Charlie Methven 'expresses regret' for controversial comments made at meeting with Sunderland supporter groups

Charlie Methven last night expressed regret for comments made at a meeting with supporters groups in November.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 8:18 am

Methven spoke to various groups at a collective meeting as part of a regular dialogue including the Red & White Army and the Branch Liason council, among others.

As part of the agreement, minutes are only released once all three parties agree on their content.

That this has not still not happened, but The Times last night reported that Methven had made controversial remarks when pressed on the nature of the agreement that saw the FPP group inject £9 million into Madrox, secured against the club’s assets.

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Former executive director Charlie Methven

Methven stepped down from the board shortly after, citing personal reasons.

According to The Times, ‘he suggested that people in the south would not be questioning such a deal because of a better understanding of business. The minutes report that he went as far as to suggest that this was because there were “less entrepreneurs” in the North East.’

In a statement released to The Times, Methven said: “This meeting was at the end of my three-month notice period at Sunderland.

“I was repeatedly pressed on the negative implications of a £10 million investment I’d secured for the club. Exasperated, I reacted intemperately and one of those present subsequently took me to task. I apologised to him because the comparison I made does not accurately reflect my real views. It was an off-the-cuff riposte which I regret.”

Sunderland have moved to distance themselves from the remarks, saying in a statement: “It goes without saying that any such views are not representative of our chairman and Sunderland AFC as a whole.

“It is clear from comments the chairman has made publicly that he is hugely appreciative of and truly grateful for the tremendous support given to the club by the Sunderland fans, especially in recent challenging times.”

Chairman Stewart Donald convened a second meeting of the groups after those remarks from Methven, the minutes of which are available here.

Those minutes begin by saying that the chairman was ‘unhappy with some of the content and answers contained within the draft minutes, which he felt did not reflect the club’s viewpoint.’