Friday 13 May 2022

Better Than Roland!

It’s now 10 days since Thomas removed Jackson. The general feeling, not least given credit by Junior’s comment to Washington, is that has been on the cards for some time.

It’s puzzling therefore, as to why we seem no nearer appointing the new manager than on Tuesday 3rd May.

In the meantime, several players have been released with others in negotiation. The big question is who is sanctioning these deals and rubber stamping the decisions?

Presumably not the new manager as they have yet to be appointed. That must mean it is a combination of the Sandgaards, Senior and Junior. Don’t forget Junior’s trusty laptop with its wizzo programme and his recruitment system that has blown everyone (well, daddy), away!

Steve Gallen we’re told is now reduced to the role of contract negotiating so he merely is an interested onlooker.

Given Thomas spends most of his out of the country and with the club devoid of a CEO (as well as a manager) it all comes down to Junior calling the shots.

It’s a nightmare scenario that sees someone who has no relevant football experience and wouldn’t get a job at any other league club making decisions that are so integral to any potential success next season.

It’s never been more important to strike whilst the iron’s hot (the use of that phrase in light of the need for a pressing game is entirely deliberate!). However, we seem to be on the back foot and directionless.

It’s hard to see any player wanting to sign as long as they don’t know who the new manager is. In fact, if Thomas cocks it up they still might not want to when they do!

The Sandgaard apologists are forever referencing his saving of the club. That goodwill can only last so long and the further we get into his ownership then he rightfully comes under increasing scrutiny.

The other popular refrain of those keen to defend Thomas come what may is that he’s better than Roland. Really? Is that how high we’ve set the bar?

For those that chose to shield our owner from any criticism this is the fallback option. That and he’s the owner, he can spend his money and do whatever he likes.

I have deep concerns over Thomas and his intransigent approach to all aspects of managing the club. He clearly feels that what has made him a successful businessman can be applied to the world of football.

I wish there some examples of where other entrepreneurs had got it so badly wrong when attempting to run football clubs in such a manner! 

That stubborn refusal to seek or listen to advice from others is infuriating as it is na├»ve. 

Sandgaard doesn’t help himself with the silly self-promotion and his propensity to exaggerated and fatuous comments. His lack of self-awareness means that these show no sign of stopping anytime soon. 

I can’t see him or the situation changing as it requires a u-turn of seismic  proportions. One can hear echoes of Thatcher just thinking about it! 

This most crucial of summers and off season activity has started badly with the clock ticking away with little to reassure Addicks’ fans. 

Let’s hope things take a turn for the better soon or maybe we’ll have another addition to the long list of failed owners of our beloved football club.  


Wednesday 4 May 2022

To The Premiership and Beyond!

Yesterday’s news of Jackson’s departure was something of a shock even by recent Charlton standards.

In recent weeks I was feeling that Jackson had lost the spark that he had in the caretaker period. That, allied to his apparent refusal to change systems at any time, made me think that we could expect much of the same if he remained in charge.

The football hasn’t been great since he was made permanent despite the awful transfer windows, I did feel the manager ought to be getting more out of an above average League One squad.

I’m really disappointed that it ended this way and that things didn’t work out for Jackson. Like nearly all CAFC fans I so wanted him to do well and be a real success.

His status as an absolute legend of our club remains of course. Johnnie bore the brunt of the worst of times under Duchatelet’s reign conducting himself in a diplomatic and professional manner at all times.

My feelings in respect of the departure of Skiverton are those of indifference. I really fail to see what he brought to the party. I’d go so far as to say that he only had a negative effect on the club as I could see no improvement or change in any aspect of our play.

Should we now be excited by the prospect of a new manager with a clean slate and fresh approach? Not when one considers who is doing the hiring and firing.

Sandgaard still bangs on about what a wonderful job Martin is doing. Amazingly for someone with no experience or exposure to league football he has revamped the recruitment process. It’s now excellent apparently!

Really? Are we expected to swallow that BS? His CV boasts managing a team of 80 people in a completely different industry yet wonderboy has taken to it like a duck to water!

In about 19 months of ownership Thomas is now seeking his fourth manager. He has dismissed Bowyer, hired and fired both Adkins and Jackson plus Skiverton. He has hired and fired Roddy too.

Mick Everett, Chris Parkes and groundsman Nathan Chapman have all departed too. This may or may not be as a result of Sandgaard but they have happened during his tenure in an indirect manner.

Not great on the recruitment front is he? In any line of business that’s pretty awful. We often wonder who is advising him but I’m starting to think that he just makes these decisions himself, thinking he knows best.

With every utterance he exposes more and more of his true self. The most recent being that he feels qualified to demand a certain style of play. Hmmm, how about leaving that to the manager who will assess the group of players he has and deploy the formation and tactics that suit them best?

We’ve had a fair old collection of gems from Sandgaard…..blowing the league out of the water, football is easy, 5 years to the Prem and beyond, Addicks to Victory, clean sheet wins and my favourite, Premier League ready! All of those look increasingly silly with each passing day.

Sandgaard has made mistakes which is acceptable if you learn from them. Sadly, he doesn’t and in reality he’s a stubborn fool who refuses to listen to advice in an area where he has little knowledge or experience. The absence of a CEO is shining example of this.

Initially, Thomas was looked upon as our saviour and to a degree he still has some credit in the bank. Many of us were happy to indulge him with the guitar, awful song that we still suffer, parading round the pitch etc.

We should have known then his apparent motives for buying the club. Let’s remember that’s all he does own as the Valley and training ground are still in the hands of the Belgian.

It just seems to be a vanity project that affords him some time in the limelight where he courts popularity and attention.

I believe he has another manager lined up as I don’t think that even he is as stupid to go into the summer without someone in place. Based on unsubstantiated rumour, I understand that allegedly that person has already had a say on recruitment.

If so, that would explain Jackson’s post match comments, his demeanour on Saturday and the overall performance of the team. I suspect he was hinting at the uncertainty of the players futures in that many already knew they wouldn’t be retained.

Opinion on Jackson’s dismissal is divided amongst the fan base and although may be a correct decision, Sandgaard has heaped pressure upon himself by so doing.

He faces a real backlash from fans if he doesn’t get it right in all areas of the club. Thomas has also heaped pressure on Martin as he will come under increasing scrutiny. As someone observed recently, would Martin be employed by any other League One club? As rhetorical questions go that’s a cracker!

I suspect the Charlton Live team were looking forward to a quiet summer break. In view of what lies ahead, the podcast might even merit becoming a daily one!

As Fergie might say……..”Charlton eh? bl**dy hell!”