New Dawn Fades

August 23, 2019

It was on the sofa with a glass of wine in hand when I heard the news. A particularly engaging episode of Sons of Anarchy had meant my phone had been ignored like a stocking present on Boxing Day. When I came to open WhatsApp and saw the influx of messages awaiting me it was obvious something big had happened. Reading about the potential new investment suddenly it felt as though Christmas had returned. 

 

Of course, nothing is done and dusted yet and if our track record is anything to go by then a collapse in the deal is almost expected, but what if we dare to dream? Michael Dell is the 25th richest man on the planet. Early reports are indicating he may be a silent investor, passively sitting on rising stock perhaps. So it may be too early to get too excited. However, the consortium make money. That’s what they do. If they were to purchase Sunderland it would clearly be with a view to capitalising on the growth potential that is dormant without investment in playing staff. 

 

The reported sale value is £40m which means that for all their work over the past 15 months or so, Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven and Juan Sartori are unlikely to make any immediate profit. Retaining a share in the club would however see them benefit should there be a meteoric rise to the promised land of the Premier League. What does this tell us? I guess ultimately it tells us that they trust this deal. They are prepared to sit and wait and partake in either journey of Sunderland football club or a small share in the growth on offer. 

Why are they selling? Well it could be that they really do want the best for the club. I don’t doubt that actually. After all it is in their financial interests to do well at Sunderland. It could also be because they have realised that turning this ship around is going to need a bigger engine and they don’t have the budget for that.

 

Whilst it is great to hear the billions under discussion, remember we have history with an American billionaire and if you look at American ownership of football clubs it hasn’t always gone swimmingly. Under Stewart and Charlie the word commonly used was sustainability. The club needs to be in a position where they are not overstretched and in debt to their owners. Morally I do object to the elitism that is afforded to rich clubs at the expense of your Burys or Boltons but it’s kind of hard not to get a bit excited by the prospect this investment could offer. Not one, but three billionaires. 

 

I wait with bated breath for the ink to dry but I understand that it is all at an advanced stage. There were rumours flying around yes. There was a podcast yes. Now Google interest in four men from America has spiked on Wearside. Hold on everyone, who knows where this rollercoaster is going next.

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At the back end of the 1980s, football fanzines began to sweep the country and in 1989 we were presented with a new vehicle on which to enjoy some of this ride – A Love Supreme. ALS was a place we could all go to celebrate and commiserate being a Sunderland fan. Win, lose or draw, the pages of the fanzine became solace for many of us as we stumbled our way through our day to day lives, punctuated by the ups and downs of more match days than any of us care to remember.

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