In the wake of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ takeover being confirmed by the EFL, Sunderland have announced the departure of CEO James Rodwell.
Rodwell was recruited in April 2020 from Scunthorpe United by then-owner Stewart Donald, who was in the process of finding a buyer for the Black Cats.
He professed great excitement at the time to be joining Sunderland, but the club website have stated that Rodwell was brought to the club by Donald to oversee the sale – which ended up taking 10 months.
However he was lambasted by many sections of the Black Cats fanbase for the season card fiasco in the summer that left fans waiting for refunds, which left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
Nevertheless with the sale of the club to 23-year-old Louis-Dreyfus now ratified by the EFL, Rodwell had completed his job and with Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman in place and Steve Davison being appointed COO last month, Rodwell was no longer needed.
Quiz: Did these 15 former Sunderland players leave for a higher or lower fee than they arrived for?
New owner Louis-Dreyfus has wished Rodwell well for the future, saying (per the official website): “I would like to thank Jim for the support that he has given me during the sale process.
“His integrity and professionalism have been much in evidence, and the good leadership he has displayed in maintaining the stability of the club during the Covid-19 pandemic should also be recognised.”
Those well-wishes haven’t been fully reciprocated by many Sunderland fans, who have been reacting to the news on social media.
Couldn't run a raffle
— Neil Richardson (@nricho68) February 19, 2021
The level of turnover and lack of stability at the club is incredible. I don’t recall anyone saying he was he was here only to oversee sale? The Merry go round continues….
— Peter Eng (@EngMartin3) February 19, 2021
Rodwell biggest achievement was to stop half the season card holders renewing. Bundled from one mess to another in his short time here. See ya later 👋
— Andy McCoy (@andy_mccoy) February 19, 2021
Excellent, fail to understand what he actually did for us anyway other than take the flack for Donald and methven while they hid under their rocks.
— Chris Black (@Cblack12345) February 19, 2021
Good riddance. Can we now set a rule in place where no one with the surname Rodwell is allowed to be employed by SAFC?
— Paul Russell (@Paul_Russ2012) February 19, 2021
Should have announcement every morning of one of Donald’s minions leaving, really brightens your morning
— Jonny McFadden (@jonnymcfadden) February 19, 2021
Thanks for all your erm *checks notes* work
— Jos 🇫🇷 (@Jhouns1991) February 19, 2021
Achieved his remit but didn't have a clue about how to engage with supporters and public.
— P.H.J.Molloy (@PHJM5) February 19, 2021
😎😎😎 getting rid of the plodders one by one. Gan on Kyril lad
— Scott (@76skelly) February 19, 2021
Brilliant. The Resurgence of #SAFC is on and the revolution is happening. Watch this space. HA’WAY THE LADS!
— Tommyesafc (@Tommyesafc4eve1) February 19, 2021
What a start to Friday. More deadwood out the door
— Alan (@al_smith11) February 19, 2021