Sunderland AFC have cancelled their meeting with supporters’ groups at short notice giving the reason that they are in advanced potential takeover talks with an unnamed party.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Rodwell said: “After discussions with the relevant fan groups, we have taken the decision to postpone tomorrow’s supporter collective meeting. The club remains in a period of exclusivity with a preferred buyer and due to the advancement and sensitivity of this process, it would be inappropriate to comment publicly at this time. I would like to thank our supporters’ groups, and the wider fan base, for their continued patience and understanding throughout this period.”
The Red and White Army issued the following statement: “We are disappointed that the Club have cancelled Thursday's Structured Dialogue meeting. We have a range of questions and topics to cover following consultation with our members and the wider supporter base. We know that fellow supporter groups have also requested a range of discussion points. We note that the reason for the cancellation is due to SAFC being in advanced talks about a potential takeover with an unnamed party. We understand that this would make some of the proposed agenda items difficult to discuss, hence the postponement.”
“The apparent progress of a sale will be welcome news to the majority of Sunderland supporters. Earlier this year RAWA surveyed fans on their attitudes to the current ownership, with 90% of supporters stating they were unhappy and they should sell to a reputable buyer. We are acutely aware that there will be a large number of fans who may greet this latest news with a dose of cynicism, citing that there has been a potential sale in one form or another, since Spring of 2019. RAWA are not privy to any further information regarding a potential sale and so we will watch with great interest and eagerness for imminent news of a positive conclusion.”
RAWA continued: “Despite a reasonable start to the season in terms of results in League One, many fans continue to be disillusioned and frustrated at the direction of SAFC, whilst taking into account the huge disruption in the game caused by Covid19. It is widely accepted there has been a breakdown of trust between the ownership and the fan base for a variety of reasons, and we sincerely hope matters are about to finally reach a positive conclusion. In July the club board asked for “breathing space” – that was four months ago and the patience of a lot of fans is wearing thin. Many of our members are already pushing for supporters to act and once again display their feelings about how the club is being run. Anything other than a swift and positive resolution in a change of ownership will only serve to raise the temperature further.
SAFC Branch Liaison Council released the following: “We're disappointed that the meeting has been cancelled as we had lots to discuss but we fully understand the position of the club in regards to the period of exclusivity. We look forward to meeting in the near future.”