Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news RECAP: Gateshead friendly details plus ex-Cats striker reacts to Lewis Morgan interview
Sunderland are preparing for their first competitive fixture since March – and will start their 2020/21 season with two cup ties at the start of September.
Phil Parkinson’s side were handed a home fixture against Hull City in the first round of the Carabao Cup yesterday – and will discover their League One schedule later this week.
We’ve have all the latest Black Cats news, analysis, transfer talk and more throughout the day – scroll down to see how it unfolded:
Sunderland AFC transfer and takeover news RECAP: August 19
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 August, 2020, 18:03
- Sunderland are preparing for the start the 2020/21 campaign in less than three weeks time.
- The Black Cats will face Gateshead in a pre-season friendly this weekend.
- Sunderland’s first competitive match will be against Hull City at the Stadium of Light in the Carabao Cup.
- Phil Parkinson’s side will also play an EFL Cup match before their opening league match.
- Parkinson is still targeting up to another five signings before the summer transfer window closes.
Hello and welcome to our live Sunderland AFC transfer blog.
The Black Cats now know who their first opponents will be for the 2020/21 season after Phil Parkinson’s side were handed a home tie against Hull in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
The Wearsiders will be hoping to make a few more signings before that match which is set to take place on Saturday, September 5, and we’ll have all the latest news, transfer talk, analysis and more from the Stadium of Light.
Stick around and refresh the page for live updates throughout the day.
A cup draw to start the campaign
Sunderland’s first competitive match since March will be against Hull City at the Stadium of Light.
The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 5 but could be brought forward depending on international call-ups.
That scenario seems unlikely given that both sides would have to agree and have received less preparation time during a truncated pre-season.
The League One season will start on the weekend starting Saturday, September 12, with fixtures set to be released on Friday at 9am.
EFL Trophy opponents have also been confirmed
The Black Cats now know their group stage opponents for this year’s EFL Trophy after Aston Villa Under-21s were drawn in the same group as Sunderland, Fleetwood and Carlisle United yesterday.
Full fixture details will be confirmed in due course, but the first round of fixtures will be played on September 8/9 and will be Sunderland’s second competitive game of the 2020/21 campaign following the Carabao Cup first round tie with Hull.
Following the arrivals of Aiden O'Brien and Bailey Wright, Sunderland’s transfer business has stalled after the introduction of League One salary caps.
One area which Parkinson is keen to strengthen is in goal following Jon McLaughlin’s move to Rangers.
Former Bolton keeper Remi Matthews is a target but it appears the Black Cats face competition to sign the 26-year-old.
Wolves stopper Matija Sarkic and Chelsea’s Nathan Baxter have also been linked with loan moves to Wearside, yet Matthews offers more experience.
Sunderland have also been looking at centre-back Morgan Feeney and left-back Demetri Mitchell who have both been on trial at the club.
Former Everton defender Feeney, 21, looks like a realistic option, as his age means his wages would not count towards the salary cap.
A deal for 23-year-old Mitchell would be trickier because of the new regulations.
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Gavin Baldwin, Doncaster Rovers CEO
I think in isolation it won’t achieve stable football clubs going forward and if it is to work then it needs additional measures to support it. I personally, working for Doncaster Rovers, would have preferred a percentage of revenue model because that encourages us to work hard off the field to support the team on the field.
A first pre-season for Sunderland is on the horizon!
Friendly fixture confirmed
It’s been confirmed the Black Cats will face Gateshead in a pre-season friendly at the International Stadium this weekend.
The match will take place on Saturday, August 22 (3pm kick-off) and will be the first pre-season outing for Phil Parkinson’s side.
In line with the latest advice from the Government and the EFL, spectators will not be able to attend the fixture.
Sunderland have also said: “Due to protocols put in place by the home club relating to Covid-19, SAFC will be unable to provide a live stream of the game.”
Gateshead will be live streaming the game. They will be charging £5 to watch the match on the match online.
Elliott reacts to Lewis Morgan interview
Former Sunderland winger Lewis Morgan made some strong comments earlier this week when reflecting on his time at the Stadium of Light.
The Scotland international, speaking to Si Ferry on Open Goal, labelled the club a “shambles” and talked about being unable to get his head into the play-off final against Charlton Athletic.
When reflecting on the match against the Addicks at Wembley, the 23-year-old said: "To be fair I warmed up terribly, I did everything terrible and then two or three minutes into the game Max Power got injured and Jack Ross is like “are you ready to go on?” and in my head I’m like “no, I’m not, I’m not ready”.
"So that’s probably my biggest regret of my time down there, it wasn’t that I done it intentionally but I just didn’t deal well with being told I wasn’t playing.”
Former Black Cats forward Stephen Elliott wasn’t impressed by Morgan’s comments, though, and took to Twitter to share his view.
“A fair bit of truths in interview no doubt, but he was part of why it was a shambles (still kind of is),” Elliott Tweeted. “A young player who can’t lift himself for a game with magnitude of a playoff final for this club, even if starting on bench, is a disgrace. Needs to look in mirror first imo.
“He has ability and did ok in certain games but the club needs players that actually care and ‘really want’ to get promoted.
"There’s players who are happy to just do a few years with club at this level and are not ‘really’ bothered whether promotion is achieved or not.”