WHILE Jack Ross is one of the stars of Sunderland til I Die, the show places far more spotlight on new owner Stewart Donald, executive director Charlie Methven and the transfer saga surrounding hot prospect Josh Maja, who contentiously left the club for Bordeaux in January of 2019.
Despite onerous financial challenges – spelled out bluntly by Donald and Methven – Ross managed to reach the League One playoff and Checkatrade Trophy finals, succumbing to gut-wrenching defeats on both occasions.
Every kick of the ball is documented as Ross visibly brought a renewed purpose and team spirit to the club, but ultimately failed in his own goal of winning promotion.
We round-up some of the most memorable quotes from season two of Sunderland til I Die, now streaming on Netflix.
CHARLIE METHVEN DELIVERS A SOBERING ASSESSMENT OF SUNDERLAND’S PLIGHT
“This business was planning to lose £30 to 40million per year – it is a failed, f***ed-up business. This was f***ed, 100 per cent f***ed. It was on track to becoming the first large club to ever go properly bust.”
STEWART DONALD DISCUSSES EX-RANGERS CEO MARTIN BAIN’S ‘PERSONAL’ CRYO-CHAMBER
“They invested £100,000-plus on a cryochamber for recovery, so I speak to the head of medical. ‘Do you use it?’ ‘Well, Martin Bain goes in there for his back occasionally.’ ‘No, what players use it?’ ‘Oh, no-one.’
STEWART DONALD FUMES AS JOSH MAJA SEALS MOVE TO BORDEAUX
“Jack [Ross] calls me and says: ‘Josh has come in and picked up all his stuff. He’s gone. You could have told me you accepted a bid.’”
JACK ROSS DURING DISCUSSIONS FOR WILL GRIGG TO REPLACE MAJA
[Speaking to Stewart Donald] “See the offer you put in [£1.25m] – he’s not worth any more than that. Not a chance. If you get him for that many, which is a good offer, then fine, but not at the figures they are talking about. That’s just mental. He’s not worth it.”
STEWART DONALD IGNORES ROSS’ COUNSEL AND PAYS £3M FOR GRIGG
“I can’t afford to pay for the pizzas we’ve ordered now!”
JACK ROSS DISCUSSES THE PRESSURE OF BOSSING THE BLACK CATS
“There is pressure to win every game from the beginning of August and that has been greater than I imagined. When you set your ambitions high at the start of the season and don’t quite meet those, people will point to that as being a failure.”
CHARLIE METHVEN QUESTIONS ROSS FOLLOWING CHECKATRADE FINAL LOSS
‘I’m frustrated with the same thing every single week. The same slow play after half-time, we go one goal up and defend the penalty box. You appoint a manager to manage the team so it’s up to him to look deep inside himself and ask some really tough questions.
JACK ROSS FOLLOWING A GALLING PLAYOFF FINAL DEFEAT
“It’s a sore way to lose a football match. I don’t think my players deserved to lose the game in that manner for what they put into the game – or over the course of the season. Have to dust ourselves down but, right now, there’s a rawness of emotion.”
STEWART DONALD REFLECTS ON THE 2019/20 CAMPAIGN
“We could have done better, so I look at that area of the football club and promise myself that the following season won’t be as bad as this one again.”