The statement, released on SAFC.com, reads:
Since the end of the season, our focus has been to appoint a new manager. Recently, however, discussions have been entered into with parties who have expressed an interest in acquiring ownership of the club.
With this backdrop, we have been unable to give the assurances any potential candidate would need regarding the plans a new owner could have for the manager’s position. The recruitment process, whilst still very much active, cannot therefore be concluded imminently.
In talking to parties who have shown interest in acquiring the club, owner Ellis Short is determined to make sure that the best interests of Sunderland AFC are at the heart of any decision regarding its future.
We are of course acutely aware of the need to act swiftly to appoint a manager and to ensure that this is the case, have placed a time limit on discussions regarding a potential sale.
If discussions are not concluded within our defined timeframe, we will terminate the process and move swiftly and positively forward with plans for the new season.
Detailed pre-season preparations are already in place and our aim is to do everything we can to ensure Sunderland’s return to the top flight.
Fair play to the club for releasing this information - many supporters have asked to be kept in the loop on what is going on, and after the public farce we have witnessed in the wake of Derek McInnes turning down the job it was clear that something was awry.
It confirms what we have long suspected. The uncertainty is not good, but if we can come out of the other end better off then it will have all been worth it.