Sunderland’s executive director, Charlie Methven, has admitted that the club is open to outside investment for the club, and that talks have taken place with interested parties.
An injection of cash would be music to the ears of Black Cats fans as they prepare for their Wembley trip this weekend, but they will be cautious as well as optimistic, particularly after the mess the club found themselves in following Ellis Short’s stint in charge.
Methven told the Northern Echo: “We’ve been approached by a number of people who want to put money into the club, and we’ve talked to them.
“We’ve never hidden the fact that we’re potentially open to outside investment and that’s still the position. But the investment would have to be right for us, for the investors and for the football club.
“We see it as a massive positive that we’re getting these approaches – it shows we’ve made progress in terms of turning the club around.
“When we took over from Ellis (Short), the club was basically uninvestable. A lot of people looked at it, and decided there was no way they could invest.”
Of course, much depends on which division the Wearsiders find themselves playing in next season.
With automatic promotion not nailed on, and the play-offs still largely a lottery, there is still a scenario that could easily see Sunderland remaining a League One side for another year.
But Methven insists, if the worst happens, it will not affect their plans, with differing plans in place whether promotion is secured or not.
“We’ve got a plan for being in League One next season, and another plan for being in the Championship. The sums have all been done, and we know where we’re going to stand, both on and off the pitch.
“None of us want to be in League One next season, but the truth is if that happens, it will not be a great challenge now we’ve got the club stabilised. It was a problem this season because of the issues we inherited, but they’re not there now.
“We’ve still got a few leftover commitments from the Premier League days, but they’ll pretty much be cancelled out by the parachute payments. If we stay in League One, we won’t have to stretch ourselves. We’d be able to stick with pretty much the budget we have now, and that would comfortably be the biggest salary budget in the division. We’d also have the biggest transfer budget.”
Failing to go up would be a nightmare outcome for Sunderland fans. But at least they can rest easier, knowing that finally some sensible, financially savvy heads are running the club now.
But supporters could still ask questions of how, if they have “comfortably the biggest salary budget” and “the biggest transfer budget”, why promotion is not a mere formality at this stage of the season.
What are your thoughts Sunderland fans? Are you pleased that the financial position has righted itself at your club? Would you encourage outside investment? Should the team have performed better this season? Let us know your thoughts below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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