FPP Sunderland group close in on investment deal

A deal which will see a group of American businessmen invest in Sunderland AFC is on the brink of being completed.

Saturday, 19th October 2019, 9:40 am

Robert Platek, Glenn Fuhrman, John Phelan and Michael Dell have been in talks about becoming investors, with the current hierarchy eager to ensure the club can be competitive should they win promotion back to the top tiers of the English game.

The group formed a company, FPP Sunderland, last month as a vehicle for a potential deal.

Platek, Fuhrman & Phelan are prominent members of MSD Partners and have attended games on Wearside since talks began.

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MSD rose to prominence as a company linked to technology magnate Dell, who will have a passive role in the investment.

Chairman Stewart Donald last week rejected suggestions that a deal had broken down, and told supporters he remained ‘very hopeful’ an agreement would be reached.

A club statement last Friday said talks were ongoing: “The Board has consistently stated its desire to seek additional investment to enable the club to be competitive in whichever league it finds itself in.

“In League One, this (additional investment) is not a necessity, so it is a matter of looking to future requirements, if and when promotion is achieved.

“Discussions have been ongoing for some time, and continue to be so, but until those talks have concluded one way or the other the club cannot give further comment, owing to confidentiality agreements.”

Talks have subsequently progressed well and should be concluded in the coming week.

Donald is expected to stay in charge of day-to-day operations at the club, having appointed new manager Phil Parkinson on a two-and-a-half year deal this week.

Parkinson was given assurances that his position would not be affected by the ongoing talks at boardroom level, and said he was ‘happy’ with what he was told about the direction of the business.

“Yeah, very much so [satisfied with what he was told],” he said.

“Obviously it’s something that’s going to be mentioned in the process.

“I was happy with what I got told, the board want me to concentrate on the football and they’re going to continue with the progress that they’re making.

“I got the answers [I needed].”