A source at Sunderland has claimed that the recruitment under Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven was “horrendous” and suggested the duo “were so far out of their depth”.
Methven was appointed executive director of the Black Cats in May 2018 after arranging for Stewart Donald and Juan Sartori to buy the club from Ellis Short – a deal that saw him purchase 6% of the North East club.
Sunderland fell narrowly short of promotion in his first season at the club, losing in the play-off final, and he resigned from his post in December 2019, suggesting he was struggling with the pressure of his role and family life.
Methven arrived at a difficult time, with the club still trying to adjust to back-to-back relegations, and, speaking to The Athletic, a club source has suggested that he and Donald were trying to do a good job but didn’t have the know-how.
The source said: “They were people who genuinely wanted to do a good job but I’m not too sure they knew how to do it.
“On recruitment, it was ******* horrendous. They were so far out of their depth. I don’t think the chairman realised what a big job it was and didn’t really have the funds to do it. They were always chasing.”
Methven’s most high profile dealings in the transfer market were the sale of top scorer Josh Maja in January 2019 and the subsequent signing of the supposed replacement, Will Grigg, for a League One record fee.
Grigg has proven a poor signing, scoring just eight times in 49 appearances for the Black Cats, and the winter transfer window was arguably a key factor in the side failing to get back to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Can you remember which Sunderland manager signed each of these 15 players? Have a go now!
You feel these comments are unlikely to come as much of a surprise to Sunderland fans but will be frustrating nonetheless.
Some of the decisions made by the club hierarchy over the last few years has been questionable, to say the least, and you feel recruitment certainly falls into that camp.
You’d imagine many Black Cats supporters will be hoping for a takeover and a fresh start.