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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.

The BBC Radio London interview.

The CAST Zoom call minutes.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great Post CA but come on Math, Math ?? for heavens sake you are still English – its either Maths or Mathematics but never Math

    March 8, 2022
    • Haha. Believe me it is one of my most American grammatical annoyances, but I was quoting Thomas.

      Always Maths AA.

      March 8, 2022
  2. While I take your point and that of other fans.

    However, it would seem the majority of football league clubs are entrenched with football people and where has it got them?

    More or less every year the same clubs can be seen scrapping away for survival with few exceptions. So, despite the so called football know how, it doesn’t guarantee success far from it!

    Possibly one of the few exceptions is to be taken over by an oil rich Sheik who buys up all the best players in the world and has them warming the bench so as to be ready for all situations.

    I agree you can’t fault Thomas’s enthusiasm and ambition and maybe his approach won’t work either but I think we may get a better idea of whether it will or not, will be the summer transfer window and how we start next season.

    March 8, 2022
  3. Charlton Lane Dave #

    Spot on as usual CA. Thomas really needs to get some stuff right in the next few months or he will risk devaluing his rightly vaunted takeover. He needs to stop blame shifting and certainly not continue to challenge the record of those who gave us so much success in the PL days. He also needs to get a grip on this ticketing nonsense. It won’t make much difference to the numbers this season – the team have seen to that, but he doesn’t want ongoing hostility when he markets season tickets. He has painted himself into a corner with those as well given the free-for-all this season. As for the Summer recruitment, all I can say is that I hope Gallen and Jackson are leading this.

    March 8, 2022
  4. Robert Anderson #

    Good summary of how many see Thomas just now.

    March 8, 2022
  5. Daggs #

    Good post Chig. If only TS would take a (huge) slice of humble pie and employ people who know how to run a football club.

    March 9, 2022

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