Saturday 25 March 2023

Pray for Spiegel

Earlier this week, another scurrilous rumour was spread on social media that Marc Spiegel's bid was in trouble as one or more of his backers had pulled out. It looked very much like another whisper from Charlie 'disgruntled' Methven.

Within 24 hours we had statements from both Marc Spiegel and Thomas Sandgaard that the rumour was another lie and that the bid remained on track with all of the backers in place.

We have become finely tuned as Charlton fans to trust no-one and largely that has proven to be the best course of action over the last eight years. Thomas Sandgaard brought some much needed stability. He got rid of the cling-ons and put a hefty sum in an escrow account to quarantee the first year or more finances. He also increased the playing budget and invested some money in new players in his first couple of windows. Unfortunately he was ill-advised (involving his clueless son) and we ended up wasting money on the likes of MacGillivray, Kirk and Jaiyesimi as well as expensive loanees like Souare, John and Arter. Since then the novelty has worn off for Sandgaard and he has been in full retreat for 18 months. He stopped paying for any players and has trimmed the wage budget. He has also made it clear his new priority was cost-cutting not league position. 

We saw the not-so-subtle Methven consortium scratching around to fund their New Year takeover and eventually see their deal cancelled by Sandgaard. He may well have had a better offer from Marc Speigel but the facts are that Methven was nearly a month late and seeding rumours designed to get fans on Sandgaard's back. The notion that Sandgaard was holding out for 2% more stake and that two billionaires were so appalled by his behaviour that they threatened to pull out was laughable as has subsequently been proven.

It would appear that Marc Spiegel alone doesn't have the sort of wealth we need to acquire the football club and to have a serious go at promotion. That seems to be the reason there are fans already declaring him another wrong-un and a time-waster. Spiegel has acknowledged he has others behind him with more money. He is also clearly not a grifter in the shape of Southall, Nimer, Farnell or Elliott. So I am inclined to believe that he has an honest interest in sport (as his background suggests) and that he is genuinely excited about the possibility of having a go in owning a UK-based football club (as his over-excited early Tweets demonstrated).

There is still a way to go before Sandgaard hands over control but he must be increasingly desperate to get out of the driving seat and let someone else foot the bill. I wouldn't be surprised either, if the Spiegel deal sees him out of the club completely. I am convinced his motivation for a retaining a share was partly because he wasn't get what he was asking for the club as well as a face-saving move after all his initial bravado and promises.

We will have to see what the Spiegel deal brings, what their plan is and just how quickly they move to execute it. It could also be under-whelming, of course, but you would have to believe that anyone paying millions (£10m?) to acquire the club, would be pretty confident of not falling into the Sandgaard trap?

On that basis, I want the deal done and am keeping my fingers-crossed that they have the backing needed to have a good go. Ideally we would want the club reunited with the assets but Duhcatelet remains an obstacle and our priority, I would suggest, is promotion.

1 comment:

  1. A well balanced view as usual, we live in hope.


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