Sunderland director Charlie Methven has resigned from the board of the Wearside club, effective on Thursday.
Methven has been at chairman Stewart Donald’s side since the takeover following relegation, but he’s now cited personal reasons for stepping down.
“This is a really tough decision to make, but for both family and work-related reasons it was something I felt I had to do,” he told the club’s official site.
My wife and I are expecting our first child in the New Year, and the reality of my day job – which is largely political consultancy – is that the first months of a new government will be very challenging.
“I’ve been a largely absentee husband, father and colleague for nearly two years, as the SAFC project took over most of my life, and it’s time that I re-paid those close to me for their patience.”
Methven will still retain his six per cent share in the club, alongside Donald and Juan Sartori. Talks of a takeover have been raging for weeks as the Black Cats find themselves in a perilous position on the field, struggling for wins and as low as 11th in League One.
Chairman Stewart Donald confirmed Methven has wanted out for a while, saying: “This is a really difficult one for me, as Charlie and I have been working non-stop together on this for almost two years.
“He came and asked if he could resign a couple of months ago, as he was finding it very difficult to keep all the plates in his life spinning, but I asked him to stay on until the investment process was concluded and Juan was back in the UK.
“I am grateful that he did that, as it enabled me to take a breather and re-gather my energies for the next stage, but it will still feel odd without him, even if we still see each other on a social basis.”
Fans have reacted on Twitter with a mix of speculation and rumour, with some suggesting all has not been well behind the scenes for some time.
Something has been off behind the scenes all season.
Don't know what it is but I'm sure it's has an impact on what has happened at the club.
— It's Just Lee (@LMc10_SAFC) December 6, 2019
Best news we've had in ages
— Andrew Kimmitt (@mackemandy) December 6, 2019
Why couldn’t he have taken Stewart Donald with him?
— eddy (@Houghton1956) December 6, 2019
Bottle job now it’s not all rosey
— l o r d b a r r o l d (@lord_barrold) December 6, 2019
Last fan meet he was in my few quite bitter towards fans I think he had , had enough. Yes certain supporter groups didn’t make it easy but sick of the different stories. Both not singing the same tune. Understand why Santori know stepping up.
— Steve (@SteveCairns1973) December 6, 2019
— Martin Blakelock (@pipes6) December 6, 2019
The cracks are starting to show
— true viking (@waynebsafc) December 6, 2019
Now the fans wont be slagged off.
— Chris safc fins (@Christianfors23) December 6, 2019