Stewart Donald today held his first press conference as SAFC owner after it was announced that he's finally taken over the club from Ellis Short.
Donald, who was in attendance for the Wolves game a fortnight ago, has been anxiously awaiting EFL approval to move into the hot seat and will be keen to start what is sure to be a massive rebuild of our ailing football club as we plot our escape from the third tier, starting with the appointment of a new manager.
The 43 year old was in good spirits as he was, at long last, able to announce himself as the new owner of Sunderland AFC after the £40m sale went through. When asked why he's be crackers enough to buy the club he replied: "Because it's Sunderland, simple as that. As soon as I was aware it was available and as soon as you hear the details you've just got to try and get that deal done, luckily for me that's what's happened. If you're passionate about football and Sunderland Football Club comes on the market, and you're available to have a football club you've got to think seriously about it."
When asked when the deal was finally ratified the new owner joked: "About 20 minutes ago! Seriously though last night it was finalised. The league approved it on Friday and we had a couple of little details to tidy up but nothing that was ever going to be an issue."
When talking turkey the new boss said: “The reality is Sunderland is debt-free which, for the fans, is good news. We've given Ellis £40m, so that's the deal, and in return Ellis has tidied up his debt and that's now gone from the football club. Ellis was very clear he didn't want the debt, but we didn't want the debt either so we refused that.”
In terms of transfer funds Donald said: "Looking at the numbers we have put through, the budget for Sunderland is going to be pretty hefty for League One. It's going to be a lot more than any of the teams that got promoted last season had got. It's going to be a good budget for Sunderland and I'm sure it's a budget one or two Championship clubs would like."
Also in attendance was fellow consortium member Charlie Methven - who reckons he isn't afraid of a little hard graft: “We will be very hands on. We like to get stuck in and roll our sleeves up. The £40m will be paid in stages. It will be secured in the parachute payments but Short won’t take them.”
Donald then went on to explain the situation with regards to manager Chris Coleman: “Ellis Short sacked Chris Coleman. This football club is for the fans. We will answer the fans questions. I’ll be available to tell the fans what they want to know.”
The takeover came about due to Charlie Methven knowing Ellis Short previously. He explained: "I've known Ellis for a while. I spoke to him about five weeks ago and he said he was looking to sell, that was no great secret. But he had decided to sell before the end of the season as he felt the club really needed to have a full summer with the new owners and he didn't want to let the situation drift. He felt that with a couple of the groups he was speaking to the situation was drifting and I then said that I had the right guy to take it over and from there things moved pretty quickly. We then had two or three weeks to do due diligence. There were a lot of all-nighters and a lot of tired lawyers by the end. Ellis Short has been extremely constructive in helping get it over the line."
On the future of Martin Bain Donald said: "It's Not fair to talk about anyone’s jobs at present. I know we’re going to be asked about players, Rodwell, Bain etc, but not fair to answer them now."
ALS then asked: If you 100% committed to the club. Will you be moving to the area?
“No, but we will be spending three or four days a week here. But I will give 100% to the club.” added Donald.
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