Season 2 of Sunderland ‘Til I Die is available on Netflix now, giving fans insight into the club’s former executive director Charlie Methven. He left the role in December 2019 but still owns shares in Sunderland.
Methven was part of the consortium led by Steward Donald that bought the club in May 2018.
At the time of the takeover, Methven said: “This summer there needs to be a turnaround, as this is an organisation that is used to failure.
“The club has lost more games than any other club so there’s a real, proper job on our hands to get everyone facing in the same direction.”
During his time as Sunderland’s executive director, Methven helped improve the club’s finances and their marketing strategy.
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The ‘Big Seat Change Initiative’, where fans, staff and players replaced the Stadium of Light’s faded pink seats, won the Best Club Marketing Initiative at the 2018 Football Business Awards.
He also helped the Black Cats attract the largest average attendance for a third-tier club at more than 31,000 and the largest League One match attendance at 46,039 for their Boxing Day clash with Bradford, beating the previous record held by Leeds.
How much is Charlie Methven worth?
Methven’s exact net worth is not known, however, he does reportedly own six per cent of Sunderland.
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Reflecting on his time as a director at Sunderland, Methven said: “I’m really proud of what the whole club achieved, looking back now.
Back in March 2018, the assumption within football and with a lot of Sunderland fans was that Sunderland AFC was going to go into administration.
“When you’ve got a club that is losing £30 million per annum and is that much in debt, there’s really very little to keep it afloat once the billionaire stops writing the cheques.
“We came in trying to achieve the aim of turning it around without the pain and humiliation of bankruptcy and it was a very difficult task.
“We inherited a cost base where the club was costing over £50m a year to run, while the revenue base was predicted to be £15m.
“The previous management said there were parachute payments to fill some of that gap, but that ignored the fact that there was also a net transfer deficit of £20m (money owed to clubs on previous transfers).
“So it wasn’t just £30+m loss, there was also that £20m that the club needed to pay.
“So we had no option but to come in and slash and burn, while trying to get revenue rising simultaneously, which is easier said than done but the fans really helped us.”
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