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Another day of intrigue and mystery

Where to begin….

As they say, there is a lot to unpack here.

Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard today appointed four “experienced professionals in senior roles at the club.” (more)

We’ll get into the why’s and wherefore’s in a moment, but today Dean Holden (first team manager), Andy Scott (Technical Director), Jim Rodwell (Chief Operating Officer) and Ed Warwick (Finance Director) were all announced as new appointments on unknown contract lengths with immediate effect. Holden (photo) was witness to training today and will take over team affairs after tomorrow night’s Brighton game.

These roles are not new. Holden replaces Ben Garner, Scott is a replacement for Ged Roddy, Rodwell takes Brian Jokat’s long empty COO chair and Warwick replaces Emma Parker, who coincidently leaves the club at the end of this week .

I know little of Dean Holden other than he was a workmanlike right back in his playing days and did pretty well at Bristol City before getting the sack after 41 games.

The 43-year old has only managed 51 games in all, but did do that at a much higher level than Ben Garner. A snoop around t’internet will unearth various qualities in regard to his coaching abilities. He does sound someone who is knowledgeable and dignified. If you can find it he talks wholesomely of his relationship with Sam Allardyce as an example.

Andy Scott is an interesting one. A former player turned coach and then manager. He had a long association at Brentford where he returned again in 2015 working for Smartodds, the sports betting company owned by Brentford owner Matthew Benham.

This role propelled him onto many other chief scout, technical, sporting director roles at Watford, Swansea and Nottingham Forest. The common denominator being that he hasn’t stuck around for long in any of those jobs.

in October Nottingham Forest sacked Scott along with head of recruitment George Syrianos after signing 22 new players in the summer window at a cost of around £150 million. Sorry to break this to you Andy, but your budgeting goals in SE7 will be, ahem, ‘break even.’

This brings me onto the larger picture, which is about as clear as a Jackson Pollock painting.

What an earth is happening behind the scenes? Despite what Sandgaard is saying through lying gritted teeth, this must signal the end for him and his family. There is a possibility, and we know that Thomas was wrangling for this, that he retains a share of ownership, and thus saves face.

Perhaps of more scrutiny should be Ed Warwick. Listed as the only person working at a real estate investment and management company called Applegarth Partners (sic), with an amateurish website. I can’t see any football relevance except for a property development deal involving Peterborough United.

Four days ago Warwick alongside ‘Sunderland Til I Die’ prized schmuck Charlie Methven filed a new company at Companies House called SE7 Partners.

I don’t see how Warwick or Methven have any real money, despite their Eton College education.

Then that brings us to Jim Rodwell, formerly at Sunderland with Charlie Methven. Since then he has acted mostly as a transition / interim CEO at Peterborough and Hull, where he laid in wait until Turkish owners acquired them.

We can take a pause there. Anything to say Thomas? Raelynn?

Ignoring Holden, but are the other three just on board to put lipstick on the pig to sell to interesting parties. Are they even being paid by Sandgaard?

I reckon 100% Scott, Warwick and Rodwell are not Sandgaard hires, even Dean Holden’s name has been circulating in the background for a while although he looks to have no direct connection with the other three, nor Methven.

The Daily Mail are suggesting all this is a front for a consortium of Qatari and American investors. Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour has also been mentioned in dispatches.

We are literally being handed around like some Panini sticker doubles in a school playground! All this while Thomas Sandgaard denies anything is afoot whilst he scurries off to get his guitar.

Meanwhile, I hope you are still following, Peter Varney today recycled his call for a large, noisy and positive atmosphere at tomorrow’s Brighton game where Brighton fans and possible club suitors may outnumber Addicks!

Varney denies any involvement with those mentioned above, which adds more intrigue to the Cluedo Charlton Athletic Christmas Special.

Do you remember what it was like to just to turn up on a Saturday with a silk scarf tied around your wrist, eat peanuts and sing until you were hoarse win, lose or draw? Seems like centuries ago.

Back to Dean Holden, who spoke rather well in his first interview. He himself said he was waiting in the wings, and has clearly watched us play a lot. His playing intent sounds the total opposite of Sandgaard’s ‘total football’ fantasy. Good luck Dean, but excuse me if keep our relationship at arms length. I’ve been here before.

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ray Dodd #

    Last sentence sums it up.

