New Sunderland owners confirm there is no international backing - but would welcome future investment

Sunderland's new owners have confirmed the takeover does not involve international backing - but they would welcome further investment going forward.

Monday, 21st May 2018, 7:17 pm
Updated Monday, 21st May 2018, 7:21 pm
Stewart Donald.
Stewart Donald.

When news first broke of the takeover, it was reported Stewart Donald was fronting an international consortium taking charge at the Stadium of Light.

It has been confirmed, as exclusively revealed by the Echo, that he is the majority shareholder with business partner and director Charlie Methven a minority shareholder.

Methven said: "The story of the last four or five weeks has been interesting because what became clear very early in the process was that the timescale was getting very crunched.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"Anything that delayed the process of the takeover was going to have a material impact on this summer’s business.

"We took advice from contacts of ours in and around the game and what became clear was that the process would be quicker and more straightforward if the club was just taken over by Stewart.

"There are other people that we both have in mind who have further capital and contacts that could be useful to Sunderland going forward and there are people who have expressed an interest to Stewart and me in having a stake in the club going forward.

"Stewart will be the majority shareholder whatever happens.

"It may well be in the future that people arrive and bring in extra capital to our group. But at the moment it’s Stewart and, to a lesser degree, me."

Methven added: "I’ve known Ellis Short for a while and I spoke to Ellis about five weeks ago and he said that he was looking to sell.

"He felt that with some of the groups he was speaking to the situation was drifting and I said I had the right guy to take it over.

"Then things moved pretty quickly. We had two or three weeks to do the due diligence and that all went smoothly. It was hectic, to do an exercise that complex in two or three weeks, and

there were a couple of all-nighters and some very tired lawyers by the end of it. But we got through it.

"Ellis Short has been extremely constructive throughout and helped us to get it over the line in the timescale that he indicated."