CAST applauds Charlton’s new owner Thomas Sandgaard for his generous and imaginative gesture of putting up for raffle one of the now-infamous club Range Rovers as part of a campaign to highlight the importance for change in regulations around owning a football club.
The competition, open to anyone in England, Wales and Scotland, will see one individual drive off with a top-of-the-range vehicle, which cost more than £90,000.
CAST board member Lauren Kreamer joined supporters Lewis Catt and Ben Hayes at The Valley to launch the initiative.
Lauren said it was "symbolic of the change for us finally to be invited to have a dialogue and be involved as fans"
CAST issued the following press release:
Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust applauds generosity and symbolism of club’s Range Rover giveaway
Today Charlton Athletic announced that fans purchasing match streaming passes for £10 between now and Christmas will go into a draw to win a Range Rover. This stunt goes beyond seasonal goodwill and has significant symbolism behind it for Addicks fans.
At the start of 2020 new owners East Street Investments (ESI) came into Charlton, promising the world to long-suffering fans. Within weeks it all fell apart. Not only did fans discover that the club had been placed under a transfer embargo, but also that the new owners had been lavishly spending the club’s money on a fleet of high-spec Range Rovers as well as rental of a luxury Thameside apartment. “Fans were aghast at the greed,” says CAST Chair Richard Wiseman.
The saga rumbled on, with reports and sightings of the Range Rovers in the possession of various of the protagonists in the ownership shenanigans.
Following Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover of Charlton Athletic at the end of September, the vehicles have been repossessed by the club and now one of them is the prize in the “Our Club, Your Car” fans’ raffle. “Fans feel a sense of ownership and pride in the club and detest how we were taken for a ride by ESI,” continued Wiseman. “Thomas Sandgaard has not only talked a good game but backed it up with clear actions to demonstrate that he has the best interests of the club and fans in his heart. Some might see the giveaway of one of the fabled Range Rovers as a mere publicity stunt. However, for Addicks it symbolises so much more – a real sense of togetherness between the football club’s fans and owner and a clear sign that the club is now rid of the cast of ‘dubious characters’. When Sandgaard arrived on the scene, some heralded him as a knight in shining armour. Perhaps we should now think of him as Father Christmas!”
CAST shares Sandgaard’s view that more needs to be done at a football governance level to ensure that clubs can never suffer the kind of ownership mess which Charlton Athletic has recently endured.
Journalist Benjy Nurick's excellent report of the launch can be read here:
Plus, following on is another brilliant offering in the shape of an article about Sasa Ilic.