Two days have now passed since the staggering news that Ellis Short has finally done right by the fans and passed on the torch to a man with fresh ideas and (potentially) bulging coffers, and we’re all on tenterhooks waiting for more more information.
Rumours doing the rounds on social and broader media are contrasting, and everything is still very much up in the air for some, with former player Michael Gray stating rather unequivocally that the deal isn’t as advanced as some believe.
However, Roker Report understands many of those rumours to be far off the mark, as our sources suggest that the deal is very much in the pipeline, with full confirmation only hinging on the standard EFL vetting process.
As if that weren’t enough to add excitement to the much-needed relief on Wearside, those same sources also suggest that heir-apparent to the Sunderland AFC throne, Steward Donald, may be all that he’s cracked up to be and more, with suggestions of his actual net worth also substantially underestimated.
Indeed: Mr. Donald’s dealings with his former club Eastleigh FC boast a somewhat larger war-chest than the £8m valuation placed on the English businessman by many, considering his investment in squad and facilities alone took his overall spend to £10m. Who knows – we may even see the back of the pink seats?
Furthermore, Roker Report can reveal that the role of Mr. Donald in the takeover group is far more than purely a frontman – it’s safe to say that should the EFL approve the deal in due course, Mr. Donald will have a substantial stake in the club, if not the majority share, alongside an as-yet unnamed Spanish investor.
It would even seem that the oft-relied on instability that comes from sharing/dealing equity with various Banking concerns may just be a thing of the past with the introduction of this new, dare I say, dynamic duo.
All of this is surely cause for concern for current CEO Martin Bain, who Roker Report understands is likely to leave the post he has occupied somewhat controversially for the last two years.
There is enough content regarding Bain’s tenure to fill a series of articles, and the legitimacy of his role in “helping” the club in any way is entirely debatable, but that’s for another time - suffice it to say that many fans will undoubtedly be glad to see the back of him and all that he represents as the lowest ebb of the club in decades.
As for what it means for the boardroom in general we can only wait and see, though it seems clear that the new owners come bearing intent, and a resolve the likes of which we haven’t seen in an age. It would be safe to say that nothing is off the table and everyone will have to justify their place in the bright future of Sunderland AFC.
All of this will come as wonderful news to many Sunderland fans; fans that have been wandering through a desert in search of an oasis for far too long. For many of us it’s still sinking in that austerity and obscurity may not be our long-term future, but rather little more than a very temporary bump in the road.
By all accounts there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been steaming through headlong for longer than any of us care to remember. Keep an eye on Roker Report for the latest.