'Exciting news' but 'don't rip up the current plan' - Sunderland fans react to American takeover talks
Sunderland football fans are excited but cautious about their club's future as an American investment group finalise a takeover deal.
United States businessmen John Phelan, Glenn Fuhrman, Robert Platek and tech magnate Michael Dell - the Dell technologies guru - are understood to be the four prospective investors involved in ongoing negotiations.
Dell is not expected to take an active role in the running of the League One club with current owner Stewart Donald and executive director Charlie Methven also expected to remain directors.
It is unlikely either that any deal is expected to be concluded before the end of the transfer window at the end of August.
Paul "Sobs" Dobson, who follows Sunderland home and away and is part of the editorial team at the A Love Supreme fanzine, is hoping Donald and Methven's current is not "ripped up" by any newcomers.
Mr Dobson, 62, from Bishop Auckland, said: "I was just having a quiet pint and then my phone pinged with news of the takeover and it all went a bit crazy after that.
"It seems genuine this one but I just hope that it brings careful management rather than a new plan which takes us back to where we were in 2018 with the last takeover.
"Stewart and Charlie are football people and I hope the new people will buy in to what they are doing.
"If we get to January and there are further funds available for the team then spend a bob or two.
"But let's not go overboard and spends millions because people say we are not good enough for the Championship.
"Let's worry about the Championship if we do get promoted."
Businessman Michael Ganley, 48, founder of the Fans' Museum, near the football ground, added: "It is exciting news and it will be all people are talking about at this weekend's game against Wimbledon.
"It depends on how much they want to put in as businessmen. But hopefully they are here for the long term and will help us through this division and the Champsionship and back to where we want to be playing some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League."
Fans were quick to react to the news on the Sunderland Echo’s Facebook page:
Paul Summerside: “If it's done in a structured way, with regular investment applied when needed, it has to be welcomed by all in Sunderland.Not just fans. With so many media outlets announcing this story I'd say its 99% certain to happen.Exciting times ahead for SAFC fans.”
Alan Short: “Bring it on haway the lads.”
Paul Colborn: “Monumental.”
Steven McDonald: “Good news for the region if the takeover goes through and will bring added coverage to the club hopefully in a good light.”