Charlie Methven hits back at Stewart Donald financial claims after Sunderland 'Til I Die revelations

Charlie Methven insists that Stewart Donald DOES have the money to finance Sunderland AFC – and isn’t selling the club for financial reasons.

Sunday, 5th April 2020, 11:40 am

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’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Charlie Methven

“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.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.