As we sit kicking our heels waiting for the new dawn I found myself a bit bored of all the rumour and conjecture. The devil makes work for idle thumbs and so I decided to have a look into what the fit and proper persons test actually means and whether there is any likelihood that we could all be left with egg on our faces.
Firstly, while it may be an inconvenience to us as we wait for news, the FPP test is there to protect us as fans. There have been a number of clubs who have suffered by ruthless psychopaths who have come in and sold off land and walked away with a quick buck. It also prevents anyone who has presided over two administrations in football from ballsing up another club. That is good news for fans and given the speed at which the takeover was announced we can probably wait for the test to make sure we’re alright.
The second thing to note is that the FFP test comes into play when someone owns or is going to buy 30% of the club. This tells us that Stewart Donald is indeed the main man. There may be others in the wings with him, but he will be calling the shots.
From what I have read of his time at Eastleigh and his twitter responses that may be no bad thing. The man seems to get what it’s like to be a football fan. Lord knows he has seen Oxford go through turmoil. When he gets the Mackem bug he won’t know what has hit him. If we were in the Premier League then anyone who owned more than 10% would also have to go through the test, but we aren’t. Some may see that as a risk but in all honesty if we get to the point that 10% shareholders need to go through FPP then we’re doing alright so I’m comfortable with that.
So, what are they going to be looking at as part of the FFP test? Well, there are a number of reasons why you could fail. Not all of them linked to cash. One of them is a criminal conviction for something involving dishonesty. Essentially fraud. The Don seems squeaky clean on that front and in fact runs an insurance company. That industry has its own checks and measures, so I would assume we are absolutely fine there.
Given that The Don has written off £10m in Eastleigh I would assume he is nowhere near filing for bankruptcy. That’s another test. So, we should get a big green tick against that one.
The one area where we have some unsolved ground is around ownership of another club. We know The Don owned Eastleigh. We have heard he has sold them. I wonder how quickly that sale could have gone through. If the sale has completed, then I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t have a new owner but that may be the one issue that is holding us back at the moment.
Whether or not he is the right man remains to be seen, but other than owning another club I can see no reason why the path ahead of The Don’s march to the Stadium of Light should be obstructed. He has promised competitive budgets next season and to be honest that is all we could ever hope for realistically. We may not be oil rich or have an oligarch, but we may just have a man who understands football, understands the fans, has a plan and is fit and proper. The age of honesty and openness may be our new dawn. I’ll raise a glass to that.
To celebrate being complete and utter shite once again, we’re bringing bring back this classic t-shirt from the 05/06 season. Looking back to those halcyon days under Mick McCarthy when we managed to amass an incredible 15 points to see us relegated from the Premier League.
Don’t worry we will reach those lofty heights again but until then we can take comfort in the fact that we’re all... still here when we are shit! Hardcore fans and Sunderland till we die, whichever league we are in and whoever owns the club. Players, manager and chairman come and go. Fans remain. We are the club… click here to view product