Stewart Donald reveals 'substantial' investment in Sunderland once takeover is complete

Stewart Donald has revealed his investment in Sunderland AFC will be 'substantial' once the takeover is complete.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 7:29 pm
Updated Monday, 30th April 2018, 7:31 pm

Ellis Short has sold the club to an international consortium of football investors led by Donald, the chairman of Eastleigh FC, which has since been put up for sale.

Approval from the EFL is the final step in the Sunderland takeover process but there is no time frame in place for approval and it could take a matter of days or even weeks in some cases.

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In an interview with BBC Radio Solent, recorded before Sunday's announcement about the sale, Donald spoke about what attracted him to Sunderland and what his level of investment would be.

While he didn't go into details he did say it would be "substantial", though he wouldn't disclose the identity of the other members of the consortium.

On social media on Monday afternoon Donald confirmed via his Twitter account his role has been 'upgraded' from a 'makeweight' in the original deal to a more substantial role.

He tweeted: "Subject to EFL approval all will become clear. I have upgraded somewhat from a makeweight in the original deal though to quite a bit more than that now!!! And if it goes through what a club to be part of!!!! Would love to part of such an amazing club but will have to wait and see."

Stewart Donald.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent last week, before news of the sale broke, Donald said: "One of the groups has approached me to see whether or not I can provide any funding. I said show me the opportunity and I'll let you know.

"You know what these things are like, people put these consortiums together, but I think it would probably be a substantial investment if I do it."

Pressed on the level of potential investment, the Oxfordshire-based businessman added: "With Eastleigh I have put £10million in and they are now self-sustainable so I have put substantial funds in but the funds I am now putting in don't seem to be working, I could keep putting in more but I need value for money here.

"With regards the level of investment at Sunderland, it is comparable to that sort of money for sure.

Stewart Donald.

"It is not my deal, I have been asked to be a makeweight in a financial deal, at this stage I haven't said no.

"Normally these things don't come out but because it is Sunderland there are a lot of tongues wagging."

He has since confirmed his role has changed from a 'makeweight' originally to a more substantial role.

When asked what was the attraction to Sunderland, Donald last week told BBC Radio Solent, before relegation was confirmed: "The attraction would be the challenge of being part of a team to actually get Sunderland to were they belong, if they go into League One they would be a massively under-achieving football club

"If it was all sensible, to be part of a team that would restore Sunderland to where they should be, that sounds like a nice challenge."

He added: "I don't want to affect what I am doing, but you know if it is a nice project and you think you can get the club back in the Premier League and spend the money wisely and fairly then I will see what I can do."