Charlton AthleticSport

Every word Dean Holden had to say when asked about his Charlton Athletic future

Dean Holden has confirmed he held talks with Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard yesterday.

The Addicks US-based Danish owner, who is in the UK at the moment and was at Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood, had told our paper that he was keen to discuss extending Holden’s contract.

The former Bristol City boss and Stoke City number two is only on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

And doubts about his future have been brought into sharper focus after the Charlie Methven-led group that were in takeover talks saw those negotiations ended by Sandgaard.

They issued a statement today threatening legal action over the Charlton’s owner withdrawing from negotiations.

It has since emerged that Sandgaard looks set to enter an exclusivity period with American businessman Marc Spiegel. We reported earlier today that former West Ham and Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie is set to come in as the Addicks’ CEO.

Jim Rodwell (COO), Andy Scott (technical director) and Ed Warrick (finance director) were brought in while the Methven group were locked in talks about the League One club but the trio have left their posts.

Holden told the South London Press: “I had a good chat with Thomas, I met with him yesterday. Thomas has got his reasons for what had happened in the last 48 hours. The situation for me is that it happened on a Friday, the day before a game. Now we have the Forest Green game which is 24 hours away.

“No real update. I get that there is a huge interest from our supporters as to what happened. I think it was a huge surprise for all of us on Friday. The key thing for me is keeping my mindset and focus on the team and this next game – because if I take that away and the players sniff that I’m distracted then that could feed through to the dressing room, that can’t happen.

“Irrespective of what the situation is off the pitch, whether that is something internally like this or going on in the world around the football club, my focus has to remain on the players.

“To be totally straight on it, my situation is that I’m contracted until the end of the season to the football club. The players are the same. This doesn’t affect the dressing room, so to speak, in the short term. There are players and myself out of contract in the summer.

“Thomas has mentioned about extending my contract and the club have been in touch with my representatives.

“This cannot fester into the dressing room and affect what is essentially a young squad.

“I’ve been totally honest with the players about what I’m aware of, which is not a great deal. Everything I am aware of, the players and staff are aware of because there are a lot of people at the club both at The Valley and the training ground who are perhaps a little bit apprehensive, in terms of where the club is going.

“In the real short term for me, the focus has to stay on the players.”

Asked if he would see out his contract until the end of the season, Holden said: “We have to be careful this doesn’t become about Dean Holden. It’s nice to think that supporters are concerned about whether I leave the club or not, it means they have taken to me in terms of what we’ve done in the short time at the club.

“But this is so much bigger than Dean Holden and my future, my family and my career. This is about Charlton Athletic and the future of the football club. What is happening? It is a big story, isn’t it? There has been a takeover mooted and that has all sort of changed, I suppose, in 48 hours. It’s played itself out publically. I’m aware of some of the rumours that are flying about but I’ve got no real comment to make on that. Until the club comment officially, you have to understand my position – I’m employed as the first-team manager. I know I’m the guy who has to sit at the front and answer these questions, I’m quite comfortable doing that, but I have to be a little bit careful about where my focus is and what I’m paid to talk about and what I’m not paid to talk about.

“I’m sure that once there is something official that the football club will make an official statement.”

Spiegel is the founder of Rubicon, a software company that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide.

His LinkedIn page says he is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and  is the fourth-generation in his family to work in and around the waste and recycling industry.

Spiegel has deleted a Twitter post today which was from February 7 with the emoji of a football and also someone keeping their lips sealed.

Two days before that there remains a tweet which says: “Made a move today that could turn out to be momentous. Cross your fingers.”


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