Sunderland AFC today announced that Stewart Donald has resigned from his position as Chairman of the club.

Speaking about the decision, Donald said: “Holding this position has been a privilege, and not one I have given up lightly. Results and performances on the pitch have simply not been at a level befitting of Sunderland’s history and potential. I fully recognise that has caused immense hurt and, ultimately, the buck for the club starting a third successive season in League One stops with me.

“To give the club the best chance of achieving its goals, I have made the judgement that it is right for me to step back from the chairmanship. In recent months, we have assembled a strong board with relevant experience and skill-sets. As the majority stakeholder, my remaining responsibility is to ensure that the club has the requisite financial backing to achieve its primary objective of promotion, and I can assure supporters that the club will continue to have the highest playing budget in this division.

“Otherwise, my intention remains to sell SAFC to a suitable new owner, and I remain personally committed to that goal. I would like to place on record my gratitude for the wonderful support that I have received since my arrival at the Stadium of Light. Without that support, the club would currently be facing a very uncertain future, as so many others are. Instead, starting from a position of relative financial stability, I hope that this moment will provide a springboard to the success that we all crave and SAFC fans deserve.”

SAFC’s new chairman will be appointed following the club’s next board meeting.