Welcome back to Last Word on Football’s Sunderland weekly roundup. This week’s edition looks back on the latest news, rumours, and matches from all teams associated with the Black Cats. Including the Manager of the Month award given to Phil Parkinson.
This week’s edition also looks at the latest on the possible sale of the club. Plus a look back at Saturday’s game against Ipswich Town. We also have the latest contract news and news from the ladies and academy teams.
Manager of the Month Phil Parkinson Gets Back to Winning Ways
Manager of the Month Award for Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson deservedly collected the League One Manager of the Month award for January. Four wins and two draws secured the award for the Black Cats boss. It was a run that catapulted Sunderland back into the promotion race. Confidence is growing within the squad and results on the pitch are showing this. Parkinson and his team are currently on a run of just one defeat in 11 matches.
“I’m very proud of it because a lot of effort went into the month from everybody,” Parkinson said after receiving the award. “That’s players, staff, and supporters as well. It’s an award for everybody.”
Ipswich Town Review
After a disappointing result and performance at Portsmouth, Sunderland bounced back with victory at the Stadium of Light. A poor first-half display was rectified by a better second half which produced the only goal of the game. Chris Maguire scored his tenth league goal of the season with a fine finish. The scoreline could have been bigger but for efforts hitting the post and crossbar. This result puts Sunderland into sixth place, eight points off first but with a game in hand.
Sale of Club Could Happen Soon
Current club owner Stewart Donald has set the price he wants to sell the Black Cats. He is hoping a deal could be done by the end of February. The Sunderland Echo reported that Donald is willing to accept a base level price of £35 million, yet this price would rise to £40 million should promotion be achieved this season.
Bloomberg reported last week that Donald had been holding serious discussions with at least two suitors. Although no details of the potential buyers have been released, it is understood that US investors are the most likely.
Phil Parkinson on Contract Situation
Unless addressed soon, Sunderland could potentially see as many as 14 players out of contract this summer. Black Cats boss Phil Parkinson is hoping to begin discussions in the coming weeks now that the transfer window has ended:
“In terms of those out of contract, I’m sure the Chairman will sit down with myself and the staff in the coming weeks so that we can discuss that.”
However, ongoing negotiations regarding the sale of the club could make this complicated. Whether Sunderland are in League One or the Championship next season, Parkinson will be keen to know where he and the players will stand come the summer.
Sunderland ladies manager Melanie Reay has joined Parkinson in winning the January Manager of the Month award. This was Reay’s second award of the season with her side currently in stunning form. They are top of the league and have progressed to the semi-finals of the League Cup, as well as fifth round of the FA Cup.
Good news was given to Sunderland’s academy last week. Following a recent audit by the Premier League, the Sunderland AFC academy retained its Category One status. The highest classification for an academy.
“The awarding of Category One status is testament to the professionalism, work ethic and dedication of everyone involved in our Academy operation. We have a fantastic team of people here, who work tirelessly on behalf of the club and so to be recognised among the very best youth academies in the country is something we are all rightly very proud of.”