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ITHICS Fanzine: Reflections on Sunderland owner Stewart Donald’s appearance on the RR Podcast

Nic Wiseman from ITHICS Fanzine pops by to give some quick thoughts on what he heard from Stewart Donald on our fascinating Podcast with him yesterday.

Roker Rapport Podcast

We’re six weeks into the regime of the Don - I call him that with the theme from the Godfather in mind, as it was the tune chosen by the lads to introduce the second Roker Rapport Podcast that Mr Donald has appeared on.

As before, he was honest, transparent, no-nonsense and self deprecating. He showed a keen awareness of the club and the issues which are important to the fans. He could answer the most technical questions, put to him ably by Connor Bromley, and he could reel off the finest of detail - from the value of players’ contracts to the value of concerts put together in previous seasons off the top of his head.

There wasn’t once where Mr Donald had to say he would get back to us on that. His grasp of the minutiae of the Sunderland situation is impressive.

He is clear that to be a viable concern, the club has to bring in more than it spends. Sounds simple, but it wasn’t always that way.

There were many points that stood out for me: one was that his Twitter account is here to stay. He has helped a few fans to purchase season cards, and has sold two corporate boxes... but I still think he could do with a PA to help him wade through the mess of tweets.

PA Images via Getty Images

He also conceded that Ellis Short didn’t put the right people in charge in executive roles, something we have been saying for years. Byrne, Congerton, De Fanti, Hutchinson - all disastrous appointments. The fact that Byrne is now Honeyman and Cattermole’s agent really sticks in the craw.

Clearly the new kit was pre-ordained and signed off before Mr Donald took over. And I’m sure it was a matter of inflection which made it sound like he was asking if our home kit was red and white stripes. But he’s not entirely happy with the new version, which sounds like it could be the fat single stripe running down the centre that was previewed a few weeks ago on twitter. I share Mr Donald’s concern.

Finally - and more incredibly - new Monaco-based investor, Juan Sartori, is apparently incredibly energised and excited at being involved in the club. A visit to the club earlier this week led him to conclude that Sunderland could be one of the top 20 clubs in Europe.

Has Mr Sartori been imbibing in too much champagne, or are we about to enter one of the most exciting periods of our existence?

Heady times!

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