Sunderland’s likely new owners. A Premier League return is the aim

Salut! Sunderland, like most supporters, has no special insider knowledge of the reportedly imminent conclusion of negotiations with the would-be new owners of Sunderland AFC, says Monsieur Salut.

I have been too busy to badger my old colleague Charlie Methven and Charlie would have been too busy or too cautious to shed much light if badgered. As my granddaughter would say, “how are we supposed to know?”.

Therefore we have followed events much as other SAFC fans have done. One report this morning – it was clearly speculative so I paid it little real attention – said the new regime would (pleasing all the whingers) replace Jack Ross.

But one writer on SAFC affairs I do take notice of is Phil Smith from the Sunderland Echo. And he today provided a useful resume of the story so far.

It’s his, not ours, so we will offer only snippets and recommend a visit to the Echo site to read it in full.

* …. significant progress has been made since news of the talks and bid broke a fortnight ago

* … Glenn Fuhrman, John Phelan and Robert Platek, major players at the hugely successful MSD Partners group, will take a shareholding and an active role in the running of the club. Michael Dell will be a passive investor

* … Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven expected to retain important roles. The future involvement of the Uruguyan businessman and politician Juan Sartori, whose father-in-law, Dmitry Rybolovlev, owned the Ligue One club Monaco in its heyday, may retain an interest but to what extent remains unclear

* …. if the deal goes through, the ambition is summed up by a long-term plan to establish Sunderland as top-flight regulars

Phil’s article also provides the recent chronology of events at the club. It is well worth a read.

As seen by Matt and adapted by Jake

8 thoughts on “Sunderland’s likely new owners. A Premier League return is the aim”

  1. Quick update. Chris Waters from the club kindly contacted me over the weekend (presumably well outside his working hours, which is impressive) to let me know that they only sell Away tickets during office hours as there needs to be someone there to process the request (I think this is because you don’t get allocated a specific seat by the on-line system so they wouldn’t know if they sold out or didn’t have 2 together for example).
    That explains why the match disappeared from one part of the website, but I think some sort of message making this clear would be useful!

    • Cheers Dave. Chris seems like a pretty switched on guy whenever I’ve come across him. I agree about the lack of clear info on the website and am pretty certain he’ll do something about it.

      SD & CM are doing an awful lot to repair the rift that appeared between the club and supporters and appear to have people in place who support their philosophy. Tony Davison and Chris as well as Tony Coton and the recruitment team all know their roles and are working hard to get things right.

      It must be quite frustrating for them all when so much uninformed criticism comes their way through social media, from people who haven’t grasped the reality of the situation.

      The next lot of impatient demands will come in the wake of the MSD deal, with an expectation of a vocal minority that by 2021 we will be competing for a place in Europe, having started by spending millions in January, despite the fact that the club is currently restricted by the income generated rather than the wealth of the owners.

      I am pleased Stewart and Charlie will still be involved on a day to day basis as I feel they will steer the ship in the right direction, even if that means invoking a slower long term plan than those who moan loudly want to see. Perhaps they never heard the story of the three little pigs.

      Hope you get to Accrington. I shall probably go for a pint in the Peel Park Hotel prematch.

    • Correct Dave. The software is provided by Ticket master but it is used by the club in the processing of ticket applications not Ticket master themselves, though they will have to issue Wembley tickets as I understand it as it Wembley and the FA, not the club, who deal with those games.

      There are problems with the website, lack of clear information being one. I will raise the issue at the next BLC meeting unless someone else beats me to it.

  2. Thanks malcolm.
    My main point was if you work and cannot phone from work there is now no way of talking to a person to sort out problems which there will be plenty of as the website has lots of stadium tours but no away games

  3. If it happens, presumably we will at least have the money to have either a ticket website that works or a ticket office that is open when working people are able to call. The current situation is an absolute disgrace and shows that people making decisions at the club either don’t understand how fans work or just don’t care.
    I had an immense amount of time for Donald and Methven when they came in and they still have a degree of good will for the way the club has turned around, but they have allowed ticketing at the club to go downhill unbelievably quickly and surely that is absolutely key to maintaining good links with the fans. I know they needed to save costs but completely closing down out of hours is ridiculous and jumping into bed with the despicably greedy ticketmaster even worse.

    • Except for possibly Wembley appearances Ticketmaster have no direct involvement in issuing tickets. As I understand it the club have just changed the software they use for online applications and ticket allocation – a bit like me using Google Chrome instead of Firefox.

      Apparently those with smartphones will soon be able to use those to go through the turnstiles rather than need a paper ticket.

      For those of us who don’t live or work anywhere near the ground, there has been no noticeable change in ticketing provision as I have a SC and always get my away tickets posted out. For home games it is always possible to collect tickets on the day or pay on the gate. It’s the admin fee for phone and Internet purchases I object to. It’s the same with theatre tickets and I fail to see why the admin charge should be per ticket, rather than per transaction.

  4. Hopefully it comes to fruition but until it’s officially announced I’m not allowing myself to become too excited. This is Sunderland after all and anything could happen.

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