Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard: Common sense goes a long way in football – I don’t need people entrenched in the English game


Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard is confident that he doesn’t have to rely on people who are “entrenched in English football” to make the club successful.

The Danish-American businessman purchased the Valley outfit in September 2020. His first full season at the reins in SE7 have been a disappointment with the club languishing in the lower reaches of League One but Sandgaard says that the sport is not difficult to understand.

With no CEO in place, Sandgaard oversees the running of the club but he is based in the USA – tending to travel to London on a monthly basis. He has installed his son Martin as Charlton’s director of analysis, whilst Steve Gallen, who has been with the club since 2017, now operates as director of recruiting.

When asked by BBC Radio London’s Nick Godwin if he planned to bring in any further help to assist in the administration of the club, Sandgaard said: “I’m going to say something that is probably going to offend a lot of people involved in English football. Football, in general, is not that difficult. Common sense goes a long way.

Martin Sandgaard and Steve Gallen watch on as Charlton are beaten by Milton Keynes. Keith Gillard

“I’m not too worried about necessarily needing people who are already entrenched in English football. Most of what I see and hear is that there is a very limited amount of people who understand modern football – that are getting paid outrageous amounts in English football today. That’s what I’m trying to avoid, getting sucked into the good old days of English football.”

“I’d say my son Martin knows 10 times more about football than I do. But even I believe I can figure that one out. I probably qualify at the same level as someone who is watching Sky Sports football – Premier League, Championship football – and have the same kind of opinions.

“So, separating that level of understanding and yelling at the TV screen the same way as everyone else or at the stadium – let’s apply some common sense, what is really going on here? How many hours do we train? How many hours do we watch videos at the training ground? How do we prepare for the next game? A lot of that is just simple common sense and now allow my inner regular understanding of football, and how you watch it on TV, or my own experiences – having played football 45 years ago – that’s the difficult part.

“Once you are aware of not trying to get dragged into, like everyone else, emotionally then this thing is not too difficult.”


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