'They seem like they're sorting the place' - Sunderland fans' pleasure after Charlie Methven's jibes at previous owners of SAFC

Fans have reacted with delight after the Black Cats' new executive director criticised the way SAFC had been run under previous owners - and promised to make Sunderland a "proper football club, and proud" once more.

In a speech to delegates at a meeting of a new business club at the Stadium of Light earlier this week, Charlie Methven made a number of criticisms of the way predecessors had run the Black Cats.

Charlie Methven

Charlie Methven

Among the practices he claimed had contributed to the financial situation at SAFC under the previous regime were:

- The club spending £30,000 on a report from a branding company on what the club represented to people in Sunderland, only to be told it as an "old-fashioned football club"

- Payments of £1,000 a month to rotate plastic plants round various rooms

- No one was selling sponsorships

- here were 15 people working in marketing and PR but only one in commercial sales

- The club had been employing "just over twice as many people as Newcastle United"

The club's latest available accounts, covering August 1 2016 to July 31 2017, showed a pre-tax loss of £9.9million for the financial year.

Mr Methven told his audience that the previous owners had "forgotten what Sunderland is", that fans had passion for their club, and the new owners aimed to get back to being a "proper football club, and proud of it".

His words have been met with delight from fans on our Facebook page.

Gary Ablett said: "These new lads seem like they’re sorting the place. I hope Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven can kick us back into the big time."

Kevin Webster said: "As much as I want SAFC to succeed again, I really hope it’s built on solid foundations, growing hungry players through the academy and maybe from lower leagues in a way that allies steady progression.

"Burnley, Bournemouth Southampton etc are our role models now rather than trying to buy our way to competing with the established top six to eight in the premiership who have stupidly high budgets and salaries.

"It’s early days but I like what is happening now from the board to the team. More open, more honest and more tuned into the fan base."

John Gillon said: "I can’t believe they had no one selling corporate sponsorships/partnerships. Unbelievable. Newcastle take note.

"Be careful what you wish for in terms of new ownership. We all welcomed Ellis Short. And now look at where we are."

Some remarks bemoaned Sunderland being compared to Newcastle when it came Mr Methven's remarks about staffing levels at SAFC and NUFC.

Charlie Proud said: "Why do we keep being compared to the mags???...who cares about the mags ???..we are Sunderland!!!"

However, Tom Dent replied: "Don't think it's unreasonable here though - could replace them with any other team with a stadium of equal or greater size.

"Mags have made a profit some seasons under Ashley, while we have been financially knackered for years now.

"Not suggesting we adopt their business model wholesale, but a bit of sustainability and long-term planning wouldn't go amiss.