We are now one month into the Stewart Donald ownership at Sunderland and so far, so good in my opinion.
Yes, it seems that signings are not happening as quickly as we anticipated - but really, everything else has gone pretty well. New seats. New investment. New manager. And new hope amongst the fans - hence the 20,000+ season card sales.
Now, though, we need to see some movement in other areas of the club - so here are just five of the many questions that we will put to Stewart Donald on Thursday when he joins us to record another in-depth Podcast.
And don’t worry - there’ll be plenty more that are meatier than these. We plan on talking about the investment plan, whether the pink seat barbecue is a goer, what he thinks of Jack Ross so far, our ability to spend heavily this summer, the new kits, Kevin Ball, next season’s sponsors, the ‘exiles season ticket’ idea that keeps cropping up, the other backroom changes we’ve made and so, so much more.
But, for now, here are just five that we’d like to hear the answers to.
Is signing players more difficult than you first anticipated at this level?
We all want new signings - they are like shiny toys at Christmas. So far, though, it looks things aren’t going as smoothly as many fans would perhaps like - though there could be completely reasonable explanations for that.
It will be a great question for the owner to answer because he can tell us all what is happening behind the scenes, and we as fans can learn the reasons why transfers are not happening quite as quickly as we all hope.
If you are like me, then you excitedly hoped that the new players would flood in through the door almost as soon as Jack Ross was appointed. Everything else Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have done has been so quick and urgent, yet the arrival of new faces has not.
Just who has asked to leave the club?
We all saw the headlines about very few players expressing an interest in wanting to stay at Sunderland - but who exactly has asked to leave, and how have we dealt with their demands?
This question is of paramount importance because we will learn a lot about who is up for this fight and who isn’t. Have more players said they want to stay? Have more said they definitely want to leave? Have the new regime managed to talk round some of the players that were previously sceptical about sticking around?
Here’s hoping that the younger players in particular fancy hanging about, because any success we achieve next season will undoubtedly come as a result of their involvement.
Why did we accept an offer of £5 million for McNair?
Some fans think £5 million is about the right fee to recieve for our best player. In League One, accepting that amount of money for a player isn’t that common, but it doesn’t mean it is correct.
Paddy McNair proved, when fit, that he is a star Championship player last season - which is why it seems so deflating that we have accepted what we essentially paid for him two years ago.
It will be very interesting to hear the reasons why the club accepted the bid and what exactly the deal is. Is McNair even likely to leave? Will someone come back the other way?
Can we afford to keep McNair and, if so, why not just hold onto him knowing how important he could be in returning back to the Championship at first time of asking? The logical explanation would be that he’s expressed a desire to leave, in which case the decision to move him along is fair enough.
Should he be on Twitter as often as he is?
Yes, transparency is great. I love it and I am sure you love it too. But will there be a point where our owner needs to come off social media in order to stop the increasing demand from supporters to have immediate answers on everything?
It’s difficult really, because all fanbases have idiots in them and being honest, some of the stuff tweeted at the new owner is cringeworthy and ridiculous.
Personally I absolutely love the fact he’s there as often as he is - it’s the complete opposite approach to how the old regime used to deal with supporters, and I think that’s great. But that said, I’m keen to find out whether his stance on being so responsive has changed at all having spent a month in the job.
What on earth is going to happen with Jack Rodwell?
He’s still here, lingering around like a bad smell - what exactly is going on with Jack Rodwell, and are they still confident that a deal can be struck with the former England man in order to get him away from the club as quick as possible?
We know that the club met with Rodwell’s representatives last week, so how did those talks go? As we reported here on RokerReport.com, the former Everton midfielder is apparently keen on getting himself to America to infect the MLS, and good luck to him, but are they convinced that he’s focused on getting away from here as quickly as possible?