Revealing insight into what Sunderland fans can expect under Stewart Donald and his long-term plans
Stewart Donald's Sunderland takeover is set to be completed on Monday and the plan is to make the club 'fully sustainable'.
A long-time business partner and associate of Donald, Charlie Methven, who is set to join the new board at Sunderland AFC, has offered some insight into what the plans are for the club.
In an interview with bloomberg.com, Methven said the plan is to make Sunderland "fully sustainable" after an initial period of investment and restructuring.
Further details of the sale will come next week when it is officially confirmed but the report claims Donald bought Sunderland for £40million with further bonus payments to Ellis Short should Sunderland win promotion. Short wiped out the £125.7million debt as part of the sale.
One of the key factors for Donald & Co will be to cut the wage bill, which stood at the £35million mark last season.
Jack Rodwell will see his £70,000 a week wages cut to around the £40,000 mark, his 40 per cent cut coming in this summer but there is a host of other players on huge wages by League One standard; the likes of Lee Cattermole, Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone which the club will almost certainly have to move on.
"There’s a major task ahead with moving players on who are at inappropriate wages for the level we’re now at," added Methven.
The Black Cats will play in the third tier for only the second time in the club's history this season following back-to-back relegations.
"You need to be realistic about who you are," said Methven.
"Sunderland faces the fact that they will be the game of the season for most teams and they need to be humble enough to match the effort of the opposition if they want to succeed."
Methven and Donald were previously involved at Oxford almost a decade ago, before Donald took charge at Eastleigh, Donald had to sell the National League outfit before taking over at Sunderland.
Methven said back at Oxford the pair "could not afford to be too proud to do anything" and were happy to roll their sleeves up and get involved.
Methven is a PR expert who founded Dragon PR Limited and he attended the 3-0 win over Wolves at the Stadium of Light on the final day of the season alongside Donald.
Donald, who also uses Twitter to communicate directly with fans, plans on regular meetings with fans groups too, a vastly different approach to the one Short took during his time in charge.
Donald took to Twitter on Friday night to express his delight, adding the hard work starts now with the takeover expected to be officially confirmed at the beginning of next week after gaining EFL approval.
A club statement read: "Following a meeting with the EFL on Friday, and the provision of further information, we can now confirm that the proposed sale of the club could be concluded as early as next week.
"We would like to place on record our thanks to the EFL for their assistance during the process, at what is a very busy time of the football calendar for them.
"We are unable to make further comment at this time."