Knowing math, and knowing football
This Blog has often questioned Thomas Sandgaard’s grasp of football club ownership. It’s never questioned his intentions, his enthusiasm nor his business acumen. I would also say too much communication is far better than none at all. Thomas meet Roland.
If you listened to Zynex’s recent investor call (I did as I am a shareholder, which so far hasn’t proven to be one of my most astute investments), then Thomas can come across as a driven single minded head of a company and entrepreneur.
There’s a lot of I and not many we’s, and Sandgaard is unusual in my experience of being the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of a publicly owned company.
Thomas has been hugely successful but Zynex is a company that he started. He invented, developed, distributed and built facilities to manufacture products and hired experts to grow product and sales. It’s an impressive story.
However Thomas’ understanding, insight and experience in running an English football club is light years from owning a medical technology company. I admire that he takes time out to communicate his plans and ideals, and although he often looked uncomfortable during the Q&A, to his credit he never shirked a question. The CAST team of Heather, Heather, Sam and Richard were once again excellent moderators too.
Nonetheless I cringe when Thomas talks about attacking midfielders and playing with wing backs. I don’t expect Jacko or even Curbs in their cursory and polite conversations tell Thomas the advantages of one stroke rehabilitation product over another.
Rick Everitt and Peter Varney have already driven a bus through Thomas’ comments about operating losses pre 2014 of £100m and the Dane’s “reading of math.”
His continual use of Brentford as his model club goes against everything he is seemingly trying to do regarding gaining Category 1 status for the academy. and by the way I was confused to these new buildings that the first team are being moved to. If I wasn’t driving during the call I would have asked for more clarification of that.
His white-washing of the summer transfer window doesn’t do him any favours, nor suggesting that Martin Sandgaard unearthed the hidden diamond that is Scott Fraser.
Thomas did apologize for the desultory distribution of free tickets, although I think the same thing happened on Saturday. I am fully behind filling The Valley, but any football fan will tell you that there is nothing like a committed and winning team to get you queuing up for a ticket. Food and mascots don’t really cut it.
Despite the bravado and the confidence Thomas’ lack of knowledge and understanding of delivering football club excellence and strategy should concern us all at this point.
Yet, I wish he would be more open to those with experience and sensitivities of what it will take on and off the pitch to build the club practically and shrewdly.
I don’t believe for a minute that Thomas does not have Charlton Athletic’s best interests at heart, and I want to thank him again for showing up when all looked lost as the guitar carrying knight in shining armour. I do shiver though still knowing that the major assets of the football club are still in Roland Duchatelet’s hands.
Listening, learning always, talking less and surrounding oneself with the most knowledgeable and intelligent advisors, and not just family members, goes a long way to build culture, foundation and a path to success. That’s true of any business as it is in the very different business world of English football club ownership.