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The ‘Rock n Roll Businessman’ takes over Charlton

You read the headline right, the ‘Rock n Roll Businessman’ that is Thomas Sandgaard takes over League One side Charlton Athletic on Friday.

Finally the club’s ownership issues can hopefully be put to bed now that they have said goodbye to East Street Investments (ESI) and the club can now look to endure what is expected to be a successful future.

Sandgaard, who is based out in the USA, originally born in Denmark, has been a guitarist in a band named Arsin, actually describes himself as a rock ‘n roll businessman and is certainly a wealthy man.

He is the founder of Zynex Inc, which is a multi-million dollar medical device manufacturing company.

Now his next ambition is to take the Addicks back to top flight football for the first time since being relegation from it in the 2005/06 season.

He told talkSPORT: “I’m very happy to announce to all the fans we are finally done and I am now the owner of Charlton Athletic. I am so happy.

“It is one of the biggest days of my life. It is up there with when my two kids were born.

“The support I have got from the fans through this whole process has been unbelievable.”

Explaining how the deal will work, Sandgaard continued: “I started negotiating with Duchatelet to buy the stadium but the conversation quickly turned into a rental agreement for now and that seems to be the best for all parties.

“I am renting the stadium and the training ground for the next 15 years. I have got rid of all the weird side agreements so everything is cleaned up when it comes to the club, the training ground and the stadium.

“There were many side agreements between a lot of different parties – all that got undone, everyone has signed at the same time and the EFL has approved it.

“The debt I promised Roland Duchatelet I would take on and I will deal with that. There are some people that put money in the club many years ago that I am very respectful of and I want to make sure we take good care of that.”

Charlton had their future thrown into doubt over the summer when three individuals from ESI failed the English Football League’s directors’ and owners’ test in August. Yes, someone actually FAILED that test for once.

ESI only purchased the club from Belgian man Ronald Duchatelet for just £1 in January, with an agreed deal to buy the training ground and The Valley for £50million further down the line.

Then the company’s ownership was transferred from Tahnoon Nimer to Manchester-based businessman Paul Elliott in June.

However, that application was turned down by the EFL after the three individuals failed to pass the owners’ and directors’ test.

The situation got more complex when Elliott then pursued in an injunction to prevent the club getting sold to anyone else as Sandgaard entered the picture.

That issue was resolve and now Sandgaard is taking charge, and the first steps would be to get their finances in order, be able to sign players again, and get promoted back to the Championship.

Manager Lee Bowyer has got backing from the chief in the transfer market and wants Charlton, who were a stable Premier League club for a lengthy period before relegation from the Premier League in 2007 – to compete at the very highest level of the game once again.

“I want to bring this club back to what it used to be,” vowed Sandgaard.

“It might take some time but I am willing to invest what it takes. We have some players lined up that, with the embargo lifted, we will get signed up. 

“Myself and Lee Bowyer are totally on the same page. We have spoken many times about the team and what needs to be done. I really like his style. He is one of the calmest people I know.

“What he has gone through here, it has been a really difficult job. I have a lot of respect for Lee and I am 100 per cent confident that he can take us to the level the club used to play it.

“I will not let the fans down, I can promise them that.”

Asked what his objectives for Charlton were, he replied: “Three to five years, Premier League, then less than ten years that we are solid, at least mid table.

“And in 15 years I want to make sure this club is one of the best clubs and always playing European football. That is my goal.”

Fans took to Twitter as the ‘Rock n Roll Businessman’ takes over Charlton, see what was said below…

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