Sunderland confirm imminent change of ownership as Chris Wilder drifts from managerial contention

Sunderland AFC have confirmed that Ellis Short is on the brink of selling the club.

Friday, 18th May 2018, 6:13 pm
Updated Friday, 18th May 2018, 6:16 pm
Ellis Short is on the brink of selling Sunderland

Stewart Donald is fronting an international consortium that will assume ownership after successful talks with the EFL on Friday.

A club statement reads: "Following a meeting with the EFL on Friday, and the provision of further information, we can now confirm that the proposed sale of the club could be concluded as early as next week.

"We would like to place on record our thanks to the EFL for their assistance during the process, at what is a very busy time of the football calendar for them.

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"We are unable to make further comment at this time."

It is understood that the official transfer is likely to take place on Monday.

One of the first priorities for the new regime will be to appoint a new manager, with Chris Wilder and Michael Appleton the leading candidates.

Reports on Friday suggested that Wilder could be on the brink of signing a new deal at Bramall Lane, which would likely make Appleton the frontrunner.

According to the Sheffield Star, the Blades ownership have resolved to secure his future and will offer him a deal running to the summer of 2021.

Appleton is currently assistant to Claude Puel at Leicester City, and knows the new regime at Sunderland well having managed at Oxford United, where Donald had a strong interest, for three years.

He oversaw their promotion for League Two before taking them to the brink of the League One play-offs, as well as two Checkatrade Trophy finals.

Alex Rae became the bookmakers' favourite for the post on Friday but the new regime favour a candidate with a track record of success in the Football League.

They initially had a shortlist of three candidates, two of which were Wilder and Appleton.

They are eager to make an appointment swiftly with a significant amount of work to be done on the squad this summer.

Once Donald's deal is confirmed, he will become the majority shareholder at the club.

There will be some international investment but he is expected to take a hands-on approach and will drive the club forward from a financial and footballign perspective.