Not For Sale...

Stewart Donald reckons we’re in a position where we’re not desperate to part company with our high earners. The majority shareholder, who has been courting some new investment lately, thinks it’s more important to keep those who want to fight for the cause: "We can afford to keep these players. The reality is if they don't want to be here and ultimately we don't want them, then we need to get a sensible compromise and that is everybody being fair. If ultimately it all came down to balancing the books, the offers we've currently got on those players we could accept and those players would leave. But the reality is that's still not good business, we have got confirmation from agents and players, you can see the email chains and there are people saying - Sunderland are desperate. We're not desperate, we can afford these players and want a fair figure. We want to keep some of those players that want to go, and we need to articulate those players and get them to buy in. If we're left with some players on big money, then the trick will be for Jack Ross to get them performing in a way that the Sunderland fans appreciate and want them in their team. We won't keep the full squad, because there are some players who have publicly said they don't want to play for the football club, we just need to do the right business."

On the subject of money, and how much we ultimately have, It's been no secret that Stewart Donald has been trying to reach out to some rather wealthy friends to help out with a few quid. A move which could help fund our swift return to the Championship. One such investor is Juan Sartori who, following EFL approval, will join the SAFC party as a minority shareholder: “Juan is currently going through the EFL process to join us as a minority shareholder", explained Donald. "We had a meeting in Monaco on Sunday and subject to it all dotting the i's and crossing the t's, Juan would love to join us and help us maximise Sunderland’s potential. He has had a look at a few other opportunities within football and when this first came along I called him and said ‘it is not for straightaway but would you like this? It is going to be a really nice opportunity to have a successful football club, it will be exciting, all the things I would think you would want.’ I went over to see him and he said ‘absolutely’. It will mean we can lean on him and he will add value to us ongoing. It is not essential at this stage that he is involved but he will bring so much to Sunderland over a period of time that it is right to get him on board now. He is very well connected, bright, astute, a very successful guy. He loves his football. I think he could be a real asset to us moving forward.”

Meanwhile manager Jack Ross is still at a loss as to how we managed to be relegated in such spectacular fashion last season: "There is no way that the football club should actually, having been relegated, be bearing the brunt of players throwing themselves up in arms," said Ross. "Currently we have lots of offers for players that are currently a little too low, some of those players don't want to be at the football club so we need to negotiate."

One of the most talked about topics of late is the future of full-time stay-away and part time arcade junkie, Jack Rodwell. When quizzed about the England international's future the new gaffer reckons it’s more a case of who wants to be here instead of what wages they’re on: “It’s a question of who wants to be here and who wants to be in this league. We need to have players who are desperate to play for this club, and maybe not desperate to play in this league necessarily, but who understand the challenge of what lies ahead to get us promoted. I haven’t really differentiated between different problems at this stage and different players, they all fall under the same bracket. Day one of pre-season is not all that far away so we’ve got a lot to do in a short period of time and it really starts this morning and I’m looking forward to it. I feel I haven’t started doing the job properly yet.”