Supporter concerns about a potential "Monitored Grant" application
As stated on social media RAWA have been asking the club to rearrange a previously postponed meeting in November. The meeting was cancelled by the club due to the progression of takeover talks. We have also asked for clarity on where the takeover stands after which this article appeared in the Chronicle.
Whilst we await further news on a takeover, supporters have been concerned to hear rumours that SAFC may apply for a "Monitored Grant" from the financial support package for L1 and L2 clubs. The Monitored Grant can be applied for from a total fund of £20m for those clubs in the greatest financial need. This would be after all of L1 clubs receive £375k each and L1 and L2 clubs have been apportioned their share of £15m based on lost income from match-day attendances.
Whilst full details are to be confirmed by the EFL it would seem the "crisis funding" from the monitored grant, will come with conditions that restrict the progress of the club, such as paying fees to sign new players and further wage restrictions.
We are writing to the club to ask if it is their intention to apply for the Monitored Grant after the standard relief package is received.
Why would supporters be concerned or confused if SAFC do plan to pursue this?
Supporters have been told by the owners that the club is in good financial shape, comparing favourably with other EFL clubs when it comes to coping with the Covid impact. Stewart Donald stated in his last meeting with supporters that ‘Madrox will have put in £37.6 million into the club by the time it is sold. Most of the £20 million has already been repaid and will continue being repaid. All monies will be repaid before it is sold.’
It has been reported that SAFC have a deficit in running costs of around £1m per month. It seems a fair assumption that the FPP loan of circa £9m has been used to meet this deficit in recent months.
Given the ‘investment’ into the club from the FPP loan and the scheduled repayment of the parachute payments, fans are asking why a club of Sunderland’s stature would need to take on the relatively small amount a Monitored Grant would provide and all the restrictions that would come with it?
Fans are particularly concerned that a move for a Monitored Grant could have an impact on the progression of SAFC regardless of the makeup of the ownership. We continue to lobby for further updates on the potential takeover and to meet with the club to ask all of the questions that RAWA have collated from fans.