Just as a fresh sense of positivity had been injected into Sunderland after their 3-1 win over Lincoln, the negativity is back in full force.
The Black Cats’ alarming decline in recent years has seen their attendance drop from over 40k to now just above 30k and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if it dropped further after a huge statement was released by the club.
On Tuesday morning, it was announced that Stewart Donald felt as though he had no option but to sell the club. Among the statement was a sense of bewilderment.
Donald met with the ‘Supporter Collective’ group in early December in what was described as a friendly and constructive meeting where he promised funds would be spent in January.
However, after a fan representative body issued a statement after the Boxing Day draw calling for the club to be sold imminently, it looks as though supporters may finally get their wish.
That being said, some fans have acted in disbelief, hitting out at the ridiculous nature and timing of the statement as the club now sit five matches unbeaten. Considering the way the owner appears to blame the supporters, a quote stating it was a disgusting statement isn’t far off being correct.
I have no words 😶
— Lee Gamble (@LeeGamble1973) January 7, 2020
— Daniel Stokell (@DanielStokell1) January 7, 2020
What an absolutely disgusting statement.
— Chris Laws (@chrisdlaws) January 7, 2020
Further individuals picked up on the way he was seemingly blaming the fans for what had occurred recently, something that supporters have already taken an issue with this term.
Also part of the discussion was the fact that Donald had been trying to sell the club anyway. Back in August, Sky Sports suggested he was closing to selling but from that point, nothing seemed to materialise.
It remains to be seen whether that does happen but supporters certainly aren’t happy at his decision to try and divide the fanbase after appearing to blame fanzines for his actions.
In the statement, the owner said: “Finally, I just ask that fans now unite to support the players and the coaching staff.”
Ultimately, though, that doesn’t look like the message the former Eastleigh owner is trying to send out.
Wants a mutiny between the fans for the ones who wanted him to stay and go. Then he’ll put the blame the fans for everything breaking down. He’s wanted to sell us since the summer and now releases this. Wonder if minutes will get released by @RedAndWhite2017 nothing to lose now.
— Nick Mustard (@NMustard4) January 7, 2020
Absolutely classic divide and conquer hyperbole. Cherry picking the truth. SD has no money, has been trying to sell for a year, brought in disastrous PP and we are unlikely to go up this season. To try and blame the fans/fan groups is an absolute joke. @WiseMenSayPod @RokerReport
— Ian Carse (@OnABreakHistory) January 7, 2020
How can he blame the fans for now having to sell the club, when he’s previously tried to sell the club?
— Chris (@durhamchris1983) January 7, 2020
Nice attempt to divide the fanbase. Bitter and childish from SD. Been trying to sell the club long before the fan groups statement #safc
— Jordan Kay (@jordankay88) January 7, 2020
This statement is an embarrassment. You’ve been trying to sell the club for months. It’s further confirmation that you aren’t capable to running this club.
— David Wright (@DavidWright1802) January 7, 2020
Further individuals laid into Donald directly, calling him a 12-year-old while one said they couldn’t believe anything he said anymore.
Towards the end of the statement, it read: “Given the scale of the task on arriving at the club and the amount of hard work put in over the last 18 months, the current owners would have preferred more time to complete the job and fully implement the vision originally laid out. However, recent events indicate that is not what some fans wish for – and, as football supporters themselves, the Board understands that long-term success cannot be achieved by a disunited club.”
How much do you remember about football in 2019? Our quiz will test your knowledge…
After this message, it seems as though fans will want him to leave the Stadium of Light even quicker. It’s no surprise to see why either.
Perhaps backing the manager in the summer instead of trying to make a quick buck would have been a better option. I can’t believe a word this bloke says anymore.
— steven armstrong (@steven_sda7698) January 7, 2020
We were taken over by a 12 year old boy. Had a tantrum and stormed off and everyone elses fault
— peter cooper (@sunlunpete) January 7, 2020