Sunderland supporters' group on 'relief' of club sale and hopes for new ownership
Sunderland supporters' group Red & White Army say that they are hoping the club's new owners will have an 'honest relationship' with fans.
Ellis Short has agreed a deal to sell the Black Cats to a consortium fronted by Stewart Donald.
Donald's group are waiting for approval from the EFL, with Short clearing the club's internal and external debts.
The Red & White Army, who recently formed to improve relations with the club, said the news had drawn a 'collective sigh of relief' on Wearside.
The full statement reads: "The Red and White Army welcome Sunday’s news as Sunderland supporters everywhere draw a collective sigh of relief, particularly on Ellis Short’s announcement, “I have paid off all debts owed by the club to leave it financially strong and debt free for the first time since years before I owned it.”
"It now feels possible that the downward spiral can be stopped and we hope that the new custodians can rebuild our broken club and make us proud again. If they can help build a squad of players that care and play with a bit of endeavour then fans will back the new ownership and match-days at the SoL will feel like match-days once again. If they can bring a bit of success, we’ll raise the roof.
"A sound and stable approach to running the Club, investment in the playing squad and a good manager at the helm will of course give us a great chance of success on the pitch, but football fans know nothing is guaranteed in this game. What we hope the new ownership will guarantee is an honest relationship with the supporters. Since Red and White Army launched in September last year we have embarked on a process of structured dialogue with the Club’s executives in a very challenging environment.
"We’re looking forward to the opportunity to meet Stewart Donald and our new owners. We also hope to continue working with some of the excellent staff who have attended the two meetings we have already took part in, along side fellow supporter groups. We would like to thank those staff for opening the door to our fledgling organisation.
"The possibility of supporters working closely with the Club with a backdrop of positivity and desire to do well, gives us the hope and determination to help forge a strong relationship between SAFC and its loyal fans. We’ve kept the faith in the most challenging of circumstances and we hope that we’re about to see a successful period in SAFC’s history, where supporters have influence and there is mutual respect and good communication between the owners and fans."