Today could prove to be a pivotal day in the takeover of Sunderland football club. Stewart Donald and his representatives are due to meet with EFL officials in the hope of moving a step closer to gaining EFL approval and full control over the club.
It’s been three weeks since the announcement was made that want-away owner Ellis Short has agreed a sale in principle to Madrox Partners Ltd; headed by Stewart Donald. Donald then had to complete the mandatory owners and directors test, the timescale for which is anyone’s guess, but it is believed that today’s meeting could at last see some movement one way or another.
Once the takeover is ratified Stewart Donald will take the helm as majority shareholder and provide the bulk of initial funding, with the help of foreign investment which, as of yet, is a completely unknown quantity although talk of Spanish involvement is rife.
As each day passes though it puts our plans of a major rebuild further behind and the potential new owners will be desperate to make a start and at least bring in a new manager.
One name which has been heavily linked with the vacant position at SAFC is Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder. Wilder is the current front runner with the bookies to take the helm but unless we get a wiggle on it looks like we may miss out. He is due to hold talks with United’s owners in the coming days in the hope of thrashing out a new deal.
One thing that may be of a big help to any new manager coming in is the parachute payment due to Sunderland after being relegated from the Premier League in the 2016/17 season. The payments, which are made in decreasing amounts over four years, begin with a not too shabby £41,571,016. Here’s hoping the new man at the helm is given a sizeable chunk of cash to invest in the massive rebuild needed as we prepare for our second trip to Division 3.
In other news, ex-SAFC “player” Arnau Riera has spoken in a new book (From Guernica to Guardiola: How the Spanish conquered English football – ironic) in it he explains why his move to Wearside was such a massive disaster and how Niall Quinn was a bit of a crap manager: “Sunderland were in the Championship and in total chaos then." explained Riera. "This was nuts, though. Niall Quinn had become the chairman but also the manager. That didn’t last long. I’d never seen that before. Imagine Jose Mourinho as president and manager! The results went badly. The training sessions were poor. I spoke to my dad and told him we were losing because we were training like an amateur team. It wasn’t good enough. The methodology was poor, it was badly organised and we trained without the right tactical and physical preparation. There was no one to physically prepare us. It was just games in training without objectives, I don’t want to sound arrogant but imagine that compared to Barcelona. We needed to do defensive shape and work on the transition. Given the size of the club and ambition and the capacity of the stadium, it was poor to see. Sunderland have a bigger stadium than Valencia, probably the fifth biggest in Spain. They are always in a relegation battle or in the Championship. The area deserves better.”
You’d believe Riera then went on to have an illustrious career playing at the very highest level of football culminating in winning the Ballon D'or. But sadly due to being a bit rubbish at football he was loaned to Southend and Falkirk then played out the rest of his days at lower league Spanish sides before an ACL injury ended is playing days: “I wanted to return to Spain but I came back and suffered a terrible, horrible injury - a cruciate ligament injury. Everything became more difficult. I knew that was the end at the highest level. They operated on it and during the recuperation period I went to Sunderland and used the facilities. Niall Quinn let me use it all for free and I stayed with Julio Arca. When I recovered I then damaged the other knee because I overcompensated. At the age of 31 I retired. My frustration is that I never reached the level I could have done. I didn’t approach it, in truth.”
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