Living in Harrogate is a strange experience. It isn't 'typical' Yorkshire and as an anti-hunting socialist type it would be fair to say I comfortably fall into what is known as a niche minority group. However, one benefit is that I do get the option of watching BBC's Look North either from Leeds or Newcastle. Understandably, as I was born North of the River Tees and in the Land of the Prince Bishops, I always opt for the latter
So, there I was tuned in and waiting to watch the goals from the Donny match the other night when they announced that BBC Radio Newcastle understood Stewart Donald had confirmed he had put the club up for sale. I haven't heard anything since, but Mr Donald has always maintained that if at any point he felt he had overstayed his welcome, he wouldn't hang around.
I expect the recent online campaigns against him, the departure of his friend and ally Mr Methven and Parkinson's poor record will all have had some bearing on how he is thinking right now. Although it must be said, him selling is not new news. He’s been trying to sell the club since January 2019. If he does finally find a buyer, it will be interesting to see how fans view his legacy in hindsight.
The original honeymoon period which immediately followed the takeover is obviously long since passed. The trouble with supporting a football club is that emotions too often cloud our thinking, whether this be in good times or bad. A good indicator being the euphoria which greeted an away win at Doncaster but who can blame us after the dross we have had to witness recently.
I've heard people opine that Donald is only in it for himself and that if/when he sells he'll make a big fat profit. Similarly, that he financed buying the club using the parachute payments. I can't say I'm any the wiser on the latter even after listening to all the podcasts. What I am comfortable with is that the club does not appear to be in the same financial mire that it was towards the end of the 2017/18 season.
If he did buy the club with some clever fiscal 'slight of hand' so what? Likewise, if he makes a profit for himself why knock him for being astute enough to see an opportunity? In the natural world a parasitic relationship is one where one-party benefits at the expense of another. The opposite is a symbiotic relationship where both parties mutually benefit. From where I sit, the club's finances appear to be a lot more stable than they were a couple of years ago which can only be a good thing.
Unless this now turns out to be a case of 'smoke and mirrors', that should be Donald's legacy. The playing side still needs sorting and it hasn't lived up to the promises of Methven's earlier PR hype, but as last Sunday showed, a win on the pitch soon raises our spirits.
If Donald is selling up now, I'd say thanks Stewart and good luck to you. Then I'd be concentrating on what the new owners were like, what their intentions were and how it was going to affect us because owners are simply temporary custodians of the beast that is SAFC.