In an interview with the Daily Mail, the club’s former executive director - who retains a six per cent stake in the Black Cats - says that financial reasons are not the driving force before Donald’s desire to sell, with new owners hoped to be in place by the summer.
“Stewart does not need to sell for financial reasons,’ said Methven.
“However, he did promise to leave once he was no longer wanted. So when the main fan organisation put out a statement saying they wanted him to go, he called me and said, ‘Well that’s it then, I can’t cling on for dear life’.
“Before coronavirus hit we were at the stage where we expected new ownership to be in place by this month. What has happened has slowed the process.
“But I think the club is in a position to go from strength to strength - which it certainly wasn’t before we came - and I hope the documentary shows the work we put in.”
Methven’s claims come after the release of the second series of Sunderland ‘Til I Die, where Donald laid bare his concerns over financing the club in the long-term.
In a discussion with director Neil Fox, Donald says: “We might not be able to financially finish it. We’re going to have to recognise that.
“You can get carried away with how good it feels.”
He later adds: “It was pretty apparent even from owning the club for a couple of months that we would need to talk to people about how we fund the long-term plan.
“I’ve been doing that.
“I’ve got a couple of options, and of course the issue is that we want to raise quite a lot of funding - so they’ll want a big stake.
“And I don’t have a problem with the big stake, but losing control is not something I really want to do.”
Donald has twice come close to selling the Black Cats – with Mark Campbell and FPP Sunderland both reaching an advanced stage of negotiations.