Sunderland owner Stewart Donald has insisted he will not sell the club after their play-off final and insists Jack Ross is the right manager to deliver promotion next season.
The Black Cats have failed in their quest to bounce straight back up to the Championship, as they were beaten by Charlton in Monday’s League One play-off final at Wembley.
And they lost in heartbreaking fashion too, with the Addicks scoring the winning goal of a 2-1 victory in the fourth minute of stoppage-time.
Charlton came up trumps at Wembley as Sunderland prepare for another season in League One[/caption]
The victory has cast doubt on Donald’s ownership, having vowed to help Sunderland back to the second tier when he purchased the Wearside club from Ellis Short in May 2018.
It has also put a big question mark over the future of manager Jack Ross, who has faced criticism for failing to secure promotion with the league’s biggest transfer budget.
But in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT, Donald has insisted neither he nor Ross are going anywhere.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White after Monday’s play-off defeat, the Black Cats chief said: “It’s absolutely galling to not have delivered for the fans.
“That’s twice we’ve been to Wembley this season and twice we haven’t delivered for the fans, I’m absolutely gutted. This is a killer.
“I will be here [next season]. I might sell some of my investment, but I don’t know yet.
“But what can you do? You’ve just got to go again.
“Financially we don’t need to let the club go, we’re safe enough, but if we really need to get back up to the Premier League we need some investment.
“So I’ll have a think about that over the next few days and have a look at the options in front of us.
“The bottom line is, off the field the club is safe. From where the club was 12 months ago, financially we’re secure so we haven’t got to rush into anything.”
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It appears that needed investment may be on the way, after US investor Mark Campbell was spotted at Wembley alongside Donald.
The Sunderland chief said business with the American is a real possibility, but also revealed he wasn’t the only potential investor at the match.
“I think there are four or five people who have tabled options to us that are here today, he’s one of them,” he said.
“He [Campbell] is a good guy and he might be someone we get involved. He’s one of four or five options we’ve got, but nothing is done.
“I need to sit down and analyse the next few weeks and see what options are going to be best for the club.”
Asked about Ross’ future in the Stadium of Light hotseat, Donald insisted he is the right man to take the club up next season.
“Jack is as gutted as we all are,” he added. “But if you’re asking me is Jack Ross going to be here next season, then yes he is, from my perspective.
“It was a big job on his hands. If you play football manager you’re going to say, ‘it’s the biggest budget, it’s Sunderland, you should go up’. But it isn’t like that and Jack has had a lot to contend with.
“He’s been thrown in at the deep end and we’ve done alright. Next year we definitely want to go up and I think Jack can deliver that for us.”