BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Charlton are setting their sights on automatic promotion from League One next season – and owner Thomas Sandgaard says manager Johnnie Jackson remains part of the club’s long-term plan.
The Addicks have endured a disappointing first full season under the stewardship of Sandgaard, after the Danish-American businessman took control of the club in September 2020. The Addicks sit 16th in the league table, 20 points shy of the top six and eight clear of the League One drop zone after five successive losses.
Jackson was given the reins in October following the sacking of Nigel Adkins and despite an excellent start, has overseen a downturn in results since injuries took hold over Christmas. Sandgaard clarified that Jackson’s contract lasts into next season at a minimum.
“Realistically, we’re in a situation where we’re thinking about how we prepare for next season,” admitted Sandgaard, when speaking to BBC Radio London’s Nick Godwin.
“My goal for next season is to try and be in the top two positions. I believe we have a squad that’s good enough for it. We have an infrastructure at the club that should be able to support it. As well as if we continue spending the amount of money on the squad that we have this season.
“That means that we continue to strengthen what we do behind the scenes with the infrastructure, how we support the players in terms of how to improve them etc. Integrating u23s in the first-team, etc. I’m still very confident about the long-term trajectory of the club and I think next season will be a good qualified guess for when we can shoot for automatic promotion.”
“[Jackson’s contract is] basically one and a half years with the option for the club to extend it for another year. He’s ours for the next two and a half years if we decide to keep him, put it that way. Of course, based on past experiences and how things sometimes go in English football, there’s various triggers in the contract so that if it goes really poorly it won’t cost too much to part ways with our manager.
“Johnnie is a Charlton man with all his heart and always has been. That really goes a long with the kind of dedication. He and I work well together, that also goes a long way with building this for the long-term. I think that’s an important message. Johnnie understands that as well, that this is not a short-term thing. This is a club we’re building for the long-term. Johnnie is a very important part of that.
“We’re not even talking about that, we’re already talking about the recruiting or the early stages of recruiting for next season. We’re not even talking about that, of course he’s part of the long-term plan.”
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS