Sunderland director pays tribute to Sir Bob Murray and says club can achieve a quick revival

Executive director Charlie Methven believes that he and Stewart Donald can quickly turn Sunderland's fortunes around after paying tribute to the work of Sir Bob Murray.

Monday, 28th May 2018, 7:00 am
Sir Bob Murray.

Methven’s role was confirmed at the end of last week and alongside chairman Donald, they have begun a significant shake-up at the club.

Tony Davison has been appointed managing director, with Jack Ross taking the reins on footballing matters.

A number of other changes have also been made, with a number of football and non-football staff leaving the club.

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Richard Hill, the former manager of Eastleigh, is joining in an advisory role.

Methven says that the enormous fanbase and facilities on Wearside offers them a strong chance of success, with the changes designed to strengthen the club’s foundations.

He said: “I think Ellis [Short] has been pouring money into this place for some time but the foundations have not been right.

“I think Ellis would say he doesn’t know a great deal about football administration, I’d like to think Stewart and I know a great deal more.

“The infrastructure is there, the fanbase is there, the academy is strong.

“These are things which cost a vast amount to put in place, the job that Sir Bob Murray did, and I’ve spoken to him a lot during this process, he did the hard bit. That’s the hard bit.

“Our part is being professional, clear, and executing a plan. We think we can turn it round reasonably quickly.

“We’re in a decent position to get it to a blank sheet of paper, which I think has been hard in the last year or two with all the baggage that has been carried.

“Some baggage is still there but it is another year down the track.”

The new regime have looked to capitalise on the feel-good factor that has followed their takeover by extending the deadline for reduced price season ticket renewals.

Methven said the club’s support was a crucial reason why, despite major problems on and off the pitch, he and Donald were so eager to take the club on.

He said: “You look at football clubs and you look at their potential first. You can’t create that potential, it takes a long time to build.

If you speak to Tony Bloom at Brighton he’d probably tell you it took around 15 years to build a crowd, that’s the hardest thing to do in football.

“That’s something which Stewart and I have been engaged in, Stewart at Eastleigh and at Oxford in both our cases.

“At those clubs you look to build the fanbase and that is at times a heart-wrenching, time consuming and sometimes defeating thing to do, when you put on the show and people don’t come.

“Here, we believe if we put the show on people will come. To put on a great show, this place needs to be lean, hard and mean.”