'I was just urging caution' - Ex-Sunderland defender clarifies criticism of Stewart Donald ahead of takeover

Lee Howey would be 'delighted' if Stewart Donald's consortium transforms Sunderland's fortunes - and stressed he was just raising legitimate concerns as a fan about the takeover.

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 3:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 3:26 pm
Sunderland's owner-in-waiting Stewart Donald.

It comes as the former defender has moved to clarify a series of tweets he posted criticising prospective Sunderland owner Donald.

Sunderland mad Howey said his aim was to urge caution until Donald's takeover has been approved by the EFL and full details of their plans for the club revealed.

Ex-Sunderland defender Lee Howey.

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In a series of tweets over the past week Howey had openly questioned Donald’s credentials and questioned whether he has the financial backing needed to take the club forward.

Howey has since moved to add context to his comments, he told the Echo: "I am a concerned fan, that's all I am, it was just to say we have to be cautious.

"We have to hold on and not make any assumptions until it is done and the details made clear.

"There is a lot of hearsay and rumours but if Stewart Donald is the guy to take Sunderland forward then I will be absolutely delighted.

"I don't want to be seen that I am really down on the club - I am Sunderland daft - and I want the best but just don't want people to get carried away with the takeover.

"Hopefully it is great news but at the moment we don't have all the details."

Donald was present for the Wolves game, watching the action unfold from an executive box at the Stadium of Light.

Howey added: "The devil is in the detail and we have to wait and see. We have to be cautious as football fans.

"It is our football club and we need to know that the man taking over is the right man for our football club, that's all it was.

"The last thing we want to do is take it out of Ellis Short's hands and put it into someone else's hands and it won't be any better.

"At the moment we don't know too much about him or where the other investment is coming from or level of funding etc.

"If he is the right man and proves it then I will be over the moon, as a fan we all want the best. Things can be taken out of context when it comes to a tweet."

Donald had Howey's tweets flagged up to him and he responded via Twitter: "Everyone is entitled to their opinion tbf if that’s what he thinks then fair enough. What he thinks not is not as important as what he thinks at the end of my involvement - that is when I should be judged. Subject to the EFL agreeing of course."

Donald, who acknowledged people would be naturally sceptical, pledged to offer more details following EFL approval.

Howey added his tweet claiming Donald had meddled in first-team matters while in control of National League Eastleigh was meant to be tongue in cheek.