    December 20, 2022
  2. No Pun Intended Horse,Horse 🙂
    “Do you remember what it was like to just to turn up on a Saturday with a silk scarf tied around your wrist, eat peanuts and sing until you were hoarse win, lose or draw? Seems like centuries ago.
    Ohhhh those Terracecdays….Love those memories

    December 20, 2022
  3. Chris #

    I’m now committed to watching my local amatuer football club…devoid of lying money grabbers, thankful for their fans,honest football and entertaining games.
    Bacon butty and not tea at half time and only pay £10…..
    I will follow Charlton but the club and poor and deceitful owners have driven me away.

    December 20, 2022
    • Chris #

      Entrance is £10….butty and tea £4 and my support is appreciated too.

      December 20, 2022
      • Sounds boring Chris 🙂

        December 20, 2022
        • Chris #

          Hi CA
          Last game 5-2 win….6 bookings…dog ran across the pitch…friendly staff and I could park close by.
          Boring no way….🙂

          December 20, 2022
          • Chris #

            Hi CA,
            Wishing you and the family a Happy Xmas and great 2023..

            December 20, 2022
          • Chris – likewise, happy Christmas to you and your family as well.

            December 21, 2022
  4. SW #

    The Sunderland model hoorah. Does this mean Martin and Raelynn are Gooners ?

    December 20, 2022
    • Chris #

      Hi SW…
      Surely Goners, not Gooners, we hope!

      December 20, 2022
  5. Mark #

    Yawn….. thanks for the update CA, but I remain totally under-whelmed by the merry-go-round in SE7, which remains more of a groundhog day nightmare than a positive move forward.

    Another shuffle of the pack, and I fear another step down into the division 2 basement. I wonder what the January transfer window will bring?
    It’s clear that the club needs a clear-out of (Sir) Chris Powell proportions, but there’s more chance of seeing us beating Millwall at a snowy Den than that happening…

    I am like Chris above, and am no longer prepared to travel four hours each way to watch the dross that we have been thrown since the Sandgaard band-wagon rolled into town. Premier league in 5 years? Don’t make me laugh – more like non-league football in 5 years given the inept way he runs our club and the nepotism he has shown in keeping his inexperienced family in jobs that they are more under-qualified to perform than most of our MP’s.

    At least Charlton and Washington have something in common (the City that is, not the Washington that they should never have sold last summer, one of Sandgaard’s biggest errors of judgement) – they are drowning under the amount of bull-s*** that is being produced under Sandgaard and in the Trump years!

    December 20, 2022
  6. William Brown #

    I am really at loss of what will please the cynics, especially about the demise of our club. Last week the comments were get some credible football people involved, the owner has done that and appointed a young manager with championship experience and you seem to be looking for some sinister master plan to destroy the Club. Frankly I couldn’t care less whether the new management are paid by the Club or not as long as they contribute to us avoiding relegation and getting into the play offs.

    I am no great fan of Sandgaard as he has made many fundamental mistakes but his money did save us and he at least deserves some respect for that and an opportunity to change things.

    Incidentally I have been a fan over 65 years and although the football is dire at the moment, it is not much worse than when we were in Division 3(South).

    December 20, 2022
  7. Kings Hill Addick #

    All this while Thomas Sandgaard denies anything is afoot whilst he scurries off to get his guitar.

    Fantastic! Haven’t laughed as much for a while.

    December 20, 2022
  8. Steve #

    Yeah I remember kicking through leaves in Charlton park with my grandad, silk scarf around my wrist, great ‘til your mum put it through the wash and all the writing peeled off. Remember them peanut sellers too.
    Fond memories, football was sh1te then too😐
    As for the rest nothing to do but 🤞🏼 wait and see. Orderly and honest would be nice.

    Anyway CA merry Christmas mate though I dare say they’ll be a few more words posted before then.

    December 20, 2022
    • Chris #

      I remember the peanut seller…
      Enormous sack that he could hardly carry around the East terrace….and witnessed him dropping the sack and loads of teenage fans pounced on the paper bags and running away, being chased by the seller….happy days

      December 20, 2022
      • Love it. And those half time scoreboards around the side of the pitch!

        December 20, 2022
        • Chris #

          It took most of the second half to display all the halftime scores and relate them to the chart in the programme… tannoy announcer then !!!😄😄😄😄

          December 21, 2022
          • Was there tannoy? I guess there wasn’t. I remember majorettes at half time for the big games!!

