Charlton AthleticSport

Thomas Sandgaard told he needs to make ‘major change’ to be a successful owner of Charlton Athletic

Thomas Sandgaard has been told that he needs a “major change” in the way he is running Charlton Athletic.

That is the verdict of Rick Everitt, the editor of Voice of The Valley fanzine. The popular publication has published for the final time this month, nearly 35 years after the first issue.

Everitt has covered the reigns of nine chairmen in that time.

Sandgaard acquired the football club in September 2020 with Roland Duchatelet still owning The Valley and training ground.

The US-based Dane said in March that he expected to lose £8million in the 2021-22 campaign and that he was shifting strategy to a model that will eventually see them break even.

Charlton did not pay a fee for transfers this summer but are believed to have had a 20 per cent sell-on in their former keeper Nick Pope’s move from Burnley to Newcastle.

“Thomas Sandgaard is in trouble because I don’t think his approach to running the club can ever be successful,” said Everitt. “I don’t think you can cut your way to success. The club can’t break even in League One and it’s naive to think that it can.

Charlton Athletic v Oxford United SkyBet League One, The Valley, 01 October 2022
Picture : Keith Gillard

“If you base your approach on trying to make the business sustainable, on the one hand, you won’t succeed in that. And, on the other hand, you need to take advice from people with more experience of English football, and England generally, in order to make better decisions.

“So if he wants to remain the owner and he’s not prepared to burn through many millions of pounds, he’s going to have to change direction. Are his pockets deep enough for what’s required?

“He does deserve credit for retrieving the club from ESI and recognising that he has spent money. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse him of being tight.

“His intentions for the club are aligned with those of supporters but I don’t think his methodology is likely to get him where he wants to be.

“He’s got to make a major change in direction if he is to continue as owner and I don’t know if he is capable of doing that.”


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