It was the moment all Sunderland fans had been waiting for.
It had been months since Stewart Donald put himself into the spotlight, but a meeting with supporter groups has done just that. Last Thursday, Sunderland’s owner met with different fans groups at the Stadium of Light and discussed many aspects of the club’s current situation - from League One salary caps to the more important topic of the ownership of the club.
Seven months ago, the club was officially put onto the market by Stewart Donald after unrest from supporters. However, we are currently in July 2020, and partially due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the sale of the club still hasn’t happened.
There is plenty of interest from the club from Mark Campbell to Sammy Yu, but the lack of football and revenue for lower-league football clubs is making it hard to make a deal for the club due to the circumstances.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sale of the club doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon, and Donald has explained that the club will have a “competitive, first team budget” in order to fight for promotion from League One at the third attempt.
Despite all of the doom and gloom surrounding the club, this could be one optimistic aspect that Sunderland fans can look forward to, because when League One does start, they will be able to watch their team compete on the pitch, which can hopefully be something the fans can focus on.
Throughout Donald’s interview with BBC Radio Newcastle’s Nick Barnes, there was a clear sense of disappointment from the Sunderland owner that he was unable to make it click on Wearside.
Two years ago, the club needed a change. From the Premier League to League One, in the matter of two seasons, Stewart Donald and co. came in at the correct time. They managed to stabilise the club and Ellis Short managed to clear the debt.
In the interview, Donald explained that at the start, he thoroughly enjoyed the experiences owning the club provided, but as time progressed, his passion for the club and their supporters steadily decreased - leaving us here with the clear hostility that covers the Stadium of Light.
At Christmas, when Donald stated he would sell the club, you could sense of feeling of reluctance to leave the club, but seven months on, that reluctance is gone and he feels that the “abuse” he has been given has been taken one step too far.
On one hand, something that could be quite worrying for Sunderland fans is that Donald is willing to sell the club to anyone that passes the EFL tests. All Sunderland fans have to hope for is that the new owner’s vision for the club is one that can be backed by everyone.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, Sunderland fans can be optimistic about is the fact that there sounds like plenty of buyers for the club, so hopefully a deal is able to be formed sooner rather than later.