Charlton owner Sandgaard tells new boss Nigel Adkins he's 'already booked his flights' for the play-off final

CHARLTON owner Thomas Sandgaard told new boss Nigel Adkins: “Get us up — I’ve already booked my flight for the play-off final.”

Dane Sandgaard, a keen rock guitarist, is recording with his band in Colorado for an album he hopes to release this year.

But, before that, he wants to see the Addicks back in the Championship.

Adkins tomorrow takes charge of his first game since replacing Lee Bowyer as they visit Wimbledon, with Charlton sitting in sixth.


Asked what he would prefer first, promotion or to complete his album, Sandgaard said: “Since I’ve already booked my flight for the League One play-off final at Wembley, we better get promoted before I finish the album!

“I’m not the most patient of people, so I’d really like both done this year.”

On a Zoom chat with Adkins and myself, Sandgaard repeated his appeal to his new manager. No pressure, Nigel.

The former Southampton chief was cautious in front of his boss. He said: “It’s great — but you have to be realistic as well.

“It’s good to set goals, to be positive and have ambitions. We are working towards something and are passionate about it.”

Sandgaard has made it no secret he also wants to return Charlton to the Premier League after a 14-year absence.

Since I’ve already booked my flight for the League One play-off final at Wembley, we better get promoted before I finish the album!

Adkins established himself as Sandgaard’s No 1 choice. The fact that he took Southampton from League One to the Prem, as well as guiding Scunthorpe into the Championship, impressed. Adkins admitted: “I want to manage in the Premier League again, the ambition matches mine.

“All the building blocks are there — and in the meantime we hope to win a few games.

“We want to develop our own players, which is important.

“And we want to connect with the supporters — they have been through such a lot.

“This season we have got ten games, and if we can keep the ball out of the net at one end and score at the other, then you never know what can happen.”

Sandgaard, who bought the club in the summer, says that Bowyer’s departure was not a hammer blow.

He added: “Lee did a great job in difficult circumstances.

“We have to acknowledge that and I wish him only the best at Birmingham. But, for the club and the team, losing him wasn’t a really big blow.

“That is because the squad is in a good place right now.”

Sandgaard has been quietly working behind the scenes to strengthen on and off the field.

And that was shown by him purchasing the Charlton Athletic women’s team, to bring it under the club’s umbrella for the first time since 2007.

This week, he appointed former Tottenham boss Karen Hills to manage a team that will be going full time in July.

He said: “For me, it’s all about making improvements on the inside. To the training ground, all the medical improvements — now the first-team boss and coaches.

“Not only was it the right thing to bring the ladies’ team back to the club — but women’s football happens to be taking off right now, so it makes commercial sense as well.”

Thomas is good. His heart is in the right place and he has a vision for the club

Adkins has been impressed with how Sandgaard has brought energy to a club that had been so badly lacking it.

He added: “Thomas is good. His heart is in the right place and he has a vision for the club.

“You don’t need to complicate things, just keep it simple.

“We can build now that I am here to support him and I know he is here to support us. ‘We’re all together’ is the message.”

So does Adkins share Sandgaard’s passion for rock music?

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He grinned: “I’m sure Thomas will sit down and tell me all about it, I’ll let him lead.”

Sandgaard jumped in and said: “I’ll get Nigel to play the drums!”

Watch out, I do not think he is joking either, Nigel!

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