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£12.7m loss: Dreyfus would be playing with fire by bringing 50 y/o to Sunderland – opinion

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Sunderland’s season is going from bad to worse at the moment. Without a win in their last four league outings, they are in danger of failing to get promoted for a third consecutive season in League One.

It’s a troublesome time for the Mackems, but there could be a light at the end of the tunnel. At present, Stewart Donald is locked in talks with Juan Sartori and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus over a takeover so new faces could walk through the door very soon.

On top of that, they are also in the hunt for a new manager.

Before their draw with Burton on Tuesday, the club took the decision to sack Phil Parkinson and as a result, Andy Taylor has taken caretaker charge.

There are a number of replacements lined up including Lee Johnson and Danny Cowley. Although that will be their first priority, it’s thought that Dreyfus and co want to broaden the club’s pool of staff by hiring a sporting director.

Do Sunderland need a sporting director?


No, we’re fine

No, we're fine

The man who may be tasked with that role is former Sunderland midfielder Stefan Schwarz.

Speaking on the What the Falk podcast, Sky Sports presenter Tom White said: “The obvious choice would be Stefan Schwarz. I’ve no idea there’s any truth but it would make sense as they’ve said in interviews it’s someone English and Scandinavian.”

Of course, whether Schwarz is genuinely interesting Sunderland is merely speculation at this point but bringing him to the north-east wouldn’t be the best of ideas, certainly judging by his track record in the transfer market.

The 50-year-old’s latest job was with Augsburg in Germany where he spent a total of £12.7m across the two seasons he spent as the club’s technical director.

Before that, he was the chief scout and helped to bring players like Martin Hinteregger to attention but when he was the lead man, it wasn’t a particularly successful operation.

Writer Robert Goetz revealed in 2017: “The flops category includes players such as Daniel Opare, Nikola Djurdijc, Mathias Fetsch and Raphael Holzhauser. The currently loaned striker trio Tim Matavz, Shawn Parker (both Nuremberg) and Albian Ajeti (FC St. Gallen) are among the wrong purchases for some of the FCA fans.”

One of the main problems for Schwarz, however, was that transfers took a long time to complete, meaning they had to pay some pretty hefty fees in the process. Hinteregger, for example, was an estimated £7m.

Though, he didn’t just have issues at Augsburg – he also experienced them at 1860 Munich and Hoffenheim when he was a scout. “From a celebrated scout to a bogeyman, it goes quickly on the Munich boulevard. “Suddenly he wasn’t there, but nobody noticed,” was one of the headlines,” wrote Goetz.

That doesn’t exactly bode well for someone Sunderland could charge with leading their recruitment and negotiations.

Speaking about his time at Hoffenheim, Schwarz previously said: “In Hoffenheim we worked with a large scouting department. But sometimes too many cooks spoil the broth. As a result, some transfers were also broken.”

Again, this isn’t a great omen for the Black Cats, a club who could have plenty of cooks in the kitchen once the takeover is done.

Sartori and Dreyfus will be joint owners while Donald is set to maintain at least a 15% stake. Add the various scouts and a new manager into the equation and all of a sudden, you have plenty of minds all potentially offering varying opinions.

Perhaps Sunderland ought to look elsewhere in pursuit of a sporting director.

In other news, someone other than Max Power stood out for Sunderland on Tuesday…

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