No midweek games since the latest defeat away to Wednesday but off the pitch, our owner has been very much to the fore.
Firstly, he had his interview on Radio London in what was to have been an hour long special on Charlton. That got curtailed as the Chelsea owner announced he was aiming to sell up before he loses his assets.
Hardly breaking news and had been on the cards for some time now and at least since Russia invaded the Ukraine. Hey, it’s Chelsea though so we couldn’t expect our little club to prevail.
Nevertheless, we did get to hear from Sandgaard. It was a wide ranging interview that pre-empted a lot of the questions that were to follow on Thursday evening’s CAST organised Q&A session.
On the wireless, we learned that Thomas thinks football is a pretty easy business. In addition, he told us that Roland managed the financial side of the club quite well!
Thomas explained that he expected to break even in the League One and that it was even more possible in the Championship.
Wonderful stuff if he can pull that off. Sadly, he seemed reliant on a very generous sponsor and the free ticket fans buying gallons of ale and consuming vast amounts of pies and pasties!
Problem is, even if they did, it still wouldn’t go far in achieving the break even dream.
In both this and the Q&A, Sandgaard referenced outdated methods that prevail in some football clubs. He is aiming for a more modern approach. Seemingly, this is one that doesn’t involve consulting with those who have a great understanding for the club and/or were integral to the club’s success in the times that preceded and coincided with our time in the Prem.
Thomas gave the politician’s answer when asked about involving Alan Curbishley. He’d spoken to Curbs but hadn’t had any conversation about that. Maybe true but the inference in the question was whether he would ask Curbs to get involved.
Clearly, he hadn’t and doesn’t intend to. Sandgaard did also say that what Curbs achieved was two decades ago as that in some way invalidated any contribution he could make now!
Clearly the owner wants to do things his way. Fair enough to a degree, he pays the bills. However, as we know normal business practices don’t apply in football and he’ll struggle in an industry that he really knows little about.
When questioned about his son Martin working at the club he informed us that he’d known him for many years! No s**t Sherlock!
In justifying his appointment, Thomas told us that he’d analysed some data in relation to his electronics company. By implication that qualified Sandgaard Jnr to do so when looking at footballers.
He cited Scott Fraser as someone who emerged as an ideal player for us after Martin had processed the data. That’ll be the same Scott Fraser who was a summer target and that the club has been after for some time! Right ho then!
There’s not time nor do I have the inclination to dissect every bit of the interview or Q&A. However, there are quite worrying aspects to what has emerged from them.
Sandgaard appears to be someone who will do things his way even if it proves to be wrong and won’t listen to the advice of others however more qualified they may be.
The plan to break even and the approach to it looks flawed to me as do other aspects of his grand scheme. We simply can’t afford for him to learn on the job.
He did say he is looking into appointing a CEO but he’s in no rush and that might take a further 2 years. Even then, it won’t be a CEO in the normal sense of the word in football.
Thomas is coming across as vain, obdurate and arrogant when it comes to running Charlton. He needs to acknowledge the shortfalls in his knowledge and skills and get folk in that can do the things he can’t and that possess more experience.
Sadly, I can’t see that happening and envisage the whole project failing. Ultimately, we may see Thomas going down with his ship, like the band playing on the Titanic, strumming his guitar whilst still singing " Addicks to Obscurity "!
I hope I’m wrong!