God knows I’m not Eton educated. Last time I checked I wasn’t an entrepreneur. And my accent certainly betrays northern roots.
Therefore, if Charlie Methven is to be believed, I’m not best placed to comment on matters of business.
However, the reality is Stewart Donald’s tenure at Sunderland has – by suspicion and necessity – made every one of us experts on boardroom manoeuvres. The Companies House website has certainly seen some increased traffic from the red and white faithful.
That was then. Change has come. It’s time we allow ourselves to take a breath and focus on what really matters – being a fan again.
KLD has arrived and his ‘asset stripping’ comments demonstrated he calls a spade a spade. He knew what he was saying. It’s refreshing to hear the new custodian of the club get straight to the point.
Yet, if we look beyond the words, crucially we’ve already seen some shrewd appointments in the boardroom. Out go the Madrox contingent; in come KLD’s own appointees. Igor Levin and Patrick Treuer are the most recent arrivals, having represented the Louis-Dreyfus’ family business interests in their respective key roles.
These are not insurance salesmen with egos. They appear to be serious players and here’s the rub – that should be sufficient for Sunderland supporters to relax.
For what it’s worth it’s enough for me.
I no longer want to be concerned about what percentage of the club is owned by whom, or which one of the directors has resigned.
Trust is earned that’s true and it’s very early days, but equally Louis-Dreyfus is clearly on another level to that which came before. When that’s staring so starkly in your face it’s okay to feel some relief – to let the guard down ever so slightly.
There’s a new era, and hearing KLD speak for the first time has given supporters a lift. It’s important to have that initial engagement to show what you’re about. But, I don’t want to hear regular soundbites from the young owner going forward.
I don’t need podcasts, pints in the Colliery Tavern, nor mingling with fans in the away end.
Frankly, that’s very League One.
Worse still, time showed these actions lacked substance. They just revealed themselves to be disingenuous at best.
When it comes to supporter engagement there is a balance. KLD will need to find it quickly. Too much and we all become saturated by the noise. Too little and we fill the silence. Ellis Short proved that approach could be just as perilous.
It will be helpful to hear from KLD periodically though. Through key development stages his vision needs to be shared to bring supporters with him on the journey.
In the meantime the focus should be on supporting the Lads.
Let’s let KLD worry about the boardroom.