            December 21, 2022
  9. houndal #

    It does not matter how many fancy titles are introduced, how may guys are bought in on fancy retainers, ultimately who is still pulling the strings?
    Holden or anyone else has zero chance with zero investment.
    I am sure this is a holding exercise designed to try and keep us in L1, followed by TS abandoning ship in the Summer, no doubt after a few of our remaining assets are offloaded in January to pay for his wife’s Xmas.
    Of course the real issue is RD and the Valley.

    December 20, 2022
  10. houndal #

    “The fans are unhappy at the minute, I think that’s fair to say,” Holden told the club’s official website. “It’s my job to get them coming back through the turnstiles, excited to come and see a Charlton Athletic team play again.
    And if my granny had balls she would be my uncle……….

    December 20, 2022
  11. Malc Walden #

    Excellent article and a good read.
    I think, for what its worth, TS has sold but eggs are being lined up in a basket, before all becomes clear.
    Whether it’s good or bad eggs remains to be seen!

    December 21, 2022
  12. Cameron #

    Great round up, thank you.

    December 21, 2022
  13. Simon Jones #

    Methven and Sandgaard are being clearly evasive of the truth. The intriguing thing for me is why? Also what hand does PV still have to play as he echoed his call to arms for Brighton again. It’s all getting a bit game of thrones.

    December 21, 2022
  14. Have a great Christmas CA,
    My father and i have enjoyed your posts (and contributors comments!) for many years taking comfort where we can during these dark days. Latest TS announcements scream sham but we all wish nothing but the best to Dean Holden of course. The other appointments are simply very concerning. Happy Christmas all….

    December 21, 2022
  15. houndal #

    Sandgaard- I have never met Mr Methven.
    Methven – I know Thomas Sandgaard a bit ‐ I met him when Sunderland played Charlton a couple of years back and he had just taken over ownership. A few weeks ago we caught up for the first time in a while, and I advised him to hire some experienced senior execs to run the club.
    Mmm…….been there before

    December 21, 2022
    • Chris #

      I would suspect short time memory loss by TS ?…..or BS ?

      December 21, 2022
  16. JOHN F GOSS #

    Interesting comments, I wonder who’s money is being fronted, for the incoming staff. There’s something up big time.
    Looking forward for tonight’s cup match we wish the acting manager all the best and who knows there maybe a case for an upset. So it’s fingers crossed and good luck.
    It’s a happy Christmas for our new manager his staff and administrators who work so hard behind the scenes.

    December 21, 2022
  17. David Evans #

    I first went to Charlton with my dear old mum who spoke endlessly about her favourite player Sam Bartram. My dear old mum passed away recently at the ripe age of 100 years and 7 months but Dementia destroyed our lovely chats about Charlton Athletic (The Addicks she always said to me). She had one better than all of us as she saw The Addicks lift the Cup in 1947. I will continue this support of our favourite team until it is my turn to join my mum. Support the club to the bitter end and try and enjoy what we still have. Merry Xmas to all you fellow Addicks. David

    December 21, 2022
    • Fantastic David. Charlton til we die.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      December 22, 2022
  18. Shadow Play #

    The rumours that TS is looking for an investor have been circulating about for some time with a few people apparently looking at the books. Last week according to the ever reliable internet “expressions of interest” had been made in buying the club but there has of course been no official announcement. TS’s problem though is that he has dropped a lot of money into the club – including the purchase of it and the legal battles on the way, he’s down anything up to £18m and to be frank has little to show for it. He’s unlikely to be able to sell at a break-even for him and one suggestion is that he will retain a large but minority stake, presumably he’s playing the long-game here, that his stake will be worth something in a few year’s time.

    Charlie Methven doesn’t have the money to buy the club – he was only a minority shareholder in Sunderland (I think he held 6%) and that experience surely has put him off buying League One clubs with potential but in reality are money pits, so it’s likely that he’s a middle man and the company, SE7 Ventures or whatever it’s called is the trading name of his consultancy or it could be a shell company formed to buy CAFC or part of it and then reverse the club into it if a deal goes through.

    Then we have the appointment of Dean Holden etc, if a deal is imminent then I would expect TS to get approval from the investor/buyer to bring him in and make the other appointments.

    I think we’ll know something soonish. I’m not bothered about what TS has to say about buyers etc, he’s an astute businessman who has made his money from nothing so he knows the value of a few white lies here and there. Put it this way, any announcement that he’s selling part/all of the club might be a bit premature and potentially could wreck the deal.

    December 21, 2022

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