The Valley could host large concerts next summer, Charlton Athletic owner says

Rainbow at The Valley
Thomas Sandgaard hopes concerts will bring crowds to The Valley

Charlton Athletic’s owner Thomas Sandgaard has revealed that The Valley could stage large concerts next summer – the first since 2006.

The Danish-American businessman revealed his plans to put the stadium back on the musical map in an interview with Masthead, a magazine published by the South East London Chamber of Commerce.

The Valley’s last big gig was a performance by Elton John 16 years ago, but back in the 1970s, the stadium – which then boasted the vast East Terrace – hosted two huge shows by The Who, drawing tens of thousands of fans. The second concert, in May 1976 with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and Little Feat among the support acts, was recorded as the world’s loudest, with the sound reaching 120 decibels.

Any new show will not be as big and is very unlikely to be as loud – but Sandgaard, a rock musician who has written his own song for Charlton, Addicks to Victory, told the magazine he was looking forward to hosting the shows.

“This fits in with my background and I am really excited that we will stage some great events at The Valley,” told the magazine.

Last year the club revealed plans to host a Queen tribute show for 1,700 people, but nothing came of the proposal.

Sandgaard bought Charlton nearly two years ago after a turbulent spell under the eccentric Belgian businessman Roland Duchâtelet, whose botched sale to the East Street Investments consortium nearly put the club out of business. Duchâtelet still owns The Valley as well as the club’s training ground in New Eltham.

With the club still languishing in League One, Sandgaard’s ownership has come under scrutiny after his decision to fire team manager Johnnie Jackson in May.

Jackson was replaced five weeks later by Ben Garner from Swindon Town, who has brought over key staff and players from the League Two club, with Sandgaard demanding a more attack-minded style of football.

Sandgaard – who owns the hospital equipment company Zynex Medical – told Masthead that he saw Charlton as a “turnaround challenge”.

“In many ways a football club is like any other business,” he said. “I have been involved with many turnarounds before. It is about getting the right people on board and the right culture in place.”

Fans will get a chance to see Garner’s team at The Valley on Saturday when they play Swansea City in a friendly, with tickets on sale now.

This season The Charlton Champion will carry reporter Kevin Nolan‘s dispatches from selected home games, beginning with the match against Derby County on August 6.


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