Dear Roker Report,
I have some questions for Stewart Donald.
You stated after the play off defeat last year that we had to aim to build a squad capable of getting 100 points - how was this realistic when you significantly weakened the squad from last season?
How have we improved the squad from last season to reach this season’s targets?
You stated we could keep the high earners if necessary, so why have you then sold every saleable asset? (Honeyman, Maja, Cattermole, Oviedo, James)
Are you stating that the players listed wouldn’t be better options than what we currently have available?
Jon McLaughlin has said you haven’t held any further talks with him regarding a new contract. You stated months ago this was a priority - why has nothing been concluded either way?
We have numerous first team players out of contract in the summer. Have any talks commenced with players regarding new deals?
You have went on record to say Richard Hill ‘saved’ the club, despite previously saying Richard Hill was not involved with transfers in / out of the club. What is the truth?
You employed Tony Davison at the club and stated he was key to our commercial business. He has since left - why has he not been replaced?
Methven has since left his role as a director. You stated he excelled in PR. What is being done to replace him?
FFP / Investment
You have stated that the FFP Group have invested in the club, You have also stated that it’s purely a loan, so which is it?
You have stated that FFP wanted to invest in you, and not the football club. If this is the case, why has the agreement been setup so that if you default on the loan, they automatically take ownership of the club, if they have no intention of owning the football club?
You have stated that the loan is yet to be touched, but have since said it’s been used to cover parachute payments - which is it?
What is the point of securing the loan if it is yet to be touched?
You have stated that part of the loan was to be used to improve our scouting network. If the loan hasn’t been touched, how is our scouting network likely to improve?
You previously stated that FFP may look to invest in hotels / infrastructure around the city. You also mentioned you would potentially look to build a hotel / megastore to increase our net revenue. Why mention FFP’s business ideas if they have no intention to own the football club, and it was just infact a loan?
Why did four members of FFP attend a match, shown around the AOL, and set up an investment vehicle if they were purely loaning, you personally, £10M?
Why did you inform the Consett branch that you are unsure if FFP want you and Methven around?
Once the takeover was deemed as ‘off’ (although it was never a takeover according to you), why did you then delete your Twitter account?
Following you deleting your twitter account, Methven stated an arrangement between FFP and Madrox had no financial connection to the club. In November a companies house report confirmed FFP have loaned Madrox $12M secured against shares in SAFC & assets. Why was that?
You stated you could have easily put the money in yourselves, so why didn’t you?
You have stated recently that because of the ‘Donald out’ campaign you are wishing to sell the club. Are you suggesting you haven’t pro-actively looked to sell the club before this campaign?
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Good selection of questions, Tom - hopefully he sees it. We’ll be sure to pass along Mr Donald’s response should he wish to send us one.
Dear Roker Report,
What was Stuart Donald thinking, that mackems would be patient forever with him and his lot while the Geordies keep staying in the Prem, the Smoggies are in the Championship, while we languish in League One?
Of course we would be in a right cowie mood. Even as an overseas supporter from Canada (you can thank one Mr Paul Collingwood for dragging this Canadian into your orbit), I’m livid that we are still struggling in the top half of England’s third division, while a Mackem lad like Hendo is off winning Old Big Ears with Liverpool, and that team Ant & Dec support are hamming it up on high.
Is Stewart that thick to not understand? Of course Sunderland supporters are right to be annoyed! If he is selling, good riddance — if you cannot do the job to bring us back up to where we belong, then naff off and let someone else in who can do the job!
John (Calgary, Canada)
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think that the club can still be promoted under Donald’s ownership. This is a very bad league and the competition at the top is not great, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we could find ourselves back in a prominent position after the upcoming run of games. The issues are far deeper-rooted than that for me, which is why I’d like to see a change of ownership. Nothing personal, but the lack of care, attention to detail and forward-planning mean that I don’t see what this club is capable of under the current owner beyond this season.