Stewart Donald makes January pledge to Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson

Stewart Donald has insisted that he will back Phil Parkinson in the upcoming January window.

The Sunderland Chairman was asked during an appearance on BBC Newcastle whether any of the £10 million injection of funds from the FPP group was earmarked for January spending.

Donald spoke at length about how he funds would be used, including on infrastructure projects, the academy, and recruitment structures.

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He insists, however, that he can and will invest in the squad during the January window, acknowledging that Parkinson will want to put his own stamp on the squad.

Stewart Donald says that Phil Parkinson will have funds to strengthen in January

“The biggest single priority is getting out of the league,” Donald said.

“If we need to spend, we’ll spend.

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“Having spoken to the manager and got his initial assessment of the squad, there’s no doubt he’s going to want to strengthen the squad.

“He sees some positives but also some things that we need to address.

“I was always realistic, getting a new manager always costs quite a bit of money because generally then want to have their own team around them and they’ll have their eye on a few players etc.

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“We’ll do what’s needed.”

Donald admitted that the club needed to have a better January than last year, and backed Phil Parkinson to get the best out of Will Grigg, who he conceded does not look value for money at the moment.

“Last January I tried to do what was needed, it just didn’t work, but I’d still maintain that if you were put in my shoes, you’d do what I did,” he said,” he said.

“It didn’t work, it didn’t always work, but the reality of it is that we’ll have to try and have a better January than we did last year.

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“At the moment, [Will] doesn’t look good value for money.

“But the boy has got a proven pedigree, he’s a good lad with desire. So Phil has got to get him firing, and if he does he’ll be one of the best investments I’ve made.”