Monsieur Salut writes: I know it is Charlie Methven’s birthday today because we are Facebook friends, though he doesn’t seem to have been active there for a while. Jack Ross’s birthday had passed me by until I saw Paul Summerside’s comment (also at Facebook).
Hearty best wishes to both from Salut! Sunderland.
We won’t be offering presents just yet. The gifts are still owed the other way – to the 20,000+ who have bought season tickets to watch third division football and to the wider SAFC-supporting family.
That said, the work in progress that is rebuilding Sunderland AFC is showing early signs that give encouragement.
As Pete Sixsmith wrote in his exemplary piece on the departures of John O’Shea, Robbie Stockdale and Adrian Tucker, it is sad to lose people who have done their best for the club. But new managers must be allowed room for manoeuvre and that always involves change.
Charlie, with his minority stake (six per cent, I am told) but obviously significant influence, and the owner, Stewart Donald, have begun the promised process of cutting out waste. I was told before it started that it would be a “root and branch” exercise and it certainly looks like developing that way.
That means decent people lose their jobs, too, but we have to face the fact that for now, we are a third-tier and not Premier League club and the revival has to start on that basis.
Also for now, I will say no more than offer my former colleague Charlie (and, a few days late, Jack) many happy returns …
Let’s all wish my former colleague and now fellow #safc supporter Charlie Methven a very happy birthday
— Colin Randall (@salutsunderland) June 8, 2018