If you read these pages regularly, you will know that I am no fan of Thomas Sandgaard and said his reign was effectively over after he failed to invest in the Summer. He has also lied to the fans about having no interest in selling the club and not knowing Methven etc although those are white lies in my mind given his need to avoid signalling a sale.
Charlie Methven on the other hand is a naked liar. His involvement at Sunderland was characterised by deceptions in terms of ownership and motivation. Sunderland fans have willingly told us all of this. At Charlton he strenuously denied any involvement in a takeover when it was apparent he wasn't here just because he had fallen in love with the football we play. Even when the Texas Takeover became clear he denied any involvement and specifically that he would have no involvement post a takeover, although the seat of CEO was still vacant despite appointing a FD, Technical Director, First Team Coach etc.
Their initial period of exclusivity expired and we had no update or progress for over a couple of weeks before Sandgaard pulled the plug. The reason he gave was that they hadn't stuck to the terms of their agreement and Sandgaard was tired of the ongoing negotiation tactics - he was also being rubbished over trying to increase his remaining stakeholding by 2%. Methven's response was that they had the money and were ready to complete the next day. Not that he had the money and was ready to go ahead of the 31st January of course.
We should remind ourselves that Sandgaard took no risks legally when he acquired the club. He paid for top legal advice and won his day in court. He runs a multi-national and as CEO will be very familiar with seeking and adhering to legal guidance.
Methven's continuing threats of legal action and now pumped up threats of suing for huge sums for 'loss of profits' is laughable. A club losing £500,000 a month that his group could have bought for £8.5m suddenly becomes a £50m profit generating machine? Come on! There is only one driver here. Bad PR for Sandgaard and the club in an attempt to draw a smaller, more realistic "get lost" fee from Sandgaard. It could also be as simple as trying to get their deposit refunded. It would appear Sandgaard may be hanging on to that and might have legal grounds to do so if the deal hadn't completed within the initial exclusivity period or if they had broken terms as Sandgaard claims.
Either way, Charlie Boy has yet to act and looks content to throw aspersions and feed his claims to anyone daft enough to listen.
I still don't get the billionaire backers bit either. If their consortium had this sort of money behind them, why didn't they complete on time? Haggling supposedly over 2% of the sale price (£170,000) is plainly laughable.
I don't doubt that there may have been an exclusivity extension clause but would bet that the advice Sandgaard received was clear that he was on solid enough ground to break his deal irrespective. Roll on a takeover. In the absence of a plainly obviously credible buyer (acquiring the assets and setting out a bold investment plan), anyone else could yet prove to be another disappointment but we have to roll the dice and move on.
I couldn't care less whoever wins this argument or what it costs them, just as long as it doesn't affect CAFC. For what it's worth, however, confirmation of a new takeover next month would reduce Methven's group to possibly arguing just for their deposit back and we could move on.
If Spiegal (& Co) do get control, we have to hope that they have a plan for investment despite his comparative wealth being less than Sandgaard's. The argument is a bit of a moot point when Sandgaard is not going to invest another bean in any event.