No immediate plans to sell Sunderland AFC after initial takeover interest wanes

Ellis Short

Ellis Short

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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.

The initial interest waned, with very informal discussions not progressing any further.

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

It comes after reports emerged on Monday night that representatives of Short had been tasked with sounding out consortia in the Far East.

Short is reported to value the club at around the £150million mark but the Echo understands no takeover talks are currently ongoing.

Discussions with any potential investors didn't progress past the sounding-out stage, while the club's perilous league position is reported to have put one potential group off.

Sunderland are currently bottom of the Premier League with just two points from their opening eight league matches.

The American billionaire has bankrolled Sunderland since he took charge seven years ago and has since invested more than £200m of his own cash into the club.

He has faced criticism from fans over the club's transfer business, although Sunderland spent £27.12million in the summer transfer market - the 10th highest net spend.

Short, who covers every annual shortfall that Sunderland make in their budget, defended his record in his programme notes last August.

Short said: "The amount that I fund every season exceeds the collective total amount funded by every owner Sunderland has ever had since the club was formed in 1879.

"I have done this willingly as I want us to be more than a club that simply exists in the top flight.

"Has the money been spent effectively? No - that much is clear and ultimately that is my fault.

"But it is not a result of a lack of ambition or commitment."