Charlton Athletic owner Thomas Sandgaard has spoken of his desire to get the club into Europe within the next 10 years during an interview with the Evening Standard, as the Addicks continue to search for a successor to Lee Bowyer.
There was one of the shocks of the League One season so far yesterday as Bowyer suddenly resigned from his post as Charlton boss after a largely successful spell in charge of the South London outfit, with the former midfielder appearing set to take charge at Birmingham City.
It leaves the Addicks searching for a new boss as they continue to fight it out for one of the four play-off spots in the third tier as they seek to make an instant return to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Ever the ambitious figure in such situations, Sandgaard has quickly outlined what he sees as a vision for the club’s future as he looks to appoint a new manager by the end of the week:
“I’m looking for someone that can continue what we started here in September. Someone that’s also going to be part of building for the future.
“Smarter, better recruiting; integrating our academy better with our first team; basically keep putting the stepping stones and building blocks in place for a club that is going to hopefully climb up through the Championship and into the Premier League, to the point where we can play European football.
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“It’s going to take nearly a decade if we do things right. I definitely want to make sure we have someone that not only has the experience but also the kind of personality so that we can collectively build the club the right way.”
In present day, Charlton currently sit eighth in the league standings with a little over 10 games left to play in the campaign, however they are just two points off the top six places at the time of writing and have some favourable fixtures to come over the next few weeks.
You can’t help but admire the boldness and confidence of Sandgaard to even contemplate getting a club of Charlton’s size and stature to Europe.
It’s clear that he is in it for the long term and these comments are sure to go down well with a fanbase that has been put through the ringer over the past 12 months.
Whoever takes on the job next will have big shoes to fill with Bowyer having left a legacy of sorts in place at the Valley before his sudden exit.
If they get it right there is no reason why they can’t start climbing the leagues in years to come and maybe, just maybe they could one day be on the European stage that their owner dreams of if all goes to plan.