Charlie Methven explains Tony Davison's departure and pays tribute to Sunderland's managing director

Sunderland AFC have confirmed that managing director Tony Davison has left the club.
Former managing director of Sunderland Tony DavisonFormer managing director of Sunderland Tony Davison
Former managing director of Sunderland Tony Davison

Davison is a lifelong fan of the Black Cats, who initially worked at the club from 1996 to 2005, including famously donning the Samson the Cat mascot outfit on matchdays.

He went on to enjoy a hugely successful career in football and returned to the club from a spell at Tottenham Hotspur, recruited by Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven after their takeover of the club.

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Davison was praised by Methven for playing a pivotal role in raising the club’s commercial revenues, and also played an integral part in bringing summer concerts back to the Stadium of Light, with the Spice Girls playing to a sell-out crowd last summer.

Methven said that Davison’s work came at ‘an immense personal sacrifice’ and that it was ‘the right time to part ways’.

“We have all thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Tony throughout the last 18 months,” he said.

“It’s been extremely hard graft on his part and the club’s success came at immense personal sacrifice, with long hours and long weeks spent away from his home and family.

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“As such, we all felt that it was the right time to part ways. We look forward to welcoming Tony back to the Stadium of Light as a guest on many future occasions, and he remains a close friend.”

The club statement added: “SAFC would like to thank Tony for his contribution following a successful 18-month period, during which he played a pivotal role in helping to turn around the club’s commercial operation."