Sunderland linked with Chinese takeover: What we know so far

The Stadium of Light

The Stadium of Light

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There has been a strong response by fans after it was revealed consortia in China have been sounded out over a possible takeover of Sunderland AFC.

This is what we know so far:

1) There are no immediate plans to sell Sunderland AFC to new owners, the Echo understands. There was initial interest earlier in the summer about a possible takeover from an overseas buyer but that did not materialise and there are no talks currently ongoing.

2) Owner Ellis Short is said to value the Black Cats at £150m. That may seem like a small amount of money for a club when compared to transfer fees such as the £89m for Paul Pogba, but Short currently has to cover every annual shortfall in the club's budget while his side compete against much wealthier teams.

3) The poor start to the season have seemingly put a potential buyer off a deal. A sudden change in fortunes on the pitch currently seems unlikely and that will be a major cause for concern for anyone looking to invest in a Premier League 'brand'.

4) More than 70% of fans would be happy to see the club sold to Chinese owners, according to this Echo poll. This should be taken with a pinch of salt though as opinion is sure to change depending on who the investors are and their long-term plans for the club.

5) Neither Short nor the club has publicly stated Sunderland AFC is up for sale, though the Echo understands that could change if the owner felt it was in the best interests of SAFC.

6) Short is still investing in the club. He has spent more than £200m since taking over and Sunderland had the 10th highest net spend during the last transfer window. Manager David Moyes is likely to be asking for further deals to be made in the January window.

7) Echo readers have jumped to Short's defence and have been quick to point out that the grass isn't always greener when it comes to new owners, citing Birmingham City and Leeds United as examples.