Open letter to Thomas Sandgaard

This letter was sent to Thomas Sandgaard and Charlton Athletic FC on Thursday morning:

4 May 2023

Dear Thomas

We are writing on behalf of our members and Charlton fans in general to seek clarity regarding your intentions for the club in the short and medium term. This is especially important at a time when the club is asking fans to buy season tickets for 23/24.

From news reports it seems that the bid led by Marc Spiegel is no longer progressing and that you have rejected a further recent bid from the consortium including Charlie Methven.

Are you still actively seeking to sell or seeking investment in the club?

You have publicly stated that you wanted to move the club closer to financial breakeven yet the club continues to lose significant money every season. If you do not sell the club in short order, what are your targets for next season, both financially and on the pitch?

Peter Storrie stated at the March Fans’ Forum that the plan will be to put a squad together to push for top six whether under your ownership or new ownership. What is your timeline to agree a budget / plan with Dean Holden regarding player retention or release and squad rebuilding as we enter the key phase of the post season? He has asked publicly for clarity.

When we spoke last autumn you stated that you would keep Miles Leaburn as his value would only increase given his talent. Is this still your intention if you remain as owner?

We note that you are selling shares in Zynex. Does this have any bearing on your intentions regarding CAFC?

Will you retain Peter Storrie in position as CEO until or unless a takeover happens?

Can you provide assurances to fans that you will continue to meet funding obligations and pay CAFC bills in a timely fashion while you remain as owner?

Will you make yourself available for an online Fans’ Q&A? Please advise dates that suit within the next couple of weeks and we will arrange.

Yours sincerely

Heather McKinlay

Chair on behalf of Charlton Athletic Supporters’ Trust


The club issued the following statement from Peter Storrie on Thursday afternoon:

On the takeover...

“I can understand why supporters are concerned based on the things they read, but they shouldn’t believe everything they read in the papers. The facts are, as we said from day one, that these things take time and you can’t rush a takeover. As far as we’re concerned as a club and in discussions I’ve had regularly with Thomas [Sandgaard, Owner], things are ongoing. The original party, Marc Spiegel’s, is still ongoing and that may well conclude, but there are other parties that have shown an interest that Thomas is talking to. At this moment in time things remain the same and Thomas remains the owner of the club. Over the course of who knows how long things could change, but at the moment things are as they are and we continue to talk to the various parties.”

On what that means for the day-to-day running of the club in the meantime...

“It means you’ve got to put up with myself for a little bit longer! My so-called six weeks is into three months and who knows how long it will now be. All those things are going to remain the same and I will be in place running the business. With all the parties we’ve been speaking to, we’ve had exactly the same message that we need to get this club into the top six next season. Therefore, the budget has been increased on the players side and the targets are there. Dean [Holden, Manager] and I, along with Steve Gallen [Director of Recruiting], are working hard towards putting those together and it doesn’t matter what happens on the ownership side; this is the way is club going forward and fans should be well aware of that. Obviously for legal reasons we can’t name the players we’re looking to sign before July 1st, but we’re well advanced in the squad that we’re putting together with the simple aim of making sure that this club is, at the very minimum, challenging for the top six next season.”

On ongoing talks impacting this summer’s plans...

“It’s not impacting it one little bit. As I’ve said the targets are there, we’re working on them and we’ve increased the budget to allow us to do that. Nothing will change those ways; we have a determined manner of getting into this top six next season. We need the fans to support us and we need to improve in all areas, on the field and off the field. We need more people coming and watching the games which we hope, with success and if we can get off to a winning start next season, will happen. Be assured we will be bringing in new players. We’re working at the moment on contracts for players that we want to retain and obviously those that we don’t want to retain will be announced once the season ends.”

On how an increased budget will work with Thomas and potential new owners...

“Exactly the same - those discussions about the budget have been exactly the same. Effectively the budget for next season has been agreed and therefore that incorporates the increase in player costs, so we can bring in the players that we want to bring in next season to strengthen what has already been a good finish to the season. People have seen a big improvement in the team over the last couple of months and I think they’ve seen the full influence of Dean now - how well he works and what he’s trying to put together. Obviously our role now is to enhance that for next season and replace the players that are out of contract and just make the team stronger and stronger to challenge next year.”

On whether fans should expect to lose some of our better, young players in the summer...

“It’s fantastic for the club to see those players. In the last game there were a number of academy lads in the squad and that’s fantastic for the club going forward. If you look at the other U21s and U18s there’s a real chain coming through now of very, very good prospects for the future. Will we sell players? No, that's not the intention of the club to do so. We want to keep our best players to challenge for the top six. It’s like anything in football; if someone comes in with an absolutely ridiculous offer for a player - and it would have to be a ridiculous offer - then obviously we would have to look at it, but, no, the intention is that we’re building the squad, not selling the squad.”

On his message to supporters...

“My message is that, at the club here, we're all very positive and we’re looking forward to next season already. I can fully understand that it’s been a difficult season for supporters. I hope that they will look at the last few months and look at how strongly the team has finished. The club have made their moves already in appointing Dean Holden and giving new contracts to players. We’ve enhanced Dean’s coaching staff as well going forward and all those are positive moves that the fans should look at. I hope that they will support us next season. Our aim is a real simple one, no matter who owns this club: it’s for a top-six finish that has already been approved by everybody that’s had discussions with the club. My aim now is to try and produce that for you - the fans - and the club.”