Sunderland Round-Up: Covid-19 Outbreak, Aiden McGeady, Takeover Latest and More

sunderland round-up

The past week at Sunderland has been eventful as ever. This week’s Sunderland round-up looks at the Covid-19 outbreak which forced the club to cancel their next three games but not before some controversy.

Aiden McGeady, back in the first team following the departure of Phil Parkinson, has had his say on what happened between him and his former manager; and as usual, there’s been more takeover talk, but little appears to be progressing. 

Sunderland Round-Up 

Covid-19 Outbreak and AFC Wimbledon Game 

Last Tuesday, just hours before the Black Cats were to host AFC Wimbledon in a league fixture, a Covid-19 outbreak hit the Sunderland squad. It meant that should the game go ahead, head coach Lee Johnson would be without eight first-team players. 

Sunderland requested that the game be called off; however, an agreement between the club and the EFL could not be reached. The club advised that there was a lack of clarity over potential sanctions Sunderland could face in the event that the fixture was unfulfilled.

The match went ahead with the game ending 1-1. Due to the number of players missing that would normally be in the first team, Lee Johnson had to call upon players who were either not fully fit, youngsters and those that had played for the Under-23 side just 24 hours prior.

The situation left Lee Johnson understandably furious: “That game should have been called off. There’s no doubt in my mind. It was dangerous for the players who played in terms of the injuries, the U23s played yesterday.

“The team was changing by the hour and I can’t help but be angry and frustrated.

“I’m not 100% sure who I should be angry at because I had to control the controllable and focus on the ones who could play. I don’t think we got any help or clarity from the EFL.”

Next Three Games Cancelled 

Following the game against Wimbledon, it was announced via the club’s official website that their next three games had been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The fixtures against Shrewsbury Town, Blackpool and Hull City were postponed.

At present, Sunderland are scheduled to return to action against Accrington Stanley on December 29.

Aiden McGeady Breaks his Silence 

This past week, winger Aiden McGeady has spoken out about Phil Parkinson’s time at the club and his banishment from the first-team squad. 

Speaking to the SAFC Unfiltered Podcast, McGeady said: “To be honest, I still to this day don’t really know what happened. I never really had an argument or a falling out with Phil Parkinson, a big fight or anything like that.”

“On the Tuesday before the Gillingham game, he called me in and said, ‘you’re our best player, I need to get you on the ball more in the final third’. He said he was going to play me as a number ten against Gillingham.

“On the Thursday, he called me in again and said he was going to change it, to play with two strikers and three at the back. I said, ‘OK’.”

“I never got off the bench during the game, we were off Sunday, trained Monday, and then on Tuesday morning, I got called to go and see him again.

“I hadn’t even got changed into my kit yet. He literally just said, ‘I don’t want you round the place anymore’.

“I asked why, and he said ‘I think you’re maybe too negative for the group’. I said, ‘well, we’ve won two out of fifteen mate, there’s obviously a problem’.

“He couldn’t give me any examples of what I’d done wrong, any moments. He said he’d made his decision and that was it, really.”

McGeady returned to the first team for Lee Johnson’s first game in charge. He has since featured in three of the new head coach’s first four games in charge.

Sunderland Round-Up: Takeover Latest

The Sunderland takeover saga continues to rumble on. It has now been almost one year since Stewart Donald decided to put the club up for sale. At present, the consortium led by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and current minority shareholder Juan Sartori is believed to be still the front-runners.

Recently chief executive Jim Rodwell gave this update on the situation: “We’ve been in contact with the EFL and certain documentation has been lodged with the EFL.”

“It’s a process that you go through and some documentation has been lodged. We’re just working through it. It just takes time, it is seriously complex. There are so many moving parts to it. There’s a will to get it done but these things are never done until it’s done.”

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