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Fan Letters: If Sunderland AFC is being sold, why lay the groundwork for a new season?

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RR reader Alan is trying to understand the method behind the madness when it comes to the current ownership of Sunderland AFC, and he isn’t alone. Got something to say? Write in at RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

Dear Roker Report,

If I said I wasn’t concerned about the clubs future then I would be lying. The club is currently stuck in limbo and from the outside we have no plan of moving forward. While some may say Jim Rodwell may be the answer to this, it still goes against what the ownership currently says. If we are sold by next month then why was Jim Rodwell actually bought in as surely new owners would want their own people not an unsuccessful league 1 CEO which gives me doubts we are no where near sold.

If the club isn’t sold then I fear another summer like last, where we are filled with hope and promise (100 point season) yet get delivered deadline day panick buys like De Bock and during that season to be at our lowest ever league position and worse yet potentially our lowest ever league finish in the clubs history. On current showing we are going backwards under Donald.

Also, I feel we need more communication from only ONE person at the club whether that be Donald or Rodwell becuase as we have seen in the past the owners come out and one will say one thing and the other the complete opposite. Therefore, if Donald doesn’t sell he needs to come and tell us the NEW plan as the current ‘Dortmund model’ has failed and what him, Rodwell and Methven, if he comes back on board, will do differently to ensure this club gets promoted as the longer we stay here the less of a chance we will have a club due to the high costs of running this huge club.

Like everyone I want the best for OUR club but in Donald I dont think we have that, especially in recent showings but if he does stay then we have to hope he has learnt from past mistakes to turn this club around and get us back where we belong.

Best wishes everyone,

Alan

Ed’s note [Damian]: I’m gonna be straight with you Alan - I fear you may be right.

To me it seems painfully apparent that Sunderland AFC is prepping for a fresh start next season. But as you suggest, there seems to be precious little logic in filling pivotal roles (belatedly) when the landscape is one of takeover. A direction that would be potentially voided by the supposedly imminent sale of the club seems a strange one to take.

That being said, I don’t believe the threat chiefly comes from a total lack of desire to sell, but rather I would imagine it’s due to a reluctance to sell at a sum below the asking price, and the stubborn intention of staying on and playing with the toy until someone does bite that bullet. And of course there’s always the angle that in order to sell a club at it’s best valuation it has to be fully operational. There’s also a point where these meet midway, which is that it’s ludicrously difficult to sell something that has been dubiously managed, but the owners could surmount that problem by being honest about their own legacy on Wearside.

The fact is that we don’t know, and the only people capable of telling us not only rejected direct fan engagement, citing abuse where to my eyes all that existed was necessary scrutiny and understandable doubt, but if their intentions were somehow more sinister than simply letting someone else having a crack at the whip and walking away with their money back, why would they share that?

Sunderland v Bradford City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

This ties into what you’ve said about wanting that contact again. It’s a matter of public record that Charlie Methven is a spin doctor, and a poor one in my estimation (though I’m quite confident my estimation, and yours, means precious little to him). In some circles they’re called “PR gurus” but I’ve no idea why this is considered a nice term. All it puts me in mind of is a charlatan selling ideas with no substance at a premium. What I’m getting at is would you want any more of his promises? Do they serve as anything more than empty words sprinkled with the occasional platitude? What has Charlie Methven said that has come to pass? It’s probably worth trawling through everything over the last two years and asking yourself that question at the end. To aid you in your search I would recommend you have a listen of the Rapport interviews with the owners and draw your own conclusions.

When all is said and done Sunderland fans are yet again forced to sit on their hands and await further instruction. We don’t know, we won’t know, and the only people likely to tell us, in my opinion, can’t be relied upon to alleviate that symptom one way or the other. It is fun being a football supporter. Sometimes. Allegedly.