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Fan Letters: “So now the accounts are out we all know the truth”

Regular correspondents Sam Lucas and Mark Wild are both angry at the revelations about the money transferred out of the club shown in Sunderland AFC’s accounts. Got something to say?!

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

Dear Roker Report,

So now the accounts are out we all know the truth. SD is a grubby chancer and conman who has lied and lied, while stealing our parachute money.

I’ve shouted this from the day he put our parachute money up as security against his personal loan to ES. Just as he has borrowed £9 million for his own company and used all SAFC assets as security.

What a conman!

We lost £11 million due to him stealing £20 million, plus the rest. Miraculously Madrox, who were worth nothing, overnight are now worth £20 million. If anyone ever doubted his sole agenda from day one, it’s now in black and white.

The best thing would be for us to go into administration and that greedy chancer kicked out with nothing. We would come back stronger even though it may take a few years. To stop him walking away with £20 million it would be worth it.

How the hell is he allowed to do this?

Sam Lucas

Dear Roker Report,

“Del Boy Donald” and “Madrox Independent Traders”, as it says on the Reliant Robin in the clubs directors car park, have superbly screwed Sunderland - legally.

Sunderland post a £11.3 million loss and Madrox post a 11.3million profit; it’s the biggest sting in football. How the authorities can let the club’s owners get away with this, and how did they pass the criteria to run the club in the first place, is beyond me? Del boy Donald now wants £37.5 million for the club; you never know, Boysie might buy it!

Jokes apart, he has sold every young talent the club had or they have just gone for better offers personally from other clubs. I think the £11.3 would have been Oxford bound if they had gone up, does not take a brain surgeon to work that out, Donald! The club would have been sold within weeks if Oxford had gone up, and Donald would have announced he was going back to Oxford with his profit from Sunderland.

Donald should not be allowed near another football club again. The fun stopped for Donald when the money ran out, as every asset had been stripped from the club by Madrox, hence the loan. If we had gone up we would been starting on minus twelve points without a doubt with these clowns. It will be a great day when Madrox are gone unfortunately we will not see the £11.3 million again.

Dynamo would have been proud of that disappearing trick, here’s to a brighter future for the club and us long suffering fans.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letters, Mark and Sam. We may not like it, but everything that Stewart Donald and his partners in Madrox have done regarding the finances of the club appear to be entirely legal and pretty much consistent with the ways in which football club owners move money in and out of what are, in the end, their own private businesses.

Madrox passed the EFL Owners & Directors test because it’s about proving you’ve not got any unspent disqualifications or convictions, rather than whether you’re actually a good person to run a club of a particular size or stature. Donald has repeatedly said that he’d had to show the EFL £50 million in liquid assets, but there’s no stipulation in the rules to say he had to actually use any of that money for the benefit of the club. Buying the club with its own money was a very smart move on their part; trying to sell it for around the same price after two years of failure on the pitch is brazen, though not illegal, profiteering.

It is true, as is shown in the 2018-19 accounts, that they have transformed the finances of the club (the reduction in the ratio of wages to turnover from 74% in the Championship to 45% in League 1 should be welcomed in terms of the overall sustainability of the club) but it must also be noted that this is in no small part due to the loyalty and passion of us fans who have turned up and bought merchandise at rates rarely seen outside the top half of the EPL. Much credit must go to football finance analyst “The Swiss Ramble” for setting it all out for us none accounting types.

If Madrox, as they sell the club, do as they have promised and repay the £21 million loan that the club wrote off, and the club passes into safe hands, then we might look back on their tenure as an unsuccessful but ultimately necessary period of readjustment.

Madrox will have helped Sunderland AFC to be able to operate outside of the top flight and without a billionaire backer. If they don’t, they will be remembered not simply as lovable rouges from Peckham out to make a quick buck, or as bunch of benevolent toffs from the shires who thought it would be fun to play games with the most important cultural institution in our city, but as the worst kind of self-serving, amoral cost-cutters and asset strippers who use PR and spin to cover their tracks.

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