Sunderland Weekly Round-Up
It’s rare that a week goes by a Sunderland without plenty to talk about. The past week has, once again, been no exception. This installment of the Sunderland weekly round-up looks at the latest on the takeover talks. Plus, pre-season games got underway.
Also, a new defender arrived and another left. There was also the big news of contract extension being signed and the latest figures with regards to season ticket sales were announced.
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up
Takeover Talks on Hold
The drawn-out talks regarding new investment have been put on hold. Businessman Mark Campbell had been in talks with current majority shareholder Stewart Donald about acquiring a 74% stake in the club.
However, with pre-season underway, talks have been put in hold as the club prepares for the new season. Executive Director Charlie Methven said: “We’ve been open that we’re looking for investment but, for now and because of the time of year, we’ve decided to get on with the job in hand and keep talking to interested people in the background.”
Methven also addressed some of the concerns fans had about finances:
“All the published facts demonstrate that the club, for the first time in a generation, is in a strong position financially. It is a result of the deal that I negotiated with Ellis Short, the difficult steps we have taken to turn the club around commercially, the money that the vast majority of fans who have turned up and the money Stewart and Juan have invested.”
Pre-Season Games Begin
Sunderland began their pre-season with a comfortable 2-0 victory away at South Shields. Manager Jack Ross gave many players a chance to impress, including youngsters and two new signings, Conor McLaughlin and Lee Burge. Ethan Robson and Luke O’Nien scoring the goals.
The team now head to Portugal to continue their preparations for the new season. They will play Benfica B and Belenenses before the end of the week.
Late last week, Sunderland confirmed that defender Donald Love had left the club. Signed by David Moyes in the summer of 2016, the former Manchester United player endured an injury-filled time on Wearside. He began four of the first six games last season; however, injury once again halted his playing time. He didn’t appear again. He has joined Shrewsbury Town on a free transfer.
Jordan Willis signed on a free transfer on Saturday having left Coventry City. Willis joins former teammate from Coventry Lee Burge and ex Millwall defender Conor McLaughlin as the Black Cats newest signings.
Willis was a much sought-after player. Several Championship clubs were interested in his services. However, it was the Black Cats who won the race, much to the delight of all at the club.
McGeady Signs Contract Extension
Everyone at the club was given a huge boost on Sunday. Influential winger Aiden McGeady signed a contract extension. The new deal will keep him on Wearside until 2021.
Speaking after the announcement was made, McGeady said:
“From the end of last season, I spoke to the manager a bit because I only really saw my future here. I spoke to the manager before I even knew where we going to be, the Championship or League One again.”
“There were other teams that were interested but I didn’t really want to entertain that. I’m very happy to stay here and I want to do everything I can to help the club get back to where it belongs.”
Sunderland Weekly Round-Up: 23,300 Season Tickets Sold
The club have announced that with several weeks to go before the season begins, 23,300 season tickets have been sold. This time last year, the figure was 2000 less. They went on to sell 24,000. This year, it appears that they could beat last years sales. It is a staggering number considering the Black Cats are soon to begin their second successive season in League One.