BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton have the third highest budget in League One, according to owner Thomas Sandgaard – who has outlined the role he hopes to play in the Addicks’ future success.
The South Londoners sit 16th in League One after a frustrating campaign but Danish-American businessman Sandgaard says he has ambitions to fulfil the Addicks’ potential.
“This season I increased the budget on the football side,” Sandgaard told BBC Radio London.
“I’m spending the third most on the footballing side of any League One club. We’ll probably be at that level going forward. I’m hoping that we can be a little smarter than those clubs who are just throwing a lot of money at it and hoping that alone will work. I hope that we can not just throw money at it but also be smart about how we are building the future on the football side. That’s my goal that we keep improving the systems and the infrastructure behind the scenes to support and that we can be smarter than the other clubs about it.
“Those ambitions are a combination of two things. The potential that Charlton as a club has with an enormous fanbase. The beautiful and fairly large stadium. The infrastructure on the training grounds and what we’re now doing with the academy to eventually move it into a category one status. The potential is there. Combine that with my general business experiences. I pretty much know what I’m capable of. Whether it’s football or any other industry, of course I can make that happen. I’m still very ambitious.
“The only thing, in some business you can get to the drawing board and plan your way out of it. If you execute well, that’s how it’s going to happen. Football has a little bit more uncertainty, but the end point is absolutely the same. The timing of it has a lot of influence by how well other clubs perform so there’s a little more uncertainty on the timing. But I’m ambitious.
“My job in all this is to make sure that I keep improving the infrastructure, keep improving the recruitment, keep improving what we do behind the scenes to statistically improve the likelihood that we get x amount of points a season. Of course, leave it up to the manager and the team so that we’re prepared for the games throughout the season as well as possible. My job is to make sure I improve the probability that we hopefully start getting an average of two points a game, that’s my goal.
“It’s very hard to get out of League One. There’s so many, not just the bigger clubs but smaller clubs as well, that have really talented players and for years have built a core of players that know each other really well. They’re hard to beat even though they are smaller clubs with smaller budgets. It’s a very tough league to get out of. Compared to just five or six years ago, I would say the quality of football in League One has improved so much it now compares to what you used to know as Championship football. It’s very entertaining and good quality football you find in League One these days.”
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