Jack Ross not fazed by ongoing ownership talk at Sunderland as Black Cats prepare for huge Portsmouth clash

Jack Ross is not fazed by ongoing talk surrounding the future ownership of Sunderland AFC - with his focus fully on achieving promotion.

By Richard Mennear
Tuesday, 14 May, 2019, 15:27

Sunderland travel to Portsmouth Thursday evening for the play-off semi final second leg, Chris Maguire’s stunning volley handing the Black Cats a one goal advantage.

News broke on the eve of the 1-0 win over Portsmouth that Sunderland are set to welcome a fresh investor this summer.

Sunderland AFC manager Jack Ross.

Owner Stewart Donald has stressed that he will still be at the club in some capacity next season but is considering a range of options with talks ongoing.

When asked about the ongoing ownership talk and whether it was a distraction, Ross said: “It's quite easy for us cause we keep speaking about what we can affect.

"The only thing I can ever affect is the preparation of players and what the players can affect is performances on the pitch.

"The end of the regular season was a really good time for us to refocus and regroup because there's been a lot of external noise full stop - not just about potential takeovers but other things as well.

"We used it as an opportunity to galvanise ourselves and I think that reflected in the performance the other night as well.

"I'm aware of the speculation but my job is to continue to prepare the team as well as I can.

"I'm aware of bits and pieces but ultimately it's nothing to do with me.

"I'm employed as the manager and my job is to always get the best from the playing squad and prepare them thoroughly as we can - that's the approach we've taken all season and hopefully it continues to be the case for two more games."

When asked how can he plan for next season given the ongoing uncertainty, Ross said: “It doesn't concern me too much.

"I only ever worry about doing my job properly and that's what I focus on everyday.

"What I can control how I do my job - I take pride in what I do.

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"In terms of the planning, obviously it's not that easy to plan when you're still uncertain of what league you'll be in and when you add other factors into the equation - we'll probably be

having to do an awful lot of work quickly again but that's just the circumstances."

Donald has been open this season in admitting that he may need outside investment to achieve his long-term aim of getting the club back to the Premier League.

He has been in talks with a number of parties and will make a decision later this month on what option to pursue.

He is likely to relinquish some of his shares in the club, but has no intention of walking away entirely.

Donald currently owns 74% of the club, with Juan Sartori owning 20% and Charlie Methven 6%.

It is understood that he intends to keep a controlling or meaningful stake.

Reports have also suggested Donald could sell a chunk of his shares for £27 million to a New-York based consortium with links to the Far East.

Donald said last week: “It's common knowledge, I've mentioned it before, we need a long-term plan that is going to involve getting some investment in the club.

"We've talked to loads and loads of people over the last couple of months, looked at options of trying to raise internal finance etc. Through the summer there's no doubt that they're we're

going to take one of those options, but that will involve us staying at the club.

"We've worked hard in the last twelve months, we need stability. We want to get back up to the Championship on the field, that's important, we're trying to do that, but off the field the

football club has been through a lot, our conversations have been about trying to get another investor or investors in, to help us long term to get back to the Premier League."