This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
According to The Chronicle, Sunderland’s potential new owners will “invest heavily” in the club’s academy once the takeover is complete.
According to the report, John Phelan, Glenn Fuhrman and Rob Platek, who will also have the backing of Michael Dell, are close to taking over the club from Stewart Donald.
But, with the transfer window shut until the new year and the Football League’s version of Financial Fair Play preventing any major overhaul of the squad, they will focus their efforts on the youth set-up.
As detailed by the report, Sunderland have produced some serious success stories from their academy in the past, like England internationals Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford, but have struggled to keep hold of their talent in recent seasons.
Still, the Black Cats are one of just 24 category one academies in the country, and the only one in the third tier.
This should be music to the ears of every Sunderland fan. Yes, we can all dream about our club receiving a huge cash injection and going out into the transfer market and making some noise.
Yes, we can imagine stadium redevelopments and multi-million pound new signings, but the fact of the matter is that is not sustainable long-term.
Unless everyone’s forgotten, Sunderland had a billionaire American owner not too long ago, and that didn’t go too well.
So, the fact that the potential new owners are focusing so much on the academy tells us lots of things, and they’re all positive.
First, it suggests they are in it for the long haul, rather than looking to inject some cash into the first-team squad, earn promotion and sell for a profit.
Secondly, it tells us they have learned from the mistakes of previous owners, and most importantly, it means that no longer will the club have to watch on as players like Luca Stephenson and Josh Maja move on to bigger and better things.
Sunderland fans must be patient – the new owners are not going to fire the club back into the Premier League in the blink of an eye with a wad full of cash.
What they do seem intent on doing however, is improving the club from top to bottom and setting the Black Cats up for long-term success, ensuring young talent is brought to the Stadium of Light and is there to stay.
Make no mistake about it, this is an excellent first decision from the potential new men in charge on Wearside.