“I’m very confident about my own abilities and my own understanding of football.

“Of course I get a lot of criticism for not coming into football a traditional way – but that doesn’t mean I don’t get it.

“I can tell you that I’m softly having conversations about it. To find the right person. This is too important of a club, too important of a job just to leave it to whoever was the best candidate on a final list. That’s not going to happen. I usually don’t operate that way.

“When we find the best one – that could be six months or it could be two years from now – it will probably be someone who has a lot less to do with the football side and needs to do a lot with the football side. That’s probably going to be the make-up. But let’s see, it depends on who the person is – what kind of quality they come with.

“But it’s not something I’m rushing. It’s part of rebuilding the club, of course it is.”

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