The Northern Echo publishes the full transcript of an interview with Sunderland owner Ellis Short at the official club site. You can see and hear it at safc.com and decide for yourselves how searching the questions were.
Salut! Sunderland will just pick out a few key points, all of which you’ll find amplified at the links above:
Ellis Short: “We’ve obviously got a bit of a crisis to solve”
* Monsieur Salut! – that’s stating the blindingly obvious:
* “… when a reporter speaks about what I’m doing or what I’m thinking, he’s only guessing or making it up because I don’t talk to the press … I know it’s been in the press that I don’t care anymore and I’m not involved, but that’s simply not true. That’s reporters guessing or making something up. I’m as involved as I’ve ever been.”
– sorry Mr Short but you identify cause and effect. Everyone likes to blame the wicked media but that is lazy and disingenuous in your case, since the complaint of misrepresentation comes from someone who in the same breath proclaims his hermit-like status
* “Since I’ve owned it we’ve been in the Premier League for 10 years, and although we weren’t always there in the greatest style, I as a fan always felt like we were fighting … last season, the way we got relegated was particularly frustrating because, as a fan, I didn’t really feel like we had that fight”
– no quarrel there
* “[The poor performances and results] just not acceptable, and our view at the club was that we needed to make the change. Simon is a very good man. He tried his best, and we have a lot of respect for him. But we felt like as badly as things have gone, we needed to try something different.
– you hired him. You saw your first choice turn you down, allegedly because he was presented with a task made impossible by the lack of room for manoeuvre. Grayson has had only crumbs from a feast of transfer income to spend – and it shows
* “It is true I’m not physically at as many games, which is really a function of me being more involved in my business life and my family spending more time in the US. But I’m watching, I’m paying attention and to answer the question that you sing at me during mainly the really bad games, ‘Yes, I’m watching’.
– that’s mildly encouraging
* Also, I’m involved financially. I put a significant amount of new capital into the club this summer.”
– not remotely enough, clearly
* “[in the summer] I was entertaining offers to buy the club … I guess the first thing I should say is, everything that was written about that in the media was wrong.
– if you are not open, what on earth do you expect?
* “Not really remotely resembling the truth, other than one thing – there was one group that we did have some advanced discussions with … I’ve got the interests of the club at heart, and I’m not going to do anything that’s not good for the club. I do understand the fans want me out, but I am certain they would not have been happy with that transaction.”
– you’re entitled to despise and/or snub the media but why wasn’t this all said on your behalf a lot sooner?
* “I may or may not sell that club at some point in the future, that’s completely beyond my control”
– the cynical response is that this means the shambles continues