The 29th of April 2018 - a day that will go down in the history books as the day in which Ellis Short confirmed that he was handing over ownership of Sunderland AFC.
This news followed the somewhat surprising story that Chris Coleman and Kit Symons were - rather controversially - released from their contracts, just one game before the end of what has been a thoroughly miserable season for all involved.
While it is difficult to clarify exactly what has gone on at our club this past weekend, there is now a clear indication that wholesale changes are occurring at the Stadium of Light ahead of what will undoubtedly be a monumental rebuilding job.
The man fronting the consortium set to take control of the club is Stewart Donald, a former insurance worker who had lofty ambitions for National League side Eastleigh FC before he begrudgingly put the club up for sale due to his impending takeover on Wearside.
It’s difficult to gauge right now whether or not the Donald-led consortium are going to dramatically improve our fortunes, but I can’t help but feel immense hope and happiness - but still, I don’t want to get too excited just in case it all ends up being too good to be true.
The one man who seems to have been so far unaffected by this whole debacle is Martin Bain. The former Glasgow Rangers executive was brought in by Short to slash costs and oversee the running of the club in his absence, and whilst maintaining only last week that he was heavily involved in speaking with parties interested in taking Sunderland off Short’s hands there have been strong suggestions from the media in the last 24 hours that the deal struck with Donald’s consortium was done behind his back.
First indication of Donald's commitment to Sunderland will come from whoever he appoints as manager and presumably in getting rid of Martin Bain as the club's chief executive.#safc— John C in Hants (@JohnC2063) April 29, 2018
With fresh incoming leadership meaning that the club needs a clear-out from top to bottom it would be fair to assume that Bain is running on borrowed time, but how likely is he to leave and, if it does happen, how soon will it happen?
Well, like everything that has happened over the course of the last few days it’s difficult to predict. If anyone could’ve told me on Saturday night that both Short and Chris Coleman would’ve been gone midway through Sunday then I’d have laughed uncontrollably at them, but it happened and all it really does is re-affirm that supporting Sunderland AFC is anything but boring.
It’s not yet known who is behind Donald but it would be fair to assume that they’re going to want to have their own people running the club, and with that Bain is likely to receive his marching orders sooner rather than later.
Should be noted, of course, that Stewart Donald is only part of the 'international' consortium that has bought #SAFC. It'll be fascinating to see who he has alongside him....— Scott Wilson (@Scottwilsonecho) April 29, 2018
Until the EFL ratify the deal it’s likely that Bain will remain in his current position and will continue to run the club until he’s told otherwise. The time in which it takes for the EFL process to be completed isn’t usually defined, but looking back on past examples we can only assume that it’ll take around a month at the very worst.
What this means for Martin Bain’s future as Chief Executive of this club remains to be seen, but the majority of Sunderland supporters will be hoping that it spells the end for Short’s hatchet man, particularly since his tenure in charge has been nothing less than miserable.
Back-to-back relegations, questionable decisions in the transfer market, a lack of forward planning and showing very little in the way of genuine empathy or understanding for the supporters that love the football club are the biggest blots on Bain’s Sunderland record, and it’s difficult to see how or why this new group would want to keep him around.
This club has been decimated by negativity for far too long now and Bain, whether it was intentional or not, reeks of failure and disappointment.
Whether or not Bain’s intentions as CEO have been misconstrued by angry supporters is likely to forever remain up for debate, but I think that I can safely say that the sooner Stewart Donald’s group take out their sweeping brush and swat away everything bad associated with the club, the better.