Since taking over at Sunderland, Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have made it abundantly clear that they aim to have a hands-on approach to leadership - and their trip to the pub on Friday evening was a testament to that fact.
Our new ownership duo mixed with the locals in the Colliery Tavern in order to share a drink and chat, and perhaps to get to know the surroundings of the closest pub to the stadium. It was a gesture which shows that they are keen to keep as far away from the Ellis Short approach to owning a football club, and they’re doing an alright job of that so far.
In fact, popping out for a pint is just one of many moves made recently in order to connect with supporters, and on each occasion it just gets more refreshing.
The engagement from our new owners as well as the manager they have put in place culminates in a breath of fresh air around Wearside. Donald and Methven have spoken about how much they want to make things right at Sunderland - and they are supporting these words with precisely the right actions.
They have a genuine interest in football, evident with Methven’s history of writing for Oxford United’s fanzine in days gone by - this in particular shows that he may well aim to have a strong and consistent relationship with our fanzines throughout this season and beyond.
Who knows, he might even want to write the odd article here or there.
Just days after the pub trip, Donald and Methven paid a visit to the Black Cat House to welcome supporters into the building who had come to buy season cards for next season.
How many club owners would do such a thing? Not many at all. Donald and Methven wanted to show their appreciation to fans for agreeing to join them on their journey, letting them know that their loyalty is valued and giving them the much-deserved assurance that it will be rewarded.
The sleeves-rolled-up approach to running the club feels almost too good to be true. I still keep thinking the worst, and that Ellis Short will return from Florida with his brown sack wanting his money and that we’ll be back in the financial red.
But that sort of mentality comes due to being used to disappointment - we are still Sunderland fans after all. The optimism still feels genuine and after listening to the new owners, as well as Jack Ross, it seems clear that the times of under-qualified people being in positions of power are going to be a thing of the past.
Let’s hope that our new leadership team can crack on with sorting out the squad as soon as possible. It’ll be a tough task, and Donald’s prediction of having to bring in fourteen or fifteen new players won’t be far from reality.
Once that’s all sorted, who knows - maybe they’ll be out and about enjoying a few celebratory drinks amongst supporters again after we manage to achieve promotion next May.
It might be early days, but there’s nothing wrong with a pint of confidence, is there?